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.
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.
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.
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.