So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I didn’t understand why my friend recommended extra ice for afterward. I was eight months pregnant and the women in my office stood around discussing labor and delivery. At my blank face, they burst into laughter but no one clarified why I would need ice.

A month later, I lay spread eagle on the delivery table, fiery sensations shooting upward from my nether regions. Four and a half hours later, I pushed out a baby whale. Exhausted, I fell against the pillows as they handed me my brand new, not-so-cute, cone-headed baby. The nurse peeked over my knees and asked if I would like ice.


For what? I thought new moms fed their babies milk, not ice chips.

Turns out the ice brings relief to your vagina.

My first experience with pregnancy and labor churned out many humiliating incidents and new experiences. I wish more moms had given helpful advice to me before I delivered that first baby. Why do women scare new moms with horror stories, leaving out the practical advice? Is there some mom code that keeps the most private information secret?

Most new moms sign up for Lamaze classes, tour the hospital, visit the nursery, meet all the doctors in the OB/GYN practice, and they, like me, think that’s it. The thrilling trips to Target and Babies ‘R Us, scanning all the baby items you could ever need plus that chocolate candy bar mama needs in her hospital stash, is a blast. The hospital bag, filled to the brim with mama’s new nursing nightgown, cute (but oversized) undies, an adorable, freshly-washed outfit to bring the baby home, sits by the front door, ready to grab at a moment’s notice.

But there’s more.

There are secret things you need to know about pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

Six kids later, I’m sharing 10 things no one ever tells you about delivering a baby.

  1. You might pee yourself. No one shares this humiliating advice, but that wet feeling falling down your leg might just be a leaky bladder. Hold off calling all the family until the doctor confirms you are indeed in labor.
  2. Remove the underwear. I’m not kidding. My nurse took one look at my frantic face, marched me back in the bathroom, and demanded I take off my panties to deliver this baby. Eleven years later, I still don’t know how she knew that.
  3. Your strong, fearless husband may faint during the epidural. To this day, my husband denies it, but during our second delivery, he passed out from seeing the anesthesiologist cram a 10” needle in my back. Just make sure the oxygen near the labor bed is ready.
  4. The doctor may CUT you down there. On purpose.
  5. Your business isn’t off limits to anyone anymore. Be prepared for doctors, nurses, interns, janitorial staff, and the registrar to see your naked self. Because apparently there’s no such thing as modesty or privacy in the hospital anymore.
  6. Ask for the ice. You’ll want ice to pack your nether regions after pushing out a 9 lb 10 oz baby with shoulder dystocia who resisted greeting the world. Ice packs are refreshing, soothing, and calming after the harrowing labor of pushing that baby whale out. Ask for extra ice.
  7. Skip the frou-frou undies. You’ll wear ugly granny panties the size of your hospital bed with super thick pads stuck all in them. Embrace it. You’ll save money and preserve your pretty panties.
  8. Plan for high blood pressure. The birth of a new baby brings out the best and worst in all of us. Too many crazy family members crowding around your prince or princess might result in high bp for you. The nurses will kindly request their departure and return to you the sweet bundle of joy.
  9. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Most babies don’t fall right into the routine of sleeping at night and playing during the day so get your rest during the day when they’re sleeping because you’ll likely both be up all night long at first.
  10. Save the housekeeping for another time. Let your visitors switch over a load of laundry or sweep the floor. Babies don’t keep, so snuggle and love on them while you can. You’ll miss those days of pulling them to your chest, breathing in their soft, sweet scent and thanking God for another precious blessing.

Birthing babies is an incredible experience. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be for that first time in the delivery room. I hope these 10 tips help you new mamas and if you know an expectant mama, share these with her!

I know I’m not the only one who was surprised by my first experience with delivery. What was your biggest surprise delivering your babies?

Amanda Wells

Amanda Wells is the proud wife of a smokin’ hot third-generation farmer, and they have taken Psalm 127:5 literally, raising their quiverful of six kids on the farm. She loves baking, reading, writing, and arithmetic (kidding!). Amanda writes about faith, homeschooling on the farm, and family life at

My Little Girl Has Big, Brave Dreams

In: Kids, Motherhood
School paper with little girl's handwriting, color photo

My 6-year-old daughter wants to be a soldier.   When we heard from the ultrasound tech that we were having another girl, that was not exactly the career path that popped into our heads.   There’s something absolutely terrifying knowing your child wants to do something big like this. I’m sure I’d be petrified if I had a son with the same ambition, but there’s something extra scary about it being your little girl. There’s something weighty about raising a daughter who wants to be a soldier. But honestly, it’s not a surprise at all. RELATED: God Has Filled Your...

Keep Reading

As My Children Grow, I Miss It All—Even the Sick Days

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toddler on mom's shoulder

I whisk my daughter through the doors of urgent care and cradle her head as I stand behind three other mamas clinging to their babies. We’re each rocking in different ways but moving nonetheless. The silent, comforting rhythm of motherhood. I see sad, sick eyes from the babies with their heads nestled into the necks of their mama. I’m tired from the sleepless night, and I shift from foot to foot. There is hushing and humming and back-patting. A pacifier drops to the floor. All of a sudden my daughter feels heavy. A vague sinking feeling comes over me, like...

Keep Reading

Life with Autism Is Full of Ticking Time Bombs

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother, father, teen daughter, color photo

Many of us who live with autism are familiar with the comings and goings of the ticking time bomb—one that disappears for periods of time, so much so that we might forget about it. Then, suddenly, this bomb drops at our doorstep in the form of a returning or new obstacle, so intense that it causes us to pause our lives, alter our plans, maybe even change our current paths. For our family, the new challenge has been sudden, piercing, sporadic screams. Not constant, not even often, thankfully, but jolting nonetheless. So here we were, in the midst of our...

Keep Reading

Youth Sports Build Strong Kids

In: Kids
Young girl with gymnastics medal, color photo

My kids are heavily involved in sports. My son plays for an elite basketball team and my daughter competes on an Xcel gymnastics team. It takes up a lot of our time and a lot of our money. Even though prioritizing youth sports seems to be an American norm, we still sometimes receive criticism and judgment as to why we would spend so much of our time and resources on it. (“Don’t you know the chances of your child going pro is less than 1%?”) As I sat at my daughter’s gymnastics meet, listening to the parents cheer so excitedly...

Keep Reading

Don’t Let Anyone Rush You, Mama

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother with two kids at home relaxing

From the moment our children are born, other people make it challenging to stay in the present moment—they start asking questions that look forward instead of at the now we are in. Can you believe how big she’s getting, where did your newborn go? Oh my goodness, he’ll be walking any day now! Are you thinking about preschool? What will you do when they’re both in school? What will you do when your baby goes to college? While these questions may come with good intentions, they’re not helpful at all. We moms need to be allowed to be fully in...

Keep Reading

Dear Child, God Sees All of You—And So Do I

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mom and young son painting together

Math has always come easily to him. Even from the beginning stages when we counted wooden blocks on the living room floor, the numbers just came to him. “How many blocks are there?” I asked him, pointing to the scattered row of blocks. I expected him to count them. He was only three or four years old. “Six,” he answered promptly. “Yes . . . but how did you know that?” I asked hesitantly. He had not taken the time necessary to have counted them. “Three and three are six,” he replied. And on it went. The math came easily,...

Keep Reading

Kids Crave Your Time, Not Fancy Things

In: Kids, Motherhood
Dad and daughter with basketball smiling

I have four kids, and like most parents, I’m doing my best to give them a happy childhood, but we’re not really an activity family. Don’t get me wrong, we love a good day trip to the local water park or a night out at the movies, but with several different ages and a tight budget, activities or outings are rare for us. Sometimes I end up feeling bad about it, like our kids are missing out, but then I take a deep breath and realize that some of the best moments come from the simplest of things. Lucky for...

Keep Reading

Dear Kindergarten Graduate—Wherever Life Takes You, I’ll Always Be Your Safe Place To Land

In: Kids, Motherhood

I cried on your first day of kindergarten. Did you know that? I held it together through the getting ready and the goodbyes—but once I had waved one last time and was pulling out of the parking lot, the lump in my throat poured out as hot tears down my cheeks.  How could you be starting kindergarten? You, my precious firstborn baby. We had some growing pains as we adjusted to a new routine. The school days were so long. I spent my days missing you and you spent yours missing me. We were apart from each other more than...

Keep Reading

The Secret to Slowing Down Time Is to Notice the Moments You’re Living In

In: Kids, Motherhood

Dear current self, You’ve heard a lot of mothers admonish you to slow down and enjoy every moment with your children. They’ve warned you with phrases like “before you know it,”  “in the blink of an eye,” and other cliché’s that haven’t really hit you, but they will. Soon, they will. I am writing you now because I’ve seen you trying to wrap your mind around the how-to—as if holding time in your hand is a skill anyone has successfully mastered. I’ll save you the suspense. It can’t be done. It is inevitable. Your kids are going to grow up....

Keep Reading

You Don’t Have to Celebrate a Holiday Just Because It’s On the Calendar

In: Kids, Living

I switched on the computer, adjusted my chair, then quickly swiveled back around again toward my husband, “Are you sure? You don’t mind?” “Me?” he made a swift waving motion as if swatting a fly. “Psht. Yeah, I’m fine with it. You?” He lifted his head and locked our eyes a little more securely, “Are you sure?” “Yes,” I said firmly, without hesitation. “OK, good,” my man turned back to his phone, “Love you.” “Good,” I confirmed. A rush of relief swept through me as muscles I didn’t even know were tense suddenly relaxed. A bubbling surge of energy had...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids


Proven techniques to build REAL connections