Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

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.

To the Miscarriage Mom with a Broken Heart on Mother’s Day

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman holding single pink daisy

Dear Mama, I want you to know—you aren’t alone. Not even by a little bit. Not ever, but especially not today. There are hearts like yours breaking all over the world today. Whether you are grieving one loss or multiple. Whether you already have a healthy family or this would have been your firstborn. Whether you were family planning the natural way or needed a little help from science. Planned, unplanned. Chemical pregnancy, missed miscarriage, late-term loss. Those details don’t matter today. Today, all our hearts hurt the same. We are all part of the same club we never asked...

Keep Reading

Call Your Mom for Those of Us Who Can’t

In: Grief, Loss
Sunset over water, color photo

I never pictured myself without my mama at only 26 years old. I never saw a life when I couldn’t just pick up my phone to call you after the worst day at work. I never thought I would be crying over one of your recipes at Christmas time because I just can’t make it taste like you did. I never thought I would be jealous when I heard my friends talk about meeting up with their mom for a girl’s day. Here’s the thing, yes I knew it would eventually happen, but I pictured the both of us a...

Keep Reading

Dear Cancer, I Thought We Paid Our Dues

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Mother and grown daughter, smiling, color pboto

This is not how it was supposed to be. I am most certainly not made for this. God, why are you forcing me to travel this road again? When my father died after a long, grueling battle with Stage 4 base of the tongue cancer, I very naively thought, bye cancer. Our family paid our dues, and cancer was never to be seen again. I put on a brave face and began to write about my dad’s cancer journey. I believed the more I poured my heart onto a piece of paper the more cancer would stay away for good....

Keep Reading

A Grandmother’s Legacy Never Dies

In: Grief, Loss
A group of kids, old color photo

My grandmother was a Christian puppeteer. She would play the parts of brother and sister, Wilbur and Willette, race their dog King back and forth, and yell in their mother’s scratchy voice from “off stage,” all from behind her big blue curtain while my aunt talked to the puppets and sang from center stage. Sometimes I’d sit on a folding chair behind the curtain with her. Sometimes I’d watch from the audience. From churches to the Iowa State Fair to summer camps, I witnessed hundreds of children give their lives to Jesus. She wasn’t just my grandmother, she was a...

Keep Reading

Losing a Brother, Understanding My Mother

In: Grief, Loss
Sad woman looking out rainy window

At the end of his life, I didn’t like my brother. That feels awful to say. It probably is awful. My brother died at 35 years old of liver failure. It was a long, ugly death full of prolonged hospital stays and frustration. Even before he was relegated to life support and dialysis, the disease changed him. Maybe he knew what was coming, I don’t know. When he did talk, he was rude or short or full of insults. He had withered into a mean, isolated version of himself. Mostly, I was angry at him for refusing to change. I was...

Keep Reading

A Funeral, a Baby, and Whispers of Love

In: Grief, Loss
Newborn baby next to a purple onesie about a grandma in heaven

I woke up and saw a missed call from the hospital. I called her room, no answer. I  called the front desk and was immediately transferred to the doctor on rotation. My mother had crashed and was in the ICU. He asked if I wanted CPR if she coded. I needed to make a decision and come into the hospital as soon as possible. It was the wee hours of the morning, and I made it to the hospital fairly quickly. I grabbed my mother’s hand—it was ice cold. The nurses were talking to me, but I had tuned out,...

Keep Reading

I Obsessed over Her Heartbeat Because She’s My Rainbow Baby

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother and teen daughter with ice cream cones, color photo

I delivered a stillborn sleeping baby boy five years before my rainbow baby. I carried this sweet baby boy for seven whole months with no indication that he wouldn’t live. Listening to his heartbeat at each prenatal visit until one day there was no heartbeat to hear. It crushed me. ”I’m sorry but your baby is dead,” are words I’ll never be able to unhear. And because of these words, I had no words. For what felt like weeks, I spoke only in tears as they streamed down my cheeks. But I know it couldn’t have been that long. Because...

Keep Reading

We’re Walking the Road of Twin Loss Together

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother and son walk along beach holding hands

He climbed into our bed last week, holding the teddy bear that came home in his twin brother’s hospital grief box almost 10 years earlier. “Mom, I really miss my brother. And do you see that picture of me over there with you, me and his picture in your belly? It makes me really, really sad when I look at it.” A week later, he was having a bad day and said, “I wish I could trade places with my brother.” No, he’s not disturbed or mentally ill. He’s a happy-go-lucky little boy who is grieving the brother who grew...

Keep Reading

Until I See You in Heaven, I’ll Cherish Precious Memories of You

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Toddler girl with bald head, color photo

Your memory floats through my mind so often that I’m often seeing two moments at once. I see the one that happened in the past, and I see the one I now live each day. These two often compete in my mind for importance. I can see you in the play of all young children. Listening to their fun, I hear your laughter clearly though others around me do not. A smile might cross my face at the funny thing you said once upon a time that is just a memory now prompted by someone else’s young child. The world...

Keep Reading

The Day My Mother Died I Thought My Faith Did Too

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Holding older woman's hand

She left this world with an endless faith while mine became broken and shattered. She taught me to believe in God’s love and his faithfulness. But in losing her, I couldn’t feel it so I believed it to be nonexistent. I felt alone in ways like I’d never known before. I felt helpless and hopeless. I felt like He had abandoned my mother and betrayed me by taking her too soon. He didn’t feel near the brokenhearted. He felt invisible and unreal. The day my mother died I felt alone and faithless while still clinging to her belief of heaven....

Keep Reading