10 things nobody told me when I was expecting

The moment your belly popped to that obvious this-wasn't-caused-by-a-burrito stage, you probably started receiving unsolicited advice and commentary from anyone and everyone. The grocery store clerk, your mother, your grandmother, your aunt, your friends, your friends' friends, your neighbors... you get the idea. I am totally guilty of this as well. We and they all mean well. Truly. But how many times have you heard, "Get sleep now because you won't once the baby is here!" or "Your life is going to change so much." or "You know this and that (or such and such) is the BEST for your baby." or "You look big/small/huge/like you are having twins." While it's all meant positively,  it doesn't always leave you feeling... excited.

You are becoming a family! That is so exciting and amazing and terrifying and mind-boggling all at the same time. Hearing many of these comments does not help this pool of emotions you're swimming in already.

So knowing what I know now, after having two creatures of my own, here is a list. A list of the things nobody told me or warned me about while expecting my family. A list of all the beautiful, mysterious, eye-opening, God-fearing, glorious, and amazing things that my children blessed me with when we became a family.

10 things nobody told me

1. Nobody told me how my faith would grow... enormously.

2. Nobody told me how hard I would want and need to pray. How nothing else I've ever prayed about before matters as much as these two little people that I am now praying for.

3. Nobody told me how I would truly understand fear. Fear about keeping my child safe, God-fearing, happy, and healthy. But also that I'd be able to stand up to that fear with prayer (see #2).

4. Nobody warned me that I would melt into puddles ALL. THE. TIME. When my husband is an amazing dad, when my child says, "I love you", when my baby giggles. Someone get me a mop!

5. Nobody told me I'd fall in love with my husband all over again.

6. Nobody has demonstrated true forgiveness quite like my children have for me. What a reminder of what God does for us everyday.

7. Nobody warned me that the worldly things-- the clothes, the trends, even showering!-- would take the wayside voluntarily (most of the time, anyway).

8. Nobody told me how much I would laugh!

9. Nobody prepared me that my touch and my words would be able to comfort my child... just as in the same way Christ comforts us.

Isaiah 66:13, " As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.".

10. Nobody told me how my eyes would be opened to seeing the world through the eyes of my children. Such little, seemingly insignificant things bring such wonder and joy-- the seasons changing, an ant crawling on their finger, a crunchy leaf or broken stick... what a reminder of how amazing God's creation is!

What surprised you when you started your family? Anything you'd like to add? Please share!

BeckySig2

Still Pregnant? How to go into labor in just 110 easy steps!

Congratulations! You are 38 weeks pregnant! This is the point of pregnancy at which 45% of those other moms you know swiftly and painlessly gave birth on the side of the highway by mistake! From here on out, you are a ticking time bomb. Follow these 110 easy steps and you’ll be snuggling your baby on this side of the womb in no time at all! belly toddler

 

  1. Pack your hospital bags or assemble your home birth kit. That baby will never arrive if you're an unprepared slacker!
  2. Realize you have no idea what you’re supposed to pack or assemble.
  3. Scour The Internet for advice.
  4. Question Google’s advice to pack or assemble ALL OF THE THINGS.
  5. Ask several experienced mom friends for advice.
  6. Question their advice to pack or assemble nothing but a tube of chap stick, a couple of hair ties, and a celebratory bottle of wine.
  7. Decide to err with Google.
  8. Begin to pack or assemble ALL OF THE THINGS!
  9. Realize you are missing several of the items on your list.
  10. Waddle to Target for a new toothbrush and that tube of chap stick everyone swears you will need.
  11. While at Target, take a detour through the baby section.
  12. Decide you probably need another pack or two of newborn diapers.
  13. Shrug as several adorable baby outfits from the clearance rack mysteriously find their way into your cart.
  14. What’s that other thing 50% of your mom friends swear by? That thing that looks like an oversized neck pillow? Better grab one of those too.
  15. Swing through the grocery section to stock up on small, easy to eat snacks for the hunger everyone says will overtake you while breast feeding.
  16. Make it all the way home and unload your shopping bags before remembering you forgot to pick up the chapstick.
  17. Decide a tub of coconut oil from your pantry will just have to do.
  18. Assemble the rest of your list. Realize 50% of the clothing you need is out of commission.
  19. Start a load of laundry.
  20. While adding the detergent, suddenly remember your new baby will need to wear clothing when it gets here.
  21. Peruse the disorganized pile of adorable handmedowns and questionable Target purchases that have accumulated in the corner of your baby’s nursery.
  22. Realize the room in question is less of a nursery and more of a cluttered spare room.
  23. Wonder how you can possibly bring a baby into this world to live in a cluttered spare room.
  24. Completely ignore the fact that you plan to have the baby sleep in your room for at least the first several months of baby’s life.
  25. Spend several hours on Pinterest organizing a board you’ve entitled “nursery essentials.”
  26. Determine that the least you can do is rearrange all the furniture, paint the walls, and sew some adorable coordinating curtains.
  27. Inexplicably decide to act on this decision at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday
  28. When your husband comes into the room to find you wallpapering a closet at 3 a.m. and suggests that maybe you should come to bed, stare at him like he has three heads and growl defensively until he slowly backs away.
  29. Spend the entire next day alternating between sleeping and rubbing your aching hips.
  30. Decide you’re way too tired and have far too much to get done to have a baby anytime soon. Tell your baby he or she is free to stay in there for at least another month or two.
  31. Take several more naps.
  32. Wake up in a panic and sob uncontrollably when you realize you likely have less than a week before you’re *officially* a mother in charge of a tiny human.
  33. When your husband asks what he can do to relieve your excessive sobbing, take advantage and enlist his help in finishing the unnecessary nursery renovation project you’ve started.
  34. From your throne-like position of reclining on a thrift store baby glider with your swollen feet up, direct your poor husband while he paints, rearranges, and hangs curtain rods to your specifications.
  35. If he complains at the amount of unnecessary work, gently remind him you will soon be pushing a watermelon sized person out of your vagina. Is that a contraction you feel?
  36. As you fold and sort your baby’s clothes in your now satisfactory nursery, realize you are 39 weeks pregnant and have yet to experience a single sure sign of impending labor.
  37. Decide it’s time to get serious.
  38. Have a heart to heart with your baby wherein you fondly stroke your belly and explain that you’ve changed your mind. Another month is way too long to wait for their arrival. How about tomorrow instead? Or better yet, right now?
  39. When your lazy baby fails to get moving, ask the internet for advice.
  40. Question Google’s advice to do ALL OF THE THINGS to encourage the swift and immediate birth of your baby.
  41. Ask several experienced mom friends for advice.
  42. Question their advice to “let go and let God, because babies will arrive on their own time.”
  43. Decide to err with Google.
  44. Commence walking.
  45. Walk to the park.
  46. Walk to the store.
  47. Walk around the mall.
  48. Walk the local fair grounds.
  49. cream puff bellyWalk up and down your stairs.
  50. Walk in circles around your back yard.
  51. Decide that walking is useless.
  52. Take several more naps.
  53. Dream that you give birth to a puppy.
  54. Wake up relieved you didn’t actually give birth to a puppy.
  55. Think about how nice it would be to give birth to a puppy, if only it would mean the end of this eternal pregnancy.
  56. Attempt that “Eggplant Parmesan” recipe your neighbor swears put her in labor.
  57. Wash it down with an entire gallon of pineapple juice.
  58. Writhe and moan as you suffer the consequential heartburn.
  59. Down more than the recommended amount of Tums.
  60. Take another nap.
  61. Dream that you give birth to a full grown man.
  62. Wake up relieved you didn’t actually give birth to a full grown man.
  63. Think about how nice it would be to give birth to a full grown man, if only it would mean the end of this eternal pregnancy.
  64. Scrub your entire kitchen floor on hands and knees with a toothbrush.
  65. Decide you’ll avoid walking on said floor ever again so that it will stay clean until baby arrives.
  66. Give your baby an encouraging motivational speech, emphasizing phrases like “come out now” and “you’ll like it, I promise.”
  67. Stop mincing words and write your baby an official eviction notice.
  68. Visit the chiropractor for an adjustment.
  69. Feel well adjusted, but still undeniably pregnant.
  70. Post a sarcastic facebook status update to the effect of “happy due date to meeee!”
  71. Observe as the incomprehensible happens and your due date comes and goes.
  72. Refuse to believe pregnancies can extend beyond due dates.
  73. After several more days without labor signs, gradually accept pregnancies can extend beyond due dates.
  74. Imagine you feel a contraction.
  75. Text your husband at work to tell him you think you just felt a contraction!
  76. Text your mother, best friend, and doula: “HOORAY! AN ACTUAL CONTRACTION!”
  77. Realize several minutes later that the alleged contraction was only indigestion.
  78. Sob uncontrollably.
  79. Take another nap.
  80. Dream that you visit your baby in the womb and he or she is pointing and laughing at you.
  81. Wake up and decide that this dream really happened.
  82. Rest assured that every subsequent kick from your baby is his or her way of mocking you.
  83. Consider having sex to encourage cervical dilation.
  84. Realize that at this point, the thought of sex is just comical.
  85. Suck it up and have sex anyway.
  86. Treat the act like a business transaction.
  87. Cry uncontrollably when it doesn’t work.
  88. Drown your sorrows in a tub of ice cream and a pineapple ham pizza.
  89. bellycoffeeAlleviate that poor decision with more Tums.
  90. Confide in a friend that you have decided you will probably be pregnant forever.
  91. Don’t let her convince you otherwise.
  92. Fail to view her seven children as living proof that all babies eventually come out.
  93. Watch as everyone else in the world who is pregnant with a due date after yours has their baby.
  94. Pretend to be happy for them.
  95. Picture all of those babies growing up and graduating college before your baby is born.
  96. Attend a doctor’s appointment only to realize that you had originally scheduled it as your baby’s one week postpartum well check.
  97. Laugh dryly when your doctor feigns surprise that you are still pregnant.
  98. Stop responding to “is baby here yet?” texts, emails, and phone calls.
  99. Turn your phone off altogether.
  100. Change your facebook profile picture to a photo containing the words “Keep calm, I’m still pregnant.”
  101. Log out of your facebook account. Because you suddenly can’t stand people.
  102. Secretly relish the horrified look on the grocery cashier’s face when you explain your baby was due nine days ago.
  103. Fantasize about your water breaking right there in the checkout line.
  104. Fold your hands and pray to The Lord to send you magically and instantly into labor. Oh, and, Lord? Could you make it so that labor does not hurt at all, please? Can I pretty please be the one exception to the consequence of Eve’s fall into sin?
  105. Pout when you realize God’s answer is “no.”
  106. With a friend’s encouragement, revise your prayer. Pray for patience and peace while waiting, strength to endure the pain of childbirth, and a safe delivery and healthy baby.
  107. Rejoice that God’s answer this time is “yes!” Feel peace and acceptance wash over you as you “Let go and let God.” (Darn, those experienced mom friends were right!)
  108. After a long (but patient) wait, finally go into labor!
  109. With the help of God, give birth to your baby.
  110. Snuggle your brand new human and realize it was all worth it.

 

There’s something in the water here at Holy Hen House! Two of us writers (Amanda and I) are nearly full term (39 weeks!) and anxiously anticipating the arrival of our babies! Please keep us in your prayers over the next few weeks!

For those of you who have had babies before, I would love to hear some of the crazy things you said or did during those final days of waiting! Or am I the only one who goes a little batty toward the end of pregnancy? ;)

AmberSignature