I gave birth to my last ever baby 9 weeks ago. My last ever stay in a maternity ward. Last ever experience in a birth suite. Last time asking for an epidural. Last time pushing. Last time meeting my child for the first time.
I’m sad. There’s a void when you’re done having kids.
I’ve spent the last seven-ish years trying to fall pregnant and trying to stay pregnant. It’s been a bumpy road for me. I’ve miscarried (twice). I’ve delivered a stillborn child. I’ve been pregnant without even knowing I was. I’ve had secondary infertility (thanks PCOS!), I’ve taken fertility medication and injected myself daily with blood thinners. Scans, blood tests, weekly obstetric visits. An introductory visit to an IVF clinic before finding out the next day that I was (naturally) pregnant. Twice weekly CTG monitoring in third trimester. It has been all consuming.
So I’m here now. I have my six year old daughter, my three year old son, and my nine week old little girl. I also have my angel son. My Archer. Tiny, perfect, sleeping Archer who I held for a day but carry forever.
And now it’s done. It’s over. Family complete.
Yet there’s the void. The sadness when I see another pregnant woman knowing it won’t ever be me again. Driving past the hospital where I had my babies and knowing I won’t be back there having another one. Never will I feel a kicking, hiccuping baby in my belly. No more sympathetic smiles from other mums as I waddle through the supermarket.
I’m mourning the end of a stage of my life that took up so much of my heart for so long.
Don’t get me wrong. Despite the struggles, it’s been amazing. My kids are awesome. I’m excited to watch them grow and live their lives and I’m happy that I won’t ever have to wade through the newborn fog again. But I know I’ll miss the incredibly unique feeling of growing a child. It’s ridiculous, but I feel like my womanly job is done. So now what?
My six week OB check up felt more like a break-up. The brilliant man who I trusted so intimately to look after me and bring my babies safely into the world now gets relegated to being Mr Two-Yearly-Visits when I’m due for a Pap smear. I might have cried a bit when I left his room.
Will the yearning for more babies ever go away? Probably not. I’m realistic though. Unless we build another house, buy another car, plant a money tree, pretend that I’m not 36 and don’t have declining fertility, then it’s not going to happen. And I can’t just keep having babies. A Duggar, I am not!
What will I do to fill the void? I’m not exactly sure. I do know that there’s incredible joy in watching my babies meet their milestones and that makes me so very happy. Maybe in time the void will grow smaller or even disappear.
In the meantime, I’ll keep looking at pics of my babies’ births and smile knowing that those three days were, without doubt, the most incredible of my life. And that, I hope, will be enough.
Nicole, 36, mum to Eva, Will, Charlotte and angel baby Archer
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Nicole has generously spoken about the loss of her son Archer with Little Tsunami. You can read about her experience here.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, marked specifically on October 15th. Being a voice on what was once a silent topic is one way we can celebrate and honour babies who have passed away through miscarriage, stillbirth or postnatal causes. Speaking out may also be a way for some parents to work through this heartbreaking experience, help create awareness and support others. For helpful and supportive information about miscarriage please visit COPE.ORG.AU