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The Wonder of New Life

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Greg, myself and our son (9 months pregnant with our daughter)
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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.

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  • 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. 🙂 

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  • 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

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Greg with our daughter, a few minutes after she was born.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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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!!!!

 

24 thoughts on “The Wonder of New Life

  1. Beautiful April, you just inspired me more, I am pregnant with our first child and I can not imagine the joy he/she will bring to us. It is really a stunning thing to be used by God to bring someone in the world. (and that kid’s features and characters resemble yours). how wonderful 🙂

  2. Dear April,

    I’m sorry I ignored the warning at the top of your post and read it (I’m one of the many silently struggling with infertility).

    I smiled when I first read the warning (nice to see some empathy in the blogosphere) and smiled even more when I read the entire entry. Thank you for sharing your experiences, not only where they insightful, they were encouraging. Your little one looks absolutely delightful indeed :).

    Please keep on posting with or without warnings. I can’t promise to ignore the warning the next time though 🙂

    Wishing you every blessing in Christ
    x

    1. Fosterae,

      I am glad that you were encouraged! The last thing I want to do is make things harder on a wife who is struggling.

      I appreciate hearing from you! I hope you will let me know how you are doing. I pray for God’s greatest glory in your walk with Him, your marriage and with your family. 🙂

  3. Thank you for this post April. I was blessed with my 3rd child almost 4 months ago and I humbly confess that I’ve struggled with feeling selfish and frustrated with the kids – especially the older two…rather than embracing my role I’ve just been really struggling with it.

    Your post really challenged and encouraged me to reframe my headspace. Thank you – I really needed that!! Xoxo

  4. Thank you for this April. So much.

    I’ve had several chemical pregnancies and one miscarriage in the past year, and have had to learn to leave whether or not I will become a mother up to God. It has not been easy, I can tell you that. And the two week wait, oh my. That used to be such a hard time, but has now slowly become a time to practice being in the now and being grateful.

    And last Sunday, after three weeks of extremely clear symptoms, I took a pregnancy test. It was positive, and I am about five weeks along. I am so so happy to carry my husband’s child, so happy to have received this gift from God.

    The harder thing is to try to be happy about the first three month period where I just have to trust that whatever happens is for the best. Where I have to offer this pregnancy up to God and say: “Thy will be done.” NOT easy, especially after the year we’ve had and the happiness we are now experiencing. Not easy to accept that it is not up to me whether this new soul will enter this world or not.

    Still, I have decided to try.

    1. Maria,

      I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage and the very difficult time you have had getting pregnant.

      Congratulations on your current pregnancy!!!!!!! 🙂

      I pray that you are able to savor each moment and each day as a priceless gift. 🙂

      This is definitely a time to lean on the sovereignty and unlimited love and grace of God.
      Please let me know how you are doing!

      Much love,
      April

      1. Thank you April!

        You are right that this is a time to learn. Still struggling somewhat in letting go and trusting. But I am getting better, I think 🙂

        Although I am not very far in my pregnancy, my mood swings are already crazy. Crazy. I feel like I have no control over myself and feel embarrassed at how I am acting sometimes. I mean toward my husband. I love him more than ever and want to be a good wife to him. But my hormones are making me not so.

        My husband says that there is no need to apologize, that this is a normal part of pregnancy, but I still fear I am hurting him by being disrespectful. Do you have any advice? Should I just spend more time with God’s word? Or forgive myself and allow this phase of the pregnancy to ride itself out?

        1. Maria,

          YOu will definitely need more time in God’s Word, in my view. AND more rest. AND more grace for yourself. If you can learn to be respectful when you are pregnant…. everything else is a piece of cake!!!!!!!

          I’m so glad your husband is understanding.

          Try to not blurt out all the crazy thoughts and trust your husband instead of your own emotions.

          I have some posts on dealing with PMS that may be helpful.

          Congratulations and MUCH LOVE TO YOU! 🙂

      2. Hi April,

        Thank you for your advice. I took it, and it helped.

        However… Last week I lost our baby, and my miscarriage is still ongoing. I am an entrepreneur and have been working all this time although I am exhausted. I (and my husband too) have cried a lot and accepted this loss. This was not our child, not meant for this world. And that has to be ok.

        What I am most afraid of is that this will leave a scar on our marriage. But I try to believe it will not, as long as we focus on God and the now, this moment.

        1. Maria,

          Oh no!!!!! My precious girl!!!!! 🙁

          How I wish I could hug your neck!

          You will always carry this with you – it will affect your relationship. But I pray that God will use it to make you and your marriage stronger and to draw you both closer and closer to His heart. Do you have any support right now to help you walk through your grief?

          I am always glad to hear from you. Please continue to let me know how you are and how I can best pray for you and your husband.

          Much love to you!

      3. Thank you April, once more.

        I also hope that this will draw me and my husband closer together and closer to God. And I think I am already seeing this happen. I hope, too, that this will not leave a feeling of something wanting, missing, for my husband.

        About the support: My husband has been wonderful. And of course also spending time with God.

        I hope that I will someday be allowed the blessing of carrying a child under my breast. And I hope it will be soon, but that I cannot affect (even though my doctor told me I have a beautiful and fertile uterus 🙂 ) I loved the two months I got to be pregnant and already fell very much in love with the child growing inside me.

        Now I just cling to believing that God knows what He is doing and I try to be thankful. The dots will connect in the future, I believe. I believe this was meant to happen and that it is for the best. (Does not mean I am not still somewhat sad…)

        1. Maria,

          Of course you will be sad! Carrying a child, even for a few days, forever bonds us to that sweet baby and opens our eyes to the preciousness of a new life and to a new kind of love we have never experienced before.

          I am so glad you are finding support with your husband. I do wish I could hug your neck my sweet friend! We could cry together and pray together.

          I do pray that you might be able to carry a child and raise a child according to God’s will and His glory for your life. I know He is right beside you in your pain. He knows the pain of losing a precious child.

          I love your faith in God’s sovereignty and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for you! 🙂

  5. Dear April, Sister in Christ
    i’m so thankful to our God that He lead me to your website and youtube teachings through my Husband’s friend some months ago. We are both born-again christians that lives in Sweden. And our heart is to please God in everything we do. We love Jesus and we daily want to live a godfearing life in repentance and sanctification that He might be glorified. Just as you describe it in your presentation how you want to live for Christ , as a Godly wife and mother etc. I want that too!!

    I’m very young, 21 years old and my husband is 28 years old, we got married last year ( 8th of June 2013)and expecting our first baby in 6 weeks ( 30th of June 2014).

    But even for my age God has given me a desire to live a godly life, only by His grace, and I asked the Lord for a true Christian woman,wife and mother that have gone before me so i could get help, and that teaches about what i have found in your blog! I want to honour God the Father in our marriage and i havent found any one else but you that write and teach about it from a woman’s view that agree so accurate with God’s Word!

    God bless you for the work in His Kingdom and it will bear even more fruit !

    I will keep on studying your teachings , letting God lead me and apply it in our marriage, and i would like to ask if it’s okay if i share it with others in swedish that is living in marriages?

    Your teachings has already helped us in our marriage, especially for me to understand to submit to my husband, and by God’s grace do it.

    God bless you/

    Ida

    1. Ida,
      It is such a pleasure to meet you! I wish I could hug your neck! I was 21 when we got married 20 years ago this month!! How I WISH I had a chance to learn these things then. I praise God that you get a chance to study His design and wisdom now, so early in your marriage.

      Of course you are welcome to share anything I write in Swedish. That would be amazing!

      I hope you will let me know how you are doing!

      Much love!
      April

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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