So here I am, returning to the people who helped me so much during my TTC years, struggling with infertility and loss. 6 years later I now have three beautiful LOs, 6, 2.5 and 1.

I feel like the rational part of me knows we are done. I’m 44, so it likely wouldn’t happen naturally and we wouldn’t do IVF again, but I also said that prior to having #3 at age 43.

Financially and as far as family logistics, it would just complicate everything. DH was pretty upset about #3 - saying multiple times it just blew up the plan and added stress when we had things under control. I know he doesn’t want a 4th. For sure.

And I’ve had so many health issues with each delivery/postpartum period. A 4th feels like tempting fate.

But about three times a week I think about just pulling my IUD.

I long to be pregnant again as I give myself and my imperfect body total grace when pregnant, and just feel so down on myself when not.

Closing the factory at age 44 represents more than just no more babies, but admitting I’m middle-aged and entering a later phase of my life. Where I’m older. I’m no longer a head turner. No one flirts with me.

It’s caused me to realize my appearance has been much a part of my identity and way I navigate the world than I had realized. I’m ashamed of that some days, others just grieving its loss.

I see other women so confident in their mid 40s, and most would look at me and feel I’m quite accomplished. So why can’t I? Why do I feel so in limbo? I’m happy with everything and everyone around me, just not myself.

I know these are not legitimate reasons to add a fourth. I just want some peace and guidance in achieving acceptance of where I am.

If anyone else feels comfortable sharing their thought process for closing the factory, I’d really appreciate it.