The spot where my IV was shoved into my vein has officially healed.

The bruise on my back from the epidural that half-worked is no longer visible.

The milk supply my body produced on its own has dried up, and my boobs are no longer the size and weight of watermelons. The bleeding has ended, my lady parts have stopped feeling like they’re on fire and the pain pill regimen I incorporated into my daily routine for an entire week has ceased.

The only remnants truly left from my recent pregnancy are the red stretch marks that sporadically span across my now shrunken belly.

This season of life has ended for me, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit sad.

There is truly no experience like that of welcoming new life into the world, and knowing it’s a season I’ll never experience again creates a pit in my stomach I can’t entirely explain.

The realization that there will be no more babies in our family is something my husband and I are okay with. After all, our hands and hearts are filled to the brim with four beautiful children.

But every now and again, I find myself slapped with a wave of grief that this season is over. There will be no more babies, and once our last baby outgrows the burp cloths, bottles and diapers—once he moves on from the sippy cups, highchair and Jumperoo—they will be put away forever, never to be seen again.

While it is true that our family feels complete in all senses of the word, and it is true that my husband and I love the unique ways in which our family was built, it is also true that I feel sad I will never experience the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth again.

I will never again experience the excruciating pain of my uterus contracting while a tiny human being makes its way through my body to enter the world.

I will never again experience the euphoria that is a living, breathing baby being placed upon my chest while I let out a sigh of relief—one my body’s been anticipating and holding in for nine whole months.

I will never again experience the shakes and hormone crashes that post-delivery gifts a birth mother. Or visit the labor and delivery floor of the local hospital to push out a level of physical and mental strength I didn’t know I had and be whisked away in a wheelchair while nurses take care of me and I stare in awe at the new life I helped create.

I’ll never again buckle a tiny newborn into an infant car seat and take him home from the hospital because this phase of my life has ended, and it is bittersweet.

This is my final baby season of motherhood, and writing that out loud makes me feel sad. 

I am grateful with every fiber in my body that I’ve been able to experience this season of babies four times within four years. Maybe it’s because motherhood didn’t come easy for me, but there is something to be said when you feel this chapter closing in. I know how fast it all goes; I can see changes on the horizon.

This phase—this exhausting, highly-caffeinated, needed-all-the-time phase—will end just as quickly as it began. And little by little, my babies will stop needing me.

So these days I’ll squeeze my baby—my final baby—a little more tightly. I’ll hold him a little longer. I’ll roll out of bed and shuffle downstairs into the kitchen and shake up the last bottle before the rest of the house wakes up because I know all too well it will soon be over. And this season of motherhood—the one that’s been so healing and beautiful and fulfilling for our family—will never come back again.

You may also like:

You Are My Last, Sweet Baby

To My Last-Born Son As We Begin the Final Firsts

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here! 


So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Shelley Skuster

Shelley is the writer behind She's a former award-winning news reporter who -- after years of infertility, two adoptions and a pregnancy -- decided to leave TV news to stay at home and focus on raising her three daughters -- ages three and under.

I Was Raised by an Easter-Only Mom and I Want More for My Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter read Bible

Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted, and women tend to look to their upbringing for guidance. We may not even realize we’re doing it! But being a godly mother is even more difficult when you weren’t raised by one. The questions are endless: How do I model forgiveness? How do I set the right priorities for my household? How do I explain baptism to my 6-year-old? Is it okay to have undiscipled friends around my children? Do we have to pray over every meal? Is the occasional swear word acceptable?  These questions may be less intimidating if you were fortunate enough...

Keep Reading

Even When it Feels Like I Can’t, I Keep Going

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom holding toddler

When I feel like I can’t do one more thing. When I am overwhelmed and touched out and lost in the logistics of it all. When my physical and mental energy are depleted. When the length of my to-do list needs more hours than I have. When I am so bone tired that I’m sure I just can’t go on. And there is still more to do. And the only choice is to keep going– I keep going. I dig a little deeper and find strength I didn’t know I had. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it...

Keep Reading

What Happens When She Wants Another Baby and He Does Not?

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife, pregnancy photo, color photo

I am on my knees, folded over, with my head resting on the carpet. I am in my closet, which doesn’t see much of the vacuum, and it is the only place I can find to sob out of sight. I feel hollowed out and defeated as if I have run a marathon and was cut short at the finish line. I cry out in prayer, pleading with God to soften the heart of my husband. I desperately want another child, and he desperately does not. I take a deep breath and dry my eyes because my 4-year-old outside the...

Keep Reading

Is Your Marriage on Cruise Control?

In: Faith, Marriage
Couple holding hands in car, above view

Cruising down the road, the highway curled before us like a ribbon into the horizon. Cozy road trips are a staple for my husband and me, and we look forward to the time together. Having been married for 37 years the adventure continues! We have loved each other through the ups and downs, and we have learned a lot about relationships. We also made a point of carefully watching successful relationships and surrounding ourselves with those whose marriages flourished. Nowadays, we have many young couples ask us what it takes to keep a marriage vibrant. One of the key ingredients...

Keep Reading

Ordinary Mornings, Extraordinary Grace

In: Faith
Emily Ley holding Sure as the Sunrise book by water's edge

“From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Today, take note of what brings you gladness. That which gives you pause or causes you to take a deep breath. These are glimpses of God’s goodness in our lives, brought to life through moments and things, memories and sounds. Realizations and hope. In its biggest forms: a moment you wish you could freeze in time, and in its smallest: a sliver of grace, otherwise overlooked. I wake up to the smell of fresh laundry, sheets cool against my skin. One eye open, I peek down at the...

Keep Reading

She Just Needed to be Held

In: Faith, Motherhood
A little girl held by mom, color photo

“She just needed to be held,” I texted my husband after a two-hour battle to get my 3-year-old to bed. She’s been sick. Daddy’s been gone. And she needed to be seen. Held. Loved. And in that split second, I felt God say, “Just like you.” When things are chaotic. When we feel alone. When we feel weary. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama When our spirit feels sick. When it all feels like too much to carry. We need Him. To breathe life into us. To remind us of our worth. To remind us of the hope He offers....

Keep Reading

Church Should Be a Sanctuary for Neurodivergent Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child praying in church pew black and white photo

We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to the acceptance of loud, energetic, and spirited children inside the church. It’s easy to preach (pun intended) acceptance of every individual as God made them, but when a 9-year-old is shouting out, repeatedly during a sermon, or a 6-year-old is jumping from one pew to the next during the prelude, that’s when reality sets in. You hear the elderly man behind you whisper to his wife, “Back in my day, children were seen and not heard, what’s wrong with kids these days?” Then the single, 30-something across...

Keep Reading

Do You Ever Feel Like a Fraud?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Stressed woman side view

Hey, Momma. Do you ever feel like a fraud? Maybe it’s just me. Here I am . . . trying to build a life and career writing about motherhood. Yet, I don’t feel very good at it at all.  When my oldest was born 13 years ago, I decided on my own that we weren’t going to spank or yell.  Then, life changed.  One child turned into six over the course of a decade. And over the years, I’ve failed to keep the commitment I made all those years ago.  RELATED: I’m Not The Mom I Thought I Would Be...

Keep Reading

The Prayer Heard Round the World: ESPN Anchor Prays On-Air For Damar Hamlin

In: Faith, Living
Dan Orlovsky prays on ESPN for Damar Hamlin

No doubt you’ve heard it said (or even said it yourself): “I’m praying for you.”  In the wake of Damar Hamlin’s terrifying collapse midway through the first quarter of Monday night’s NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, it seems the entire nation has been praying for his recovery. We saw both teams kneel to pray as the ambulance carrying Hamlin left the field. There have been moments of silence offered across stadiums in Hamlin’s honor. Hamlin’s family issued a statement thanking the public for the outpouring of support and prayer: “We are deeply moved by the...

Keep Reading

The Weight I Carry Is Heavy, but Jesus Is Strong

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Tired woman holding forehead by light of computer in a dark room

Some days are heavy. Some weeks, months, and years are heavy.  This year has been a hard year for my family, and it took some time for me to describe the feeling that hits me randomly every day. Today, I was sitting on my couch, putting in another grocery order, removing things yet again to fit our ever-dwindling budget and the word heavy came to mind, and it fits so well to describe this year. My heart is heavy. The weight I am carrying is heavy. The always-increasing grocery costs are heavy. The medical conditions, medical debt, and doctor appointments...

Keep Reading