On Friday I will be decommissioned, put out of action, consigned to the reproductive scrap heap, put out to grass. My tubes will be corked and my fertility stoppered and there will be no more babies for me.
I'm 38, I have had 6 children, been pregnant more times than a body needs to be and I have, thankfully, finally had enough. I can honestly say that I have no regrets about it; there is absolutely nothing in me that cries out for another baby, all those desperate hormonal urges have gone, the need to create has evaporated. In fact, far beyond that, the thought of accidentally becoming pregnant again terrifies me. If it happened, I couldn't take it physically and I couldn't take it mentally. I was warned 4 times after Bene not to risk it again and nothing would induce me to do so anyway. Mentally, being pregnant with Bene was torture, without a single moment of relaxed joy that I can honestly recall. I could never, never, never go through that again. To be pregnant again would seriously risk both mine and a babies life and I can't risk that. Moreover, I don't want any more children. I love Bene to bits, I'm enjoying every moment of it… But I am done. Too old, way, way to knackered to ever do this bit again.
With all that in mind… To put a conclusive end to these days make perfect sense. Our family is complete, my body has had enough, my head has had enough. Game, set and match.
So it is rather odd to find myself sad.
I don't really know why.
I'm a little nervous, it's true. I don't like operating theatres and I will have to do this without Max, who will have to jiggle Bene anyway, so won't be able to mop me up.
But it's not that.
I'm not having second thoughts, or regrets and I'm quite clear it's the right thing to do.
It's not that.
I'm a little more used to being dramatic and over thinking; there is no time for that, plus that particular element of my character seems to have done a bunk. I miss her. She helped me sort things out in my head. I've not had any time to have a little weep over this, or get nervous, or demand some attention.
It's not that though.
I suppose it's just a sign of being old. My biological reason to be is fulfilled; my cave is now filled with young women who will take on this role, be the next generation of mothers. It's a rather strange thing.
And then, if I'm honest, I grieve for how I once felt about pregnancy and birth and motherhood. It was joyful, exciting, a story, a part of me. Sometimes hard, sometimes hurtful, tough. But mine. We brought home babies and we were good at that, innocent enough to think it our right.
It saddens me that now when I look back at conception, despite all the easy times, I remember the grimness of trying to conceive after loss. When I look back at pregnancy I remember terror. When I look back at birth, I will only ever hear silence, even with 5 cries to remember.
I can't change that, it's not as though Friday makes that fact any more solid and immutable. But it does spell out that this is how it is.
I don't want more babies but there will be no more babies. I think I'm sad I don't want more. I think I'm sad that now, if I'm asked, the idea of pregnancy makes my throat constrict with horror.
I wish it hadn't ended like that.