Gloom and Doom (A Post Where I Ask You for Something Different)

grumpycatAbout three years ago, I was busy making last-minute preparations for one of the most important days of my life—the day I became a wife to my best friend. I was excited, happy, ecstatic, joyful….but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I was scared because as a Christian, choosing the one you’ll marry is the second most important decision you’ll ever make in your whole life (the first, of course, being to give your life to Jesus). When you understand what God’s Word says about marriage, you are absolutely certain about the gravity of this decision. It’s not just a fun, spontaneous rash decision that you can rethink and get out of later if it doesn’t work out (although many today view marriage that way)—it’s forever. It’s an all-in commitment that means when you say those vows, you’re not just making a promise to your new husband—you’re making a promise to God.

But I’ve always known all that.

What surprised me was how many people talked about marriage like it was going to be SO hard. I heard story after story about how hard the first couple of years is, how marital strife was inevitable, how we were going to realize we didn’t know each other at all. Now, as a disclaimer, let me just say that I know and appreciate that all of those people who warned me about all the scary parts of marriage had my very best interests at heart, and sincerely wanted to help prepare me for this mega commitment. And I thank them. But what I’ve discovered since then is that they were right about marriage being hard—it is super hard sometimes—but it’s also fun, rewarding, enlightening, and cozy in all the best ways. Yes, it’s different from dating. Yes, it’s a learning process. Yes, it’s probably the biggest adjustment you’ll ever make. But it’s so worth it. When you marry someone who loves God more than He loves you, the bond you will develop will be stronger and deeper than anything you could have imagined while you were dating. When I look back on the trials my husband and I have faced together–all the times we hurt together and cried together–and I consider how we’re still able to laugh until we can’t breathe when we’re hanging out together, I know that God knew what he was doing when he designed marriage. More than anything, it’s a friendship, deeper and richer than any other.

See…those were the things I would have liked to have heard more about before saying, “I do.” But even with all that gloom and doom I heard while engaged to be married, I hadn’t seen anything yet.

I thought that was bad, but now that I’m pregnant with our first child, the gloom and doom warnings are disheartening and daunting, at best. These are some things I’m hearing over and over from well-meaning people:

  • Nap when you can now, because you’ll never get a good nap again for 18 years.
  • I hope you have a good delivery, because I sure didn’t—this is what happened to me…[insert horror story here]
  • You’ll never have a normal body again.
  • Try to do fun things with your husband now, because when the baby comes, your marriage is pretty much over. Date nights will be a thing of the past.
  • Breastfeeding will hurt so bad you’ll cry every time your baby’s hungry (which is all the time).
  • You’ll cry other times, too, because you’ll probably have PPD disorder like I did. 
  • Get used to wearing poop and vomit for hours at a time.
  • Good luck EVER traveling again. 
  • You’ll never have a normal grocery shopping experience again. It will be a nightmare every time.
  • Oh, and enjoy that shower because once the baby comes, you’ll never have time for a good shower….or any bathroom privacy time whatsoever. You can forget the bubble baths. And pedicures. And any other luxury you enjoy.
  • Finish that whole book, because you’ll never have time to read anything once the baby’s here.

I could easily keep going…and don’t even get me started on general parenting warnings (“You just wait…you think you’ll be a great parent NOW…”). Once again, let me say that I know good and well that all these warnings are legitimate and necessary. And I’m sure I need to hear all of them.

But sometimes…I need to hear some good things, too.

Because right now…I’m starting to wonder why in the world people have kids. If it’s this miserable, why am I even going through these nine uncomfortable months? Why am I signing my life away to trade my easy breezy independence for the motherhood prison?

I’m just a little discouraged. You see, I LOVE naps. I LOVE laughing with my husband. I LOVE traveling. I like alone time sometimes. I like long showers. I LOVE bubble baths. I like going to the bathroom by myself. I like reading.

So if I’m going to trade in all the things I love for this little kicker in my womb, I need to know why it’s worth it. I figured all that out with marriage, and I’m totally at peace with the little things I gave up for marriage life and I feel blessed beyond measure to have made that decision and completely undeserving of this abundant life I obtained when I married my husband. And it could very well be that I have to wait before I’ll discover the same is true of parenthood. Hard, sacrificial, scary—WORTH IT. I’d just selfishly like to expectantly feel that now, rather than 3 years from now. That might be unrealistic.

Anyway, this post obviously isn’t poignant or profound or even necessary. I just feel like I’m speaking out for not just me, but for the thousands of us pregnant-for-the-first-time gals out there who could use a little encouragement.

So, if you took the time to read my morning ramblings, I hope you’ll also take a second to leave a comment for me and all other preggo girls who want to hear about things to which we can look forward, not just dread. We still want/need your warnings. We still need to hear all the tips/advice you can share to help us figure out how to navigate our way through all this new crazy baby stuff. But, for the sake of our sanity, make sure you qualify the gloomy doomy warnings with a little sunshine.

Speaking of sunshine, it’s 60 degrees here in Louisville, so while baby’s still in my belly, I’m gonna get out there and enjoy it today. Kids or no kids, I hope you get a chance to do the same before the day’s over!

47 thoughts on “Gloom and Doom (A Post Where I Ask You for Something Different)

  1. – Napping with your newborn is one of the loveliest things.
    – Any delivery you have will bring about one of the greatest blessings in your life.
    – Your body is so amazing – you are growing a human being!
    – Family date nights are so much fun!!
    – Breastfeeding is one of the most precious bonding times. I would not trade it for the world, even with the times when it got a little painful… the pain doesn’t last, but the sweet memories and the precious bonding does.
    – You will cry so many tears of joy and thankfulness.
    – You’ll wear a smile so much more than you’ll ever wear poop or vomit.
    – Family traveling is so much fun. You will love making memories with your sweet baby and husband!
    – Just wait till you get to use the car- shopping buggies! They will have so much fun!!!
    – Baby bathtime is exploration time and so much fun, and if you have a girl, you can paint her piggies and it is so fun and cute.
    – Get ready to read fun stories, bedtime stories, fairytales, Bible storybooks, over and over and over – you will LOVE it!

      • Love you girl <3 It's all about perspective! Parenthood can make you crazy… sometimes it's a good crazy, sometimes it's a not-so-good crazy, but it is a journey of LOVE and you WILL be blessed!!

  2. I second all of Kristen’s remarks!
    -Breastfeeding is absolutely such an awesome bonding experience and I so missed it when it was time to move on. When you have a soft baby staring up at you in that rocker it really doesn’t matter that it took you a while to get in the groove.
    -hearing his/her voice for the first time say Mommy cannot be described so I will just say utter joy.
    -Seeing your husband as the role of father makes you appreciate him 10,000 times more.
    -When you have read the picture book and baby points to the correct picture you ask him for…your heart does a happy dance at a very pivotal moment in both communication with your baby and in literacy development.
    -seeing your baby focus on you as you sing is mesmerizing and you keep doing it even if your throat hurts.
    -we took our first “vacation” as a family (aside from relative visits) when baby was maybe 6 months old. Will they remember it? No. Will you contribute to their happiness and development and your memories as you see th aquarium through their eyes? Yes!
    -Eating our, Dating, Trips, etc are all still fun with kids! You just get to experience them differently and now step into a lot of modeling!;)
    -Seeing your little one in a high chair folding hands for first time just because they know it’s time to pray gives you such a hug from God!
    -getting into a different routine doesn’t hamper your life….it allows you I slow down and savor the little things.
    -Even sitting in the grass is more fun with bare baby feet.
    -Children will exhaust you, worry you, and make a change in your budget. Is it worth it? YES!!!! I’m here for you as you fulfill the role God made for you!
    I could go on all day!!

  3. IT IS SO WORTH IT! Every time that little boy brings you dandelions and kisses, it’s worth it. Every time you lie down with that little girl for nap and she falls asleep on your breast and drools on your shirt, it’s worth it. Every time she fills in the blanks when you tell her the story of Noah or David and the Giant , it’s worth it. And, especially, the first time you tell him about the cross and tiny tears roll down his cheeks, It’s worth it a thousand times-plus. Every time you blow bubbles and she chases them, every time you build towers and forts and tents under quilts pinned to chairs in the living room, it’s worth it. When you are drinking lemonade that you paid for at the grocery, made this morning and then carted out to the end of your driveway for that lemonade stand, and then you paid for it again (only it was more expensive the second time around), it’s still worth it. Every time you see tiny hands folded in prayer or hear that little shrill voice beside you in worship singing “He loves me, He loves me, He loves me, this I know,” it is worth it. And, oh, for that one moment…that moment when you take her in your arms when she’s fresh up from the waters of baptism…just that moment is worth it over and over and over again.

    But you know what? You don’t even really start to understand how much it’s worth till the day she comes to you and says “You’re a grandmother.” See, Hannah, it’s something about knowing that you’re going to get to keep making investments in a little heart…investments that will not fully render their dividends till we’re with Jesus one day. Which missed naps? What pain in childbirth? Nursing soreness? Very short-lived. Scarcity of alone time with your dad? Okay, maybe a little scarce, but I barely remember. (We have wonderful catch-up time now.)

    It’s that thing you said about crying together and still being able to laugh till you can’t catch your breath. It’s all the tears you invest in your kids that make them all the more valuable to you. There are plenty of biological moms out there who don’t really get much joy. See, when you don’t put in the time and tears and occasional missed naps (but, anyway, naps are more fun when they start with a fairy tale), you don’t get the return of two hearts bonded for life in a relationship that only moms and kids know. And you don’t generally get heaven together, either.

    Somehow, I think there’s a sense in which I can’t even know how “worth it” motherhood is yet. But I think I will know when I’m sitting around the throne with you and Caleb (and the little people who grow up for Him) and I hear all those voices (with a sweet familiar tone) blending together. “He loves me. He loves me. He loves me, this I know.”

    • Everything you said Mrs. Cindy and then some! I wouldn’t trade all those moments for a shower or a nap or a “normal” shopping trip. One of my favorite times is actually walking around the store with my sweet babies singing and looking at all the shapes and colors and not caring if anyone thinks I am strange or not. Because all that matters is that little person is having the time of their life with their mamma. My three sweet blessings have taught me so much more about my heavenly father too. I feel closer to Him and understand His love for me in ways I never did before. Oh how much I love my children and oh how much more He loves me! Every relationship that God designed was carefully crafted to show you more about Him. How wonderful!

  4. Well if I wasn’t teary before, I sure am now that I’m WEEPING audibly. 😉 Thanks Mom. No one could tell me it’s worth it and it mean more than when it’s coming from your lips! Love you. See you Friday!!

  5. Oh my! I remember all those comments, too. I have four and I started late. Im here to tell you that all the “bad” stuff is still really good! Like multiplied by a million times good! Its the closesst thing to Heaven on earth having a precious child. Breastfeeding can be tough the first two weeks, but once you are past that stage if you go through it, you are home free! I never had a problem getting to take a shower, either. Once you find your routine, it’s all good. I don’t feel like I have sacrificed a thing EVER!

  6. You are not the only one that was sick of the negativity….Rick and I detested the “Just you wait and see…. (insert negative comment about parenting here)”… People would say that kind of stuff and laugh… It was almost as if they were enjoying the fact that we would have a hard time. It made me very sad, because it was mostly members of the church and family that did these things. One family member often emailed me things that I should or should not be doing…. I was terrified of opening her emails. It was so hard, but eventually we just let it roll off of our backs and smiled and thanked them. I also had a lot of comments about “I see this one stuck with you to the end”, referencing previous miscarriages. You’re right that they mean well (I hope they do!)…. but sometimes a silent smile and “congratulations on your pregnancy” do more good.

    So, here are some things to look forward to:
    -Holding that baby that you labored for hours to bring into this world… and realizing that you and your husband conceived that baby in love and with God’s plan in mind

    – Seeing your husband be a parent is absolutely adorable and humbling… Rick was so afraid he wouldn’t know what to do- and I have watched him be himself and be a natural at fatherhood.

    – Hearing that adorable laugh
    -Hearing baby’s first words
    -Watching your child fold its hands to pray and participate in Bible class
    – Having your child reach for you
    – Kisses from that sweet baby
    – The cuddles
    -The cuteness will render you unable to look away sometimes

    -Seeing your child grasp a concept and get so excited that he wants you to clap and say “yay!” everytime he does it.

    – Finding your baby in the bathroom having unraveled half of the toilet paper, and deciding whether to grab the camera or clean up the mess first (I recommend the camera)

    You will have so many more to add to this…

    Praying for all of you, God bless you in your pregnancy!

  7. I couldn’t have said it any better than your Mother. I am weeping as well. Congratulations on your precious gift.

  8. Bless your heart! I told someone a few days ago that everyone starts a conversation about marriage saying that is it such hard work. Maybe I am different than most, but I don’t feel that we have had to work to have a wonderful life together! Same with parenthood. Yes, things will be different, but filled with amazing blessings. Often, in my judgment, parents with the attitudes you expressed aren’t ready for the changes that this new person brings. It is a matter of perspective, is your cup half full or half empty? Anything you temporarily give up for motherhood will pale in comparison to what you will gain! Enjoy it all to the fullest: pregnancy, newborn snuggles (my favorite!), first smiles, steps and words! At our season of life, we are enjoying grandbabies. There is nothing more precious than their talking and gaining understanding of the world around them. God bless you, and I know you will be thrilled beyond comprehension with parenthood!

  9. Hannah, I’m not a commenter but I couldn’t help this one….
    I have to say I heard all of those things too…it seems that everybody is the expert on the bad things. However, let me tell you…I have never been happier in my life than i am now with two children under age three! And I was pretty happy before as you know.
    Sleep…ok so there is some adjusting…you will have good nights and bad nights…just like when you’re pregnant…but the best..absolute best part of my day is rocking my daughter during her naps…sure I might be tired bc she nursed all night before but I’m never so tired that I would miss a second of watching her sleep on me…best sight ever! Oh and you’ll get sleep at just takes figuring out what works for you…be flexible.
    Delivery….truthfully whatever you go’s all worth it..I had no drugs and I’d do it again in a heartbeat…there is nothing more wonderful than your baby. Your heart will literally feel as though its exploding..I promise! Who cares about the pain? You have a child!
    Your body…you made a human….ok so you might have a little extra skin or a stretch here or there..but in the grand scheme of things who cares?! And that is your husbands baby and he will think you’re even more beautiful for those.
    Hormones….they’re there and they will show up…but believe and trust in yourself. Reading bible verses and making nightly reading a priority regardless of if the baby is sleeping or crying….that and lots of prayers got me through it. Dont be worried…and when all else fails, let yourself cry and eat chocolate bc those fix a multitude of problems. Don’t be hard on yourself either bc that doesn’t help…do what you need to do to heal physically and hormonally. It’s hard but you are incredibly strong.
    Nursing….I’ve been nursing since 2011…with the exception of four months…I’ve had mastitis, thrush, etc…whatever, once you get the hang of it..about three weeks’s a breeze and the most wonderful bonding experience ever!
    Hmmm…a few others….laughing with your husband…you will still do that..a lot…it will just be about something your child did or something you did when your brain shut down for a second. There’s lots of those and it’s hysterical.
    Date nights….ok I haven’t been out but once since Michael was born, but frankly I don’t feel complete without my babies and I don’t want to go out without them…but…if you need to get away or out..that’s what babysitters and loving grandparents are for :). Oh…and needing to have a second to yourself or get out to breathe…that in no way shape or form makes you a bad mom and you should never feel guilty….you are still you and you need to take care of you…you just also have a very important job now.
    You won’t notice the spit up or leaks that show up on your clothes…my baby girl leaked her diaper on me at the dr yesterday…I couldn’t care less…she too precious to care about little things like that.
    So ..long story short…it’s unbelievable, it’s awesome. I’m not going to lie and say being a stay at home mom isn’t hard or frustrating or sometimes you just have the need to go outside and run around the house five times just to get out your frustration..but hey..any job is hard..but not every job gives you a precious blessing of a child who will love you unconditionally and truly NEED you.
    I really can’t explain love the way it manifests for our children…God truly knew what he was doing when he made love so powerful that we would do anything for them. Just the love alone for your child is all consuming, unimaginable, and will make you cry because it is so so wonderful…oh..and then when they are ten months old, say mama and hold their arms up to you from the floor….there are no words…
    Good luck momma! You’ll be awesome!
    Ps I apologize for typos…currently’s all about multitasking 🙂

  10. Hi Hannah,
    I’m sorry to hear of the negative unsolicited advice you’ve been receiving. Be encouraged, God has/will supply you with everything you need to be godly parents, in His Word. I have been blessed with a fruitful womb, and a full quiver. We’ve also decided that what’s most important is to train our children via homeschooling. You and Ben will be in my prayers as you prepare for God’s gift within you.
    Jennifer Jackson

  11. Hannah, some of the best times I remember were getting up to nurse in the night! It was such a special time with just me and my precious baby. I told her much we had longed for a baby, and how special she was to me and her Daddy! Sometimes I sang to her, sometimes I just rocked and enjoyed our time together! Yes, I missed sleep, but I quickly became a master at taking power naps! I could be asleep 3 minutes after she went to sleep! (Just make sure the phone is turned off!).
    Many people have fairly easy childbirth! Do we ever hear of them? I guess they aren’t as loud about that as the ones who like to tell how they suffered! I think your mindset has something to do with it, too. I hope you will be one of the easy ones!

  12. Congratulations on becoming a mommy. It is a wonderful one-of-a-kind job. Your life is forever changed and blessed abundantly.
    Pregnancy can have some uncomfortable moments, but it is when I fell in love with my babies. It is an amazing experience, like no other, to see our bodies working the way God planned. The birth for me was an empowering experience. I don’t understand why people feel compelled to give pregnant women horror stories. That is just ridiculous. Just be informed and make decisions about your birth! Birth is a beautiful experience. I have been blessed to see my daughter have her babies. (Talk about a whole new level of emotions!) It was just an honor to be there. She was awesome, and I’m sure you will be, too!
    Sleep cycles are different with babies, but actually that seems to change even during pregnancy. You will learn to adjust and get the sleep you need ! I loved cuddling with my sleeping babies! Precious memories! I was a big believer in naptime (for me, too).
    Breastfeeding was wonderful. Yes, there is a learning curve since it is something we all do for the first time with our babies. I loved it because I didn’t have to share my babies when there were hungry!
    Making time for your husband is harder with a baby, but worth the effort. I made the mistake of thinking I was the expert and not letting him learn (just as I was) about babies and parenting. Just a warning from my error–don’t be like me about that! Watching my husband being a father and now a grandfather warms my heart in a unique way. Seeing my (non-jewelry wearing) husband wearing the red rainbow loom bracelet made by his grandson makes my heart go pitter-patter! Just keep loving your man and remind each other that you are in this together!
    Traveling and shopping are adventures with little ones.
    Reading is easy to do when nursing and rocking a baby. Just turn the clock around so you aren’t stressing about how long babies sometimes nurse!
    Congratulations on your new adventure! Being a mom is one of the greatest joys of my life, and just wait till you are a grandmother! Babies are a BLESSING! Enjoy yours!

  13. I read a lot of the above, but not quite all (time constraints), and I agree with all of what I read. One thing that I didn’t see in the part I read, but it was written between the lines, is this. You get to play! You get to play pretend, you get to play in the sand (you must get a sand box), you get to play in the living room tents you make, you get to play at the playground, you get to play, play, play, and it is okay!! I hope to be a grandmother one day, so I can play again!! 😉

  14. There are two sides to every story. While you could have a super hard labor and delivery, you could have a super easy one like me. And yeah your baby will want to eat all the time, but breastfeeding is such a HUGE bonding experience. Falling asleep with a sleeping baby on your chest is so peaceful. Seeing that first smile, when they get the intense grip on your finger, when they are crying and then handed to you and they immediately calm down….. Being a mother is hard, I’m not gonna lie, but I w

  15. Soo many good times await you, Hannah. I remember holding Olivia and Austin for the first time thinking what a wonderful God we serve that has trusted me with these little souls. A new insight into Gods love will grow as your children grow. I love them so much and to know that God loves them more is incredible. As a Christian parent seeing them born once into this world and another time into the kingdom of God is at the top of my lasting memories. I know many good times await you, I have lived countless.

  16. Hi Hannah, I never make comments but I just had to say, having my children has been the best blessing from God. God has a plan and a purpose in our lives. Pregnancy for me was so wonderful and enjoyable. I loved being pregnant and whatever came with it was ok by me because it was creation of God for me and my husband. A gift that he had planned for us . We were sure to accepted because it was from God’s love. My husband was so involved and active in our babies lives.
    Breastfeeding is that time a mother and child start bonding and built that relationship together.
    Date nights are fun and you appreciate each other. Nap times were great, I lay there with my babies. The memories you guys will built together with this precious child. Is hard to explain the joy, the happiness of this little person that just loves you no matter what and depends on you. Hannah, May God bless you and your husband with this new bundle of joy. Everyone has a different story to say about being a parent. we will hear yours soon.

  17. A friend of mine suggested coming, reading, and sharing with you. It breaks my heart to hear how others have tainted this time for you with worry and doubt! Yes, becoming a parent is a challenge; however, it is also the most beautiful experience that changes your family and ways you didn’t know you always wanted! Where do I start? The joy of bonding while you breast feed. Seeing the amazing ( and empowering!) things your body does as you give birth and recover, watching your baby sleep, listening to them make little squeaks that turn into coos and then “mama”. Watching your husband with this tiny little life that you created together. The way they smell after a bath (both of mine spit up a lot so I LOVED this part of the day!). Watching them as they begin to exore and notice the world around them. The way they loom at you….you will be your baby’s favorite!

    You can still have your life….You are just making room for one more to enjoy the ride! One if the best things I read before having our first was advice to bring the baby I to your world, not turn your world upside down to revolve around the baby. And we have! We still travel and go out to eat. We still have time together (bed time!!!).

    We have two children and J have experienced different things both times, but the good far outweighs the bad! Please enjoy the last days if your pregnancy. It is so precious feeling your baby the way only a mother can. And find a way to enjoy all the beauty of motherhood even when you are tired, hurting, or worried. They are only little for a short time.

  18. First of all late pregnancy was the best part of my pregnancy. I didn’t feel like a whale or like I was about to pop. I just felt special and beautiful. Secondly, the worst thing about giving birth was getting the iv’s put in. Ha! I had an epidural. I felt labor pains for like an hour and they where VERY manageable. The epidural didn’t stall delivery or make it less natural or make my baby groggy or make me less of a woman. The room was full of ALL the nurses and staff on the floor. They were bored. It was the middle of the night and we were laughing and having a great time. My baby was born into a room full of laughter and smiles. Having the epidural, I was not in pain. I could still feel when to push (I even told the doctor that I should push). My family stayed in the room right up until time to push and before they left the room we had a prayer and held hands, including my nurse. Then we had a prayer of thanksgiving after the birth and sang happy birthday to our newest family member. I loved being in the hospital! It felt like a vacation. Now being a new mother, I never felt more beautiful and proud in all my life! Having a helpful husband is what makes the biggest difference, and I’m sure you have that. He makes sure that I get naps, take showers, get to go to the bathroom, and to the store. We all sleep! All 3 of us! Life is well, awesome! I wouldn’t go back to being childless for anything! I was so discouraged when I was pregnant by all the comments, that I had actual panic attacks. The first 2/3 of my pregnancy was easily one of the hardest times of my life, because I listened to the negative comments. Then once I stopped listening at the end of my pregnancy, it got magically better. Oh yeah, this too, breastfeeding melted the weight off and breastfeeding is not that hard. I mean it’s different for everybody, but for me, not hard. It’s such a blessing knowing that your baby needs you in a way that they don’t and can’t need anybody else. And if they can’t breastfeed, and need formula instead, that can be a blessing too. Anyways, I hope my positive experiences are helpful to somebody. God bless from the bottom of my joyful heart! 🙂

  19. I hope you don’t mind a male perspective:
    When Rebecca was pregnant with our little “bean” she would get really upset about these things too. I would tell her, “Rebecca, if it is that bad no one would every have a second one.” The day she was born was the most exciting day of my entire life and we BOTH had a blast. Seriously, it was A LOT of fun. Since then every day has brought new experiences and the AWESOME have far outweighed any bad. We still take naps when we want to, we take long showers and we still go out for dinners and fun things. We have had to make some adjustments, but you have to make adjustments ANY time there is a change in your life (just getting a new job, moving into a new house, etc.) And the idea that you won’t do anything for 18 years is demonstrably false:

    1. Eventually babies start sleeping a lot and you can use that time to take naps, showers, or whatever you want to do. Even brand newborns, who you have to feed every few hours, sleep enough that you can get naps and showers and bubble baths and stuff.
    2. You also have a loving husband. If you need a nap I bet you anything you could say, “Hey can you take over watching the baby for an hour while I get some rest?”
    3. Eventually you can use this thing called a “babysitter”
    4. Eventually kids can kind of look after themselves. I mean, seriously, did your parents wait until you were 18 before they ever took a nap, went on a trip, went out to dinner, etc.?

    Anyway, I hope that helps.

  20. I am the mom of two teenage boys. It seems like a life time ago that they were little (they are bigger than me now!). But, I do remember the joys of them being little. I LOVED breastfeeding. I breastfeed my youngest until he was two! I loved snuggling and reading and doing crafts. It was so fun seeing the world through their little eyes. They taught me to slow down and look at the world around me. We brought tadpoles in and watched them turn into frogs. They found caterpillar eggs and brought them inside and we watched them hatch and then turn into butterflies. We had fish – all different kinds. We collected rocks and feathers and planted flower garden from seeds. The time flew by! Enjoy every moment! Because one day I woke up and they were hairy and driving. I am a better person because they were in my life. I wouldn’t trade the experience for a flat stomach, a clean house, or more time for myself. And you’ll fall deeper in love with your husband seeing him as a daddy. Hey – I’ll get to meet you in person Saturday. I plan to come to Ft. Payne.

  21. While I have my own horror stories about pregnancy, delivery, and early years. I would not take anything for All of those memories. Those memories, along with the happy, exciting, and precious memories make for great stories your child, if like mine, will enjoy hearing some day. Though some things were tough…I made the best of them and because I refused to let them get me down and I won each battle. I prayed through them, laughed through them and even cried through them at times. Your baby will love you through it all. The naptimes, snuggled together in a recliner on the couch or in the bed are amazing. Nursing is the most precious rewarding feeling you will ever experience…even if bottles are necessary, you are still that child’s lifeline, it is still rewarding. Diaper changings are funny conversation starters. When they are sick…just enjoy that extra time to snuggle. Everything else can wait. You will never regret holding them. They grow up so fast. Savor every good and bad moment. Good Luck on your new adventure…I cant wait to see pictures and hear all of your wonderful stories.

  22. Hi Hannah,
    I would agree with all of the above, but would add that I absolutely loved being pregnant! It is like carrying around your best friend that no one else knows like you do. I talked to my baby constantly, sang, etc. Our babies all would go to sleep to the tune of ” Jesus Loves Me” within moments :). My husband also talked to our babies and they knew his voice and would track him around the hospital room, but there is nothing more precious than walking through the living room after finishing up your chores and seeing that man that you love lying there asleep with that baby on his shoulder konked out too! If you didn’t love him before, you certainly will then! As to all of the changes, roll with them! Figure out what works for you and go with it. Our little ones slept with us many nights when they wouldn’t sleep any other way and I never regretted it! Rely on your church family! Mrs. so and so wants to bring you a meal? LET HER! have good freezer stuff, aluminum foil pans, zip lock bags, etc. and freeze what you can’t eat now. Share that baby with your church family! An extra grandparent or two who would love to keep that baby while you and your husband have an evening date, even if it is only 1/2 hour at McDonalds will do you and your husband, your baby, and that church “grandparent” a world of good. I am just about ready for my 5th grandchild to be born and I have to tell you that even better than being a parent is being at GRANDPARENT! Congratulations to you and your family! And God bless you all 🙂

  23. Thank you so much for putting this out there, Hannah! This is an article I wish I’d written. I completely agree with you and I’ll be coming back and visiting all the happy comments written here on the days I need to hear the good again. Blessings to you and your little one. 🙂

  24. What’s the wise old saying…. Oh, yeah: “Haters gonna hate” ;P

    Seriously though, as someone who has done the pregnancy and birth (and parenting!) thing six times over I absolutely think it’s worth it. Focus on your unique, individual experience. What works in your individual marriage, for your individual husband, what feels right for your individual birth, with your individual child. Some things you find incredibly easy others while others will find it difficult, and other things you might find crushingly difficult other people seem to come by it with no issue. It’s ok (and wonderful in my view) for your experience to be different.

    And regarding birth: I have had three awful births in which I received three wonderful children and three wonderful births in which I received three wonderful children. Be serious about your birth, it is an experience that stays with a woman her entire life. For better or worse it makes its mark. Your birth experience has a huge impact on early mothering, but it doesn’t define you. Much like our childhoods have a huge impact on our adult lives, but doesn’t define us. It’s worth taking seriously, though. I think it’s wise to start to filter out the negative noise. Birth is not a time for fear, it’s a time of surrender and trust towards God, to the God-designed process of birth. You are fearfully and wonderful made. You’re going to rock this birth, Hannah!

    (Can you tell I’m also a doula? I could wax a lot more about the beauty of God’s design in birth, but this is me trying to be brief!)

  25. It is so worth it to hold that sweet baby in your arms and realize yes your world is changed forever. It just got richer.
    I gave birth to 11 children and I would do it all over again and add a few blessings to that number if I could! I had ‘natural’ childbirth as they call it 11 times. This is a normal process and a God designed process. I carried an amazing creation, a gift from God in my womb for 9 months, sheltering and nurturing this sweet gift and then I got to spend a day laboring and then experiencing an amazing miracle. If that wasn’t enough after all of that God allowed me to raise that baby for him. Not just one but eleven. I am so blessed! YES I would do it all over again. Enjoy this time. It is a gift!

  26. Once you get the hang of the whole breastfeeding thing you can totally read a book while you do it-especially if you do it on a kindle or nook. There’s plenty of time for bonding among all those feedings so feel free to read a good book during some of them.

    If you married well (which you did) then long showers and bubble baths and trips to Target by yourself are totally possible-the baby has two parents and also I’m thinking some very willing grandparents-even if they aren’t close by-take advantage of it when they visit!

    Babies are very totable, get a good carrier and you can travel anywhere with them!

    Having a baby is the best excuse to take a nap ever. People even offer to hold your baby and tell you to go take a nap!

    A lot of hilarious things happen when you have kids, so the laughing with your husband will just increase.

    I took two kids grocery shopping today and it was very normal-except when my toddler pointed to several different people and loudly asked “What’s their name?” But then you get to laugh!

    Being a mom rocks!

  27. Hi Hannah!
    I am a mom of 4 and have been a mom for almost 7 years. I almost have two 7 year olds, a 5 year old and a 3 year old. I wish I had time to combat a lot of the negative “advice” people give, but I’ll just say this: my husband and I have dated more, slept more, travelled as a family more…I have read more, had more pedicures and had more baths (NEVER took baths before) SINCE we have had children. It’s not always easy, but it’s not always hard. As I’m sure you already know, perspective is HUGE in life so it’s no different in parenting!

  28. Hey Hannah! Jake and I have a 9 month old little girl named Hadley! She is the love of our life. I’m a nurse, and when I was pregnant, I was working at Huntsville Hospital in the ER. The bigger Hadley (and inevitably, my belly) got the more comments I got. Now, I have to say that their is a colorful mix of individuals that come in the ER there, and I’m not referring to race. Rarely a night passed when I didn’t have to wrestle with a drunk or didn’t endure “a good cussing” from at least one patient. So needless to say, the comments I got regarding parenthood weren’t about rainbows and butterflies. I actually had a patient say to me after discussing my all-day-everyday stickiness, “that’s all kids are good for. They start sucking the life out of you right away and never stop, even after they move out.”

    Now, this woman lived a very rough life full of grief, caused mostly because of poor decisions she had made on her own. She had no religious affiliation because “God gave up on her a long time ago.” (Obviously we had a chance to talk a lot since she was very sick and I was unable to leave her side)

    She wasn’t alone in the negativity and to keep from getting bogged down in it, Jake and I joked about how many bad things I’d hear a night. The truth is, there is no amount of pain in labor that can interfere with the pure joy when you get to hold that sweet perfect mix of you and your husband. Your love for and faith in God will be stronger than ever. You’ll find you appreciate more the love that your mother has for you. And on the other hand, you’ll love your mother-in-law even more for raising (what will be immediately obvious) a wonderful Christain father to your baby.

    Breast feeding is without a doubt frustrating and difficult at times, but without a doubt the closest you’ll ever feel to your baby. It’s your alone time. It’s your skin to skin snuggle time. The effort is so worth it. And remember, lanolin is your best friend! 🙂

    I have no doubt you will have any difficulty finding a babysitter for date night, even if date night becomes dinner and grocery shopping 🙂 just make sure you make the (very difficult) effort to leave your baby for a while to make it happen! Believe me, you’ll think about him/her the whole time and you’ll laugh with your husband about how the baby is your only topic of conversation. On the other side, your friends/family will have and love the opportunity to love and be good Christian examples to your baby.

    When you’re up in the middle of the night, relish those sweet moments to sing “Jesus loves me” and rock your baby. When I felt frustrated, I’d use it as an opportunity to pray. It’s never too early to give an example of prayer. Also, I found that nursing was a wonderful time to read. Especially bible study. Late at night it’s quiet and the silence of the late night is so peaceful and a wonderful time to spend in study.

    Jake and I were blessed with wonderful Christian family, so when we felt bogged down in the negative comments, it never failed that a loving mother or grandmother knew just what to say to counter the negative. My aunt constantly reminds me when I’m complaining about the exhaustion, “I know it’s hard to believe now, but you’re gonna miss this.” Just keep reminding yourself of that, and everything gets easier 🙂

  29. Life is full of trials and tribulations – but there is also so very much JOY! Many people cannot stand to see happiness in others and I feel so badly for them! W edid it 3 times! Pregnancy, deliveries, newborn time, breastfeeding (until they were each 2), toddlerhood, all ages into now teens/adults. You will parent it with joy and happiness even on those difficult days!

    When asked for advice, I share it – but otherwise I just say – it goes by so fast.

  30. I’m tearing up! Beautiful and well written, of course because it is from your heart:-) CONGRATULATIONS on the up and coming birth of your baby! I loved this! As a mother of three, all under the age of 8(oldest is 7, 5, and 19 months) I am guilty of saying these sayings to soon-to-be mothers. And we do forget to say the good things, because after-all, these moments only last a quick minute! My middle child, my only son turned 5 on yesterday. Of course, I am raising a little preacher…I remember the first time he sang, At the Cross. Brought tears to my eyes and to see the joy in his eyes! As Christians, we should take this reminder and although there are challenging moments in motherhood/parenthood, remember the bigger picture! Again, thank you and welcome to motherhood!

  31. Hannah,

    I have never met you, but we have heard your sweet voice through our Hannah’s 100 cds for many hours, so my kids and I feel like we do know you!

    I have always wondered what it is about a pregnant belly that invites so much unsolicited advice and story-sharing, even from total strangers! Also, it always amazed me when total strangers would come up and rub my belly. I always wanted to reach out and rub theirs back to see how they reacted. 🙂 I do think, though, that people feel validated and connected by sharing the details of their difficult labors or pregnancies, their sleepless nights, and their poop-covered clothing. Childbirth is simultaneously both the most humbling and empowering event a woman can experience! After I had my first child, I felt like if I could do that, I could conquer the world! (And, that is despite some difficult moments during labor. Who cares about those even a split second after the baby arrives?) While most of the “horror” stories people share are, indeed, reality, even the most “horrible” events in parenting can bring such strength and growth and bonding! Without some bumps along the road, would we truly appreciate the good moments? We have experienced some heart wrenching things with our children, but we learn and grow and change so much by experiencing the rough parts. Will there be sleepless nights? Many. Will there be extra laundry? You betcha. Will there be days you want to sit down in the floor and throw a tantrum to match your overtired toddler? Undoubtedly. Will you sometimes feel like this is just more than you can handle? Yes. But, just wait…

    Just wait…til you see that first little real smile (not the gassy kind) directed straight at you.

    Just wait…til you hear that first belly laugh. You’ll do the craziest things to bring it back again and again. You might even call the grandparents just to let them listen.

    Just wait…til you see your son walking hand in hand with their Daddy and even their gait matches his.

    Just wait…til your daughter shows up with “eyeliner” courtsey a purple Sharpie on your way out the door for family pictures.

    Just wait…til your child says his first solo prayer and thanks God for the napkins, the chairs, the sticky floor, the dirt, the sky, Grandma, Grandpa, the people next door, my friend down the street, the cat, my blankie, my pillow, my corn, my potatoes, my chicken, and my…”Hey Mom, what IS this?…” and on and on.

    Just wait…til your child lets go and takes her first steps while you hold your breath…and your camera…and your video camera…and the iPad while you FaceTime grandparents.

    Just wait…til you hear a tiny little voice joining yours in praise to God.

    Just wait…til you are teaching the books of the Bible to your little one and they can’t quite say the words right but it doesn’t matter because they are trying!

    Just wait…til you can finally understand a tiny little bit of what God must have felt when He sent His only son to earth to suffer and sacrifice and laugh and cry…and save.

    Just wait…it’s amazing. And scary. And exhausting. And invigorating. And sad. And happy. And fun. And special. And so much more than you could ever hope or imagine or dream…if you got to sleep, that is! 🙂

    Better yet, don’t “just wait.” Enjoy every moment that you have with your baby now while you are always together, later when you bring them into this world, and every moment that God blesses you and your husband with taking care of this precious blessing and this special soul.

  32. I LOVED. EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE. of being pregnant! I was horribly nauseous for 5 months and I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m closing in on 40 and I would totally do it again! The first time you “realize” that it is a kick you feel is AMAY-ZING! I’ve never been healthier than when I was pregnant!! Truly every woman’s experience is different even within their 2nd, 3rd or 4th pregnancies. Love it or leave it, a woman who is blessed to even be able to have a child should cherish the entire experience. Some women would kill for labor pains, baby puke/poop, and sleepless nights. I think sometimes we may forget how loving and giving our God is for allowing us an amazing opportunity to become a Momma. I pray that your pregnancy lifts you up and lets you know that God’s path for you is to be a Momma. 🙂

  33. Hi Hannah
    I am so happy for you and your husband with the new addition that is coming into the family and the blessing that God has given to you both. Sing and read to the baby within you. I would talk to my belly and rub my belly because the baby can hear their Mom and Dad’s voice it has been proven that when He or She is born they notice the sounds of their Mother or Father voice. Keep feeding the word of God to the baby with in too. Satan is always there to steal our joy and I will be praying for you all. I had 2 misscarriages and the last one back when I was in Memephis School of preaching 2001 was our twins at 14 weeks and it hurt so deeply that I blame god for taking them which He did not. There is reason for things to happen and God knew what was best because the year of 2007 after I lost my Mother with a heart attack , I had heart failure and found out that I had a leakage heart valve that one day may have to be replaced but right now I am on medication which I am doing okay. I sometimes wonder if that was the reason. When is the baby due date? Look to all the postive things and not thenegatives things that people say to you. I pray that all things goes good in your pregancy and trust in God to help you through it all. I send my blessing to you and your husband.
    Take care.

  34. I wanted to tell you that becoming parents just multiplied the love in our marriage. I fell in love with Chris all over again the first time I saw our baby in his arms (& again the next time). There are plenty of people that were willing to babysit for an hour or 2 so we could have a date night (literally ANY time I wanted one, all I had to do was ask someone & never got turned down). Breastfeeding was the most wonderful experience, the first time with no problems & even the second time when I had some trouble. What a blessing to be a Mom & be able to nurse your child…so many women want to & can’t! I loved waking up to that little baby cry every 2-4 hours & getting to snuggle & nurse my child. I adored watching them grow every month & the amazing changes that took place in them.

    You just can’t make some people happy. When you’re not married, they ask why/when?? When you do get married, every month or 2 people ask when you’re having a baby?! THEN, heaven forbid if you wait too long for baby #2 because they will say all kinds of things about how you should have them close together.. Ohh but don’t even think about having baby #3 (I only have 2 but have plenty of friends who have more)! The comments will become downright rude & unfeeling. After gushing about how perfect my children are & how much I love being their mommy, one lady from our congregation said to me, “Oh just wait until they become teenagers! You won’t think they are so great then! It just gets worse the older they get!”. I simply said, “I’m sorry children were so horrible but I’m fairly certain I will love mine no matter what.” That hushed her up. 🙂

    One last thing….I have always said, God 1st, Hubby 2nd & Kids last. My husband is the most important person on this planet to me. My children & I adore him! They know how much Mommy loves Daddy & I think that is very important! Of course kids have to come “first” in some things but never make your husband feel like he’s leftovers at the end of the day. Of course you’re going to be tired from being a Mommy but it sounds like you have a fabulous relationship & that just means that your husbands arms around you at night will make all the days troubles melt away. 🙂

    I know you will enjoy every minute of your pregnancy, the good & the bad, because you’re growing a precious little soul inside of you. You will truly be a great Mother! 🙂

    Love IN Him,
    Haley Travis
    Ft. Payne church of Christ

  35. I didn’t read everyone’s comments after I read your mom’s & cried, but we have two little ones on Earth to enjoy now, one on the way, & three others in Heaven. Motherhood is not easy-I learned that before any of our babies were even born, but it is SUCH a blessing! I’m praying for a healthy & happy mommy & baby (& daddy too!)! Smile & move on when these crazy people say things!
    This is all you need to know:
    Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5 ESV)

  36. Everything about being a mom is worth it. Yes, there are times when you will be a bit tired and overwhelmed but that is so minor when compared to the God-sent joy of training, guiding and enriching a little soul. Your child will want with all their little heart, to be you! It amazes me when I hear some of the things our Genesis says and I hear myself, when I see her walking around in my shoes and in my scarfs… she wants to be me. This makes me realize continuously that I need to be like Christ because she will do her best to be like me. I think because people assume you know that the love motherhood will bring is “a given” they are quick to lay out some of the realities that accompany that territory. But let me assure you Hannah (and every first time mom), everything about that combination of you and Ben in a tiny human God specially designed to complement your family, will be amazing and picture worthy. Prepare for the Best 18 years ever followed by a lifetime of beauty when you become the respected and beloved friend of that adult Christian man or woman you carefully parented and groomed. Safe delivery !

  37. Pingback: Maternal Merriment | The Heart of Hannah

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