my journey with feeling “ready” for a baby
When Michael and I first got married, we always said we’d want to wait 4-5 years before we started trying to have kids. We got married young (I had just turned 24) so we knew we had plenty of time to just enjoy life just the two of us! As we got closer to our 4 year mark, I kind of started freaking out a little, to be honest with you…because I still didn’t feel “ready”. I think we had a pretty unique situation, because Michael was actually ‘ready’ to start trying before I was. He never pressured me to be ready and was always super patient…but I knew as soon as I said I was ready to start trying, he’d be all for it! I think he was probably ready year 3 into marriage for sure.
Our original plan was to start ‘trying’ in September of last year, but as September got closer…I remember Michael and I having a conversation one night where I was kind of freaking out and just told him “I’m sorry, I just don’t feel ready!” I wasn’t sure why, but the idea still really freaked me out. I was loving life just the two of us, traveling, I wanted to run the Dallas marathon, I loved having the freedom to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted…I just didn’t feel ready for that stage of life to be over. (As selfish as that might sound).
To be honest, at that point I was pretty nervous because I had this fear of “what if I’m not ever ready?!” My whole life, I’ve always known I wanted kids at some point. But as we were getting closer to making that a reality, I began realizing what a huge life shift that would be. I realized how much I loved life just me and Michael and I wasn’t sure when I’d be ready to give that up.
Also, just being really honest here…part of me didn’t feel ready because in my mind…all of our ducks needed to be in a row before we started trying. We needed to have the perfect marriage, have Michael’s future career planned out, know where we’d be living in 5 years, etc…before we had kids. So in my mind I was thinking “we need to work on X Y Z in our marriage before we can have kids!” or “we need to know whether or not we’ll be moving back to Dallas and when that’s going to happen before we can have kids.”
As I prayed about these things though and the idea of starting a family…I feel like the Lord revealed to me how much fear I was living in. He really showed me that there would never be a time in life where I suddenly said “our lives are now perfect! We can now start trying to have a baby.” If I was waiting for that to happen, we’d probably never start a family!
So, fast forward a few months after last September when I kind of flipped out…my mindset about starting a family begin to shift. I know this might sound crazy, but honestly, I never got “baby fever”. I never got to a point where I was like “oh my gosh I’m dying for a baby right this second!”. I think every woman’s journey with feeling ‘ready’ looks different…but for me, I arrived at this point where I felt like Michael and I got to experience so many amazing things, just the two of us, as a young married couple. We’ve gotten to travel the world, moved to a different state, had lots of ups and downs, really hard fights and really sweet reconciliations, and so many more adventures in between. I also came to the realization that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage or perfect life, and that that isn’t a prerequisite for having a baby.
I’ll share one more (vulnerable) thing that was holding me back from feeling “ready”. I had this fear that as soon as we started trying to have kids, and definitely as soon as we had a baby…we’d stop focusing on our marriage. All of our focus would be on the baby, and the idea of that scared me (because I felt like we had not perfected marriage yet, whatever that means haha). Again, as I prayed through this I realized that that fear was such a lie. Yes, I think when you get pregnant and have a baby…your focus definitely shifts! I think you’re presented with tons of new challenges that you wouldn’t face otherwise. I think you have to be more proactive about date nights and romance and time together. But, having a baby does not mean you just stop prioritizing your marriage. That thought that I had was just rooted in fear and not from the Lord.
Once I came to terms with those things, and asked the Lord to help me not live in fear…all of the sudden, the idea of having a baby didn’t really freak me out anymore! I started to get more excited about the idea of growing our family and moving into a new chapter of life with Michael. I know life will have way more challenges and things will be way more complicated with a baby than without…but I also know that it will be so worth it, and I would not trade this pregnancy or this baby girl for anything in the world. I feel overwhelmingly thankful that the Lord has blessed us with a baby, and I truly can’t wait for this new season of life.
So, this is obviously a very lengthy, personal, and vulnerable post. You might be wondering why I’m telling you all of this haha. I just wanted to put it out there in case any of you are in the same boat I was – feeling afraid that you might not ever feel ‘ready’. Or, feeling worried about who you are as a woman because you still don’t have ‘baby fever’. Just remember, feeling ‘ready’ can look different for every woman. And if you’re working through a lot of fear and “what if’s” right now…I just want to encourage you to take those fears / worries to the Lord! He will work in your heart in ways you can’t even imagine! He will work everything out in His time. I promise.
Also, shout out to Angie Garcia for these beautiful fall maternity pictures! We shot them in Dallas a few weeks ago and I love how they turned out. She’s so talented, and I’m so thankful to have this season of life captured so beautifully!