The Thought Box. What Makes Me Tick...

The Great Big Empty…

Thursday, 18th October 2012

The Great Big Empty…

There’s something that has been playing on my mind for ages and I haven’t been able to put it down into blog form simply because it’s emotional and I don’t like writing emotional posts when other people are around me.

There will be tears…. for sure.

Now I know this is going to sound a little odd, but ever since I had Elijah on the 2nd of July, I have had an overwhelming feeling of emptiness inside of me.

It’s not something I have been able to discuss with anyone as whenever I have mentioned it, I have been scoffed at, or told not to be silly, or frowned upon because I should be grateful.

Let me explain….

I’m really going to miss this:

The big empty pregnancy test

When Elijah was born via C-Section, I had my tubes tied at the same time.

To be perfectly honest, I did not want my tubes tied at all.

Although I signed the paperwork, it was not really my decision.

I signed that paperwork because everyone told me I had to.

The doctors recommended it because I was having my 5th c-section.

They scared me with their mumbo jumbo and death related stories that may or may not ever happen.

My husband admitted that he didn’t want anymore children after Elijah.

After a rocky year I didn’t want to put anymore pressure on our relationship.

Our relatives made it quite clear they thought we’d had enough.

Which I would totally understand if they were here to help and support us everyday but they’re not at all so I totally don’t understand the pressure and judgement that is always forced upon us…..

So anyway, I bowed to the peer pressure and signed the papers.

During my whole pregnancy I questioned if it was the right thing to do.

I had always wanted 6 children and Elijah would be number 6, so what was the big deal I would tell myself.

I tried to convince myself that it was the right thing to do for my health.

I wanted so bad to believe that it was the right thing to do for our children.

But a part of me knows that no matter what lies or excuses or even facts that I tell myself, the great big empty will always be there.

I love my kids to the moon and back. I wouldn’t trade my job as a mum for the world.

My children weren’t accidents, they were all planned and have been loved since they were a positive mark on a pregnancy test.

I’ve wanted to be many things in this lifetime but the one constant was always a loving caring mum.

In a sense I kind of feel like I have been robbed of that right as I am no longer able to have anymore children.

I know we weren’t having anymore kids but it feels so damn final. So useless and empty.

The big empty zafs birth

And some see that as ungrateful, unappreciative of what I do have and that’s not the case at all.

I know I am blessed and very lucky to have my babies.

I know that with all my heart.

So why the big empty?

Was I really not finished? Will I forever be asking myself that? Will the big empty fade over time?

If I could have had children naturally, would we have kept going?

Do I only feel this way because the last 8 years of my life have been filled with pregnancy?

Who knows hey?

Maybe the great big ‘What if”s?’ will haunt me forever…

All is said and done and can’t be changed now, this is my life and it certainly is busy enough.

I love it for every little part of it’s craziness.

I just hope I can fill that strange emptiness sometime soon.

If you have experienced something like this, or know exactly what I’m talking about, I’d love to hear how you look at it.

Love Jac xox







    Written by:

    1. I don't think it's selfish. I completely understand. I had my tubes tied when we had Samuel. I know it was the best decision for our family. But I didn't want to do it. At all. And I've been grieving ever since. I'm sorry you're feeling sad. I don't know what to say. I don't want to say "You'll get over it once the hormones wear off" because that minimises your feelings. Plus - it's not always true. But I can't say It won't ever get better. Surely it must? (Please tell me it will!). So I can just say I hear you. I completely understand and I am sorry you felt pressured.

    2. Krystal

      :( I have thought about this exact thing for the last 4 years. Mum put it (tying my tubes) down as a suggestion and Paul doesn't want any more kids and I keep telling myself that I have a girl and a boy, I don't *need* any more, but I never want it to be 'final', in case of if something happens and we or if I have moved onto someone else, I, decide I want another baby down the track. If you get what I mean. In saying that, I did read somewhere that it takes 7 years for a person to realise their body shape has changed permanently. I don't know if this is true or not, (I would hope not as I am trying to lose weight and if my body thinks it is supposed to be like "this" then it is sorely mistaken!) but maybe it is the same with other body changes, it will take a long time to get used to not having a baby because you have done it for so long! I remember after having Chris, I was like "Oh, I can't eat/drink that... oh wait yes I can, I'm not pregnant anymore". Maybe with a bit of time, you will make peace with your body, but until then, enjoy the snuggles with Eli and the other bigger monsters :) and I'm sure you have plenty of friends with babies,the way I see it now, while I'm not having more: I can have cuddles and then pass them back for the gross bits!

    3. Oh Jacqui my heart goes out to you. I haven't gotten my tubes tied but yes I can understand why you would feel empty. It's like taking away your womanhood so to speak. That's my way of seeing it anyway. Both Tony & I don't want any more kids. In fact Master 6 wasn't supposed to happen. But, neither of us are willing to "end it all" permanently and we both aren't pressuring the other to do it either. I can't tell you to look past it because, it is a hard thing to do. To lose any possibility of having children even if you really are done with having anymore. I don't know what to say but maybe try and focus on the good - the fact that now you've got the 6 kids you've always wanted, and re-build your relationship with your husband too? Wish I could give you a hug. xx

    4. Kirsty

      I am tearing up just reading this because I think I would feel exactly the same way.. I have just had my second boy (I now have a gorgeopus 2 year old and a super cute 4 month old). I have not had my tubes tied but am not sure if there will be any more.. My husband was pretty adament he only wanted 2 and I was pretty sure I wanted 2 but already I am missing being pregnant and don't like the thought of not doing it all again. My husband is now 'pretty certain' he is happy with 2 but when I said we still have a few years to have another if we change our mind said he wants the same age gap if we were to have a 3rd - which means we have about 8 months to decide!! I am at the point where I think I would be scared to go through labor again (I had 2 c sections as well) but it doesn't stop me wondering! I am also already not looking forward to the day that my 2 boys won't want to snuggle with mummy anymore - and that is (hopefully) years away!! Do your relatives know how you feel about this and that you felt pressured to get it done? I would think about telling them if they don't just so they understand or have the opportunity to understand if you are feeling a bit down about it. They may laugh it off or say it is stupid but that could just be because they are not going through the same thing so how would they know and if they do that I would point that out too. Do you have someone you can talk to about it for extra support? I hope your big empty does fill up with the love all your children have for you and you can move on from the thought of Eli being your last. And like I said above hopefully you have some support there and you can just vent when you need to!

    5. Hey lovely friend, I completely understand. I really do. xoxo

    6. Caroline

      As I embark on pregnancy number 4 which will be c/s number 4 I know for sure it will be my last. This and the pregnancy before were not planned and I am scared silly this time around with my 4th c/s. Having said that the thought of tying my tubes and finalising that decision is just as scary. I thought my youngest was going to be my last so I spent the last 18 months treasuring every minute and trying to remember and enjoy even the crappy stuff and that is what made it easier for me. I guess I am lucky to be able to do it one last time but I know when I sign those consent forms for the tubal ligation it will be very hard. So I think I do understand how you feel at least a little bit. Treasure every second with your little man is the only advice I can think of.

    7. With my third pregnancy (resulting in a second C-section) my GP and my Obstetrician both assumed and treated me as if this would be my last. I definitely got the impression that having another wouldn't be in my best interest and while we have made the decision to have no more children, a part of me still longs for a 4th and feels empty and not yet done. Hugs to you, I hope you feel less empty soon.

    8. Jo B

      I understand. Part of it is the finality. My obstetrician offered it to me when I had my 3rd caesarian and I couldn't do it. I didn't plan to have more children and as the littlest one grew, we decided to definitely have no more & hubby went & got snipped. It's the end of an era...the end of child bearing and your own babies and time to move on to raising them to be (hopefully) happy and successful adults. I guess it's the beginning of the kids growing up & (eventually) leaving home. :( And, by the sound of it, you feel that you were pressured into your decision, and part of you would be resentful of that. I think the big empty shrinks over time, but there will always be some sadness that that part of your life is over...especially for those who enjoyed pregnancy and tiny babies. Big hugs, and enjoy your little ones while they're still little!! xx

    9. Kate

      Thank you for sharing, you've described exactly how I feel. I am so very very grateful for my 4 healthy children, but there is still that part of me that longs for another, even when im at rock bottom, heck I could prob have another 2 if we had the money lol. I don't think the feeling will ever go away, I think we are "programmed" genetically to have babies and that's why we feel this way. It's good to know we arent alone with these feelings xx

    10. Rebecca

      I think maybe most of us will face this, to me Jackson will be my last child, I have savored every moment, and tried to enjoy him to the max, because in the back of my head is... This is the end and it's not like an end to drinking and partying feeling that happened with the first child... it's more it's an end to maybe..fertility ...youngness.. A signal that bits of life... Do end... Most of us women, grow up with the family and kids and marriage in our thoughts as girls, most want to get married, have kids etc.. Maybe it's because we don't think about AfTER kids, which leaves us with an empty feeling, I haven't had my tubes tied so, I can still be in a little bit of denial, but I totally get what u are saying.. These are my thoughts.. Bec

    11. Jodie

      Oh Jac, I so feel for you! You don't know me but somehow I found your blog and follow it! I too have six children, born over 10 years. I too completely know all about everyone else's ideas and opinions. I also know the feeling of emptiness and loss of purpose that comes with the ceasing of procreation. All I can say is that for me, the emptiness did go away. It took a while. I think my baby was around five or so when I finally started to be happy that we weren't having any more babies. Life moves into a new season, and it is a great one....full of teenagers and deep conversations and friends and fun. No more buckling kids into car seats, full nights of sleep - every night, being able to go out at night and have the older kids babysit the little ones. It sounds selfish but it is really nice when this stage arrives. I think you just have to go through the transition...and it takes time...but life further along the track is not empty at all. It is very full. Your kids will need you still and your relationship with them becomes different and just as fulfilling! I love life kids are aged 20 down to 10. I think the grieving is completely natural and it will take time but don't for a minute think that your life lacks purpose because you're not growing any more babies in your womb. There's a whole world of purpose waiting for you to discover! xxxx

    12. Trudy

      Hey Jac, firstly thank-you again for another raw topic. This feeling is exactly how I am feeling, and have been for ages. Hubby got the snip after bubba number 2, at my request, and now 4.5 years down the track I am grieving for the pregnancies and babies I'll never have. Love and hugs to you.

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