It’s almost 2am. And as tired as I feel, I can’t sleep. My mind is racing. Actually, my mind is completely FREAKING out.
I lay in my dark bedroom next to a sleeping Geoff (with my feet propped up on three pillows, mind you…34 weeks pregnant has me pretty darn swollen from the knees down) for a good hour before giving up and seeking solace with a cup of hot tea, a blueberry Eggo, and a little blogging.
I’ve always been a big fan of being real….even when it paints the picture that I don’t have it all together and that my life is in disarray. So, that’s what I’m going to do tonight. I’m getting REALLY real tonight.
Here’s the deal….I’m due to have this baby in 6 weeks….and I’m beyond scared.
I’m scared all of the stuff that happens to you after you give birth that no one talks about.
I’m scared of going into labor before I get all of my editing and emailing caught up.
I’m scared of how having a baby is going to change my marriage.
I’m scared of how I’m going to be a business owner and be a mother….and be excellent at both.
I’m scared of how complicated it seems to breast feed.
I’m scared of the possibility of postpartum depression and that I won’t like my baby (this is the hardest one to admit).
While it seems all of the other pregnant people in my life are full of joy and excited anticipation of their babies’ arrival….here I am….feeling like I am breaking into a thousand pieces most of the time.
Through this brokenness, however, I am trying to lean on the only true constant in my life. I KNOW God has timed this pregnancy perfectly and that He intends for this baby to be one of the greatest blessings He could give to Geoff and I. I do know that. And yet, I’m still a mess. I could really use your prayers right about now. Thanks in advance. 🙂
Earlier this week I got my hands on the pre-release album “Kingdom Come” of Elevation’s
worship team. It’s this song that is currently speaking directly into my heart…
I need you to soften my heart
To break me apart.
I need you to open my eyes
To see that you’re shaping my life.
All I am, I surrender.
Give me faith to trust what you say.
That you’re good and your love is great.
I’m broken inside, I give you my life.
I need you to soften my heart
To break me apart.
I need you to pierce through the dark
And cleanse every part of me.
I may be weak, but your spirit’s strong in me.
My flesh my fail, but my God you never will.
Alright, now that I’ve bared my soul for all of the world to see, I’m totally beat….SURELY, I’ll be able to fall asleep now….right? 🙂
I have every confidence that your life will be infinitely better after you give birth. Have faith that you have nothing to fear
I don’t think that we, as women, really know how strong we truly are (emotionally and physically) until we become a mother. I was also worried about the things that you mention, but after my daughter was born, everything just seemed to fall into place. Sure, there will be bumps in the road (and it’s not always *that* easy), but you’ll figure it out.
I can’t describe the feelings that I have when I look at my daughter. I am excited for you to meet your little one and experience that same unconditional and absolutely overwhelming love. I think I feel God’s love even more now that I’m a mother, which I also believe is truly one of His greatest callings.
Good luck to you (and I hope you get some sleep!). These next few weeks will fly by, but not nearly as fast as they will once she is here! 🙂 Goodnight.
My sweet Cheyenne!!! I HAVE SO BEEN THERE!!! The sleepless night, the swolen feet, the inability to turn my brain off, the nightmares of what is to come… I have been through it all… my heart so goes out to you right now. From a horrible 1st labor and deliver to postpartum depression and sturggling to bond with my 1st son, I understand the fear. BUT… TRUST ME when I tell you that YOU CAN DO THIS, AND YOU WILL ROCK AT IT!!! Remember God’s promise that he has a hope and a future for you? It’s not just for you but for that baby to come as well. He (your all knowing Savior) is not going to give you more than you can handle. The editing will get done (and if customers have to wait a little longer than expected, they’ll get over it!), your marrige will change (it will get richer! You will see something in Geoff’s eye’s you’ve never seen before and IT’S WORTH IT!!!!), you’ll conquer breastfeeding (and really, formula isn’t all that bad!!!), baby blues will pass (I’ve delt with that and lived to talk about it!), and bonding will happen (you are going to love that baby more than you think is possible), and as for all that stuff no one talks about… the reason we don’t talk about it, is because it is so small in the grand scheme of things, 6 months later you can’t even remember it at all! But remember, give yourself slack to fail. You don’t have to be perfect at everything all the time or your wouldn’t be human! If you ever want to talk, straight talk about anything baby boy (I’m well versed with two of them under foot!) call me ANYTIME!!!!!
You’re awesome for sharing your thoughts and completely understand. I am a full time christian, husband, dad of 2, son, photographer, and friend. Is it easy? Nope. Is it hard? Yep. Does it all work out? Not always, something has to give from time to time but as long as it’s not the first three it all works out. God is ultimately in control because I’ve given it all to Him. I will tell you that the good outweighs the bad, but having a baby does change your life, ain’t gonna lie. However, it changes your life in a way you will appreciate because it teaches you to pay attention to whats really important. My wife had some postpartum depression after our first baby because she didn’t get out much after she had the baby. A good way to avoid going through that is to have Geoff take care of the baby from time to time while you go shopping, or out to lunch with your mom or a friend. It’ll make you feel free instead of feeling cooped up at home. The editing will get done sooner or later, just take it one day at a time 🙂 I’ll leave you with one of my favorite verses: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” Deut 31:6 (NIV). God bless the Schultzes and the little blessing that is on the way 😉
Hi Cheyenne. I gave birth in September last year, after resisting the pressure to have a baby for 40 years. I panicked about how all encompassing it would be and how my life would no longer be my own. I doubted those who said that once he was born, none of that would matter and he would become so important that everything else would fade away. I am SO independent and I just didn’t believe them. The first few days (ok, months) were harder than I could have imagined and I truly thought I had made a massive mistake. 10 months on and he truly brings me joy every day. There is something about the innocence of the very young that makes better people of us all. I will say that I gave up on breastfeeding after 2 weeks and it was the best decision I have ever made. My sanity returned instantly, I shared the night feeds with my other half and we ALL got more sleep. I wish you all the best and know you’ll be FANTASTIC at it (and if you aren’t, you would just be like the rest of us).
Cheyenne, You’re scared, as any normal woman would be. And no amount of us telling you that you’ll be fine and you’ll get through it is going to change the fact that you’re scared. But you know in your heart, underneath all those fears, that you’re going to be a great mother and that the only effect this will have on your marriage is to make your bond with Geoff stronger. You are a kind, beautiful, intelligent, loving and talented woman and your child is going to be one of the luckiest children in the world. A lot of people could only hope to have parents who are as dedicated as you and Geoff.
your honesty is beautiful…just like you are. praying for real peace for you right now.
You will be an amazing mother…..put it all in God’s hands…enjoy the moments in the present and face the challenges in the future as the come…..not as you precieve them to be…..:)
thanks for your transparency friend. We are praying for you. 🙂
i adore you. sending big hugs friend. BIG hugs.
Hi, I’m a follower because I love your photography!! I would be scared of all the things you have listed, it’s a huge change and change in any degree is daunting because we are reminded that we don’t have control. I’ll certainly be praying! I also know that you will handle this with the love and support of Geoff, your family, your friends and most importantly because you know that your Heavenly Father loves you most of all and is always there and always in control!
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
I’m sure thinking about you alot as your baby gets closer to being here. I’m so sorry you’re feeling so scared, all of those thoughts go through my head too when I just THINK about having a child and you are doing it, I’m SO proud of you. Your faith and all the love from your family and friends will be there for you throughout this time and all the times to come. You’ll be in my thoughts. I love you little bug.
I totally and completely have all of these same feelings….and I am no where NEAR having children and I already freak out about them! You will be brilliant! LOVEe
I can feel you on this one. I will be 39 weeks on Sunday and the last few weeks have been… interesting. It finally hit me – am I going to be able to juggle everything that my husband and I do (since we have a photography business as well), am I going to do a great job raising our kid (we don’t know what sex), will we be able to manage our cat, dog, and child all at the same time. As people have already commented, you are not alone! I think freaking out is probably the best thing for us new mothers to do; I’d be worried if we weren’t scared of what is to come. It’s a big change, but it will be awesome – just focus on the positive side.
Your honesty is beautiful. I remember feeling some of the same things before my first baby was born… Nothing anyone said to me helped to calm my fears, but I can tell you that when you hold your baby for the first time, it all melts away. Seriously, it’s magical. And after the “newness” fades a bit and you’re faced with your worries again, I can promise you that you’re also left with the feeling that anything that has to happen for that little baby to be in your arms is totally worth it. = )
we’ve never met, but i’m a shameless blog stalker, especially when it comes to photography 🙂 you’ve shot a few of my friends and i actually went to high school with jon in the post below. all that said, i read this when i woke up this morning & immediately was led to pray that God would overhwelm you with a marvelous, unexpected joy & love when that little one arrives. that you would understand His love for you fresh & new and that He would give you a peace that passes all the fear & understanding of what is right now. i can only imagine how scary bringing a new little one into this world can be. even though i’m single, recently more and more of my friends have been having babies and watching their realities makes it real enough for me 🙂 praying blessings on the days ahead for you as a new mother, wife, and photographer!
Just know that all your worries are seriously the same worries every new mother has.
And you are lucky that you have a loving partner to share this experience with.
My advice to you:
Don’t worry about the actual birth…it really is not that bad. Everyone at the hospital is super wonderful and you will be fine. This is a total natural thing and a bajillion woman have done it and so can you…cuz we as woman are super awesome and can do anything! You got this girl! For real!!
Don’t worry about work and Motherhood….this too will figure itself out.
Being a mother doesn’t change who your core self is….it just makes you even more awesome!
And also…the most important thing…don’t forget to pay attention to all the little things. They grow so fast! I can’t believe my daughter just recently turned 10.I have NO IDEA where the time has gone! I look back at pictures and say OMG…all the time.
Take a million pictures…and enjoy this beautiful and amazing time.
You will be fine, I swear.
If I can do it…anyone can! Seriously!
Its totally okay that you are feeling so unprepared. When you arent planning for something like pregnancy, you dont have the time to process all of these feelings and thoughts beforehand .And when it does happen everything is such a fast whirlind– before you know it, its time to push! You and Geoff are going to be amazing parents. No one has it all together- and as prepared as you might think you are- youre never totally prepared. Nothing ever goes as WE plan, but thats okay because Gods plans are perfect! As much as Joe and I have been trying the past 2 years- Im still scared. Let me share my REAL feelings with you. I’m scared that the baby wont make it- how could I ever function again if that happened? Im scared Joe wont ever make it home to meet our baby. I’m scared that as much as Ive always wanted to be a Mommy, that I wont be good enough at the role. Im scared about breastfeeding too! What if our baby is lactose intolerant? What if our baby has a handicap that we arent prepared to handle. Theres a million things to worry about..All I know is God is in control. He gave us this life inside of us and he knows what hes doing! Enjoy your last 6 weeks being preggo and try and let go of all of your worries. God is going to take care of you and your new family. And if you ever need anything you know you have a million people that are there for you- loving you and cheering you on to be the best version of yourself. I love you sister. WE LOVE YOU.!!! 🙂
Cheyenne… I think that by acknowledging beforehand that these things may become issues, it actually is saving you from from the blunt end of these challenges. So many women they think that having a baby is all magic and love, so they aren’t prepared for when things aren’t like they are in fairy tales, when the bond isn’t there, when things start to fall apart. I just wanted to say that I truly believe that these things will come together on their own, and you may look at this blog entry a year from now and think, “I had nothing to worry about”. Of course things are going to become more challenging, but your strong faith and determination will carry you through. The rewards of having your son flip your lives upside-down will far outweigh any negatives. You are on the brink of the singlemost most life-changing event you will EVER have in all your days, and it is completely normal to be terrified of the unknown. Have faith, have courage, and keep your passion, you will be fine. Know that this is YOUR experience… the pregnancy and birth of your first child. Do not let guilt and stress steal this time from you. Enjoy it, NOTHING is as important as this. God bless you and your beautiful family.
Cheynne, your so amazing for being so honest. I know I dont have a kid yet but trust me I definitely think about the same things you do!! I look around me and all of these expecting moms seem so joyful and carefree. However for me when I think about when Michael and I have a kid, it scares me!! I worry about our marriage, will the baby change us, will we love eachother the same and make time for eachother. I worry about the bonding aspect, will I love my baby, I know people say its instant but will it be for me? Even crazier I think about the fact that this cute little baby will be 11 one day and I dont really like 11 year olds, they are awkward:) Just know that your thoughts and fears are totally valid and understandable, I mean I think about them and Im not even anywhere close to having a kid! Just know Im thinking and praying for you!!! Im very excited for you and Geoff, this baby is going to be SUPER cute, plus if I remember correctly you are due around my birthday (sept 17th) which means this kid is going to be awesome!!
praying for you and being really is always great… never be afraid to be real, never!
While, I don’t know you personally, I have followed your blog for a while since you have photographed some amazing pictures of my friends, so I check back every now and then just to check out your recent work. I don’t know if this would interest you, but this girl’s blog on having and raising her 6 month old baby girl has been really interesting, real and sweet to read. I just thought I would pass it along. Good luck and from what I have seen you seem like you will be an amazing mother and just the fact that all of this worries you, only proves that point! http://dearbabyblog.com/
Hi Cheyenne! I am right there with you…actually….a few months behind you. I’m 19 weeks pregnant, and ALL of those feelings are creeping up on me. Thanks for posting this. I know the Lord is good, and that these babies are the best blessing we can have- but the doubts still like to come around. It’s helped me to remember that this is something that God has planned for this specific place and time- and if it weren’t right for us to have a zillion emails to return while we’re hungry and freaking out, then He wouldn’t have done it! So as crazy as it feels, He’s promised us that we’re right where we are supposed to be. I can’t wait to see this baby be born and loving life with Mommy + Daddy!
Cheyenne, it is actually refreshing to see you be real about every fear that we have all gone through before the birth of a baby. Trust me, then another comes along and you fear loving it the same as you do your first. Then they start to grow and you fear for so many more things. You have your heart and mind centered where it needs to be. Trust in Him and He will take care of all those fears. The delievery, the afterwards, the breastfeeding…..those are the easy ones, and you will make it through them all (with a little pharmaceutical therapy) like a champ. As for your marriage, it will change in ways you never imagined, for the better. You will grow more in love with Geoff as you watch him with your son. Always remember to keep your marriage real…..date nights are a must, even if it is a picnic in front of the TV because the baby fell asleep early. You both appear to be cognisent of what the other needs and making everyday moments special memories. You won’t lose that just because a baby arrives, you will only enhance it.
Holy cow! I am 25 weeks pregnant and I just wrote a blog entry very similar to this. I’m not sure if you remember me but I’m reba’s frend that emailed you several moths ago. Anyways, another photographer friend I have in SanFran posted this link to my fb page after reading my entry. Is a small world! Congrats on the pregnancy 🙂 isn’t it great knowing that God has a bigger plan? I’ll be praying for you.
Your realness is precious. Don’t ever think that you are not a good mother for having fear. Everyone dealing with major life changes has fear and this is the biggest one of all! I remember feeling like this and it was comforting to me when friends told me that it was normal. It is still comforting to hear those words when there are hard days.
When Jeremy was competing in swimming, one of the things he used to calm his mind was to “focus on the controllables”, he taught me to do the same thing when I was pregnant and would get overwhelmed. A controllable may be as simple as “I can control that my bag will be ready to go to the hospital when I go into labor by going to pack it right now.” So I would go pack it and it would ease my mind for a little while. Then when I would start to get overwhelmed again, I would focus on another controllable. I just thought I would share that in case it is something that would help you.
Don’t be afraid to outsource some of your work if you have to.
Most of all, I am praying for you. He promises to never give us more than we can handle. And He is faithful. This little boy is the greatest give you will ever receive!
Girl ~ when Tom and I got married, everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE kept asking about kids. I simply started telling them that when I could listen to that question without hyperventilating or feeling severe anxiety, then I would know that it would be time for me to think about a family. Hahah!!
Plain and simple ~ you are a ROCK STAR. Your honesty is amazing and the fact that you can share that with millions of people speaks volumes about your character. You got this in the bag, girl. Seriously. Lots of love, hugs and best wishes your way!!!
Cheyenne I admire your honesty so much. I think that even just writing that post took a look of strength and courage and that are probably SO much stronger than you think 🙂 You are an amazing woman. A mentor. And an inspiration. Sending positive thoughts your way xo
Dear dear Cheyenne: You have just voiced the fears and concerns that every soon-to-be mother (and some of us not soon-to-be-mothers) have about bringing children into this world. You have created a wonderfully full life (that I shamelessly stalk and admire) with a husband, faith community, puppies, family, friends, and long-ago friends who love you for exactly who you are. Wonderful Cheyenne. And now everything is about to change. And my guess is that it may be hard. But you are strong. You are strong in your faith, you are strong in your relationships, and you are strong in your love of life. I have so much confidence in you, Chey. No matter how many days, months, and years go by, I will always remember you as an incredibly loving, fiercely loyal, and wonderfully funny woman. You are going to be an amazing mother – and although that may sound hyperbolic or trite, I know it’s true. I KNOW IT. So go enjoy this wonderful life, dear friend. I cannot wait to see the blessings this little man brings to you and to Geoff. Much love and kisses.
Rule # 1 Be real with your mother and mother in law
Rule # 2 Family woman have been the support system for mothers of infants, young children and adult children
Rule # 3 Fear is what you make it, truly. Every woman is fearful of birth and the type of mother they will become. Just like marriage, it is something you never do alone. Family and friends are the system of support.
Rule #4 Hormones are at a level to get you through the pregnancy and create life along with body changes. They will take some time to get back in order and they will so do not feed the fears you might feel right now.
Rule # 5 Ask for the support you need in the day, in the moment. Those who love you may just take the bull by the horns when we see you need some time off, if you do not learn how to lean on us.
Rule # 6. I have news for you, too. YOu won’t be the perfect mom but you will be the best mom you can be with what you know. YOu will learn. You will make mistakes. You will forgive yourself. You will be great long term. NO matter what you read or what anyone tells you, your child will be an individual brought up within a synergetic culture combination of your background and Geoff’s background.
The world is waiting for this little guy. He has a special purpose in life as each of us are given. You and Geoff will be his most immediate support system. Focus on his stregnths and expose him to experiences that give him choices. He will be effected by the outside world which you will have no control over. It will make him an individual who has choices.
Feed his dreams with resources and knowledge. Keep him clothed, fed, exercising and loved and nurtured.
Raise him knowing God as the creator who provided abundance in life for all of us to choose from. Let him know he is in charge of his choices and his dreams and how to take steps to achieve his personal happiness.
Your mother and I will be your support system, along with friends who have had the experience. Decide on the values under which you want for your child. Create just a few simple rules to guide you.
Learn to talk to me, epress your feelings. I love you. I have no judgement and would love to be more than your mother in law. I would love to become a great friend you can depend on!
Karen / MOM
Cheyenne–Oh my! I remember those sleepless nights—worrying that I wouldn’t be the mom that I had always dreamed of, that I’d be a miserable failure at breastfeeding, that my children would grow up to wish they had some other mother—I’m on the other side of much of this now (WAAAAAAY on the other side—you photographed my first born, my “experiement” in mothering in her bridal portrait in April—Caitlin)—who, by the way, has now found herself pregnant—talk about changes! ANYWAY, I look back now and realize that the beautiful thing about babies is they are so forgiving—they don’t have expecations of us—they just want to be fed, and dry and loved. I KNOW you will be the best at all of these things! You seem to have a great support system there—-just continue to know that the Father KNOWS all of this—that he is infinitely aware of all that you are feeling and he will bring you peace and comfort on those days (and sleepless nights) when you are feeling anxious. Just LOVE that baby—you’ll be the best! Oh, and on the breastfeeding thing—SOOOOOO worth the effort. Stick with it. Find a friend who loves breast feeding and call on her often—-It was hard at first (and it was hard for several weeks off and on), but I encourage you to hang in there—there’s nothing sweeter than that time together. Love and Hugs to you and Geoff—-The Lord is SOOOO faithful. I can’t wait to see this precious gift here on the blog—do share! Thanks for being vulnerable—I LOVE seeing “life for real” as my son says—not life as we want people to see us!
Oh the hormones, the fears, the not-knowing…. a woman goes through a LOT when she is preganant and gives birth… you will do wonderful and will be an amazing Mother. Best of luck to you… 🙂
Cheyenne, i just love ya to pieces, i felt all those things and more, just take it one step at a time am have faith in your husband, and in god, that he will lead the way. be kind to yourself, and know perfection does not exsist. I am going through a seperation from my husband right now and the prayer you printed helped me thank you for that. Oh yeah one more thing, sleep is over rated… you can go without it, trust me.
Hey Cheyenne, I don’t know you, but I love your photography and passion. I’ve been following your blog since I was searching for my wedding photographer back in 2008 (and secretly I wish we had chosen you guys and I hope one day you’ll shoot some photos of our baby boy). Anyways, if the passion you have for your job and the Lord says anything about you, then I know you’ll be an excellent mother. I was in the same place as you just 5 months ago. As our pregnancy was unplanned, it was a definite surprise and challenge. I had the same worries and concerns as you. I’m no expert mom or anything since I’ve only been doing it 3.5 months, but I can tell you that you two will be awesome parents. There are definitely ups and downs, but the way you two work together, you’ll accomplish anything. and one thing to just add. If breastfeeding doesn’t go as well as you thought, don’t beat yourself up about it. It has been a definite challenge for us and we’ve had to supplement with formula. Just know happy baby = happy mom, and has nothing to do with how good of a mother you are. Good luck these last few weeks and I can’t wait to see your newest addition. Best wishes, Logan.
girl, I LOVE your work and so even though I still have your link mixed in with a million other blogs that I bookmarked, I always make a point to check yours. I’ll be honest… I’m a horrible blog stalker, most of the time, I skip straight to the pics and then I’m done. But today, I decided to read and I think I just might love your heart more than I love your images! In fact I KNOW that is true. You’re getting ready to have a baby, I’m a full time photog and getting ready to be married and I’m scared to death too. Our lives are DEFINITELY going to change but girl, you know the Lord and that means you’re all set! You’re going to be an INCREDIBLE wife, momma and photog all at the same time. I know it! Thanks for being honest.:)
Just now getting around to reading this post but I want you to know that I’m praying for you! I’m not pregnant yet (just got married last September) but all of the fears you mentioned are already in the back of my mind. It’s such a life-changing experience and just terrifying! Thanks for being so real 🙂
This may seem weird coming from a perfect stranger… but this post just touched my heart… “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Don’t get me wrong, there will definitely be moments of “sanctification” :), but you know God didn’t bring you this far to abandon you! 🙂 Have you ever been to one of those weddings that just seemed pure and innocent, and Christ centered? And have you ever noticed how two people may arrive at the church as individuals, but during the ceremony something…. magical…. takes place…. and as they walk up the aisle after the ceremony they almost even look different, because now they aren’t two separate individuals, but one flesh united in Christ? I think that’s how being a mother is…. you go to the hospital scared to death and unsure of everything, but when that baby is born you don’t just become a mother in name, you become a mother by nature, and God works a second little miracle right there in your heart not just by bringing a child into the world, but by making you a mother…
The best thing you can do for a child after having a relationship with Christ is have a strong relationship with your spouse. Seems to me from what I’ve read on your blog that you’ve got both of those…. your child will be one blessed kid.
i had every one of those fears… and after labor they didn’t go away, they intensefied. the newness and change was hard on me. but i got the hang of it, and you will too. God made it that way… for some it’s easier, some harder, but we were made to overcome and love and do our best. balance is better than perfect.
ps. i had a hard time breastfeeding (flat nipples) and i did it! i almost lost my milk several times, but pumped my way back. so just recommendations, have a dual pump ready, olive oil of the nips while pumping, and dont both hand washing all your stuff, just sanitize them in your dishwasher… save time and time is of the essence!!
Cheyenne thank you for baring your soul to us. Trust in God to get you through the uncertainties. He is always with you. He has given you a wonderful gift in photography, the most perfect husband for you who is as talented and the gift of a child. You will get through this and alway be overawed that he chose you to be your son’s mother. xxxxxx