Jena + Kinley + Dakota

"Being a mother is the hardest and also the best thing I have ever done.  I could have never imagined the constant roller coaster of emotions that it takes me through.  I will long for a quiet moment or time to myself, and then in the next minute, miss Kinley so much I am almost in tears.  I will be so frustrated with her or the situation that I'm in, then I will catch a glimpse or a smile from her that will take my breath away.  It literally hurts my heart (yes, I can physically feel hurt in my heart) thinking about her growing up so quickly, but at the same time, I am so thankful for every day that she is here and she is healthy.  The push and pull of motherhood are never ending. It can be ugly and oh so beautiful at the same time.  I love my little spitfire with her big heart and personality, and I can not wait to meet Dakota Lynn and see what she has to teach me." Jena, mama of Kinley & Dakota

Neva + Shepherd

"The expectations, hopes, and questions that have come up during pregnancy have run my imagination wild. What will he look like? The sonogram was months ago. And breastfeeding-will that work for us? My mom only did a month. I've got to have this and that for his nursery! All these thoughts, cares, and emotions are certainly a dead giveaway that this is my first. I'm looking forward to the speculations becoming reality and just trying to stay flexible for those things that could go one way or another. What has surprised me most about pregnancy is realizing how much love I already have for this unborn child. I can't wait to meet him and know the love a Mama has. We’re on the final stretch." Neva, mama of Shepherd

Megan + Ellis

"I think the most surprising thing about becoming a mother is that you become a part of this secret club that you didn't even know existed. The amount of grace, advice, support and encouragement I've received from the community of moms that I know has been overwhelming. Every mother I've encountered since Ellis was born has said, 'You are doing an amazing job and I'm here if you need anything at all.' That sense of support has been overwhelming in a way that I didn't expect.

The best advice I've received has been 'Do the best you can in the moment and then move on to the next moment and do the best you can in that moment. Sometimes your best is not the same in every moment and that's okay. Not every moment will be perfect and not every moment will be hard but keep an open mind and know that everything you are doing is enough.'" - Megan, mama of Ellis

Katy

"Being a first time mom there has been many moments of uncertainty and unknowns. Little did I know I would be immediately surrounded by a community of other moms. The support, encouragement and advice I have received has been such a blessing. I find comfort in knowing I am not alone in this journey. It truly does take a village to raise a child." Katy, mama of baby Smith

Kayla + Brendan

"Motherhood is a bond you can't truly imagine until that moment you hold your child for the first time. It's indescribable. It was something that I had wanted to experience so very much and for the years we spent trying to get Brendan here. I was so unsure if it was in the cards for me. I can't describe the moment of tears we shared when after 5 years when we finally found out I was pregnant. And that moment was only surpassed when I finally had him in my arms. It's the most beautiful thing, he is the most beautiful thing. As I write this I am sitting on the floor giggling at his antics this morning with the facial expressions like his father and his dad's like me. He's just a character! I'm so grateful Christ has given me the opportunity to be his mother. 

I would tell other mothers or about to become mothers, your doing great and I understand. So many people would tell me, "Well, you just don't even know yet" or "Oh you've got it so good". Those thing are frustrating because all of us as a collective group of mothers know! We have good days and we have bad days and supporting each other in our victories and struggles is so important! 

The biggest struggle... Having to watch Winnie the Pooh 87 time a day, haha! Truly the hardest part was after coming home from my C-Section and being concerned that somehow it would hinder me from taking care of him. It made me so nervous because I didn't want to make a mistake. But I learned that as a parent I will never be perfect and all that I could do in those first few weeks was enough.

One of my favorite memories from the past 9 months has been learning how much he loved my fathers voice. In the 80s my dad made an actual album with some friends. It's very 80s! But his voice is so wonderful. On the way home from the hospital Brendan was crying so we randomly pressed play on what was in the CD player in the car and it was my father singing, "I'll Fly Away." It instantly calmed him and even now when Brendan is upset we put it on #4 and repeat. The only thing better than the CD for Brendan is the live version, or him singing Winnie the Pooh, that works too :)" - Kayla, mama of Brendan