Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I remember how it felt to be the only one who held them.

As they sat cradled under my heart, sometimes resting in my ribs. Tucked in beneath the warmth, and love, and layers—there they sat. They heard the beat of my heart, the rush of my blood, they were more a part of me than the hair on my head, or the pounding in my chest. So, the other night, when I sat there pleading my case as to why another baby just felt right, I understood his confusion. When he asked me, “Why? Don’t you remember how hard it was, how sick you were, how can you forget all of that?”

I remember how it felt to be the only one who held them, and that is something he will never understand.

I felt them grow, watching with my own two eyes, sometimes in disbelief that anything so magical could be happening to my body. I felt their first kicks, and jabs at 2 a.m. I slept restlessly, trying to find any comfortable position. There were bathroom runs every hour, and chugging apple juice from the carton at midnight. At times, I was curled up in the bathroom, next to the toilet, telling myself to be thankful for this sickness because it’s a sign my baby is healthy. Moments I sat quietly asking my body, and God to give them the best parts of me, no matter the cost. Calculating every morsel I put into my mouth, remembering religiously to take my vitamins. Feeling the pressure to make sure they were OK, from the moment I knew they arrived.

I remember how it felt to be the only one who held them, and that is why.

It’s why I pee when I laugh, or sneeze, or release my inner child on a trampoline. It’s why I have ripples that sit somewhere between my belly button and pelvis—and why I run my fingers over them, appreciating every single one. It’s why my breasts are softer, and my eyes are more tired. It’s why I can be happy, and sad, and everything in between within a matter of seconds.

I remember how it felt. Because of that, the pain, the hurt, the sacrifices, and the ache in my bones will be a small price to pay for the weight of their body in my arms, and the joy they add to my life. It’s why my heart aches for my husband, that it’s impossible for him to hold them the way that I did, and why I thank God every night for giving me the opportunity. 

I watched their movement under the skin of my belly—wondering what they’ll look like, and who they are going to be. And then they came, and I forgot how hard it was, it somehow washed away all the difficult parts, because really . . . anything pales in comparison.

And I will never forget how it felt to be the only one who held them. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Kayla Friehe

Kayla Friehe is a wife and mother of two young boys. She loves wine, chocolate, and binge watching Netflix-- sometimes all at once. In her spare time she enjoys blogging about motherhood and day dreaming of sleep. 

Now I Know How a Mother Is Made

In: Motherhood
Husband, wife, and young son, color photo

It’s been almost three years now, but I can still remember how your 8-pound body felt in my arms. Night after night as we tried to sleep, I remember your sounds, your movements, and your tiny hands. I gave it my all but still felt I fell short. You see sweet little one, you may have been brand new to this world, but so was I. The day you were born, a mother was born too. Things didn’t always go according to plan. It’s hard when you try your best, but you just can’t get there. So many new things...

Keep Reading

Going to Church with Kids is Hard but We’ll Keep Showing Up

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young daughter in church

Going to church is hard with young kids. It used to be something I looked forward to. It’s something I’ve always valued deeply and needed desperately. It’s the one place that will always be home regardless of what location or building it’s in or what people attend. Church is my sanctuary. But it’s become a battle with the kids’ resistance, my tired mind and body, and my lack of ability to actually listen to the sermon. Going to church is hard with young kids. It’s become normal for me to lie down in bed on Saturday night thinking, with dread,...

Keep Reading

I’m Praying for My Teenager in These Challenging Years

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy holding a smartphone and wearing headphones

In my mid-40s, I began to long for a baby. We didn’t get much encouragement from friends and family. My husband is a high-functioning quadriplegic, and I was considered way too old to start a family. But our marriage was stable, we were used to obstacles, we were financially prepared, emotionally experienced, and our careers were established. I began to paint my own sublime mental portrait of parenting tranquility. What could go wrong? At 48, I delivered a healthy baby boy, and he was perfect. We adored him. The baby we had longed for and prayed for, we had. And...

Keep Reading

When Motherhood Feels Like a Limitation

In: Faith, Motherhood
Ruth Chou Simons holding book

Twenty-one years ago, my husband Troy and I welcomed our first son into the world. Two years later, I gave birth to another boy. And again two years later, and again two years after that. A fifth boy joined our family another two years later, and a final son was born 11 years after we began our parenting journey. If you were counting, you’re not mistaken—that’s six sons in just over a decade. We were overjoyed and more than a little exhausted. I remember feeling frustrated with the limitations of the little years with young children when I was a...

Keep Reading

I Obsessed over Her Heartbeat Because She’s My Rainbow Baby

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother and teen daughter with ice cream cones, color photo

I delivered a stillborn sleeping baby boy five years before my rainbow baby. I carried this sweet baby boy for seven whole months with no indication that he wouldn’t live. Listening to his heartbeat at each prenatal visit until one day there was no heartbeat to hear. It crushed me. ”I’m sorry but your baby is dead,” are words I’ll never be able to unhear. And because of these words, I had no words. For what felt like weeks, I spoke only in tears as they streamed down my cheeks. But I know it couldn’t have been that long. Because...

Keep Reading

Here on the Island of Autism Parenting

In: Motherhood
Son on dad's shoulders looking at sunset over water

Hey, you. Yes, you there: mom to a kid on the spectrum. Well, you and I know they’re so much more than that. But sometimes those few words seem so all-consuming. So defining. So defeating. I see you when you’re done. That was me earlier today. I had to send a picture of a broken windshield to my husband. I prefaced the picture with the text, “You’re going to be so mad.” And you know what? He saw the picture, read my text, and replied, “I love you. The windshield can be fixed. Don’t worry. Just come home.” I think,...

Keep Reading

Round 2 in the Passenger Seat is Even Harder

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy behind the wheel, color photo

Here I am, once again, in the passenger seat. The driver’s side mirrors are adjusted a little higher. The seat is moved back to fit his growing teenage limbs. The rearview mirror is no longer tilted to see what’s going on in the backseat. Yellow stickers screaming “Student Driver,” are plastered to the sides of the car. The smile on his face is noticeable. The fear in mine is hard to hide. These are big moments for both of us. For him, it’s the beginning of freedom. Exiting the sidestreets of youth and accelerating full speed into the open road...

Keep Reading

We’re Walking the Road of Twin Loss Together

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother and son walk along beach holding hands

He climbed into our bed last week, holding the teddy bear that came home in his twin brother’s hospital grief box almost 10 years earlier. “Mom, I really miss my brother. And do you see that picture of me over there with you, me and his picture in your belly? It makes me really, really sad when I look at it.” A week later, he was having a bad day and said, “I wish I could trade places with my brother.” No, he’s not disturbed or mentally ill. He’s a happy-go-lucky little boy who is grieving the brother who grew...

Keep Reading

Somewhere Between Wife and Mom, There Is a Woman

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman standing alone in field smiling

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember there is a woman behind the mom. At home, you feel caught between two worlds. Mom world and wife world. Sometimes it’s hard to balance both. We don’t exactly feel sexy in our leggings and messy mom bun. We don’t feel sexy at the end of the day when we are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from being a mom all day. The truth is we want to feel like ourselves again. We just aren’t sure where we fit in anymore. RELATED: I Fear I’ve Lost Myself To Motherhood We know the kids only stay...

Keep Reading

Until I See You in Heaven, I’ll Cherish Precious Memories of You

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Toddler girl with bald head, color photo

Your memory floats through my mind so often that I’m often seeing two moments at once. I see the one that happened in the past, and I see the one I now live each day. These two often compete in my mind for importance. I can see you in the play of all young children. Listening to their fun, I hear your laughter clearly though others around me do not. A smile might cross my face at the funny thing you said once upon a time that is just a memory now prompted by someone else’s young child. The world...

Keep Reading