Losing My Superpowers

Have you seen these t-shirts that say:
“I make milk! What’s your superpower?”

I feel like I am losing my superpowers as a woman and a mother.

Sophia has weaned. Julia is an independent preschooler. And my body will likely never turn an egg into a human being again.

Sophia 3D ultrasoundMy body is still capable of carrying out God’s miracle of child-making, but my restrictions of time and energy require that I resist any urge to try to create new life. As I turn 36 years old, and the final years of my fertility tick by, I will pass on my last chances to exercise my womanly superpowers.

And it feels a little sad and strange… like I am wasting the milk that my body is trying to produce as I wean my 20 month old and substitute cow’s milk so that I might be able to travel to conferences. Nourishment wasted. And I’m wasting the chance to have another sibling for my girls. Love wasted.

I understand now why many women choose to breastfeed as long as possible and have as many children as possible. Now that I am here, letting go of these amazing powers to create and sustain life, I get it. I really get it.

Before I had children, I would have thought nursing a baby for 20 months was an incredible achievement and that I’d feel entirely complete with 2 children. But now that it is here and I have weaned Sophia and I know that I am not going to have any more children, I feel a little sad…

But mostly I am thankful. So intensely thankful for my two precious girls and for the life I have with them. It is a busy life juggling my business and my family and I know I don’t have the resources to have more children. And so I will try to be at peace with releasing my superpowers and thank God for giving me two miraculous pregnancies and the milk to nourish my babies – Julia and Sophia.

Thank you Lord for letting me be a part of such miracles and please help me let go of these superpowers without too much sadness.

Our Family

Comments

  1. says

    A wise, elderly man once approached my busy, juggling-it-all friend, toting along her two girls. “Ma’am, when you’re overwhelmed, just look 18 years down the road at your quiet, empty, dinner table.”

    My friend immediately changed some things around, realized that they had more than enough, that the ONLY thing she was doing that no one else could was be a mommy to her children, that they could live on less, etc. Definitely a life-changing conversation for her and her family.

    Prayers for you as you go through this transition!

  2. says

    Awww… I remember when I stopped nursing my youngest son… I cried, and my husband thought I was weird :)
    Just a fellow mommy who understands.

  3. says

    I can only imagine how you must feel. I wrote a similar type post recently. I was crying my eyes out that my little baby is growing so fast… and she is only 6 months old. :/

  4. says

    You have such a sweet spirit and I am so glad to have met you (twice now) and hopefully see one another at future events – whenever you’re in Washington! Don’t be too hard on yourself. You know what’s best for you and nobody can tell you different!

  5. says

    I’m still nursing John who is 10 months and I also have a 2 1/2 year old. I love my two children and am so thankful for them but I would like to have more. My husband is finished with two. This week I have been parting with all of our outgrown baby girl things from my daughter and anything that JOhn is outgrown so far.

    I am sad too that my time of growing and birthing babies is ending…ooo – I’m actually crying….

  6. says

    I totally know what you mean. I was cleaning out the freezer on Monday and found three bags of frozen breastmilk. Even thought it was 20 months old and probably completely and utterly disgusting and useless, it still felt “wrong” to throw out such a miraculous creation, especially since I had to work so very hard to make breastfeeding work.

    But don’t worry – you still have amazing superpowers!! You have the power to kiss boo-boos and make them feel instantly better. You have the power to comfort and cuddle your kids like no other human being on earth. And to them, at least until they get to be tweens, you are the most superheroest person on the planet!!

  7. says

    How timely this post is for me. I too am 36. Yesterday my oldest turned 4. My youngest is 19 mths and I am craving another child. It’s not going to happen because my husband and I decided that pregnancy does not agree with my body (I get incredibly sick) and that we would stop at 2. He paid a visit to Dr. Snip and we ended the possibility of more children. But my heart still feels a little sad. There is nothing more wonderful and more challenging then those first baby moments, which makes the memories of them, for me even more sweet.

  8. says

    This resonates with me too… I am only 23 but I have high risk pregnancies and the risks of getting pregnant again are higher than we want to risk paying for a third child.
    My youngest will be one on Monday, and a part of me mourns my baby growing up because I know I likely won’t have more.
    But another, stronger, part of me is humbled and awed by the miracles God has given to my husband and myself and I am thankful to be so blessed.

  9. says

    After having three healthy kids my husband went to the doctor and had his procedure done so no more kids for us. But…lately I have been having this maternal craving even more so than I had before having any of my other kids. I sometimes feel like maybe I was meant to have more. I guess I will never know. Hang in there!

  10. says

    awww….This was so beautifully written. I can’t say that we’re finished yet, but have decided to wait until we’re back in the states to try for another addition to our family. As two of my closest friends here found out they were pregnant over the weekend, it makes me a little sad not to be doing the same. I think the desire to produce new life is something that will always be a part of us.

  11. says

    I’m just starting this journey but I can already relate. We are so blessed to have the ability to bring life into this world, yet it passes all to quickly.

  12. says

    I’ve been having similar feelings as the 40th birthday approaches in a couple of years. We haven’t ruled out a 4th child – but there’s no way we could manage to have another baby right now, and that clock is definitely ticking.

    It feels so strange to not need to go into the ‘baby’ section in stores for anything at all anymore, and this fall, all 3 of my girls will be in school of some sort, with Becca beginning preschool. Exciting – but still kind of sad to no longer have a ‘baby’ at home.

  13. says

    ya, I am starting to feel the same way… and I have been putting off weaning my Olivia (now 30 months!!) for that very reason… it just seems so sad to be completely done!

    Well said :)

  14. Elizabeth says

    Love is NEVER wasted. Don’t worry. God will put you exactly where he wants you. You never know who your preschooler will meet at the park next. Maybe a child with out a mom, or a child that has a mom that is going through something herself and needs a friend. Don’t worry! Love comes in many forms and you, my friend, are not wasting love, you are opening up the many possibilities to love in other ways. That in itself is a beautiful thing!!! :)

    Elizabeth-Party Planning Professor

  15. says

    My twins (my third and fourth children) are now 5, and I still feel this way! I’m in mourning that I’ll never be pregnant again, never hold another baby of mine in my arms, never feel the stirrings of life in my body. I feel like I’ve officially moved into “middle age” now that I’m over 40 and no longer bearing children. I actually get jealous when I see pregnant women! Some women are happy to be through this phase, but for me I just feel sadness. It’s the end of a wonderful time in my life.

  16. says

    Each stage brings joys, and sadness. It is so exciting to see these little ones grow and become increasingly independent. It’s also scary when their independence takes them further and further away.

    Before kids, I thought that 1 would be MORE than enough. Being an only child myself, I thought, “why have more?” Now I know why…

  17. says

    oh, this is so true . . . I am struggling right now with the fact that I can no longer have any children (fertility issues) and although I have 3 lovely, gorgeous, amazing children . . . I want another . . . I am truly blessed and need to refocus on what I have and not what I don’t have!
    Thanks for the reminder

  18. says

    With my husband as a student pastor and I as a stay-at-home mom, we don’t have the “resources” either to have children. My son will be 2 in August and I just found out I’m expecting. You can find ways to save money and still have children. I get a lot of things second-hand and borrow other things from friends until they’re outgrown. We are also a part of a great church community where we know we could always ask for support!
    Children are a gift from God. Don’t let things like money and time deterr you from having another. You may wish later that you did have more!
    God bless,
    Sherri

  19. says

    OOoooh! I have 4 children, I am 35, and I too feel the power of carrying another child slipping away! My youngest is 10, and I still feel the urge to have another on occassion- this week has been one such occassion….crazy as it seems I feel like I have so much more to give, now that I am experienced at motherhood…:) it seems sad, but time flys, and one day our kids will have thier own kids….and we will get to start over!

  20. says

    I feel like you do, knowing I cannot have any more children, but wishing I could (sort of). It’s hard to let go of that part of my life.

    Hugs.

  21. says

    You are a wonderful mother and reading your post was beautiful, it was so well said. My children are all grown up and I was unable to nurse the 2nd one at all and the first for only 3 weeks (I was devastated) and felt like a failure. Their father (whom I later divorced) was no help at all, just made me feel worse – it was a terrible time in my life so I know how you feel about the loss. But your children are blessed by your love and will know it by everything you do and say. My children have grown up to be wonderful young me who appreciate everything that life has given them and are not afraid to share and give what they have with others – even if I do say so myself!
    Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us all.

  22. says

    Susan,
    This sure broght back memories for me. I’ll never forget when I weaned my dughter. I nursed her for the last time, put her to bed, then came out to the living room and cried my little eyes out. :)
    Genny

  23. says

    I’m in that exact same position with my son. He’s started to wean himself and my body is producing less and less. When I go to BlogHer in a few weeks I figure that will be the end of my milk. I tear up every time I think about it. I do feel like I am giving up that last womanly thing that made me special for my son. And since my body never worked quite how it was supposed to as far as getting pregnant, and I know that I won’t be having another child, its giving up that last bit of my body doing what its supposed to do.

  24. says

    Ok, I’m feeling particularly hormonal today, but I teared up reading this post. I have a 9 month old and he is probably our last. I can relate, although I am not weaning him yet, I do dread the day I have to! It must be difficult. Thank you for this post. Really well written!

  25. says

    Thank you for sharing this Susan. My children four children range in age from 19yrs-9yrs. I have been a stay at home mom for all these years, picking up a couple of small temporary jobs outside of the home on occasion. I have felt like this as each child grows up and becomes more independent. This was such a good reminder to me to turn over those superpowers also and to be thankful for what God has given me, and to learn to be content in each stage of my life. Love this article!

  26. says

    Beautifully written! You are a sweet heart for sharing such tender thoughts. I am breastfeeding my little one as I type this & am in awe of God’s amazing perfection!

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