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why i’ll miss being pregnant…

Oh Joy Maternity Photo

Oh Joy Maternity Photo

As Coco inches towards a year old, I've recently realized that I'm actually kind of sad to be moving on from the pregnancy and baby phase of my life. Bob and I always planned we'd have two kids, and our family feels perfect with two (and no I'm not changing my mind and having another). But lately I have been really missing the days of being pregnant. It feels crazy to me that I am saying that because those times aren't always so fun. In my first pregnancy, I had terrible nausea (I probably threw up 40 times) and got gallstones so bad that had to have my gallbladder removed when Ruby was 5 weeks old. And then in my last pregnancy, I was placed on bed rest for early contractions and got gestational diabetes!

But when you know it's your last kid, it really feels like I'm closing a chapter on one part of my life. And because I didn't expect to feel this way (and maybe some of you know how I'm feeling?), I finally just sat down and thought about the reasons why I'll miss being pregnant…

1. My self-confidence was always its highest when pregnant. It was the only time in my life that I wasn't self-conscious about my body at all and felt more beautiful than ever.

2. It's a time that you can just trust nature to do its thing and let your body do the job of growing a baby. There is no other thing in life where a task is being completed while you are eating/working/sleeping/watching a movie. But a baby can be grown in your body at the same time as doing all those things (and more). 

3. People are just nicer to you. Men open doors for you. Other women look at you with kind and compassionate faces. People offer to help you carry heavy packages. There is just a kindness that comes to you from strangers that is incomparable.

4. The feeling of a baby moving around inside your belly. It was always my favorite thing ever. My friends always joked that I rubbed my belly all the time. But to me it was just me wanting to feel that little babe do her thing with her little butt or foot pushing and pressing. And it was that feeling that constantly reminded me of what was happening inside.

5. Childbirth. Okay, so before you call me crazy and close your browser, I am not saying I like childbirth. I've had one baby with no epidural and one baby with one, so I know how childbirth feels in a couple different ways. And while it's crazy and painful and all kinds of stuff that people never tell you, it gives you a newfound respect for yourself that you even went through it. It's like, "Holy crap. I just made a human and now this human is coming out of my body." You feel tired and beat up, but you make it through it in one piece with the best prize ever.

As I say farewell to my baby-making days, I am looking forward to the next phase of seeing my kids grow and experiencing all the new phases of life that come with each age. And for now I will just live vicariously through all those other pregnant ladies out there. Just warning you…if I see you on the street and you happen to pregnant, I might even be one of those creepy strangers that rubs your belly without asking 😉

{Photo by Rachel Cast, styling by Tori Hendrix, hair and makeup by Erica Beukelman, and florals by Siren Floral Co.. Lace dress from Dreamers and Lovers. See my other maternity photos right here.}

45 comments

  1. I’ve been having the same feelings lately. My second and most likely last baby is two months old and as I put his outgrown onesies away it feels really bittersweet. After two boys, I’m still left kind of yearning for a girl to share all my girl wisdom with, but after two c-sections (which were medical necessities and not my choice) and a resulting hernia that I am yet to have operated, I am so not going under the knife for a third cesarean. Also, I now realize how ridiculously easy life with one child was, and keep telling myself that two is probably a whole lot easier than three!
    But I can’t wait for all my childless friends – that would be most of them – to have babies. I’ll be the first to offer to babysit 🙂

  2. I personally am not done having kids, but as my first born recently turned two, I began missing my pregnant body more than ever! It’s so weird, because during pregnancy I couldn’t wait for it to be over, but I am so with you on missing it now!

  3. I’m in that same place. We made the decision to stop at two kids, gave away all of the baby accoutrements, but I still feel sad about it, I know I don’t want another, but it’s so hard to give it up and say goodbye that part of my life!

  4. I envy that you are 100% certain that two is it for you. I have two as well (youngest 15 months), but I can’t seem to make that final decision that we will not have one more even though I’m 95% certain about it. After our first, I thought we might stop at one (the baby phase is no joke!!) so I wonder if I will change my mind in a year or so. Anyway, I totally agree on feeling confident in your body when you are pregnant. I loved touching my bulging belly and now I feel weird if I grab my belly with no baby in there!

  5. Thank you for writing about the positive side of pregnancy. I don’t have any children, but would love to have some in the future. Sometimes all I can think about is how painful it will be and all the negative things about pregnancy that I forget how beautiful the process is!

  6. Awww! Well you can look forward to being the mama of 2 creative little girls. They are going to get cuter and cooler every day. I’m still enjoying my pre-baby life, but I hope to enter my baby-making phase in the near future.

  7. My son just turned 10 months old. While I am hoping to have another, I am nowhere near ready yet. But lately I keep reminiscing on my pregnancy. While you’re going through it, you can’t wait for it to be over and time to miss your baby. But looking back there are some really wonderful aspects, and I truly hope I can enjoy it more next time! Plus every time I see a genius new product or an adorable newborn outfit, I want to baby shop all over again!

  8. I just had my fifth, and I’m feeling all these things! I really love being pregnant, even with all the discomforts. Having my newest daughter here is even better, but still. I miss it too!

  9. Thank you for this! I’m pregnant with my third and last, and this pregnancy and has been so much harder than my first two. Your post reminded me to slow down and enjoy the positive parts of pregnancy while I still can.

  10. So what’s it like having 2 little minis? We’re going to start trying for our second one, but I’m kind of scared of what it’s going to be like to have 2 little ones running around…the mess, the chaos, the attention!

  11. I’m 35 weeks pregnant with my first and this post reminded me of what I wanted to do anyway but keep forgetting- to slow down and enjoy these last few weeks. I agree with everything you said! I love being pregnant, feeling him move and feel great about my changing body.

  12. I’ve never been pregnant, but I’ll always remember my mom telling me how much she loved being pregnant. She says that even though she was sick all the time, she loved having her little buddy with her all the time. I hope that when I do become pregnant one day that I can enjoy it!
    Kristi | Be Loverly

  13. I have to agree with you on the child birth point I see programmes on TV where people give birth and I think I DID THAT! It amazes me that I actually did it, you almost feel like you could do anything afterwards, it gives you a true feeling of just how strong you can be! That being said that’s it no more babies for me!

  14. Beautiful insights! I am a mother to four children (oldest is 13) and can relate to EVERYTHING you said. My youngest is 2 1/2 but I still get all emotional whenever I see infants out in public. Pregnancy and infancy are just SO uniquely amazing, challenging, rewarding, and precious.
    Complications during my last pregnancy really made me savor every baby kick and heartbeat. Knowing a preterm delivery was inevitable, I wanted my pregnancy to last as long as possible for the health of the baby. We are done having babies but hope to adopt or foster parent later in life.

  15. I’ve never been pregnant – all 3 of my kiddos are adopted. My oldest turns 16 in July and I find myself feeling so nostalgic for the “baby” days. I told my husband the other day that going by the toddler clothes in Target makes my ovaries hurt because I have this knowledge that I am saying goodbye to all those little things that made that time of life so amazing. Thanks for putting words to your reaction.

  16. While I may not be able to relate to the pregnancy memories, I can tell you that I adore this photo of you. It really shows the beauty of a pregnancy woman. You can really see your ‘glow!’
    Rachel
    rachelinflight.com

  17. I am in the same place, I have two boys and that feels so right for us. But I agree with all your points, especially the first one about your self confidence. I felt so beautiful while pregnant and I loved not having to worry about my tummy anymore. 😉 It’s good to know that I’m not alone in feeling this way.

  18. I’m 7 months along with my second baby and it’s been waaayyyy more of an emotional roller coaster than my first. But I am so grateful for all of it. We were planning to wait a bit longer (we just moved to Australia last year and wanted to wait until we were permanent residents) but this little one has her own plans. And it’s turned out to be the best surprise ever. This post was a great reminder to soak it all up because these baby days really do go by so, so fast.
    Your babies are so cute and will grow up to be strong, creative, independent women just like their mama. Take care Joy!

  19. I love this post! I have never been pregnant but we are planning to start trying this month! Your family is so cute, seeing your pregnancy posts and then seeing how sweet Coco is has definitely contributed to my baby fever! ?

  20. Having never been pregnant, this is such an inspiring and heartwarming post. I love to see parents who are so excited and ready for the blessing of a child (or two!).
    Your warm spirit and amazing personality always shine in your posts. Continue bringing us a daily dose of Joy! You’re an inspiration
    dailydresscode.com

  21. I don’t have kids yet but really looking forward to that phase of my life, always nice to read your personal posts 🙂 sweet and authentic.

  22. Thanks for a fantastic post Joy, it could not have come at a better time for me personally. I am currently 11 weeks with our first long-awaited little one and between the constant vomiting and awful side effects from medication aimed at reducing it I’m feeling pretty miserable and sorry for myself. This post has given me hope that there will be things about pregnancy that I will eventually enjoy! Thanks again x

  23. Hey Joy! Just read this and you literally took the words out of my mouth. I’ve been feeling like this a lot lately and I have my ups and downs about it but mostly just trying to stay present while looking forward to seeing Lucas and Theo grow. I also loved being pregnant for those exact reasons you listed! No one on BART offers me a seat anymore! Ha!

  24. Hi Joy, what a lovely piece and what a coincidence! I was just saying this weekend to my hubby only tjis weekend that I missed my pregnant belly and feeling my little girl inside me. She is my first but I plan to have more God willing. I have a question for you though, as someone who has a had a natural birth like me and then one with an epidural… What was the epidural like in comparison???
    Love your blog
    Gx

  25. Joy, I have followed you on Instagram because I loved you bright colors and designs at target and your cute photos. A month after I started following you I found out I was pregnant and then at 11 weeks found out I had gestational diabetes and now at 32 weeks, I have started having the dreaded early contractions. It’s my first and I want to tell you that through this all you have been there to pull me along and give me strength. i loved reading this and that you will miss being pregnant even through the same trials I have experienced. Right now I’m in the thick of it, I don’t know how to get through this and it’s so hard. I’m glad to follow you and see that you’ve been able to make it through it and still have positivity about it.
    I’m so happy to not feel alone on the days where I don’t feel like anyone else would know the fear I have for the health of my child and the guilt I feel for having gestational diabetes and now these contractions. It’s weird because I don’t know you in real life but I do know you on social media and I’m grateful that you share intimate parts of your life so that others like me can gain strength through your struggles to help them along in theirs

  26. This is a great post, Joy! I am currently 36 weeks pregnant with my first and feeling pretty much like a hot mess. But after reading this post, I find a new appreciation of this miracle that’s happening inside of me right now. Thank you for inspiring me to have a new perspective on this and just truly embrace the final weeks that we have in inner belly…. before the real adventure begins. 🙂

  27. Not crazy at all. i have never felt better in my life in so many ways then when i was pregnant with my baby girl. I miss it…so I understand.

  28. Hi Gamze,
    Thanks so much! As for the epidural vs. no epidural, both labors themselves were very different. Ruby came out so quickly after I went into labor that I didn’t have time to get one so it was a bit more stressful and rushed. But since I and the time with Coco, I got the episdural, and it was so different..way more relaxing and less painful!
    Joy

  29. I’m 32 weeks pregnant with my second and final bebe. Although generally I’ve enjoyed this pregnancy more than my first one, I don’t think I’ll miss this phase. I don’t feel particularly confident about the way I look, I’m looking forward to having a waist again. I do agree that it’s totally amazing what your body is capable if, I’m sure if it was left up to my brain, I’d forget something important, and feeling your baby kicking inside of you is one of the most remarkable sensations I’ve ever had. BUT, there are some downsides too. I don’t like how people (strangers) treat my body like a science project; always assessing my belling and saying things like “You’re having a boy, aren’t you,” or “you’ve dropped, it’ll be any day now,” or “Are you sure there’s only one baby in there?”….sometimes it’s just annoying and sometimes it’s downright rude! I just can’t wait to have this little boy out of my belly and in my arms!

  30. Joy, I feel the EXACT same way! I also have two girls (ages 3 and 14 months) and I was JUST reminiscing about being pregnant. I had two by-the-book “perfect” pregnancies and I sometimes think, “Well clearly I’m good at being pregnant, I should do it again!” but I KNOW our family is complete. I always wanted two girls, and that’s what I got! I am so thankful. I am also living vicariously through my pregnant friends. And I also loved how strong and empowered I felt after delivering both girls- it’s really amazing that our bodies do that! I’ve never been more proud of myself.
    Thank you for posting this, it came at the perfect time for me 🙂

  31. Exact same! We just gave away all of our baby stuff. We know we don’t want more than two kids, but I can’t help but feel a little sad about it too.

  32. Hi Nayeli,
    I was definitely sore for a bit. Really sore for a week or so and then mildly sore for a month. Definitely ease back into eating normal foods (especially fatty ones)!
    Good luck and heal soon!
    Joy

  33. Oh Joy, this post is so beautiful and so true. I have the same feelings and tried to share them with my hubby but of course he cannot really understand… Thank you for putting our feelings in such beautiful words.

  34. Sigh. I said these words nearly verbatim to my husband the other day. Our boys are 2 and 4 months, and I’m trying not to mistake my sadness of moving away from this stage of my life, getting older, etc., with the desire to have another baby (and no, not to try for a girl as everyone tells us). On the upside, these feelings help me be ever more present and truly enjoy our kids.

  35. Joy, this post really resonated with me – I am feeling the same way as #4 gets close to his first bday! The moments right after childbirth, when the doctor has set each of my babies up near to my face have been the four most powerful poignant moments in my life. I will miss that experience, but I’m determined to move past it and be excited for all the great moments ahead too. It’s a yin and a yang, isn’t it…this thing called motherhood. Keep on doing what you are doing…it’s so great to follow along!

  36. I’m a bit late to reading this post, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m currently pregnant with my first child and agree with many of your points. Unfortunately I haven’t felt that comradery with strangers too much, especially with other pregnant women. I’ll often smile and get blank stares back. I feel women judge each other quite harshly, even during pregnancy, which is quite sad. BUT that’s just my experience so far.

  37. I’m still young and not in a relationship, but I’ve always wanted kids but always been nervous about the actual pregnancy, so reading this puts myself at ease for the future, however far away it may be!

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