Saturday, June 2, 2018

Dear Momma of a Newborn

Dear newborn momma,
This season of your life is probably a combination of beautiful, joyful, wonderful, miraculous + overwhelming & exhausting. That’s totally normal! Taking care of a baby is a full time requires all of us, pretty much all the time. It is truly the.most.incredible thing & also sometimes can feel like the hardest thing. 
Let me assure you, every momma gets overwhelmed sometimes! [yes, even those of us who waited & longed & fought with everything in us to experience motherhood get overwhelmed in hard moments]
Some days, weeks & months, you won’t be able to do much more than hold your baby, feed your baby & try* to get your baby to sleep. If that’s you, please know it’s okay (& to be expected) that you can’t do “it all!” You are giving all of yourself to what is most important right now, your precious baby! Everything else can wait, truly. 
Don’t rush getting back to “normal” life, instead, learn to slow down & embrace your new normal. Take some pressure off of yourself. Give yourself permission to take as much needed off your plate as possible in this season of life. Accept help when it’s offered & ask for help when you need it. Rest whenever you can & seize those little moments of you-time in whatever way you need most...a shower, a nap, a meal, your favorite tv show...isn’t it funny how the simplest things can refresh us these days?! 
I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but it won’t always be this all consuming! One day soon, you will get into a good rhythm & learn how to find room & time for yourself again. In the meantime, be kind to yourself & soak up every sweet moment of this special season. Babies don’t keep & trust me, before long you’ll be looking back at this time wondering how it flew by so quickly. 
You’re doing SO great & you ARE a wonderful mother! Go kiss those yummy baby bellies & soak up every sweet smile...drink it up friend, it’s the good stuff!
With love, 

Welcome Baby Cannon!

Cary & I recently welcomed our third child, Cannon Constance Koch into the world. 
Cannon is such a miraculous & beautiful answer to years of prayer! He was born Saturday March 24th at 7:43 a.m. God answered our prayers by bringing on my labor swiftly when I was 40 weeks 5 days pregnant. I was able to have the natural birth I desired & planned for. What a whirlwind of emotion, pain & love! It was by far the hardest & most amazing thing I have ever done! I have no idea how I made it through because every minute I felt like I couldn’t go on, but somehow I found the strength. And of course, Cary was incredible! I could not have done it without him! He supported me through every second. I am looking forward to sharing Cannon's full birth story & birth photos here soon. 

 Thank you all for every prayer, message & kind word you have sent our way throughout this entire journey to welcoming baby Cannon! 
With love,

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

National Infertility Awareness Week: Infertility is...

We never imagined we would be 1 in 8.

It’s so hard to find words for what I would like to share this week for National Infertility Awareness Week. There are so many different aspects & perspectives of infertility to be explored & talked about. Today I am focusing on the reality of what infertility is. Hope my words give a glimpse into the painful struggle so many couples endure as they strive to grow their family. 


Infertility is... 

Infertility is....a medical diagnosis, a disease of the reproductive system. It’s not something you beat by “just relaxing.” Infertility is...weeks, months & years of waiting...& waiting.
Infertility is...fighting with everything you have to make possible what comes so easily to most people. 
Infertility is...enduring month after month of trying, charting, poking, taking pills, praying & hoping only to be met with the disappointment of yet another “not pregnant.”
Infertility is...a burden shared by both partners. Infertility not just a “female problem.” Male factor infertility is very common.
Infertility is...grief. 
Infertility is...watching everyone around you welcome babies while your arms remain empty. 
Infertility is...answering, “not yet...” when asked if you have kids...then crying in your car on the way home because there’s nothing you wouldn’t give to be able to answer “yes.”
Infertility is...distance in your marriage & in your closest relationships. At times, infertility causes you to question God’s plan, His goodness & His love for you. 
Infertility is...walking down the baby aisle in the store & touching the tiny clothes as tears fill your eyes & yearning fills your heart. It’s avoiding the baby aisles because the anger & bitterness is just too much to face. 
Infertility is...altered plans, shattered dreams & broken bodies. 
Infertility is...hearing suggestion after suggestion of all the things you should try to get pregnant (all of which you’ve already tried, many times...without success). It’s fighting the urge to roll your eyes & walk away when the suggestions start. It’s never really knowing what to say in those conversations.
Infertility is...not knowing if you’ll ever see your husband’s features on a child or be able to experience the miracle of life growing inside you.
Infertility is...being told to “just adopt” as if adopting is simple or meant for everyone. 
Infertility is...nodding politely when being told story after story of someone’s cousin’s friend’s sister who did xyz to conceive. 
Infertility is...invasive procedures, needle pricks & trying ALL THE THINGS over & over...
Infertility is...being told “just relax, it’ll happen” enough times to make you lose your ever loving mind. 
Infertility is...hearing other people complain about their kids & wanting to scream, “I would do ANYTHING for what you have!” Infertility is...overwhelming unknowns, decisions you never wanted to make & medical bills that pile up too quickly. 
Infertility is...feeling like the odd woman out at baby showers & family events. It’s looking away & swallowing the lump in your throat when the conversation turns toward birth stories.
Infertility is...having the most intimate part of your marriage tainted with sadness & pain. 
Infertility is...a burden you carry every day...even on the good days, the weight of the wait is still there. 
Infertility is...a lonely, sad & hard battle. 
In a word, infertility is...devastating.

With love,