scripture study

14 Things I Wish I Had Heard with My First Baby

October 12, 2016

Emily Rumsey Photography I think every mother, womb-grown & heart-grown, has this litany somewhere in their head: those things they wish they’d heard when they were anticipating the arrival of their baby and the thereafter. Those things they wished someone had told them. My list is pretty long. Probably because I was the first in my family to have a baby, and first in my immediate friend group to be pregnant, and had just moved prior to being pregnant so even those new moms I did know now lived far away from us. A few of my cousins who lived close by had young children and that helped! A few neighbors did, too. No one I worked with that I was close enough to ask things like why is this happening to my unmentionables?? I read a lot, and found community online where I could ask questions. Mostly I just plodded through, trial & error style. Some of these may resonate, some may not. Hopefully you’re hearing (or heard) what you needed to during your first transition! It can be physically hard to be pregnant, and that doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. *** Not everyone who you think doesn’t have a baby, doesn’t have a baby. Lots of loss is invisible, from adoptive plans gone awry to miscarriage to fertility struggles. Don’t assume anything about other women’s bodies. *** It’s okay to feel emotionally out of whack, but if you’re having trouble with day-to-day functioning, tell your provider. You’re not whining. You…

Read More

I want a better marriage

October 3, 2016

Yes, I really do! I really do. And it’s on my mind often. What can I do to improve our marriage? Okay, that’s a lie. Somedays all that’s on my mind is the long list of things he can do to improve our marriage. But I married a great guy to begin with, and I bring at least half the problems to the relationship so I really can take credit for needing to improve it and being able to. 1) recognize where we are. Like, without the hormonal influence of pregnancy. Really, truly, I sat down and took stock in where our marriage is. I wrote down what our habits are. How much time we actually spend in actual conversation. How often we bicker or fight. How frequently I’m slaying him with death-emojis in my mind’s emoticon board. I also wrote down what I appreciate about him. I wrote this out before the list of things that are hard for me because it’s easy to get swept up in the negative, at least for me. It’s not social media’s fault. It’s not my iPhone’s fault. It’s my fault for spiraling down a negativity black hole when a simple acknowledgement of an annoyance would do. Let go, bite the inside of your mouth, find ice cream. All better things to do. 2) talk openly about our children and future children. Laura & Nancy & I wrote another Scripture study (Waiting in the Word: A Couple’s Journey) that I know I told you about a few…

Read More

The Story of Women’s Fertility

August 31, 2016

Maybe you grew up thinking like me: if a woman wants to, at some point, she can have kids, or not, and it’s that simple. Just wanting something, having sex, and there you go. My family was really open about how conception happened, how a baby grew & birthed, and it seemed all very straightforward. My mom never experienced a miscarriage nor her mom, nor anyone close to us who talked about it. I was clueless about the  sweeping arc of the journey of a woman’s fertility despite understanding the biological process. Even as a young adult, I really didn’t know that many people who lost a baby, or couples who struggled conceiving and carrying to term. I heard lots of “oh, a miscarriage is God’s way of taking care of a baby who would have had problems anyway” or “that couple must be waiting to have kids until they’re more financially stable or out of school.” It wasn’t until law school, when I first met peers who actually were married and had families, that I started to hear the stories. Stories about loss. Stories about trying and hoping and waiting for the pregnancy test to be positive. Stories about unexpected pregnancies when they already had a passel of kids and it looked “like too many” to outsiders. Stories about longing for a partner to have kids with, or the hardship of solo parenting. Stories about people who actually used natural family planning, or the fertility awareness method. New stories…

Read More