I will never be pregnant again. No more morning sickness, mood swings, or contractions. I'll never, ever have to go through labor again, and considering my last labor resulted in an accidental medication-free delivery, that's a huge relief. I won't ever be pregnant again, which means I won't ever have to deal with pregnancy-related acne or be stuck on bed rest again. No more glucose tests, middle-of-the-night contractions or back pain. You'd think I'd be thrilled to have these difficulties behind me for good, but pregnancy, for me, has always meant indescribable joy that I can't find anywhere else. Each time I've been pregnant I've been acutely aware of the fact that a miracle is taking place in my body, a precious life is growing inside of me. Part of me is relieved to be done having children, but a bigger part of me is, however, really sad that I'll never be pregnant again.
Shortly after our third child was born, my husband and I made a permanent decision to be done having children. It was not a decision we took lightly, but we came to the conclusion that we were content with the amount of children we have. We feel complete with the size of our little family. I love having kids so I think that if I left it up to my emotions, I'd probably have 20 children, which is a huge part of why I had to come to the decision logically. But even though we made the decision with our family's best interests in mind, that doesn't mean I won't miss being pregnant, because I definitely will. Actually, I already do.
To be honest, there's just something about being pregnant that changed me as a person. It's not the same for every woman, but when I was carrying each of my children, I felt like I suddenly had all these magical maternal instincts floating around inside that make me feel like a superhero. My body became this powerful machine that could prepare, birth, and feed another human being. I always thought that it was kind of awesome.
Despite trying to savor each moment, my final pregnancy flew by. One moment I was revealing the exciting news that I was pregnant again to my husband and the next, we were rushing to the hospital to give birth.
I'm sure other women can relate to this, but I always felt that people treated me differently when I was pregnant. My friends were always checking on me to see how I was feeling and loved to see my growing belly. My family members were also so excited for the new addition, and they made sure to always make me feel so beautiful — even when I felt sweaty and massive. And my husband's extremely accommodating behavior is what I'll probably miss the most.
My husband is a good husband, but during each of my pregnancies, I felt like he was the best husband in the universe. He didn't ever let me lift anything, he picked up takeout for me whenever I was craving something random, and he constantly told me how "gorgeous" I looked, even when I felt anything but gorgeous. I know I should be grateful for the times he treats me well outside of pregnancy, but there's just something about the way he looks at me when I'm carrying his child that I'll deeply miss.
During my third pregnancy, I knew it would be my last, so I tried to savor every exhausting moment. Even as I struggled to walk around in the summer heat, dripping sweat and waddling like a duck to the school playground to pick up my son, I was still trying to cherish the experience. In order to tell my husband I was pregnant, my two older sons and I sent him on a scavenger hunt around the house. He went from one clue to the next until the final destination revealed a box with a positive pregnancy test inside. He was so excited and our boys didn't stop smiling for months. They continually asked, "when is our baby going to be here?" But despite trying to savor each moment, my final pregnancy flew by. One moment I was revealing the exciting news that I was pregnant again to my husband and the next, we were rushing to the hospital to give birth.
Each pregnancy I've had has offered some brutal challenges — from bed rest to labor complications. Still, I wouldn't trade a single moment. Even through the difficult moments, I loved being pregnant. As hard as it is sometimes, being pregnant was one of the most important times in my life. I felt such a joyful anticipation that I struggle, even now, to put into words. Each hard moment was followed by a wonderful one. Every bout of nausea was overshadowed by a sweet little baby kick. Every pain I experienced was all at once forgotten once I heard my baby's first cry. Every contraction was followed by a life-changing moment when I got to hold my child for the very first time.
I won't miss a lot of things about pregnancy, but the joys will be something I'll treasure for decades to come. In my opinion, the joys far outweigh the hardships. Like hearing my babies' heartbeats for the first time, or when my husband would rub my belly and introduce himself as "Dad," and when my sons would to their unborn sister, telling her they "can't wait to meet her." I'll never be pregnant again, but I'll have the profound pleasure of watching my children grow up — hopefully for a very long, long time. Every phase of this life is one to treasure, but I must say that pregnancy is one I'll never forget.