Closing Chapters, Not Books

I will never forget the first time I saw those 2 pink lines on a pregnancy test.

Looking at that stick after 3 minutes that feel like an eternity, and realizing that your life just changed forever, is one of the greatest moments of motherhood. All of the emotions that come with that moment cannot be forgotten. From your pounding heart to your tummy full of butterflies, there is just something magical about it.

I’ve been blessed enough to have that experience more than once. I have 2 amazing, healthy children, and I am very content with our family of 4.

But there is something so sad about knowing that you’re done having babies.

The decision to have 2 children is one that my husband and I made together. 2 is a perfect number for us, and I never felt like something was missing, or that we weren’t finished. It never really hit me that the baby stage is only in my past, until recently.

My daughter, my oldest child, just turned 10. Don’t ask me how that’s possible, because I truly don’t know. Wasn’t she just born?! As I was getting some things together for her birthday, I came across a pile of pictures from when she was a baby. When I say baby, I mean fresh, tiny newborn. Some of the photos were from when we were still in the hospital. I stood in my bedroom and studied them for a long time. Her first time in her car seat. Her first bath. The first time she ate baby food. It all came rushing back.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am very happy with where I’m at in life right now. As I said here, I’m exactly where I am supposed to be. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be sad about all of the parts of my motherhood journey that are over.

Never again will I be pregnant. I’ll never feel tiny feet kicking me, or little elbows rolling across my abdomen from the inside. I’ll never get up in the middle of the night again to rock and nurse a baby back to sleep. I’ll never have anyone to push in a stroller during an evening walk.

If you’re done having babies, it’s ok to be sad about those things, and still be happy and content with where you are now. You’re allowed to feel both. A huge chapter in your book of motherhood has closed, and you can grieve that chapter.

I’d be lying if I said my heart didn’t hurt a little every time I see an infant, or even a young toddler. That chapter is closed, but my book is still wide open. I still have so much left in my journey of motherhood. So many more firsts, and lasts. So many new adventures and revelations. My book is far from being over, and I will look forward to the future and all it has to bring, while still grieving the closed chapter.

And both are okay.

 

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