Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

I sat in my son’s nursery during a 3 a.m. feed—my tired eyes scanning the room, desperate to stay awake. I had the closet light on, leaving the rest of the room dimly lit in an attempt to keep James as sleepy as possible. My eyes fell on the illuminated closet, recalling the many days my husband and I spent nesting—both anxiously terrified and excitedly elated. As the coming of our son drew nearer, the loss of our previous pregnancy grew louder.

In that closet, each blanket washed, each bottle sanitized, each swaddle folded held with it so much hope—both naïve and knowing. Naïve in the idea that we will get to meet our baby and watch him enjoy all of the contents in the closet. Knowing in the fact that sometimes, that naïve hope is the exact hope that devastates you.

RELATED: Pregnancy After Loss Came With an Unexpected Side Effect

That naïve hope is the hope that creates a full, perfect pregnancy and a perfect happily ever after, all within seconds of seeing two lines on a pregnancy test. The naïve hope keeps you from going down—and staying—in the rabbit hole of what-ifs. It encourages you that this time will be different. This time, you will watch the life grow in black and white pixelated screens as weeks of appointments tick by. This time, the rapid changes in your body will be badges of honor. This time, you will meet your baby alive.

But you need both. Both hopes are equally important. Equally necessary.

James squirmed his sweet newborn squirm and peeked up at me, his blinking blue eyes stopping my heart for the millionth time in just under a month. The naïve hope and the knowing hope: both got us to this point.

Peering back up at the overstuffed closet, this thought was affirmed more and more. I saw the six-month sized Christmas onesies, complete with matching sets for myself and my husband, hanging in the far right side of the closet. The first set of baby Mickey ears tucked neatly behind. The tub filled with feeding supplies for the days to come of solid food introduction. The gradually growing in size row of diapers on the top shelf. The 800 baby wipes.

RELATED: A Mother’s Love Can’t Be Measured In Weeks

All of these gifts brought to us with colorful bows and beaming loved ones’ smiles. These gifts brought the naïve hope. As we rubbed my growing belly during those nine months, these gifts told us our son will be in family photos. He will meet Santa. He will run into Mickey’s arms. He will spit squished avocado at us. His little booty will grow and grow, and all 800 of those baby wipes will be gone in a flash. These naïve hope gifts encouraged us when the rubs on my belly were fearful and uncertain.

This baby will make it. This sweet little boy will make it.

From scanning the closet, my eyes then fell onto my direct surroundings. The plush blanket for post-surgery comfort. The compression socks. The ridiculously fluffy slippers. The oversized sweater draped on the armrest. The heating pad at my back, soothing my changing postpartum body. These gifts brought the knowing hope. These gifts said, “Even if . . .”

Even if the unspeakable happens again. Even if the growing belly stops growing before it should. Even if you lose yet another life . . . You are supported. You are loved. You are lifted up.

My eyes filled with tears as I connected these dots. The naïve hope and the knowing hope: sometimes, we need both.

RELATED: A Rainbow Baby Helps Heal a Broken Heart, but the Scars of Loss Remain

In the job interview after a layoff, on the first date after a heartbreak, in the new test results after an uncertain diagnosis, in pregnancy after loss: you need both hopes.

I looked down at my little squirmer as he started to drift off to sleep. The rainbow baby swaddle draped loosely around him with his newly grown into size one diapers peeking out. I listened to his sweet little snore grow and smiled—heart enveloped in intensifying gratitude.

The naïve hope and the knowing hope is what brought us here—pushing through every devastation and crippling worry—to finally watch the fruits of both perfectly hold our hands in our finish line to our rainbow.

A job interview after a layoff, a first date after a heartbreak, new test results after an uncertain diagnosis, a pregnancy after loss: I hope you allow yourself to have both hopes, and I hope you are surrounded by many who do the same. Both hopes will lead you. Both hopes will understand you.

And even if . . . You are supported. You are loved. You are lifted up.

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

Kelsey Pfleiderer

Kelsey Pfleiderer is a writer from small town Ohio, now residing in the Florida Keys with her husband, rainbow baby boy and feisty orange neighborhood cat. After being diagnosed with a rare spinal tumor in the fall of 2017, she left her career in corporate events to pursue her deepest dream of writing full time. She founded her site, aperture expanding, where she candidly shares her heart on marriage, motherhood, chronic illness and more. She believes that by embracing our scars, both physical and emotional, we can create a roadmap that leads us to the life we were made to lead. She can be found on her Instagram at @kelsey.pfleiderer and her author Facebook page at Kelsey Pfleiderer.

She’s My Rainbow Baby, but I Wasn’t Ready

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding baby girl in front of Christmas tree, color photo

On January 30, 2021 we lost our baby boy. I’d carried him for nearly 15 weeks when my water unexpectedly broke one night, and we miscarried. Just over a year later on February 10, 2022, I found out I was pregnant with our rainbow baby.  But I wasn’t ready.  I recall feeling out of sorts, thinking the last time I felt this way was during my first pregnancy, but there was no way we could be pregnant again. I anxiously awaited the results of a pregnancy test, and there it was: two pink lines.  But I wasn’t ready.   RELATED: Sometimes...

Keep Reading

This Little Life Changed Everything

In: Baby, Motherhood
Newborn photo of baby's hand, color photo

I get to run today. Yes, you read that correctly—I get to, not have to—and that’s a big and powerful difference. To say the past few months have been a whirlwind would be an understatement: a move to a new house . . . during the final days of pregnancy . . . with an earlier-than-expected labor that was wild, crazy, terrifying, complicated, and beautiful, perfect because of what it culminated in–new life and new perspective . . . followed by the Dreft-scented, snuggle-heavy, sleep-deprived days of life with a newborn. After all of this, I can honestly say life will...

Keep Reading

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