Grief with Closing One Chapter of Life

Hello! My name is Lori Klein. I am a wife and a mom of two as well as a dog mom to an adorable 9 year old beagle named Samus! We live in Lakeville, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis. I have been married to my husband Aaron for just under 8 years. We have a 3 year old daughter named Madison “Maddie” and a 5 month old son named Luke. Maddie is a very sweet girl but also has a sassy side (which can be hard to parent but we love that she has at the same time). She has been the best big sister to her brother and the transition to two could not have gone better! She is such a big help around the house and very much enjoys helping out with Luke. Luke is the sweetest, most laid back baby. He is always smiling especially at his sister. Seeing the bond between them has been one of the best parts of being a mom of two.

When I am not playing the role of wife and mom, you can find me working full time as a mental health therapist. I really enjoy what I do and to be able to teach my clients skills and tools to help manage the anxiety and stress of life is so rewarding. I, however, could be better about using these tools myself.

In my spare time (which is very hard to find these days), I like to go to new restaurants around the area with my husband, watch movies, go to breweries, and spend time with friends. I do enjoy the outdoors especially the summer months here in the Midwest. Winters can get very long here so when warmer weather rolls around we are spending as much time outside as possible!

As my husband is preparing to get a vasectomy tomorrow, I am beginning to feel a sense of grief. This feeling began to creep in after the birth of our second child. We both knew that our family would be complete with having two children; however, this does not take away the sadness that comes from knowing that this part of our life is over. Ask my husband, and he is feeling overjoyed, on the other hand I am struggling a bit more. I am struggling with the fact that I will never get to experience pregnancy and birth again. I am comfortable in knowing that I am incredibly happy with two kids and sad that this part of my life has ended.

I think back to before we had any kids. The excitement of talking about it, thinking about what they would look like, and how life would change. When I got pregnant for the first time we were over the moon, however, soon after we found out that we had lost the baby. We experienced both grief and the fear of “what if” we cannot get pregnant. Thankfully, we were blessed by getting pregnant with our daughter only months later. We both were so excited and began watching each week the “What to Expect” videos to tell us how big our little one was and what was happening that week in development. Pregnancy with my daughter was challenging in the beginning due to the nausea and exhaustion, however, the rest of the pregnancy was wonderful. The first time I heard her heartbeat, the first time I felt her kick, the moment we found out she was a girl at our gender reveal party with family and close friends, and the anticipation and moment when we first met her and I held her in my arms are all moments I will cherish forever.

With our son, our second child, pregnancy was easy from the beginning. I really tried to stay present and appreciate all of it including every ache and pain that came later. I knew this would be our last baby and did not want time to get away from me. His birth was also something I had been dreaming of my whole life. It was a fast and unmedicated birth which I knew I wanted to experience. After I had him, I was filled with joy and so proud of myself for accomplishing what I set out to do. As weeks passed, however, I began to feel that sense of grief. My time with pregnancy and birth was complete.

As I see pregnancy announcements and people having babies, I also experience a sense of jealousy. I wish I could rewind time and relive these moments, but I know life does not work that way. I know I must allow myself the space to experience the sadness that comes from knowing that this part of my life is over. It is not something that is comfortable to feel, and I know that grief is really a part of life; something that we cannot escape. How can we embrace this feeling and continue to appreciate the current moment and what is to come? This is something that I am continuing to work on and know that once I accept grief will appear now and again throughout my life, I do not have to fear it. I can learn to accept it for what it is and to provide it space instead of fighting it. I will honor the unpleasant emotions that come and recognize that even though I may feel this grief, with it comes immense amounts of joy, excitement, and gratitude. Gratitude, not only for being able to experience pregnancy and childbirth, but to see my wonderful children grow and change. This chapter of my life has ended but man there are so many more to come.

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