I don't think I'll ever be over it. The whole no more babies thing. I can sit and look at my life and marvel at how wonderful it is to no longer be tied to an infant's schedule or needs. I can sit and watch my children play and thrill at the fact that they no longer need me to hold their hands as they explore their world, test their limits, become who they are. I can sit and enjoy the fact that I am, once again, in control of my schedule, my days, my needs, my wants.
In every abstract way possible, I can take stock of our lives and think, We have it good. We have enough. We are blessed with what we have.
And still, I can't hold a day old infant without feeling heart-rending sobs threaten to break through.
I will never again feel a baby move within me.
I will never again experience the wonder of creating a life and carrying it to term.
I will never again whisper "welcome to the world" into a tiny ear I've been waiting to whisper into for nine months.
I will never again hold my own newborn up to my breast and feel that deep recognition settle into my heart.
I will love on my friends' babies.
I will love on my own existing children.
But that thought that I will never again be pregnant, never again give birth, never again nurse a baby, never again bring home a new member of our family... that thought breaks me.
99% of the time, I can function happily in that space where I know I have enough, where I know I have been blessed beyond what many others get. I'm grateful for what I have, grateful for what I wake up to every day.
But sometimes, I need to wallow in the "what if" and the "why can't I too?"
I hold a friend's newborn infant in my arms and I wonder what my third would have looked like. What we would have called him or her. What it would be like to welcome another into our lives. And I struggle to breathe, crushed by the weight of missing someone who will never be.
I know that countless other moms grieve the way I do for the children who will never be. Knowing that I'm not alone in this makes the pain a bit more bearable.
My youngest child turns 8 this summer. I keep thinking that one day... one day the pain will ease, the longing will fade. And yet, with each new infant I cuddle it's just as sharp and vivid as ever.
Maybe I truly will never be over it.
A version of this post originally appeared on It's my life...
Jessica Rosenberg is a writer, a mom, a blogger, a friend, a social media marketer, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and everything in between. She spends her days juggling work, passion, and life.
She regularly shares her thoughts and insights on her blog It's my life...
Her first novel, a fun read set on a sunny Hawaiian beach, Aloha Also Means Goodbye, is available on Amazon.