There’s a unique ache that lives in the heart of a woman who knows she is meant to be a mom, but who has not yet had the thrill of a positive pregnancy test or the joy of bringing a new baby home from the hospital. I was all too familiar with this ache as month after month I hoped and prayed for that second line to appear, only to feel the crushing weight of disappointment.

During this time of waiting, I dutifully went to baby showers and posted congratulations on every pregnancy announcement on social media, all the while trying not to let jealous thoughts spin out of control.

There’s a unique ache that lives in the heart of a woman who has experienced miscarriage and is bravely trying again.

After saying goodbye to our sweet little soul, I made a promise to myself that I would not let this fresh ache keep me from trying to grow our family.

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During this time of uncertainty, I still offered congratulations as new pregnancy announcements sprung up all around me. I signed up to bring meals to other new mamas. I held friends’ babies and laughed and smiled right along with them. But I struggled with even more intense feelings of jealously as we waited for the next chance to try again.

There’s a unique ache that lives in the heart of a woman who is done having babies . . . whether that is by choice or circumstances behind her control. I have been experiencing this ache for quite some time as I drift further and further away from the baby days and close the door on that stage of my life.

The truth is pregnancy announcements and seeing another mom with a new baby still fills me with feelings of longing and twinges of jealousy.

Perhaps it is because I’m approaching a new decade of life and I’m feeling my age.

Perhaps it is because both of my kids will soon be in school full-time and my everyday life will be changing dramatically.

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Perhaps it is because I have truly never experienced the feeling that our family is complete.

Perhaps it is because I look back at that those early years, and wish I could have had the hindsight that I have now.

I wish I would have spent more time letting them sleep on my chest. I wish I wouldn’t have let the small stuff bother me. I wish I would have spent less time worrying about my to-do list. I wish I would have paused more to take in each moment.

I don’t know how long this ache will last.

I don’t know when I will be able to walk by the baby section in a department store and not feel my heart sink. I don’t know when I will see a pregnancy announcement on social media or a pregnant mama friend, and only feel joy for her instead of joy mixed with jealously and sadness.

I hope one day soon, I will get there.

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With every new beginning, something else must come to an end.

And as beautiful as new beginnings are that doesn’t mean endings are easy. 

So for now, I will give myself the space and grace to grieve the ending of this particular stage of motherhood.

And I will be forever grateful for the lessons it taught me.

Mary Ann Blair

Mary Ann Blair is a stay-at-home mom living in the Pacific Northwest with her two little gentlemen and hubs. She loves connecting with other parents who like to keep it real! Her work has been published on Her View From Home, Motherly, A Fine Parent, Perfection Pending, That’s Inappropriate, Pregnant Chicken, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Red Tricycle and in Chicken Soup For the Soul. She can be found at maryannblair.com or on Facebook at Miracles in the Mess