My cheeks become flushed as my eyes scan a pregnancy announcement.

In an instant, I begin to sweat.

My womb screams with a familiar ache.

My heart races at the thought of seeing a positive pregnancy test.

My arms long to cradle a warm, sleeping baby.

My fingers search for the fine, downy hair that perfectly complements the soft skin of a newborn.

These sensations are familiar, though they’ve been absent for a while. My body has existed in this state many times over the past decade—sometimes for months, even years, at a time. But this time is different.

Because this time, there is no remedy.

It’s as intense a baby fever as I’ve ever had, but this time there won’t be a baby because pregnancy is no longer an option.

This time, I know the ache of my womb will not be relieved by the presence of new life within it. My heart will never again race with untamed joy at the sight of a positive pregnancy test. My arms won’t be holding any more babies—at least none of my own. My fingers will forever search for that soft downy hair, but they won’t find it.

No, the prescription for this baby fever can no longer be filled.

Allowing it to expire was by choice, but it wasn’t one I wanted to make. My husband and I took the steps to ensure we couldn’t conceive another baby. And though I cling to the belief that it was the right choice, sometimes it still hurts.

RELATED: There Will Always Be Room in a Mama’s Heart For One More

I’ve got two beautiful children who I tuck into bed each night. I look into their eyes and tell them I love them before turning off the lights and am overwhelmed by the same awe and wonder as when I gazed into their eyes as babies.

They are mine, I tell myself.

And yet, somehow—right now, in this moment—it doesn’t feel like enough.

I feel like my motherhood has been cut short—the desire for one more baby multiplying every time my children outgrow another stage. Every time I look, really look, at the newborn photos displayed on the mantel. Every time a baby appears in my newsfeed.

You see, the road to two children was marred by loss. It was hard—harder and more heartbreaking than I could have imagined. There were four pregnancies, but only two resulted in bringing a baby home.

And when we welcomed what would turn out to be the last baby into our family, our hearts agreed we did not have the strength to risk another loss. We could not justify putting our family through the stress of trying for—or losing—another baby.

While I’m grateful to know what it’s like to walk into the hospital pregnant and walk out of it with a baby, I also know what it’s like to leave empty-handed.

RELATED: A Mother’s Love Can’t Be Measured In Weeks

I know what it’s like to step out of an exam room and come face-to-face with a pregnant woman immediately after finding out my baby was no longer considered viable. I know what it’s like to give birth to a baby who never cried while listening to the cry of someone else’s baby echo down the halls. I know what it’s like to lay a baby to rest in the one place a baby should never be—the cemetery.

I know things about life and death, loss and grief that no mother should ever know.

And for that reason, we made the decision to call our family complete after our second living child was born even though it will never truly feel that way.

I’m fortunate for the children I get to raise. Believe me when I tell you I’m grateful. But I assumed my arms would carry at least one more.

I see images of new babies, safe and secure in the arms of their mothers. I see images of complete families, their hearts whole and arms full.

And my fever spikes.

In the past, the treatment for it has been the birth of a living baby—MY baby. Or at the very least, the idea—the hope—that there might be one in the future. 

But there won’t be another baby. Not in this lifetime.

RELATED: There’s Just Something About That Last Baby

I’m not sure a full recovery is possible. Will I always feel the discomfort of an ailment that can’t be relieved?


But when the symptoms of baby fever consume my entire being, I cling to God’s promise that this life isn’t the end.

An eternal life awaits. Where longing and disappointment, emptiness and discomfort don’t exist.

But where two of my babies do.

So while there won’t be any more babies here on earth—while the two I hold might never seem like enough for this mama’s arms—Heaven holds hope. Along with the cure for this fever that has yet to be eased.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Jenny Albers

Jenny Albers is a wife, mother, and writer.  She is the author of Courageously Expecting, a book that empathizes with and empowers women who are pregnant after loss. You can find Jenny on her blog, where she writes about pregnancy loss, motherhood, and faith. She never pretends to know it all, but rather seeks to encourage others with real (and not always pretty) stories of the hard, heart, and humorous parts of life. She's a work in progress, and while never all-knowing, she's (by the grace of God) always growing. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Small dog with head hanging out car window, color photo

Our dog Carlos has slowed down considerably within the last few months. He’s always been outspoken and opinionated–a typical firstborn trait–and to hear him snoring most of the day and tolerating things he normally wouldn’t tolerate (i.e. being carried from place to place by my son, forklift-style) put me on notice that he’s in the fourth quarter. Carlos looks and acts like an Ewok from the Star Wars franchise. According to Wikipedia, Ewoks are clever, inquisitive, and inventive. Carlos checks all three boxes. As a puppy, we tried crate training, but it never took. It wasn’t for lack of trying....

Keep Reading

You’ve been Gone a Year, So Why Does It Feel Like Yesterday?

In: Grief, Loss
Old photo of mother hugging her young daughter, color photo

In February, you will have been gone a year. How is that right? It was just yesterday. I still remember the day we got the diagnosis. One I knew was coming but still prayed wasn’t true. I still remember promising you that everything was going to be okay, and knowing that it wasn’t. I still remember the first time I saw you and thought to myself, “The dementia is moving too fast.” It was just yesterday. I still feel your hand in mine as I sat next to you in the hospital bed. You were talking and humming along while...

Keep Reading

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

Growing Slowly around the Grief of Losing Your Mom

In: Grief, Loss
Sad woman sitting on couch with folded arms

Everyone has heard about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Society often assumes the stages of grief happen in order, but those who encounter grief know that’s not true. Undergoing grief can feel like riding a rollercoaster blindfolded—disorienting and chaotic. There are numerous ups, downs, and twists you wouldn’t anticipate. Grief is like an ocean. When waves come crashing, it feels like you’re being swept away. Regardless of their size, waves are always rough. Despite everything, you also get pushed forward to the shore after every wave. Sometimes, you may feel like you are drowning...

Keep Reading

The Shattering Grief of Suicide

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Sad person sitting in darkened hallway, black and white image

Navigating through my second Christmas without my dad, the weight of grief seemed even heavier this year. In fact, everything felt and looked different to me. As I unwrapped the ornaments and cards he gave me over the years, a tidal wave of madness and sadness engulfed me. I know many feel sadness and grieve during these times, but let me just say . . . suicide is a different type of grief. My vibrant, happy, physically fit dad committed suicide on April 30th, 2022. There, I said it. In the aftermath, a myriad of emotions consumed me. One perplexing...

Keep Reading

Dear Dad, Maybe You’re the Bird

In: Grief, Loss
Young girl sitting on father's lap, older color photo

Maybe you’re the bird. The one I see outside my door. The one who flies so low it seems you’re somehow weighted down. Like you’re carrying more than just yourself. Like you’re carrying a message. Just for me. Maybe you’re the rain. The sound I hear that reminds me so much of home. Of you. Of driving in your car as a little girl when you looked over and asked my opinion about everything. When you made someone so small feel so very big. RELATED: Dad Left a Legacy in Fried Green Tomatoes Maybe you’re the butterfly. The one I...

Keep Reading

I Hope You Never Know What it’s Like to Forget Who You Are

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Woman staring at camera, black-and-white photo

I write best when I’m passionate. It’s always been my release. But lately, I’ve struggled to write. I’ve struggled to find purpose in my words. It’s all been twisted and choppy, not a bit poetic or beautiful. These feelings are what the struggles of loss, parenting, work, and marriage push against. It’s finding yourself over and over again and trying to make sense of the senseless. It leaves you questioning most things and leaves you feeling broken with no idea how to put yourself or others back together. I hope you never know. I hope you never know what it’s...

Keep Reading

6 Ways to Be a Friend to Someone Grieving

In: Friendship, Grief, Loss
Friends hugging

Grief can truly be such a lonely experience after you lose a loved one. The loneliness isn’t necessarily because you don’t have anyone around you. It’s because only you had your relationship with the person who died, and it’s hard to find anyone to replace that. I have first-hand experience. My mom died recently and unexpectedly at the age of 62 and I at the age of 34, and it single-handedly has been one of the most painful experiences of my life. However, having support from family and friends will help you navigate this difficult time. Without it, the loneliness...

Keep Reading

These Final Gifts from My Mom Are Hard to Let Go

In: Grief, Loss
Little girls boots with worn toes, color photo

My daughter wobbled toward me in silver, square-toed go-go boots, one heel dislodged and flopping against our hallway’s faux wood floor. On her opposite foot, a striped sock peaked curiously through the growing toe hole. “Mama,” she said. Her tiny voice raised another octave, “My shoe!” I sighed, then sat on the floor. Waves of grief washed over me as I contemplated what kind of glue might capably reconstruct the shoe’s sole. Elmer’s glue? Textile glue? Maybe Krazy Glue? I knew the boots should just go into the bin. And yet, they—along with a vibrant, overbearing cat dress that would...

Keep Reading

A Daughter Is Never Ready To Let Her Dad Go

In: Grief, Loss
Grown daughter hugging older man

I wasn’t ready to let you go. When I was a little girl, one of my greatest fears was that something would happen to my parents. If they had to go somewhere, I would nervously follow their route in my mind, mentally noting where they probably were and when they should be back home. If they hadn’t returned by the time I thought they should, my imagination would get the best of me as I pictured a thousand things that could have happened. But the day I sat having a late breakfast at my kitchen table and saw an ambulance...

Keep Reading