Laura Rennie

Jackie - on being a mom

Laura R.Comment
Today's post is from Jackie - guest blogger Kristen's sister-in-law, Andy's friend Kevin's wife, MY friend and the mother of Gideon. She has patiently answered all of my baby questions from the day I found out she was preggers, and now she's going to share some of those answers with all of you! Just a lil background for you - Jackie and Kevin moved to Florida from Harrisonburg last July to start a church plant. Back in late 2010 they knew they were making the move, but they had no idea they'd be doing it with Jackie about ready to pop! Baby Gideon was born on September 3, 2011. Andy and I were at Wegman's when we got the news - I'll never forget that!

1. What went through your mind when you realized you were pregnant?
Yikes! ha...well truly that was the initial response. I knew we were moving in 7 months from the time I found out (meaning I'd be 8 months pregnant for an 800+ mile move), which was pretty terrifying. Plus, if I was choosing how life would play out (yes, I've learned my lesson there...), I was thinking we might have kids in around 5 years...maybe 3 if I was feeling brave, but DEFINITELY NOT last year when so much change was already coming.

2. How surprised were you when I guessed that you were pregnant?
Well, I remember Kevin saying that he told Andy he was coming to my doctor's appointment with me and immediately knew that if he mentioned that to you, you would know for sure. I mean, who's husband goes to the doctor with them unless it's for THAT doctor...or some other serious condition. So, to answer the question, not that surprised since Kevin told me he said that to Andy. (He claims Andy would've never figured it out on his own and that women have a 6th sense.)

3. How did you prepare for the baby?
I read a lot of books, magazines from the doctor, website after website (not always a good idea...some information out there is a little terrifying. If you have one symptom, it ends up seeming like you have the plague.) My favorites/most helpful readings were (gives week by week details on what's going on inside of you) and the book On Becoming Babywise. Many people are very against this book, but I have found it to be super helpful. I didn't (and still don't) follow everything in the book exactly, but it helped give guidelines to poor clueless me.

My husband Kevin and I took a birthing class as well. We waited to take the class until after we had moved, so that the class would be at the hospital where Gideon was going to be delivered. Because of this, we couldn't take the type that is offered over several weeks. Instead, we took an all day class on a Saturday. It was helpful, but man, it was long and boring. (Information was helpful, just presented in a boring way...especially when sitting ALL day long!)

4. What scared you the most about having a baby?
Umm...everything? Labor/delivery and taking care of a child that is actually mine (parenting is much different from babysitting or nannying...the job is 24/7 for the rest of your life) were the most terrifying.

5. What advice would you give new parents?
Be flexible. Don't get me wrong -- I think schedules are great. I'm a HUGE planner and love for the day to be set. BUT, there needs to be a little wiggle room. I've learned that having a schedule is helpful, but if I get so caught up in making sure I do exactly as was set, then when it falls through, I am extra frustrated. Instead, if I maintain the attitude that the day may not go exactly as planned, it typically goes pretty close to planned AND I don't get worked up over little stupid things. Basically, have an open mind when it comes to parenting.

6. How would you say you've changed since you've become a mom?
Being a mom has caused me to see my selfishness in a whole new way. I always knew I was selfish, but when there's a kid relying on you for EVERYTHING, it becomes even more evident. I've noticed it in little things such as longing to sleep in, wanting to hang out with a friend last minute (and stay up til the wee hours of the night), randomly having a craving for ice cream, but the baby's already down for the get the picture. As a mom/parent, life can't be all about you anymore. Decisions have to be made with the little one's interests in mind too.

On a slightly cheerier note, I feel I have a better understanding of God's love for his children. It's been mind-blowing how naturally I love Gideon. I don't have to decide to love him or not, I just do. It's hard to explain, but incredible to experience.

So neither of those responses answered the question of how I've changed....just more of what I've learned. Whoops. :)

the big boy and his hot mama!
7. What is Gideon up to these days?
He's learning so quickly at this stage in his life. He just turned 9 months old yet it feels like he was just born yesterday (minus the pains that come with delivery). He loves to dance, drum, walk along the couch, babble, clap, read books, and speed crawl. He's extremely curious and loves to explore anything and everything. He makes a new discovery practically every day. Just recently he discovered how to "make a funny face". He LOVES when people react to anything he does. It's already obvious he will be the class clown.

thanks Jackie! I so appreciate your honesty and I'm glad that I'll have you to call if/when we get blessed by children!