Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

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.”
So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

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/

Why Is It So Hard To Admit Our Own Postpartum Struggles?

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn close up

I recently attended physical therapy in an attempt to put my parts back together after having my second child. My physical therapist was also a young mom so we began talking about the various stages our children have passed through. At one point, she asked me if I had experienced any postpartum depression or anxiety. Without hesitation, I said no and then quickly backtracked and said, “Well, some difficult thoughts so yeah, I guess that would be postpartum anxiety.” After fumbling through my explanation, I immediately felt slightly ashamed for dismissing the notion so quickly and also a sudden urge...

Keep Reading

Worrying Is Part of the Job

In: Baby, Motherhood
Woman's hands holding baby head

My baby girl is four. How did four years go so fast? It blows my mind how much children develop in a short amount of time. One day they can’t lift their heads and then suddenly they’re shouting, “Go away, Mommy!” Lucy is my rainbow baby. She was born on a Wednesday evening in October. Our first day with her, we rested and gazed at our little creation. At midnight on Friday, we sent Lucy to the nursery so I could rest. At 2 a.m. a doctor rushed in. He flicked on the lights. Our tired eyes were blinded. “Lucy...

Keep Reading

I’m Sorry It Didn’t Come Naturally

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn in hospital, color photo

I should have spent every waking moment with you. I should have been right there by your side through every difficult and challenging moment you faced. I should have moved hell and high water to make sure I was there. But I didn’t. And I should have. I’m sorry the first days of your precious little life were filled with strangers and wires and loud noises. I’m sorry you were being poked and prodded from the moment you finally opened those little eyes. I’m sorry that the angel nurses of the NICU were there for you when your mommy should...

Keep Reading

Dear Sophia’s Mama

In: Baby, Motherhood
Baby in isolette inside NICU

I think about you often. I noticed you on our second day in the NICU. I was in the hallway in front of your daughters’ room speaking with our nurse. You looked up from your chair and tried to smile. As I walked away, I looked at the nameplate on the door. Sophia. From where the rocking chair was in our room, I could see out our door to Sophia’s room. Over the next few days, I noticed your daughter’s door proudly displayed several milestones. “Off ventilator” and “first-time mommy held you” made me realize you were seasoned here. Your...

Keep Reading

The End of Maternity Leave Makes a Mother’s Heart Ache

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant on shoulder

As my last week of maternity leave begins, my heart feels heavier and heavier in my chest. I can’t fall asleep at night for fear that I haven’t fully appreciated this time with my sweet baby girl. I know plenty of moms who find joy in returning to their old routines. Mamas who feel peace in knowing they can unlock a part of themselves they haven’t used in 12 weeks.  As for me, I’m filled with an anxiety I’ve never felt before. I’ve waited my whole life to be someone’s mama. I’m doing it for the first time, and while...

Keep Reading

Hyper-what? The Toll of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

In: Baby, Motherhood
woman with morning sickness in bathroom

Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Hyper-what? It sounded like some fancy medical diagnosis that would never touch my life, but . . . alas, here I am several months deep. I remember briefly hearing about Kate Middleton’s battle with it, but I never thought it would affect my own life, especially after having four prior uncomplicated pregnancies and births. I want to share my personal story because I’ve been lucky enough to find a few fellow moms who shared their stories with me. Without the help of those who had experienced the diagnosis, been transparent about it, and made it out on the...

Keep Reading

Time Moves a Little Faster with You, My Last Baby

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Woman hugging toddler

Something about that last bottle of formula I made, it makes me wonder where did this last year go? I feel like I just brought you home from the hospital. In the middle of a pandemic. We had no visitors like we did with your brothers. No cards, no flowers, just me, you, and daddy. Those 2.5 days flew, and we were on our way home. Time moves a little faster with you. You’re our last baby, and I am about to make the last bottle of formula for you, the last everything. It all hits me at once. This...

Keep Reading

I Carry the Baby I Lost In My Heart

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Early sonogram image of baby

I ignored it at first, the pink on the tissue. It wasn’t anything to worry about. I’d known for three weeks at this point that I was expecting baby number three, and I was still giddy about it. In fact, I had just shared my news with people at work and told them when I was due.  I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.  So, when I visited the bathroom, I ignored it.  Two healthy textbook pregnancies and births, why would this be any different?  But, looking back, there was a little nagging voice at the back of my...

Keep Reading

Don’t Fear the Gap

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Baby lying on mother's chest, black-and-white photo

I was afraid of the gap. You know, the one where you have some kids and then wait several years to have another? That gap. When we moved here, we kept all the baby things because we weren’t ready to say we were done but weren’t ready to start over. Moving to the farm brought wayyy more chores than our neighborhood home and adding a tiny human to that mix felt a bit crazy. RELATED: I’ll Always Want Another Baby There were months of back and forth . . . talk of barefoot baby feet stomping all over this place...

Keep Reading

Having a Late Preterm Baby Is Hard Too

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant, color photo

I see you, mama, who holds her breath while they bag your brand-new baby. Asking “is she okay?” and being met with “everything is fine” when you know that everything is not fine. The baby who was due in just a few weeks. The baby, who just a few hours earlier, you joked “wanted to surprise us early.” The baby who was fine on the monitors just minutes before. I see you, mama, when they tell you they are transporting your baby to the NICU. The baby you held for five minutes before they took her to the nursery for...

Keep Reading