So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

When I found out I was pregnant with you, there was a rush of emotions. 
 
Soon after, there was a rush to the bathroom as I battled morning sickness for almost half my pregnancy. It didn’t matter if it was morning, noon, or night—for months, I could barely keep anything down. I dreaded getting into a car because I knew the inevitable would happen. I dreaded going anywhere actually, and it seemed that I would be sick the entire pregnancy. 
 
But you were worth it. 

A few months before my due date your dad and I were taking a tour of the hospital where I would eventually meet you when we passed a woman in a wheelchair who had just given birth. She looked happy, but dazed. Behind her walked her equally dazed husband, who also looked terrified as he was charged with pushing their newborn down the hallway. Moments later we passed what I can only guess was the delivery room. Nurses were whipping out soiled sheets and all I could think was, “What am I in for?” 

Two months later, I became that dazed woman being wheeled down the hallway by a friendly nurse. Your dad carefully pushed you behind me making sure to go slowly over any bumps. Thankfully, we didn’t pass any tour groups, but instead, many nurses who offered their congrats. 
 
I smiled and thanked them, still quite frankly, shell-shocked by what just happened. The pain, the exhaustion, it was all there. There were moments where I literally didn’t think I could go on any longer. Sometime during it I told your dad you would be our only child. 
 
But we got through it. And when they placed you in my arms the pain stopped and you were so worth it.
 
But then just a few days later the hospital sent us home and I felt completely ill-equipped to be your mom. I didn’t know how to nurse you properly. What did I do if you cried? Do I wake you when you need to eat? What is the proper way to hold you? 
 
Then there were the sleepless nights. For many days and weeks we would just finish feeding you when it seemed like we were supposed to start the whole process again. Exhaustion set in like I’ve never felt before. 
 
But every time I got to look at you, hold your little hand, or see you smile, I knew you were so worth it. 
 
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry often during this period—one half from hormones and the other from pure exhaustion.
 
Slowly but surely, I began to hit my stride though. I don’t know if you got easier or I just learned a thing or two, but each day started to feel a little more normal. When I looked at you I thought my heart would actually burst with how much I loved you. 
 
Each smile, each coo and each little milestone you bring me joy in a way I didn’t know existed. 
 
It’s then that, probably like many mothers, I began to think, “Yes, I could do this again. Yes, it was difficult, but she was so, so worth it.”

Sarah Althouse

Sarah is a Buffalo transplant living in Washington, D.C. with her husband Josh and cat Squeakers. By day she work as a Communications Director for a Member of Congress; by night she dreams of being Martha Stewart. She also loves pigs, peonies, politics and peanut butter. Follow her at http://prettysimpleideas.com/

What I Wish Someone Would’ve Told Me About Gender Disappointment

In: Baby, Motherhood
Pregnant couple holding boy or girl sign

I was in the corner of my closet hiding behind my wedding dress and every formal I’ve ever owned. It was dark, stuffy, and felt like a good place to hide. I’d just found out I was having a boy, and I was devastated in ways I didn’t think possible and was trying to hide what I was feeling from the world around me.  What kind of mother isn’t completely enamored with her baby-to-be? Did this make me a monster? I should have been happy. After all, I was having a healthy baby. That’s like winning the lottery. Instead, I...

Keep Reading

The Conversation We’re Forgetting To Have About Birth

In: Baby, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman having a baby man holding her hand

My husband lay sleeping, his head resting on a fluffy, down-stuffed pillow in our hotel room. His bag was packed neatly, ESPN was playing quietly in the background, and he had unopened snacks at his disposal on the end table. Our hotel phone rang, and my husband groggily answered, ”Yes? Oh, sorry. Yeah, we’ll keep it down. Sorry.” He hung up and found me miserable and shaky in the shower, the thin shower curtain clinging to my legs.  “Steph, we got a noise complaint. You have to keep it down!” he whispered. This is not how I expected labor to...

Keep Reading

Bathtime Washes Away the Struggles of the Day

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler

It’s 7 p.m., which means bathtime at our house. I close the drain and fill the tub with warm water. I pump Johnson’s baby soap—the water and soap swirl together and form bubbles. The bubbles dance on top of the water, just waiting to cleanse my baby boy. I toss in your foam alphabet letters, Mr. Shark, and Mr. Penguin.  I place you in the bath and lather baby soap in my hands and give you a soapy mohawk. You are barely one and still my baby, but your four fat teeth make you look older. You chew on the...

Keep Reading

This May Be the Last Time I See Those Two Pink Lines

In: Baby, Motherhood

My little caboose, I’ve just finished staring at the two pink lines. It’s not the first time. In fact, I’ve done this twice before, and each time, I am filled with the same disbelief, gratitude, and pure joy. But something is a little different this time. Unless God has different plans for us, this may be the last time I see those pink lines. And that realization makes me want to hold onto all of the last firsts we will experience together with all my might. The two pink lines. The first time we hear your precious heartbeat. RELATED: Dear...

Keep Reading

Nothing Prepared Me To Be a Medical Mom

In: Baby, Motherhood
Baby boy sitting in mom's lap

I never saw it coming. The hours spent at doctor appointments, the coordination between specialists, the adding and subtracting of prescriptions—I never saw any of it coming.  I had a healthy pregnancy. Baby had a strong heartbeat at every appointment, and the anatomy scan showed an energetic, growing babe. There were no indicators that my water would break prematurely, that we would experience time in the NICU. Nothing hinted toward a hidden genetic condition or brain malformation that would complicate our child’s care. Nothing prepared me to be a medical mom. It was something that came fast and furious. Something...

Keep Reading

To My Firstborn: A New Baby May Divide My Attention But Not My Love

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood

Sweet babe, have you heard the news? You’re going to be a big sibling! Our family is growing, and there will be a new, squishy baby to love on and to welcome home.  This baby will be a little different from your baby doll. This baby won’t need you to feed them toy carrots or make them beds of blankets. But, they will definitely need your sweet kisses and lullabies. It’s made my heart melt watching how loving and attentive you are, and I know you’ll be ready for this new role as a big sibling.  It will be beautiful,...

Keep Reading

Everything Feels Wrong During Pregnancy After Loss

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman with baby sitting outside on blanket, color photo

To the woman who is pregnant after a loss, I see you. I know this should be such an exciting time in your life, but you have been cheated of being able to feel that way again. It is so unfair. I see you trying so hard to not get ahead of yourself after you receive that positive test result. You want to feel happiness and excitement, but you force yourself to be cautious just in case. I know you are trying to protect your heart. I recognize that you are over-analyzing every cramp, pull, and tug you feel. You...

Keep Reading

The Newborn Nights Feel As Endless As My Love For You

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother sleeping next to infant, black-and-white photo

In the dark, the moments stretch too long between sleep. All night we listen for your calls: puckering cherub lips, chirps, whines, and wails. Three weeks, now, without a full night’s rest. Three weeks since this whole ordeal began. At first, we tried trading shifts in the night. In the orange and teal baby room, dim and quiet, three hours long and lonely—I thought of birth. How invincible I felt. I tried to make the strength translate. I can get through this sleepless night, I told myself. I can bear your endless feeding and howls. I can. Later, we were...

Keep Reading

I Will Forever Carry Both Life and Death

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Infant lying in bed next to matching empty bed, color photo

I have experienced the miracle of feeling life move within me. I have felt the pain and devastation of carrying a life I’d never have the chance to meet. Nothing prepared me for the bittersweet feeling of experiencing both at the same time. Celebrating the beating heart of one baby while mourning the stillness of the other. Wishing to not see a reminder of what you’ve lost but knowing that would be detrimental to what you still have. RELATED: Twin Loss Splits a Mother’s Heart in Two Catching glimpses as your ultrasound tech tries to quickly zoom past to not cause...

Keep Reading

How Do You Know If You’re Meant to Have Another Baby?

In: Baby, Motherhood

“I think I want just one more baby.” I stood at my infant’s changing table peering into his sweet eyes. Another set of eyes turned up to me from the diaper pail, wide and knowing. “I just don’t know about that,” my husband sent up as he held his breath tying off the bag full of dirty diapers. “I just feel like I have a lot of love left to give,” I responded, and he just looked at me, but I knew what he was thinking because I was thinking it too. I know I have a lot of love...

Keep Reading
Mother Holding Baby

5 Truths Every New Mom Needs to Hear

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Encouragement for the early days

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections