"Being a mother is truly such a blessing I treasure so dearly. I have quickly realized that as mothers, our road to motherhood is unique and different for each of us. For some, the road is a smooth sail. For others, its a road of loss, unanswered questions, and restored hope. As a mother, I treasure each and every step of each and every day, even the really tough days because what an honor it is that God chose me to be these littles' mother. If I'm being really honest though, being a mama is hard. Just like our roads to motherhood are different, so is our version of hard. For me, raising a child makes me press into God even more. Leaning on him for wisdom, strength, and at my knees sometimes for not knowing what to do. I have realized that not knowing what to do is okay. It allows room within ourselves to be vulnerable and trust ourselves to go further then we think we can. Being a mama strengthens my marriage because we are a team. We work at this parenting thing together. We pick each other up when the other has had a long day in the muck of dirty diapers and a teething child (or those crazy pregnancy hormones).
When I was expecting with Harlow, I had new-mom-to-be written all over my face. The anxious heart of what is to come in being a mother. The never ending registry because you have no idea what you might need. Trying to prepare my heart to love a little girl that before she was born was a love I had never known before. No one can prepare your heart for being a mother. So with this second pregnancy, I feel like I have been more relaxed and really taking in each moment. Taking in each day that I get to carry our baby all while chasing a toddler on the playground or splashing in the water at bath time. My favorite part of the day is rocking Harlow to sleep because in that moment I'm holding both of them and I know those days are limited. I don't get near the naps I got with the first pregnancy and every little detail of the nursery isn't thought out, and I have learned that it is okay. As much as I long to know the gender of our baby and hold him or her in my arms, God is teaching me to wait in this moment and treasure each step of the journey.
I often get asked if I hope for one gender over the other and honestly I don't. Growing up with having a sisterly bond and a brotherly bond was the best of both worlds. The sister that kept all the secrets and the brother that watched over me. The anticipation of knowing the bond and memories that will be made for Harlow and the sweet little one in the days ahead excites me beyond measure. For Harlow, I cannot wait to see the big sister she will become. She is such a good listener and helper... and a little bossy at times too (I think she gets that from her daddy). Every age has been my favorite with Harlow, so watching her flourish into being a big sister gives me all sorts of butterflies.
Lastly, one thing I most defiantly didn't prepare my heart for with pregnancy was the new love and thankfulness for mine and Jamie's parents. Becoming a parent showed a whole new love that our parents had for us. I always knew how much our mothers sacrificed for us, but it wasn't until I became a mother I truly realized all the love, hard work, and late nights they both sacrificed to help us be the best versions of ourselves. Being a mama is the hardest, yet most heart fulfilling joy that God has blessed me with. The love I already have for these two babies pales in comparison of the love God has for us. What a blessing we have." Courntey, mama of Harlow and Baby Arnold