At 37+ weeks pregnant with my third baby, I am in the ‘home stretch’ as they say. Most mothers I know hit this stage of pregnancy and are so ready to be done, and hold their babies in their arms. And while this pregnancy has been incredibly challenging, both physically and mentally for a variety of reasons, I am here to tell you, I am just not ready.
I am desperate for time to slow down, despite how uncomfortable I am, how often I have to go to the bathroom, how little I’m sleeping, or how exhausting it is chasing after my two boys.
Don’t get me wrong, I am also so ready to meet our precious rainbow baby. He is a miracle in every sense of the word, and I am admittedly “that mom” who genuinely adores the newborn phase; the sweet infant snuggles and slow days spent figuring each other out. I cannot wait to see my oldest continue his role as the sweetest, most caring big brother on the planet, and our youngest (now middle) embrace his newest role with all the energy and charisma he puts into everything he does.
But I’m honestly just not ready yet to say goodbye to this season of my life. Bringing new life into the world is the absolute greatest gift I have ever experienced.
I am not sure I will ever stop wanting babies, or yearning to feel those sweet baby flutters turn into kicks, hear that heartbeat for the first time. Pregnancy wreaks havoc on my body, and in ways my mind as well, but I can’t deny how unbelievably beautiful and life-altering it has been for me. To admit this is our final baby, that our family is complete, is so hard. My husband and I know in our hearts this is what is right for our family, but that doesn’t change the fact that saying goodbye to this pregnancy means saying goodbye to a chapter that has been such a monumental part of our lives for the past six years.
I know many women who have felt genuinely complete when their family’s final child arrives, and I have come to acknowledge how that “my family is complete” moment may just never come for me – or maybe it will once I hold this sweet boy in my arms – only time will tell. This is just another example of how every family, mother, woman, and pregnancy is so very different.
For now, I’m allowing myself to sit with the dual emotions of both sadness and joy when I think about entering into this next season. And I’m here to tell all the sweet mamas out there who are yearning or praying for a baby, or who genuinely miss pregnancy, (or those who don’t and are so happy to have closed that chapter!) that you are not alone.
I know this next phase of life is going to bring its own unique set of challenges and a level of joy I never knew existed. While I may not feel entirely ready, I’m learning how regardless of the season I am in, when I know one is fading away into another, there is a true mourning process that can occur – and that it’s ok to simply live life in the in-between for awhile.