I'm Addicted To Having Babies And Can't Stop

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woman kissing baby

The days my three children were born are days I will never forget.

They are days I think back to often, days I long for.

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In fact, I was barely wheeled into the recovery room with my third child before I was thinking, I can't wait to do this again.

Another child wasn't even in the picture for us. 

We didn't have the money, the time, or the desire to raise a fourth child, but I still couldn't help the longing. I love having babies.

Sometimes I wonder if I might be addicted to having babies.

Giving birth is the most transcendent thing I've ever experienced in my life. It's primal and raw.

It's emotionally exhausting yet invigorating at the same time. It's like nothing else this world has to offer. I'm certain nothing, for the rest of my days, will ever top the experience of giving birth.

When I pass the hospital where my babies were born as I drive my son to school each day, a wave of nostalgia washes over me.

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I want to be back there, in the thick of it again. I want that pain and glory all over again.

I love it so much that when my husband and I decided we were done having kids, I considered becoming a surrogate.

Pregnancy is hard on me, though.

I have terrible morning sickness, debilitating exhaustion, and suffered from waves of dizziness that sometimes made me pass out.

I always felt as if I was on the edge of death. I knew I couldn't care for my own three kids well enough while carrying someone else's.

Still, I thought about it much longer than I should have.

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I wanted that experience again so badly, I could hardly stand it.

The thought of never giving birth again fills me with a sadness I can't even describe.

Not getting to fall in love with a face I've never seen before, yet instantly know so well. Not getting to marvel at the miraculous strength of my maternal body in action.

Yes, giving birth is painful, but the payoff is so great that nothing could deter me from wanting to go right back to it. Well, almost nothing.

The thing is: I'm most certainly not addicted to raising babies. Most days, I feel as if my plate is far too full with the three children I already have. While I may feel like a champion in the delivery room, the way I feel in day-to-day mothering is far from perfect.

The truth is, giving birth is the easy part, the fun part. It's the moment you get your prize. The next 18 years? I guess you could call that rehab.

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Gemma Hartley is a freelance writer living in Reno, Nevada. Her writing has appeared on Early Mama, Child Mode, MindBodyGreen, Role/Reboot, and