Greg holding our sweet girl
**** WARNING – to my sisters who are struggling with infertility or who want a baby and their husbands are opposed to having a baby – please skip this post!
There were things I could never have begun to anticipate about pregnancy and motherhood – some wonderful parts of it, that I had never imagined.
Before we had children, most of what I thought about pregnancy and having children was the negative stuff:
- morning sickness
- gaining weight
- all the many things that could go wrong (sometimes being a pharmacist means knowing TOO much about the risks of diseases and problems!)
- infertility issues
- the expense of pregnancy and children
- lack of sleep
- dealing with discipline issues
- “loss of freedom”
What I could not have begun to fathom was all of the blessings of pregnancy and motherhood. There is no way I can list or explain them all. But I will mention a few:
- Not being on birth control forced me to live in a constant state of uncertainty for 2 weeks out of every month, wondering if a new baby is growing inside my body or not. It can be scary – or terrifying, even. (if you don’t fully grasp God’s sovereignty and embrace Him) The whole process can also extremely exciting! The idea of a baby can grow on a woman VERY quickly. Within a few days, I could easily fall completely in love with the idea of a baby possibly being on the way. And when there was no pregnancy, it was disappointing – sometimes I would even mourn over the loss of a baby I had hoped for – but who had never actually existed.
Being open to a new life being created in you makes you either go crazy with anxiety or teaches you to learn to depend on God, trust in His sovereignty over everything in ways that you have never had to depend on Him before and rest in His supernatural peace.
- There was an amazing feeling of knowing I was carrying part of my husband around inside of me – wondering if a baby is being formed during those fertile times. It was such a unique time of intimacy with my husband and with God.
- How incredible that God allows us to take part in creating new human life. What a blessing! What a privilege! What an unbelievable honor!!!!! This is not oppression – it is beautiful and powerful!
- I can remember getting up at 5:00am Good Friday morning, realizing that it was 3 days before my period was due and it was time that a pregnancy test MIGHT be able to show up positive already. The feeling when that pregnancy test showed “positive” was the most profound moment – it changed my life forever!
- There is so much joy learning about each week of pregnancy and discovering what God is doing to form a new little human life – it is VERY DIFFERENT when it is YOUR OWN baby.
- There is an opportunity to become “teammates” in new ways as husband and wife as you journey the road of pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood together.
- Watching my husband prepare the nursery for the baby was one of my favorite experiences ever. I asked him to paint sky on the walls and the tops of pine trees near the floor. He painted a mural of Columbia, SC on 2/3 of the nursery and painted nighttime with constellations for the date that our baby was due. It was amazing! I sat in the glider in the soon-to-be nursery almost every night for 5 months while Greg painted.
- Knowing that a little life was 100% dependent on every bite of food I ate and was affected by everything I ate and did – and any medicine I took – made me re-evaluate my own diet and health regimen and made me want to eat very healthy for my babies – and made me want to take better care of their mama!
- Greg came with me to my ultrasound appointments. Seeing OUR baby on that screen – his little head, all his toes and fingers – watching him suck his thumb, finding out he was a boy together – WOW! The joy was overwhelming. (And it was equally wonderful 5 years later as we found out our second baby was a girl!)
This was the plate Greg made for me for supper the day we found out our first baby was a boy. 🙂
- Seeing my husband become a dad was such a precious experience. He helped me pick out all the things we would need. He took such good care of me when I was pregnant and not feeling well. I loved for him to put his hands on my belly to feel the baby kick at night. He was there beside me during all of my false labor contractions every night for months. Something about him being with me brought me so much comfort and stability. And to have him right there during my labor and then during the emergency c-section the first time and the scheduled c-section the second time was such a huge blessing to me. There was no one else in the world I wanted to be with me for that experience but my husband. He held my hand. I could look to him for strength when I was afraid. And to see the tears of joy streaming down his face when he saw each of our babies for the first time was a priceless treasure that I will never forget.
- Sharing learning together about taking care of the baby meant so much to me. If I got frustrated or anxious – Greg was there, calm and steady. He was such a support to me through the whole process.
- He helped me when I had problems with nursing the baby. He paid close attention to the classes we went to and was able to help me troubleshoot when things didn’t go right and I was so exhausted I couldn’t think straight. One of my favorite memories is Valentine’s Day after our first baby was born in January 2002. Greg made steaks for us for supper. He cut my steak for me since I only had one hand free. I nursed our baby on the couch as Greg sat beside me. We ate together and I think we watched the Winter X-Games, possibly? It seemed like the most romantic Valentine’s Day ever to me.
- Seeing him hold our babies made my heart swell with the greatest joy I had ever known.
Greg, our son and myself
Greg with our daughter, a few minutes after she was born.
- Holding that newborn those early days was a surreal experience. To think this was OUR baby – part of both of us – and to look at him (and later her) and to see how much he looked like each of us was a sweet little miracle. I didn’t want to ever stop looking at my babies. It seemed like if I looked away for a second, they changed!
- Holding my newborn and seeing him look into my eyes just melted my heart. What a huge realization that I was the main person who would be responsible for this little one. If he cried, it was up to me to take care of him. I cannot imagine a more important job in the world!
- Children have brought so much excitement and joy – and responsibility to our marriage and our home. Holidays are more special – every day is more special. Seeing life through the eyes of our children gives us a fresh new perspective. Being a parent opens our eyes to God’s love for us in ways that nothing else can.
- I love to watch my husband play ball with the kids or read to them or teach them things. His influence is CRITICAL on our children. I’m so thankful he is here and involved and very thankful for his love for God and for all of us.
This is Greg teaching our boy to play miniature golf.
- Aside from getting married, nothing exposes my own sin like being a mom! Who knew how selfish and impatient I could be before I had children!?!? Who knew how much I valued sleep??? God uses children to teach us to be holy. And He gives us the chance to teach our children all about Him. When you are a teacher, you have to make sure you are living what you are teaching!
- As I learned about respect and biblical submission – I was in total shock to realize that my children honored and submitted to their dad to the exact degree that I did. When I began to stop disrespect and begin to learn respect. I talked about what I was learning with our children (they were 7 and 2 at the time) and IMMEDIATELY THAT DAY, they began to mimic my exact tone of voice, wording and respect level. WOW. Children learn to submit to and respect God-given authority by watching their mother submit to and respect their father.
- We became such a team as parents when I began to support Greg’s parenting decisions. It amazed me how when we presented a united front – our children would obey so much more quickly and question less. If their Dad tells them to do something, I back him up. And if I tell them to do something, he backs me up. It works REALLY well.
- Raising a boy and a girl has made me have to really think about God’s design for masculinity and femininity and what I want to teach them in ways I had never thought of before. It was part of what drove me to really study godly femininity as my little girl began to get old enough to want to do girly things.
- It’s so interesting – each child is unique. But seeing the differences in boys and girls that God created just blew my mind – the differences began to be obvious before our children could even talk! We didn’t have to teach our son to love trains and cars and trucks. He just did. And we didn’t have to teach our daughter to love baby dolls and beautiful clothes and shoes. She just did. The differences in boys and girls begin in the womb. I love learning about how God created boys and girls and men and women to be different for His glory. One of my favorite books about that is His Brain, Her Brain by Dr. Walt Larimore MD.
- Seeing my children learn to love each other and love God is such an incredible blessing. I count myself to be the most blessed woman on the planet.
Greg and April in front of Angel Oak, Charleston SC 2013
I don’t know if motherhood is in your future. My desire is to help women to see the blessings of a godly marriage and the blessings of pregnancy and children. God’s gifts are very good. It’s important not to make the good gifts of God into idols. But if we can seek Jesus with all our hearts and appreciate the good gifts He gives to us in His timing – that is a wise perspective to have.
It is RELATIONSHIPS that are the true treasures of life. First with God, then with people.
May He richly bless your walk with Christ and may He direct your path for His greatest glory!!!!