After months of sickness and secrets, almost everything is out and in the open! We are pregnant! We are having a girl! And her name is….

Gotcha! You’ll just have to wait a little longer to learn that secret 😉

And even though we have been keeping all these secrets from the world, Austin and I have been very aware of how our lives are changing and going to change in the coming months. For the last five years, it has just been the two of us, learning and growing together through dating, engagement, and marriage.

So when we found out that we are bringing someone else into our little home–someone we will be physically and spiritually responsible for–we decided it was time to get intentional about this next phase of our lives. These are some of the things we are doing.

Don’t Stop Dating–Even Through Sickness

Ladies: Before becoming pregnant, I always had a certain idea of what my pregnancy would be like. Though I knew it would be somewhat tough, I thought that it would be such a beautiful experience that I wouldn’t even care!

Ha. Haha.

Pregnancy is incredible. God is creating a human inside of me! But along with that comes some not-so-beautiful parts. I have been sick, everything feels bloated, and at the beginning, you can’t even see or feel any evidence of your baby (besides nausea—yay).

So you may be thinking, “How the heck am I supposed to go on dates when I feel like this?!”

As much as I am a proponent of giving myself nights to rest and care for my changing body, it has also been so important to remind myself (and my husband) that I am still me.  I can get out and enjoy dinner–even if it is just a side dish. I can still feel pretty even though my body feels completely different.

And guys: This is an awesome opportunity to pamper your girl. Though you are doing this together completely, this is a very physical experience for her. Even if you just make her dinner at home and remind her how beautiful she is, a date is a perfect way to make her feel like herself once again.

Do Everything You Can for your Spouse

Our marriage dynamic has completely changed since becoming pregnant. Before, we had it down pretty well. I cooked, Austin cleaned up afterward. I did the laundry during my days when I work from home. The problem has become that smells make me sick—which makes cooking AND cleaning AND dealing with stinky clothes very difficult. For the first few weeks, Austin ate chips for dinner and the laundry piled up. Eventually, we decided that we had to do something to live in a semi-nutritional, cleanly manner.

So we decided that we would do what we could. If I felt like I could wipe down the counter, I would. When Austin got home, I would instruct him how to make a simple dinner from the living room while he prepared our meal in the kitchen. He picked up a lot of extra chores, and I made whatever I could make happen, happen. Most importantly, we had grace with one another when things didn’t get done.

Start Talking and Interacting with Your Baby Together

My favorite part of laying down in bed is Austin leaning over to kiss me, then my baby ACS_0036.JPGbump. We occasionally sit and sing hymns to our little girl since she can hear our voices now. We talk to her as we talk to one another. Though we cannot cuddle or kiss little forehead her quite yet, these little things remind us that we made something together and that God is growing a little person inside of us.

Pray for Your Baby and Your Marriage Daily

Along those same lines, pray for your child. Pray for his or her salvation. Pray that as God develops a little heart and a tiny brain, your child’s soul would long for her King—even in utero.

And we pray for our coming marriage.

Things are going to change. We aren’t sure how yet; we have no idea what life after delivery will look like. But we have a God who does. He is already there with us, standing beside us, holding us up in the moments we want to collapse. So we are asking Him to prepare us now.

Discuss Parental Expectations

Clearly, we have zero clues about what it is like to be parents. We do know a few things though.

We still want to be first in one another’s lives.

This baby is going to rock our world.

Already, there is no love like the love I feel for this child who I do not even yet know.

But there is also no other love like the love I choose to have for my husband.

Discuss that now. Talk about how you want to address disagreements once there are little ears listening. Ask other people. Have dinner with parents who are doing this already. Ask them what they wish they had started doing differently, how they wish they would have prepared. There will be things that catch us off guard, and that’s okay. The important thing is that we are comfortable talking about it and that we have a foundation on which to build our family.

Enjoy Each other

I am so excited to meet my little girl. I cannot wait to get to know her personality, to kiss her sweet cheeks, or to look into her eyes (which I feel confident will be her daddy’s). For now, we have five months left of our relationship as we know it. So you better bet we are going to enjoy it!

We are taking our date night seriously.

We are cooking and doing chores together.

We are making sure that every spare minute is spent together.

This is not going to be the perfect ten months, but it is unlike any period of time we will ever have again. So we are being intentional to have fun even with the anticipations and limitations that pregnancy brings along.

Choose to Choose Each Other

image2.pngMost importantly, make the choice to choose one another over and over again. We have been discussing the choice to love on this platform since it began in 2016. Marriage is so individual. It is different from any other love because it is not one that comes naturally.

It is one that has to be chosen by both.

For the first time, we are bringing a third party—a third party who we will both love so deeply and so different—into our relationship.

Choosing one another cannot be an option, and we cannot wait until we are caught off guard by the love we feel for our child. We have to start choosing now, practicing that choice over and over again.

We know nothing can prepare us for the love we are soon to feel for baby girl or for how that love will change and enhance our love for one another. We know that there are going to be times when we feel left out by the other. We know that the busyness of parenthood will make us want to choose our to-do list and put off date night. We know our budget will be stretched, making it hard to justify a sitter when we need time for ourselves. We know we will want to sleep instead of invest.

We know that we know all of this and still do not understand what it will be like.

At the end of the day, our lives are already forever changed and will continue changing drastically over the next twenty-two weeks until baby girl Groves makes her appearance. We cannot possibly prepare for everything that will come, but you better bet we are using this time to try because ready or not, here parenthood comes.

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Thanks so much for coming to visit our blog and hear our hearts. We would love to know what you did (or wish you had done) to get ready for your babies! Let us know in the comments below, and if you feel these words might bless someone else, be sure to share on your social media platforms. 

Love you guys!

The Groves

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