Giving Up Procreation

Maternity ClothesNine months of morning sickness, body aches and sleepless nights. One scare-you-to-death abnormal genetics test. Many, many hours of sitting still while strapped to a non-stress test machine waiting for quality movement. A month full of painful, annoying contractions. A terrifying delivery when for a small moment we couldn’t hear the baby’s heart beat.

To say my last pregnancy was my hardest would be a serious understatement.

I spent three quarters of last year stressed beyond coping. It’s a wonder my husband didn’t divorce me. I survived, and got to take a beautiful baby girl home with me from the hospital.

But after all it took to get her here I know I have to be done. Physically and mentally I can’t go through it again. I always said I wanted to have four or five kids. And that’s what I have. Four or five. Depending on how you count.

Call me weak, call me chicken but I’ve had one overdue baby, one early miscarriage, one preemie, one 37-week stillborn and two am-I-crazy-for-going-through-this-again? rainbow babies.

It was hard for me to get pregnant. And the past two times being pregnant was almost crippling.

I know it’s a very personal, unique decision for everyone. For some people it’s easy. For me it has not been.

Even though I know I can’t go through it again, one small fraction of my heart cries out, “How can you be done?”

There is nothing like a human baby. Absolutely nothing. They are the most pure, innocent and snuggly creatures on Earth. And when all goes well, there is nothing like the pregnancy excitement – seeing the double line on the test, watching a heart beat on an ultrasound, finding out if you’ll be buying pink or blue clothes – it’s all so much fun.

Then there’s the anticipation and excitement of driving to the hospital knowing it’s time. Friends and family come visit and it’s all a big celebration.

That tiny piece of my heart keeps asking me if I am ready to give that all up?!

I packed my maternity clothes up last week and shoved them in the back of my closet. I plan on never using them again. But for now I can’t part with them.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the decision my husband and I made that we’re done having kids. A lot lot. I’ve come to the conclusion that it wouldn’t matter how many kids I had, 7, 10, 20, part of me would still feel like one is missing – the one I carried for eight and a half months then had to bury. He’s missing from our family vacations, family pictures and family fun time. And always will be.

To be completely honest, I have been kind of bitter about his death lately. I feel like I got cheated. I worked hard to try to get him here safely and he was taken from me in an instant. There was nothing anyone could have done to save him.

Not only did I lose my third little boy but losing him created this uncontrollable fear inside me making it harder for me to want to have any more little ones. I love each of my kids. They are amazing. Despite the fact that they can completely stress me out sometimes, part of me wonders if I would have had a dozen kids if things had played out differently. I lived through two pregnancies after Luca’s stillbirth, but I can’t do it again.

And so I put the lids on my maternity clothes boxes and they’ll collect dust in my closet until who knows when. And I’ll live with our decision to be done. I know it’s the right one, but it’s just been a hard one. Some people have to be done. We could have more we just aren’t.

I made it through my birthing years with four beautiful babies to raise. Some women never get the chance to be a mother. I’ll forever be grateful that the Lord let me be one to some pretty amazing kids. That makes all the stress, craziness and risk in getting them here worth it.

Now I guess it’s really time to be done.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elise
    Jan 09, 2015 @ 08:17:41

    For us it just felt so right and peaceful after Davis was born. Every time I look at my kids I know we’re done. Yet even still, I sometimes feel a slight twinge that we’re done. Every now and then I feel rediculously hopeful when my period is a little late, though my next thoughts remember the hard parts and the reasons we’re done and I think I’m going crazy for even momentarily wanting that. We went through a permanent form of birth control, done by a very active lds doctor. He said he wouldn’t without our bishop’s okay. Curtis and our bishop sat down and had a long talk and he felt as right about it as we did. Then he did the same thing with Pres. Preisler. Maybe you should have a nice chat/therapy session with your bishop? We feel the Lord really has given us an okay to be done. But I also figure, if that changes later, the Lord can make it happen anyway, or I’d always be open to adoption. I want you to feel great about the decision you make! But that doesn’t mean there won’t be moments when you feel the loss that that decision brings. Love you!

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Jan 14, 2015 @ 16:41:03

      Thanks Elise. Love you too! I do feel right about the decision but with that said, it still hasn’t been an easy one. I’ve spent the past 10 years trying to get pregnant, pregnant, or nursing. It will be weird to step into another stage. I know I’ll have moment when I’m sad about not having more kids, but I think that’s natural 🙂

      Reply

  2. Elise
    Jan 09, 2015 @ 08:21:45

    I’ve thought of it as stepping in to a new chapter of my life. Every time you do that (graduation, marriage, having kids, them leaving the house, etc) there will be a sense of loss, and a sense of gain. I just try to focus on the gain.

    Reply

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