Postpartum Broodiness

Hormones cause havoc after birth

Here I am five weeks postpartum

With baby number five

Trying to accept that this little lady

Is our last

But I am really struggling to find closure

I cannot help wondering if we could perhaps

Have just one more?

broody mummy

I realise that it is early days with Edith

I know that there are going to be tough days to come

Bea is testing us to the limit

As a strong willed toddler struggling with our latest family addition

And yet there is no part of me thinking


I cannot do this again

We have five children

Four in our home

Perhaps the longing for another

Will never go away

Perhaps it is in fact

A longing for Matilda Mae to be with us

The baby that should now be 5 years old

Maybe this broodiness is part of missing her

Part of my grief

But there is also this nagging feeling

That pregnancy and breastfeeding

Are things that I do well

I love having a bump

I love having a baby

I even really enjoy giving birth

But I know that there would be risks

For baby and me

If we were to have another

Mostly because of my age

I will be 41 in September

I also think it could be too much

For Esther, William and Bea

For me to be pregnant again

And have another baby around

broody family

I wonder if they are missing out

On things I could better do

If I were to have no more babies

And to instead get fit and healthy

To be more active and adventurous with them

I just wish I knew

I always thought that once Edie Mae came along

I would feel done

That I would not feel pangs of jealousy

When people announced pregnancies

Gave birth

Had new babies

But all those feelings are still there

Just as much as they have ever been

I just do not feel done

Perhaps it is postpartum broodiness

Hormones causing havoc

I am hoping that time will tell

But for the moment I am definitely feeling broody

Part of me thinks we have four children now

What difference will one more make?

We have one more seat in the car

It is already too expensive for us to holiday abroad

So really what difference would one more child make to our future adventures?

But then at the same time

I am thinking

Perhaps we should count our blessings

Be happy with the beautiful children that we have

After losing Tilda and having multiple miscarriages

I am not sure I could deal with any more loss

Cope with anymore grief

And actually pregnancy after loss is quite stressful

There is always the worry that something will go wrong

But what if it didn’t?

broody bea

I really miss having a bump

Feeling those kicks and wriggles

The anticipation of giving birth

Making and meeting a whole new person

The excitement and frustration of waiting for labour to start

The adrenaline of birth and those earliest hours after

The feeling of a wet warm baby being placed on my chest

The awe and wonder of a brand new baby

That feeling of love and pride

The idea of our children always having each other as they grow

But in the same breath

I think of how are lives will be so much simpler

If we stick with our four

And our memories of Matilda Mae

Maybe we should focus on making life the best it can be

For the children we already have

Maybe I should focus on being a better mummy

For our children here

A better wife to David

And decide to take some time for me

Do some things for me

I just thought I would know

I thought when I held my last baby in my arms

I would know

I would feel at peace

Feel complete

And I am just not sure that I do

Will I ever know?

Will I ever feel done?

Will our family ever feel complete?

I just thought I would know!

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20 thoughts on “Postpartum Broodiness

  1. Such a tricky one! What does David think?
    Would you consider using any frozen embryos you still have left over from IVF (as you know they are healthy from your younger eggs), or prefer TTC naturally?
    I’m inclined to agree that 4 to 5 isn’t really much of an extra step – you’ve already done the hard but in getting as big as you are as a family! One thing to think about is teenage years – I think it might be tough squeezing many teenagers into a house, and they might object to not having their own bedrooms/space – although actually, with E and W going off to uni when B is 15, E 12 and future baby younger, you actually should be ok for space! xxx

    • I don’t think space is a problem, but time more of an issue and ensuring everyone gets enough of what they need from us. David does not comment. He is 4 years younger than me. But we always said 4 so I think Edie is our last just so hard saying so and making peace with the decision … and we do have two embryos x That is a whole other decision!

  2. I don’t feel done yet either…and in those very early days after Charlie I really thought it would be a good idea to have a fifth. Those feelings have lessened as the weeks have gone by and although I don’t feel done, I think I am……but I can’t quite bring myself to say never….

    Like you I think I need to get myself fit and healthy and focus on the children. I already feel spread so thin, that maybe one more would make life too difficult….I don’t know..

  3. I am way to old to have another baby now at 58, but the feeling never really goes away. I didn’t ‘do’ pregnancy very well, and birth was traumatic the second time round which made my husband not want to risk a third.
    I think if you have a parenting soul, then wanting to be a parent never goes away, but they don’t stay little for long, and the challenges and opportunities as the children grow and mature are so interesting (and at times harder than we can ever imagine) that I would venture to suggest that while making the most of Edie’s time as a baby, you begin to look forward to the adventures yet to come for Esther, William and Bea. After all, you could always consider respite fostering once Edie is a little older, I don’t know if your local NICU will accept donated breast milk? Maybe you could become a breast feeding councillor? There are loads of ways in which you can use your expertise as a mum of 5. You will work it out, you always do, you are an amazing human being.

    • Thank you x You are so wise x I am so glad that you found my blog and offer me such thoughtful advice x You are not the first person to suggest fostering to me. Think also a return to teaching in the future will help and planning family adventures is definitely something I am looking forward to as all the children grow x

  4. You have to weigh it all up and remember the extra pressures on David that will surely add to an already busy household should you have another.

  5. I totally don’t want this to influence you I just thought I would give you my perspective. I have just had my third in three years (yikes!) and I feel exactly the same. Even though my husband says ‘NO MORE’ I nod and smile and when people ask if I’m done I laugh and joke but really I don’t think I’ll ever feel done so I totally understand.

    However, coming from a different perspective I’m one of five and there is an 8 year age gap between me and my little brother ultimately because my Mam had miscarriages and a still birth between us. Looking back it was really, hard and stressful going through that when I was little, I would feel so anxious and people laugh when siblings tell the story of me crying when my Mam announced she was pregnant with my brother but with time I realise it was I was because I was scared and worried something bad would happen. I’m so glad I have my siblings but as a little person I see how hard it was on me.

    Like I say I just wanted to give you a different perspective.

    I also want to tell you how much I admire your strength and bravery. Having only recently found you on twitter and instagram I am so glad I did, love reading about your thoughts and think you give lots of people so much help and comfort so THANK YOU and keep it up…please x

    • Thank you for sharing. I think if we were to have another, which I am sure we won’t, the age gap between twins and youngest would be more like 9 years, which is huge isn’t it? I think Esther and William would be okay, the twin thing makes such a huge difference with them. However, I know that I want to give them more of my time. Before Edie was born Esther and I were going out to shows together quite regularly and I want to do that again. I am looking forward to enjoying my older children, it is just hard to accept I will never be pregnant or have a newborn again. Think it is just something I have to work through x Thank you again for sharing your experience, it is really valuable for me and others who read this too x x x x x

  6. When my husband and I see people with small children, he always says, “They have a long way to go.” To which I reply. “Fortunately, they don’t know how long.”
    So what are we reflecting on when we say this?
    The huge amount of work and time involved in bringing children to adulthood where they have driving licences, have completed their education (with gap years before and possibly after university, and even a placement year or year abroad during university), found themselves jobs/careers, have completed professional training, found themselves life partners… and even bought their first house (and we didn’t home educate).
    Inn our experience, each individual needs more time not less as they get to 14. The final years require more of you than you can imagine when they are babes in arms. So my advice would be to ignore those unhelpful hormones…but beware, they will try to prompt you again when Edie is 9 months old… and several times after that.

    • I agree wholeheartedly with you, for those of us with adult children we know how hard it can get. I remember being told it doesn’t get easier the challenges are just different.

    • And this is why I love my blog, because I need to read this and digest it and I know already from writing this, reading responses, watching my children, talking to my husband, my wonderful mother in law, I know Edie is my last and we can start planning as a family all our adventures to come x Thank you x

  7. Hi Jennie

    Firstly, congratulations on the birth of your precious daughter. She looks absolutely adorable. I read your blog and i think you do an absolutely incredible job with your children. Anyway, I have just had my 4th baby….well it was actually 4 months ago although i still feel very much like I am in the new born daze! I have 3 girls and 1 boy aged between 9 years and 16 weeks. Can I just say that I am completely with you! When I got pregnant o told my husband that this baby would definitely be the last and that I was fine with that. I am experiencing exactly what you are. An uncontrollable urge to have another baby! I am so so broody it’s ridiculous. Whilst pregnancy is tiring and some symptoms are challenging (I am a home school mum too so have the kids all day every day….so pregnacy tiredness really kicks in!) I really miss being pregnant. I absolutely LOVED having a bump and the anticipation of welcoming another baby in to the world is so exciting and such a special experience for the whole family. I think the family unit is so important and the society we live in today massively under rates it. In the modern western world we often restrict family size because of a whole host of worldly things attached to having more than the average number of children, such as an extra child meaning we couldnt go on a holiday abroad or or children wouldnt have a bedroom of their own or as many christmas presents. The things is the gift of a child and a sibling in years to come more than counteracts these things. Expensive holidays abroad come and go and get forgotten etc but relationships between siblings are so precious and last a life time and what an amazing gift to be able to give them another one! The bond between siblings is so special and arguments like “its not fair for children to have to share a bedroon” dont wash with me. My kids have had the fun of sharing a room with one another and they love it. They say they would be bored or lonely on their own. They have had so much fun from sharing, and chatting and giggling together during these precious and formative years. Yes, sometimes siblings don’t get along or get jealous of one another but these things are normal and can we worked through. The new born days are hard with a toddler in tow at the same time as having older children’s needs to be met, but this is all part and parcel of a bustling family home which we will one day look back and treasure. warts n all! I know that one of my worries about having more children was that one to one time would be spread more thinly between each child, but someone recently pointed out that as I homeschool they are probably getting much more one to one time than if I had one child who was at school every day. This is so true. I hadnnt thought of it like thst before. Anyway….i have come to the conclusion that this mothering instinct that I still very strongly have has been given to me for a reason and that i think we may just go with it. I hope we will be blessed with another. If we aren’t then that’s totally fine too. I have been so blessed already. We shall just wait and see What happens. The children are already asking me when the next baby is coming along. They absolutely adore their baby sister and they are desperate to add another in to the mix! Motherhood is a precious gift. Each and every baby is a blessing and i kind of think it may be difficult at times to have 5 children, but I know I would never ever regret having another in the long term and even if it is a struggle he or she would be totally worth it. Sorry this has turned in to a bit of a ramble! I just thought I would share that I am feeling exactly the same as you and to encourage you to have another if you feel like it is on yours and David’s hearts. Take care and enjoy this very special time with your beautiful family and gorgeous little new born Edie xx

  8. My two best friends have 4 children each. One has 4 boys. She wanted a girl so that is why her husband agreed to numbers 3 and 4. And still no girl. One has 3 girls and a boy. She was going to keep going until she had a boy. Her last pregnancy left her so internally damaged that 3 years on and many surgeries to repair the damage she so often says that although she loves her boy, she should have stopped at three whilst she was ahead and not dealing with life long implications of a horror fourth pregnancy.

    My other friend joked that she survived with her 4 boys and wondered how they would cope if ‘anything happened’. And then it did. Her third son got a fever that turned into a near fatal virus and they lived at his hospital beside for nearly 6 months. And in the meantime the other three kids were passed around from pillar to post because no one would take all three of them or move in to look after three of them at home. Now that the children are older, I watch her trying to be a taxi to take 4 children – 15, 13, 11 and 9 to various events – particularly weekend sport and birthday parties of class mates. And she often says that having four little kids was easy. Four older children not so. She only said yesterday ‘Babies were fine. This age is not!’

    And each of them contemplated wanting more children. But then they looked at me. And I have two children. Both of whom have completely different disabilities and high care needs. And they stop and wonder what would their life look like if their good luck with health changed, permanently, in the blink of an eye. And then are invariably grateful for the Blessings they have, wonder often aloud what they were thinking having 4 children as if they knew the reality of it at teenage hood they would have stopped AND understand they won the lottery of health so were glad they didn’t push their luck.

    And the funny thing about kids from the big families is they often like to come to our quieter home. So they can have time with us adults as they get far too little of it in their own homes.

    The grass is always greener. Be grateful for all you have. And listen with your head and not just your heart.

    • Wow your friends sound like they have really been through it. I was one of two sisters and always longed for more siblings. My husband is one of four and is very happy and from a loving family with wonderful values. Every experience is so different x We have a very supportive extended family and my children get lots of adult led time as well as lots of time alone and with their friends / siblings. I hope they will grow up to be close friends and keep the special bonds they already have and are developing x

  9. This is such a poignant post I feel I have to reply. You remind me of my own all consuming,loving ways, as I raised my children who are now successful young adults. I just adored being a mum of young children and I still adore being a mum to them now they have grown. I’d like to make a contribution to your post and offer the way I resolved my feelings of broodiness and longing for another baby,when I knew deep down my family was complete. It was a day when I was missing my children dreadfully, not long after my youngest left home for university. My husband asked me to list everything I was missing and then we would chat about it. As I was thinking about what to write,it suddenly dawned on me,although I missed them being around the house,what I was actually missing was their childhood days. It then stuck me,my longing for just one more baby as my children were growing up,was for exactly the same reason.I was simply missing the stages of childhood which had passed. This led me to come to the conclusion that unless I accepted and embraced the the different stages of my family life,without feeling I could always replace what had become a beautiful memory,then I would never be truely contented. It was one of those moments of clarity and from that day onwards I was able to accept the changes and feel content with my family for what it was in the past and what it is today. All my feelings are now grateful feelings of acceptance that I will always miss my children as they were, although family life as it is today is wonderful too.

    • Thank you so much for writing this and sharing your feelings. It really struck a chord with me. I know now that Edie is our last baby and that I am ready for our next adventure. I know that I want to savour every moment of our gorgeous children before they grow any older than they are. Carpe Diem. Sieze the day. I intend to and thank you x x x x x x

  10. Hi Jennie,
    I’m not sure that some women ever feel that ‘that’s it’ feeling. My hubby & I have 4 birth children (14,13,11 & 9) & have just adopted the most beautiful baby boy (foster to adopt so have had him from birth) he is such a delight & a complete blessing to all of us. Am definitely more tired (I’m now 45!) but well worth it!! Like you say, it’s early days & maybe if you still feel like that in 6 or 12 months think seriously about it then? Xx

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