My husband and I are most certainly done having babies. We were blessed with three beautiful and healthy daughters in a span of 36 months. While my pregnancies were not exactly a breeze, my labors and deliveries were relatively easy. Our youngest is nearly out of diapers.
All three girls sleep through the night (don’t hate me, but our 2-year-old regularly sleeps in past 9 a.m.). We are out of bedrooms in our home. We are maxed out with the prospect of private school tuition for three kiddos. Heck, my husband had a vasectomy when our youngest was just 6 months old.
But, I’m here to tell you, baby F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) is real. And it’s way more painful than I imagined.
I don’t particularly enjoy the newborn stage. I certainly didn’t care for being pregnant. I gained nearly 60 lbs with each pregnancy, and I was certain the pain from the varicose veins and swelling should have qualified me for bedrest.
The bleeding nipples. The leaking. The hospital diapers. The sleepless nights. The squishy mom belly that seems bigger than when you were pregnant. The nonstop nursing sessions. The crying. The screaming. There is so much struggle in the first few months of a new baby.
But (and it’s a big but), there’s something that cannot be measured about meeting your newborn baby for the first time. The baby yawns. The way baby snuggles into your neck as the rest of the world seems to melt away. The tiny hats, and teeny socks. My heart is racing just thinking about the special moments I’ve had with my girls.
I’ve had passing twinges of jealousy when friends have announced pregnancies or babies – and I’ve had momentary lapses of feeling somber when my sisters-in-law both shared their pregnancy news with me. But mostly, I’ve had feelings of, “Oh my gosh, I’m so happy for you…but I’m so glad it’s not me.” Until now.
A close girlfriend of mine recently shared her exciting pregnancy news with me of her upcoming fourth baby! Her other three kids are similar in ages to mine. I couldn’t be happier for her family, but this is the first time that I’ve honestly felt like shouting at my husband, “Wait – maybe I want a fourth baby?!” But I don’t want another baby…do I?
What is this feeling? It’s not jealousy exactly. The feeling is much heavier and more instinctual than that. Perhaps I’m looking at her family and seeing a glimpse of what our family “could” look like too? Maybe it’s just my biological clock ticking and telling me to reproduce, reproduce, reproduce. For goodness sake, it’s likely just my hormones. I’m a young-ish mom of three girls…Lord knows there are plenty of hormones racing through our house each day.
While my heart may never be able to confidently write off having another baby, my head is telling me our newborn days are over. So, for now, I’m choosing to look on the sunny side of toddlerhood. And happily saying goodbye to our Pampers subscription.