Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

You’re tucked in and prayers are said. Last sips of water, last hugs, last kissing hands, and I have to pull away and close the door because I don’t want to leave. You say your room can be scary, you say you sleep better with mommy, but what I don’t whisper is, my room is really where the fear lives.

“Mommy pleeeease can we sleep in your bed?” You whine.

My head bows and shakes with a small smile on my lips. There is no conviction in my denial of your request.

Which one of you is speaking isn’t significant. The pleading is universal to both my lovely girls. The desire to be near me is one you share. A trait that proves nurture has outmuscled the nature that created you in my womb, five months after your sister was formed in her birth mothers.

“No baby.” I respond.

There is a pause, an opening you recognize, but I don’t allow you to continue. I know it’s a school night and you two need your rest. And I need to allow your daddy some part of me after I’ve willingly given everything I have to parenting over the last eight years.

But I don’t want to leave you.

The bed of mine you so love, the pillow that often holds your thick brown hair tousled over your closed eyes and still baby cheeks; at times, terrifies me.

Years ago I would stay up at night worrying you would never find me. The endless miscarriages and infertility and failed attempts to grow you left me sleepless. The shots your daddy gave me before bed were the last thing I thought about before laying down my head. It was impossible to turn off the high-pitched noise in my mind created by all the what-ifs and past loss.

The times when I was pregnant the last thing I would think before I went to my bed was, please Lord let me keep this child. Afraid as I lay there that my prayers weren’t heard. They always were of course, our God was with me in that bed holding me as I wept when I did loose baby after baby, unable to sleep for the cavernous ache that kept me awake.

Then you were growing in another woman and your sister was barely surviving in me and the fear seemed too much to bear. That bed, that pillow couldn’t compete with the constant catastrophizing that ran through my entire body.

And now you are both here, and healthy and mine. And your brother found and completed us. There are more blessings in our life than I could have dreamed. But dream isn’t the right word. It sounds blissful and enchanting, yet what happens when I try to close my eyes and drift, is sharp and haunting.

Face washed, teeth brushed, alarm set. Lights off and the panic begins to rise. It starts almost as a punch. First in my stomach than bleeds into my heart, into my arms, up to my cheeks and triggers my tears. How can I be so afraid, when the Lord has always come through? Yes, I lost. Yes there was pain, but there has been so much joy, more to celebrate than to grieve. Again my thoughts run wild, manically dancing from one crisis to the next, never pausing to catch a breath, making sleep itself, just a dream.

I rouse my buzzing body and walk quietly out of my seemingly busy room. Through the door down the hallway past the blue, boy’s room, jealously envisioning him in his safe and peaceful crib.

Oh to climb in and hold him.

Your door is slightly open, and as I walk through the light musty scent of you fills me immediately with calm. You both sleep. The comma shape your lithe form creates leaves your back exposed and only your arms and toes covered by the bright blue and white comforter you chose because of the dolphins that now dive around your feet. The soft fleece sheet is scrunched up at the bottom of the twin bed and I pull it up as I climb in next to you.

When you were small you would crawl up my body like a monkey, knees nearly touching your arms as you lay with your chest on my chest and fall asleep. Now the weight of you on me would be suffocating, but I long for that closeness so I nuzzle my shoulders to your back and wrap my arms around you protectively. I’ll never tire of holding you. I wonder when my own mother stopped cuddling with me. Or did I eventually push her away? Did she try again, would she now if I asked her? I would give anything for my mother to hold me right now.

The faint sound of your breathing, the smell of soil and water and brown sugar and the feel of your bones and hair and skin, calm my heart. The noise in my head stops. The chaos that was swirling blows away. Every fear I had in my room is replaced by the reality of you in yours.

“Hi Mommy.” You whisper.

“Hi baby, shhhhh now.” I reply, trying to prevent you from exiting that space between sleep and wake.

“I love you Mommy,” deep sigh, eyes still closed, nearly back to sleep. “Don’t leave Mommy,”

Oh baby, I never will.

You might also like:

Raising Our Kids Near Their Cousins is the Greatest Gift We Could Ever Give Them

Why Tired Mothers Stay Up So Late

But Mommy, You Were Too Busy

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here! 

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

Kerstin Lindquist

Kerstin Lindquist is a mom of three and the author of Where’s My Crown for Acting Like Everything is Fine? A Guide to Royally Surviving Life’s Waiting Periods, as wells as 5 Months Apart, a Story of Infertility, Faith and Grace. She is an award-winning broadcast news journalist, motivational speaker and host at the leading national home shopping channel. Kerstin and her husband live with their three children, on a sunny hill in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She wears a tiara at home to stay sane. They spend their free time in warm climates – preferably with sand.

To the Moms and Dads Who Suffer Loss: You Are Not Alone

In: Child Loss, Grief, Infertility, Motherhood
To the Moms and Dads Who Suffer Loss: You Are Not Alone www.herviewfromhome.com

You are walking the hardest path anyone will ever walk—living this life without your children. Your losses have come in many shapes and sizes. You’ve lost tiny heartbeats early in the womb. You’ve screamed and sobbed through labor to deliver a silent but perfect little bundle. You’ve held a fragile infant for hours, days, weeks, or months, only to give him back to Heaven. You’ve watched your little one grow into a curious toddler and then held her a final time as disease or an accident took her away. You’ve lived a full childhood with your baby and even watched...

Keep Reading

I Had Someone Else’s Baby: 5 Truths About Surrogacy

In: Infertility, Journal
I Had Someone Else's Baby: 5 Truths About Surrogacy www.herviewfromhome.com

“I could never carry a baby for nine months and then just give it away.” That’s what I have heard over and over again from the time I first expressed interest in becoming a gestational surrogate, and continue to hear today when I share that I am one month postpartum from delivering a baby via surrogacy. I am a 26-year-old married woman, mother of two beautiful children, and follower of Jesus. I carried a child in my body for 40 weeks one day, and I gave him back to his parents with nothing but absolutely joy in my heart. There...

Keep Reading

Infertility Has Refined My Marriage In Ways I Never Expected

In: Infertility, Relationships
Infertility Has Refined My Marriage In Ways I Never Expected www.herviewfromhome.com

Infertility gives marriage a brand new meaning, one most couples don’t anticipate ever having to deal with. It’s not part of the vision or dream of starting a family. It’s never in the plans. Infertility is just, well, not fun. It takes you and your marriage places you never thought it would go . . . To places filled with guilt, shame and envy. Guilt for feeling like the one who is broken. Shame for feeling like your body is incapable of doing what it is supposed to do. And envy of those it comes easily to. To a place of...

Keep Reading

I May Not Have My Own Kids, But I’m Still a Mom

In: Infertility, Motherhood
I May Not Have My Own Kids, But I'm Still a Mom www.herviewfromhome.com

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to be a mom. When I close my eyes, I can picture those early memories—me toting around my little Bitty Baby in a carrier while my mom pushed my little brother in the stroller. It is so ingrained in who I am as a person, that whether or not I would have kids was never a question, just how many and when.  But that all changed a few years ago when the doctors made it clear in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t in the picture for me, and a dream...

Keep Reading

5 Things I Wish People Knew About Infertility

In: Infertility
5 Things I Wish People Knew About Infertility www.herviewfromhome.com

It a day you never forget. The moment you learn you’re pregnant is an exciting time for most couples. But what happens when life doesn’t go as planned? I always assumed I would have the picture-perfect family. I imagined two children, a loving husband and a house with a white picket fence. But when my husband and I started trying, pregnancy wasn’t a reality. Month after month, the tears would form as I watched the “negative” boldly appear on the pregnancy test. As each year passed by, the frustration grew. Infertility throws couples through a roller coaster of emotions and...

Keep Reading

Infertility Wrecked Me and Made Me Stronger

In: Faith, Infertility, Motherhood
Infertility Wrecked Me and Made Me Stronger www.hervewfromhome.com

When one of our national treasures, DIY sweethearts Chip and Joanna Gaines, announced they were expecting their fifth child, the world rejoiced. Fans burst into chatter imagining what that child’s shiplapped nursery would look like and immediately began scanning the aisles at Target for a new Hearth & Cradle collection. Not everyone shared that excitement—not necessarily because they dislike the couple (how could you not adore their endearing banter?), but because the news hurt. For a woman who is struggling with infertility, a pregnancy announcement has the equivalent effect of a kick in a man’s groin. It knocks the wind out...

Keep Reading

You Have the Right to Mourn Your Miscarriage

In: Grief, Infertility, Miscarriage
You Have the Right to Mourn Your Miscarriage www.herviewfromhome.com

I found out I was pregnant on October 8th, 2014. It was the one year anniversary of my stepdad’s death. I took the little blue plus symbol as a divine sign; a “Hello” and “I’m still here,” from him. This pregnancy would be blessed. It was serendipitous, meant to be. I went to work that day, but my mind was elsewhere. Every chance I got, I found myself googling things like, “Is a faint positive pregnancy test really positive?” and “When will my due date be?” I was in awe that I had a life growing inside of me. I...

Keep Reading

The Pain of Multiple Losses

In: Child Loss, Grief, Infertility, Miscarriage
The Pain of Multiple Losses www.herviewfromhome.com

Pregnancy loss–there is nothing more horrifying, nothing more devastating than seeing the beginnings of life come to an end so quickly.  A life that did not get a chance to live.  They say at least I can fall pregnant. I would rather not experience pregnancy at all than being tormented with three miscarriages. I would rather go through life accepting that having one child is meant to be, than being toyed with glimmers of hope of another baby–only to have that fantasy smashed into a million pieces. As I scramble to pick up the pieces and attempt to connect each...

Keep Reading

Do I Dare Ask For More?

In: Infertility, Motherhood
Do I Dare Ask For More? www.herviewfromhome.com

Waking up to my sweet, smiling boy I realize it wasn’t a dream. This is my reality. My child is warm and giggly and oh so affectionate. So why isn’t this enough? As my husband pours Jack’s morning cereal and I load his Toy Story toothbrush with toothpaste, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with guilt. Looking around our home I feel so much love. I feel the warmth of the heat under my bare feet that we’re fortunate enough to have on this cold winter morning, I hear Jack’s voice floating from the kitchen where he’s eating his breakfast...

Keep Reading

I’m Grateful for My Infertility

In: Child Loss, Faith, Grief, Infertility, Inspiration, Journal, Miscarriage, Relationships
I'm Grateful for My Infertility www.herviewfromhome.com

I am infertile. And I’m not unique. There are so many of us now. According to the New York Times, fertility rates hit an all-time low in 2016.  So, I’m in this club, this collective of women fighting the odds, but I’m also a mother. I’ve birthed three babies in my lifetime. My son is now five and my boy/girl twins are three. The thing about infertility that no one understands is that it never leaves you despite your motherhood. I cherish my babies, but having a baby doesn’t erase the years of struggle and hopes deferred, because like any...

Keep Reading