Welcome to our Family Allison Joyce! - My journey through Conception, Pregnancy & the Start Motherhood (Part 1)
I am sure many of you who saw my husband and I’s big announcement on social media this last Thursday were probably thinking “What?!?!?!?!?!” ... Don’t feel bad, you are not the only one.
As of 7:00am on Wednesday, August 7th, Josh and I became parents. Allison Joyce was 6lbs 12oz and 19 inches long. Josh and I decided very early into our pregnancy to not share our story and the play by play on social media. We wanted to wait until our little one was in our healty and safe in our arms.
Sharing our exciting news in person to each friend and family member over the past 9 months has been the best. I loved all the belly rubs and genuine excitement surrounding this moment in real time and not behind the screen. Another huge factor for us choosing to not share our pregnancy online was witnessing many of our friends go through fertility issues and the loss of child(ren). We quickly felt that our pregnancy was a gift and it became very personal and very private.
I feel compelled to share with you the year before our story started with Allison. I would like to shed a light on what it’s like being young married couple not being able to conceive right away.
Josh and I never thought that it would have taken us eleven months to naturally conceive. During 2018, we had decided that we were going to focus on our family and begin trying to have a baby. As months passed with no luck, we continuously watched friends and acquaintances announce their pregnancies on social media. Month after month we had to grieve the loss of every opportunity we had not conceived. Time seemed to be go so quickly and so slowly at the same time; and we were often left wondering if we would ever be able to become parents.
As newlyweds we often wondered, “when was it going to be the right time for us to get pregnant?” As time passed, I found myself regretting waiting and often thinking that my selfishness caused us to wait to have a baby. I chose to put so many things before starting a family and I often questioned my values and beliefs about life and what mattered most.
The thought of starting a family when we first got married scared me. The stigmas, stereotypes and assumptions that surround motherhood, pregnancy, and becoming a parent are not the most encouraging in our society. I watched many of my friends change as they started having children. I saw them slowly lose their identy, instead of having motherhood add to their amazing qualities as a woman. I knew that I wanted motherhood to be apart of me but not define me. I think many of these misconceptions led to the fear of starting a family.
In my heart, I always wanted to be a mom, despite the fears. When people would ask me where I saw myself in 5, 10, 20 years in a professional setting I would always respond with “I would like to be a mom,” but felt judged for not responding with a career oriented goal that was a result of my hard work investing in some company. I knew that if Josh and I committed to pursuing our goals and dreams as individuals, our family would allow us become better versions of ourselves just like our marriage did. We have amazing friends that encouraged us, and reminded us that we are in control of our life and our family. We get to choose the role our children play in forming our family's values.
During the first three years of marriage we experienced a lot of change in a very short amount of time. I graduated from college and we uprooted our family to west Michigan. My job took me all over the country traveling four to five days out of the week. Josh and I struggled to connect and make our marriage a priority with our new lifestyle and every trip to the airport was an emotional roller coaster.
After that season of life, we decided that we were no longer willing to postpone starting a family. We were going to begin thinking about what we wanted as a family, and stop living and working for someone else's dream. We started trying to conceive, but after 10 months we were unsuccessful quickly approaching our 5 year wedding anniversary; and also the dreaded holiday season.
The holidays are the hardest when you are trying to conceive and not having any luck. Many people feel entitled to ask you about when you are going to start having kids, when you just want to scream at the top of your lungs that you are trying!
At this point many of you reading this are probably thinking… why didn’t you begin some type of medical intervention? Why wouldn’t you just do something about it instead of hoping and praying it would just magically happen? Josh and I from the beginning of trying to start a family had the same unified thoughts surrounding medical intervention and decided that it wasn’t for us and our family.
We spent many hours talking about our family and what we envisioned for us and our marriage. We shared the same beliefs in desiring God’s hand to allow us to conceive on his watch and not ours. We are in control of so many things in life - where we work, the size of our house, when we decide to get married and the car we choose to drive. For our family, we wanted to let it be, and allow God to have his hand in the conception of our child. We wanted to trust him with his perfect timing.
After 11 months of trying to conceive Josh and I went to go see a movie and have our weekly date night. This was after our first family holiday party and I was emotionally drained after seeing family members with their new bundles of joy. The movie we chose to see was about foster care and I remember leaving the theatre asking Josh if this was God’s way of warming me up to adoption while basically crying the whole way home. I was broken and felt defeated. I wondered if I would ever become a mom. God has a funny way of breaking us down and rebuilding us at the most perfect time.
Stay tuned for the next part of our story! I will be sharing the highs and lows of pregnancy and also how I told Josh we were going to have a baby. Make sure to "Like" Elizabeth Berghuis Photography and also follow me on Instagram (@elizabethberghuisphotography) for more cute baby pictures of Allison and also upcoming weddings and other sessions!
Huge thank you so much to Ben Law Photography for his amazing work and capturing our maternity pictures for us while we were in Petoskey on our baby moon.
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