That was a question I was recently asked. I feel weird writing about this and admitting certain things because I don't know if my reaction is the "norm" and I certainly don't want to insult anyone or make the general public think this is how everyone responds. So let's preface this with, in MY experience, the following happened:
I have two living children and I had experienced loss before both of their conceptions. Prior to Nathan, we lost Ian at 22 weeks. Six months prior to conceiving Caleb we had our first early miscarriage but the most devastating of my early miscarriages both physically and emotionally- I bled out and almost died during that one, I REALLY wanted that baby, thought it was my last chance to give my son a sibling, was FLOORED that I was now experiencing a first trimester miscarriage after everything we had been through with the later loss, I quit my job because I couldn't handle anything. That low was almost as low as when we lost Ian at 22 weeks.
With Nathan I was never able to wrap my head around "Well, if you hadn't lost Ian, you wouldn't have had Nathan." In fact, I didn't like to think about it. It wasn't a comforting thought. There was never and will never be any sort of feelings that started with "well, at least" or "if this hadn't happened" or "we should just be thankful"..... I think the main reason is because this wasn't my body passing a chromosomally abnormal baby. This was my body being defective and killing my perfect child.
As for the early miscarriage prior to Caleb. I look back on that and can't BELIEVE what a volatile reaction I had to that. NOW, I can actually say that I'm glad that miscarriage happened so I could have my Caleb. I can't imagine if that baby had lived and we didn't have Caleb. I'm so thankful that things worked out how they did and not how I wanted. Is it made easier by the fact that it was likely an abnormal "fetal pole" and my body was doing the "right thing" that time? It didn't feel like that at the time, that's for sure. But yes, as I sit here now, I can honestly say that I'm glad I suffered that miscarriage. I could never imagine who that baby could have been. I don't have any regrets other than how I handled it at the time. Of course we wish we could see into the future because if I could, then I would have seen my sweetheart Caleb and breezed through that miscarriage knowing who was coming next! But for some reason I was supposed to experience it the way I did.
Even though we were done building our family I suffered a few more early miscarriages after Caleb (I conceived these on the birth control pill). The first one was a real blow because I was farther along when the baby died- 7.5 weeks, we had seen the heartbeat a few times, and were dealing well with the idea of making our family of 4 into a family of 5. But still, the grief from that miscarriage didn't come near to the grief of the one before Caleb.
So will the pain of loss get easier or go away after children.... will the trials and tribulations of the "journey" be a distant memory that no longer matters after children..... It depends on the person and the situation. After living children, the trials and tribulations turned from despairing dark horrors, into milestones that made me appreciate these children more. They became positive in a way. All but losing Ian and the circumstances surrounding that. Those will forever be etched in our hearts and minds forever. The pain is no longer a constant sharp knifing to my body and heart like it was 8 years ago and for years after but it is definitely there always, and always will be. Like the dull throbbing of a headache about to get bad, occasionally I feel the sharpness, but it's few and far between.
A surprising thing that has happened as my living children grow to be older, is that Ian's loss in particular has allowed some joy, in the sense that our children love to hear about their older brother and like to think of him in heaven watching over them. That was unexpected joy for sure, but joy nonetheless. How they process his death and "remember him" is so abstract and sheds a new kind of light and understanding on it for me and my husband. And it's nice. It's a nice change. They weren't there for the horrors of it so their perception is so..... light, and gentle, and loving, and kind, and hopeful, and sweet, and heart warming. Those are not things that I ever thought would be brought to the experience of Ian.
So that, my friends, is the answer to the question the person asked in more depth and maybe you will feel free to share your feelings about it :-)