Embracing God's Will
I recently asked my Instagram friends what I should blog about next, and a few people said they wanted to hear more about what it was like having a baby so early in marriage.
It's hard to know where to start with this, so I thought I'd just take you along some of the details of our journey.
1. How I found out/told Zach
Zach and I had been married for four months. That fourth month, I started feeling super emotional. After a week of feeling off, I started wondering if I was pregnant. I just did not feel like myself at all. I started googling pregnancy symptoms like crazy. Zach could tell I was acting different too. I felt much more weepy, sensitive and easily angered.
One day, on my lunch break, I drove to Walgreens, bought a pregnancy test, and then went home and took it. I had googled and worked myself up so much, I just had to know. It was about 12:30pm and I had a meeting to get to at 1pm. As I opened the package, I was thinking, "Sierra, this is all just in your head, you're being crazy."
I let the test sit for a minute, and then came back to look at it. It was positive. I had butterflies in my stomach and started to tear up. I was in shock. I was so happy, yet so surprised and confused. It felt like the room was spinning. Being a mom had been my lifelong dream. I never imagined I actually was pregnant. I thought I was crazy for wondering if I was... but there was the proof right in my hands. And, I didn't have time to process it, I had a meeting to get to!
That meeting was a blur. I sat there so excited, but nauseous with excitement. I felt like I was sitting on the edge of a rollercoaster. I made it through the work day, and when Zach got home I was laying in bed, nervous to tell him. I knew he would be excited, but I didn't know if the surprise/stress of it would overwhelm him in the moment.
He came in and hugged me. I was so nervous my voice was shaking. I said, "I have something to tell you." He looked at me with wide eyes and said "...You're pregnant."
I smiled and nodded and showed him the four positive pregnancy tests I had taken that day. He smiled from ear to ear. To this day, I have never seen him smile so big. He had tears in his eyes and we just smiled and laughed and laid there in awe. We kept saying, "We're having a baby." over and over and over. It felt like Christmas morning times a million.
2. Processing the Unexpected
As excited as we were, the next day we were both in tears, this time out of fear. Zach's main fears were for the safety of me and the baby. My main fears were how having a baby so early in marriage could be hard financially, emotionally and otherwise. We both had to mourn a bit that a short season of marriage as just the two of us would be ending fast. I remember being so afraid that people would not be excited for us. Even though we were married and had done nothing wrong, somehow I worried that people would think poorly of us somehow. I knew this was God's will and He had created this life inside me, but I couldn't shake that feeling.
Telling our parents eased that fear for me so much. We mailed our parents painted wooden plaques that said "Grandpa and Grandpa Established 2020." We asked them to FaceTime us when the package arrived so we could watch them open it. I had so many butterflies as I watched them open the package and see their responses. I was blown away. Their shouts of excitement and tears of joy helped me feel SO excited and like it was all really happening. I was so thankful for their support.
Telling our friends was the same way. We wanted to wait three months to announce the pregnancy publicly, and planned to tell our close friends pretty soon, but hadn't nailed down when and how. I wanted to hold off at least a month or two, but I was so sick that I couldn't even hide it. I missed work and felt/looked terrible all the time. I was so relieved when one of my best friends looked at me on the way to a meeting and said "wait Sierra, are you pregnant?" and I just looked at her and nodded. She lit up and was so excited for me and asked me to lunch to celebrate. Her excitement for me made me want to cry out of relief on the spot. I don't know why I was so afraid that people wouldn't be excited for us. I think I was afraid to get excited myself for the first few months.
3. Early Pregnancy
I was so sick. I felt so bad for Zach. We were newlyweds, and I was in bed, throwing up 10-12 times a day for weeks. We had to go to the hospital twice. I was fighting dehydration like crazy. Looking back, I was way too prideful and stubborn to ask and accept help as I should have. But even then, the community around us made all the difference. Friends sending me care packages, saltines, bringing soup, and ginger tea made me feel so supported and loved. I remember, a coworker/good friend left a gift at my desk. I opened it, and inside was a little baby onesie. It was the first baby gift we had received. I immediately started crying. I couldn't believe I was having a baby. I was so happy, it just didn't feel real. And I couldn't believe how our friends were coming around and supporting us so much.
Every day I prayed that God would give me strength. I have memories of laying on the bathroom floor, exhausted, crying, hand on my stomach, whispering to the little baby bean in my stomach, "I love you. You're worth it. I'd do anything for you." It was all such a blur.
I'd never been through anything so physically challenging. But it was only a season, and it was SO worth it. I was blown away by how close God was to me. And I was blown away by the support of our friends. Something I learned during that time is that I want to be the kind of friend that my friends were to me. Our friends cheered for us. They bought us meals, sent encouraging texts, helped us with our registry, threw us baby showers, LOVED. ON. US. It made all the difference in the world. I want to be that for my friends in the future. Sometimes I second guess my generous instinct or idea to love on somebody and think, "Oh, maybe it won't make a difference, maybe doing this thing won't be a big deal. Maybe it will make them uncomfortable... maybe it's not worth my time to reach out and send that text." But I'm telling y'all - IT IS!! I could cry just thinking about how people came around us during that time.
God is sovereign and He is so good. Hayden is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, and God knew she would be. Zach and I love being young parents, and we have nothing to compare it to, because it's all we know. It was God's plan for us and He knows what He's doing. I regret ever feeling fearful or worried about what other people would think. Soooo dumb and not of the Lord! God made made my lifelong dream of becoming a mom come true! And it has been the absolute best.
Seasons change quickly. During that time of morning sickness I was miserable and felt like it would last foreverrr. But it didn't. Now I have a ten month old, and I'm wondering where the time has gone. I wish I had been more hopeful during that time and not so discouraged. But still- there is grace. It's okay to have a hard time sometimes.
Community is a game changer. God used people in our lives to encourage us and support us in massive ways. I hope to always live in community and be a good friend to my friends.
Don't sweat the small stuff. During that time I feel like Zach and I really bonded over trusting the Lord and being thankful for the simple things. We didn't have capacity to nitpick about things. I had taken good health for granted! At times it felt like surviving was the goal for the both of us haha We wanted to be a team and not squabble over small things that didn't matter in the long run, and our circumstances helped us do that and realized what really mattered to us. We binged a lot of tv that first trimester and just made it through hand in hand.
God will take care of you. He will. God keeps His promises. End of story.
Whether you've been married for five years or one year before you have your first child, nothing truly prepares you. You kinda just dive into parenthood. And God, in His grace, meets us there. He created the miracle of life, and He knows what He's doing.
It won't always be easy. There are some things when becoming a parent that you’ll "lose" for awhile (spontaneity, independence, sleep lol), but you will gain SO. MUCH. MORE. You’d never trade it. I'd never trade it.
So, in a nutshell, it wasn't hard to embrace God's Will - bringing Hayden to us early in marriage. Some of the circumstances and symptoms were hard. But being Hayden's mom... well.
One of the best things that's ever happened to me.