By Nicole Irving
I am truly blessed. I have three amazing boys who are healthy, happy and full of energy and life. They are smart, sassy and compassionate. They have their dad’s freckles and my eyes.
They are the perfect mixture of both of us … and, we won’t be having any more.
We won’t be having any more.
Two years ago, we made the decision together to stay a family of five. There were many reasons behind our personal decision to not have any more children.
At almost 40, I knew that my risks for complications were growing. With three boys, and a three-bedroom house, I knew space was limited. As a business owner, teacher and community member, I knew I was limited on time. We had finally gotten to a place where there were no more diaper bags, strollers, bottles or formula. The boys could finally all feed and dress themselves!
On paper these reasons seemed worthy. Mentally, I understood them, but my heart took a bit longer to catch up.
The hardest part was saying goodbye to that era of my life. I would never be pregnant again. I would never experience someone kicking me or having hiccups that only I could feel. Never again would I experience the special connection only a mother can have with the child growing inside her. There would be no more diapers, pacifiers, or mommy and me classes; no more first bath, first steps or first haircut. I checked off all of those boxes, never to repeat.
That was a hard pill to swallow.
Because, let’s be real, in today’s world we can usually go back and repeat things. College, driving tests, selfies … we just get a do-over and keep going. Nothing is ever really final. But, for me, this was a decision not to be undone.
In essence, I was mourning my baby bearing years. Mourning a time that went by so quickly and innocently. Mourning feelings and emotions that only I could understand, and although my brain told me it was going to be OK, my heart was sad to see it go.
So, as with any loss, I have gone through the stages of mourning, and now I am on the other side. I have come to terms with it, made peace with this decision and am moving on and focusing on all the blessings I have in my life: three amazing boys, a successful business and career, and the wonderful friends and life I have.