Motherhood

Are You Pregnant? Or Trying? 12 Posts for You…

joanna-goddard-belly-shot-pregnant

One question that readers often ask is, “I just found out I’m pregnant. What do I need to know?!” My answer would be… Congratulations! Hope you’re feeling well. In case it helps, here are 12 posts about pregnancy and birth, which I wrote while expecting Toby and Anton. I remember what an exciting but disorienting time pregnancy was! (After all, as a friend once told me, “You’re growing a soul.”) Hope these posts help a little as you navigate these months…

Pregnancy:
What If You Have a Hard Time Conceiving a Baby?
Pregnancy Survival Guide
What to Register for Your Baby
The Best Book for Mothers-to-Be
Are You Having a Boy or a Girl? 12 Old Wives Tales…
What Are Your Favorite Baby Names?
On Having a Boy

Birth:
Our Birth Story
Alex’s Side of the Birth Story

New Parenthood:
My Motherhood Mantra
8 Confessions of a New Dad
5 Beautiful Parenting Tips

Breastfeeding (if you choose to):
On Boobs
Breastfeeding in Public

Also, for your last couple weeks of pregnancy, a site to send to everyone you know.

Of course, let me know if you have any questions or things you’d like to chat about, and we can discuss together in the comments, or I’ll try to put together a post with various answers. Pregnancy can be overwhelming, and I’m a big believer in mothers helping one another. Lots of love and congratulations! xoxo

  1. Nice of you to share these important and helpful topics on pregnancy. These are really helpful to pregnant moms, most especially first time moms. Thank you Joanna!

  2. Lilly says...

    I am 14 weeks pregnant with my first, and the day I found out, I was laid off from my job. I haven’t had a chance to be fully excited about becoming a mom because of the job search and the anxiety about revealing to my future employer that I am pregnant. Being at home during my first trimester has been both a blessing and a curse, as I have plenty of time to rest, but I also feel isolated and miss the social support I would have at a workplace. I wonder how other women have handled job changes, or other life challenges while being pregnant, and what are some ways of de-stressing in general (I’ve already mastered ice cream+netflix).

    • Shoshana says...

      Lilly,
      I just came across your comment on this site and thought I’d respond. I was laid off of my job around 10 weeks and was so sick for the first 5 months of pregnancy that I have chosen not to find another full time job. It was a HUGE shift in lifestyle very quickly and I wasn’t ready for it at all, but have slowly adjusted to the “premature stay-at-home mom” thing for the time being. I plan on finding at least freelance or part-time work after the baby is born for sure as I don’t think I’m cut out for full-time stay at home mom for long. Anyway, just wanted to let you know there’s someone else out there with a similar story and lots of ups and downs to go with it. Hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well ;)

  3. Heather says...

    And don’t forget to check out iPhone app BABIO to track all the essentials – feeds, naps, diapers for those first 6 months!! This app was great for us, after trying MANY MANY other apps. And it’s free!

  4. Larissa says...

    We just started trying last month. I’m having major anxiety about infertility, even though the rational part of me knows it’s only been ONE month! Part of me wanted to be on of those people that got pregnant right away (patience is a virtue I do not possess). I would love to see a post that discussed people’s experiences with trying to conceive :)

  5. Anna says...

    Great article!

  6. lallux says...

    Hi Joanna,
    I wonder if you or your lovely commenters could speak to your feelings about having babies all of one gender. I have two beautiful girls and just found out, we have a third baby girl on the way and I’m having very mixed feelings about it. I didn’t really care what the first baby was, and I dearly wanted my 2nd to be a daughter (for the power of that sisterly bond). I love the idea of having another baby but I’m disappointed that I might never have a son (we are still toying with the idea of having 4 or potentially adopting one day). It feels silly to even care since about gender given the two girls are so different and I wouldn’t have traded them for anything. How did you feel about it having all boys? Or your readers?

    • Katie says...

      I am the oldest of three girls and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I have a close and special, yet different bond with each of my sisters. I run to one or the other depending on who can help me solve my current dilemma. Growing up there was a lot of bickering, but we are all in our 20s now and consider each other best friends. Your daughters will thank you for each of their sisters once they’re older :)

    • Dominique says...

      I cried during the ultrasound when I found out we were having a second girl. I was incredibly disappointed. The pregnancy had been so different from my first (and so much harder) that I had convinced myself it had to be because it was a boy. She’s now 4 months old and it is really sweet how much my 3 year old loves her. We will try one more time and we both hope for a boy. A son is really important to my husband and his family too. That part of it is a little weird to me and hard to accept. I would be more upset about it, but they love our girls so much. I know that if we end up having another girl, they will love her just as much. I am a little jealous of people who have one boy and one girl. If the second one was a boy, we would probably consider our family complete. I’m also worried about our house being over run by super girly stuff. I don’t buy really girly stuff (and am not girly myself) but they get it as gifts constantly. I think at the end of the day, the important part is to love your kids for who they are. And it’s okay to feel disappointed about the gender of your baby. It helped me a lot to talk about it so I could sort out my feelings before she arrived and let go of them.

  7. Carla says...

    I’m 18 weeks pregnant today thanks to embryo adoption. We suffered with secondary infertility for five years. We got pregnant with our daughter on the “first try” so you can imagine the shock of our infertility diagnosis when she was two and we had been trying for a second child: severely low sperm counts. Four rounds of IVF did not produce a single positive pregnancy test and were very traumatic for us and our daughter. For me, using an egg donor was not something I was comfortable with. Trying instead with an already created but frozen-in-time human embryo seemed a more loving way. I would love to see a post on embryo adoption and donation which is an incredible solution for infertility and for the hundreds of thousands of cryo-preserved embryos in storage in our country. I know some have political motivation for insisting it not be called embryo adoption but only donation, but for my husband and me, and I think for every couple who actually goes through this grueling and life-changing process, it really is akin to adoption. If those who suffer infertility want to call it adoption, that should be respected. It’s been a terrible journey of infertility, one of the worst things that can happen to anyone, but thanks to the couple who lovingly donated their embryos to us, we now feel like survivors and rejoice every day. This is a very special baby!

  8. Sarah says...

    How fortuitous! I am 6 weeks pregnant with my second bubba and am already hungry like the wolf for anything salty and savory. Makes me think I’m having another delicious little lad! Joanna, may I just say you are glorious, honest, beautiful and real. Your posts make my day, every day. Keep up the great work.

  9. Flor says...

    Joanna, for the 3rd time mamas, can you ask your readers what is an appropriate baby gift. One of my friends is having a third baby her youngest is 2, so she has a lot of baby gear already. Thanks

    • Buying for mamas who have multiple wee ones can be tricky! Especially if they have lots of baby stuff already from previous kiddos.

      I personally love to gift a piece of really original art for the new baby’s nursery. Something cute, inspiring and magical.

      Of course, you can never spoil a child with too many books either! :)

  10. I have been sending the “Have You Had That Baby Yet” site to all my third trimester friends for years! It’s brilliant! :)

  11. catherine says...

    I’m so happy to see this post, it’s perfect timing! I just found out I’m pregnant on Monday. I would love to hear from other women who have had successful pregnancies and births after previous losses. Having been through a loss, it’s a struggle to stay positive.

  12. Jad says...

    I’ve been reading your posts for years now and the baby section was never relevant to me, but always fun to read. I am so glad you posted this round-up now because i am now 9 weeks pregnant with my first baby and it is so helpful to read through it all again!!
    My husband and me live in France and we don’t speak much french. Luckily my gyno speaks perfect English, but it is still scary not knowing everything that is going to happen. Things in France are very different compared to the US and this will be quite an experience for us.
    Thank you for all the book tips and being so open about your own experience, it is a refreshing calm after all the google searches on what to eat/expect/do/ not do!
    I also LOVE your motherhood around the world series and hope to see more things like that!

  13. lola says...

    I’m due in 6 weeks, can anyone recommend some online guided meditations for birth. I’m too late to go to any of the Hypnobirthing/Calm Birthing classes and they are very $$$ in my area. Thanks in advance xx

  14. Whoa, those breastfeeding in public post comments, jeez. “Your breast is a sexual organ…” Makes me want to breastfeed my boyfriend in public just to insult people who think breastfeeding is an issue. I am going to try and keep an open mind but struggle with this one.

  15. Dana says...

    Loved all of these posts, despite not being a mom (yet!) Along those lines, I’d love to read a post about the best gifts to give new moms. I have many new mamas in my life, and id love to hear some creative gifts that women loved, or would have loved, as they became a mother.

  16. Greta says...

    Joanna, I really like what your friend said: that you are growing a soul during the pregnancy. In my view you continue growing it after the birth and that’s the most challenging and the most important thing of all. How do we make sure our little ones become good, kind, confident, strong, fulfilled and altogether happy people? Can we discuss in this online community more issues related to the challenges of being a parent (e.g. discipline, tantrums, asserting your authority, siblings’ relationships, choosing schools, etc.)? At times I feel so unprepared for the heavy task of being a mom and parenting books only scratch the surface (if that). My experience shows that the best parenting advice comes from other moms. So I’d love it if you’d write more posts on that and spark meaningful discussions.

  17. Joanna Goddard says...

    these are such amazing questions and comments, thank you so much for sharing. looking forward to answer/discussing these topics in future posts and comments. we are also working on a miscarriage post that i hope will be meaningful to people — it’s such an important subject and i’ve been thinking for a while now about how best to approach it. thank you so much. xoxo

  18. I would love to read a post on children’s privacy and social media. I had my daughter 4 months ago and can’t help but post photos of her milestones and cute things she’s done, but I also am trying to determine where the limits are for her safety and privacy. I’d love to hear your thoughts (and others!) since you share Toby and Anton with us fairly regularly. What have you determined in terms of boundaries? Is there an age in their future where you think you’d stop? Do you and Alex ever disagree on how much of their lives to share?

    Thanks Joanna!

    • Grace says...

      Second this idea!

  19. Maggie says...

    Joanna, my husband and I were married on the exact same day as you and Alex, but we’re far behind you on the baby front–I’m 25 weeks with our first right now!

    I’d love to see something about dealing with the psychological aspects of pregnancy. You were so wonderfully open about your struggles postpartum, and since (from what I can tell from some of your posts) you tend to have some anxiety normally, I’ve wondered how you fared on that front during pregnancy.

    As grateful as I am to have been able to get pregnant, and as excited as I am to meet our baby, I’ve found the actual being-pregnant part really stressful and honestly, not fun. I feel bad for not having the glowing, beautiful experience a lot of people seem to, and it’s kind of weird and lonely feeling like you’re not enjoying this time the whole world tells you should be amazing. Any advice for dealing with the feeling out-of-sorts and the hormone-heightened anxiety and the just kind of wishing pregnancy was three months long instead of ten?

    • Renae says...

      I was in your shoes also. Everyone talked about how great and excited they felt during pregnancy, but I was so stressed with the (internal) pressure of being the sole person of making sure the baby grew, and stayed in long enough, and was ok, that I was a mess throughout the whole thing. Plus, I had morning sickness until I delivered and that didn’t exactly help. I felt really lonely also as I thought I was the only one who felt that way. What helped me was to try to find little pieces of calm or joy – watching some of my favourite movies (only comedies!), going out with close girlfriends for some much needed chat sessions, or even listening to calming music. Be so gentle with yourself – your feelings are very normal, and you’re doing a great job! Hugs to you mama!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hi maggie, thank you so much for your sweet note! it’s so funny — we were having this exact conversation in the office yesterday, about how some women say they feeling glowing and happy during pregnancy and others feel out of sorts and emotional. i was DEFINITELY the second type! i was very wobbly and emotional throughout. it sounds obvious, but i would recommend taking gentle care of yourself and not putting too much pressure on yourself. remind yourself that everything is good, even if you’re feeling anxious. maybe get into a fun TV show, like watch all the episodes of Frasier or Sex & the City or The Gilmore Girls; and make some times to see friends and talk openly about how pregnancy can be intense! i remember randomly bursting into tears about things, or waking up in the night obsessing over how toby’s nursery wouldn’t be set up in time — all to say, your feelings are very normal! i’m sending you a hug and rooting for you! xoxoxo

    • Jen says...

      Great advice Joanna! I watched all of Mad About You (often with my partner) on netflix when I was pregnant :) It was good because they go through marriage and pregnancy and major life changes, it feels relatable. Also, I actually remember that time somewhat fondly now, when it was just the two of us staying up late watching a show, in a house with so much less stuff in it!
      Be gentle with yourself Maggie. We definitely live in a culture that tells us that we should love pregnancy AND motherhood all the time and that of course is not always the case. I think how you feel is totally normal, if uncomfortable. Maybe focus on being with people who are into talking about the reality of situations, not those who will try to push you into being positive all the time. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy xo

    • Maggie says...

      Thank you all so much for your sweet comments! I just about burst into tears right at my desk just now (but good tears, I promise!).

      Joanna, “wobbly” is such a good descriptor. I remember reading the advice from your mom to “take gentle care of yourself” in a post from long ago about your pregnancy with Toby, I think, and I thought it was so beautiful and it’s always stayed with me. Easier said than done to apply it to yourself, I think, but I’m going to try harder.

      Renae, you’ve hit the nail on the head with a huge one of my worries: that keeping the baby safe and well is absolutely all on me right now–and that if anything goes wrong, it’s all my fault! I know that’s not a healthy way to look at it, but it’s where my brain goes, and not being able to do a thing about much of what happens is crazy-making for my control freak brain. Thank you so much for the note. It makes such a difference to know I’m not the only one who has felt this way.

      Jen, you’re so right–I’m trying to learn to feel comfortable admitting to other people that not everything is rosy all the time, and it really does help to talk to others who understand. And Mad About You marathons sound pretty great!

      I have to admit, sometimes I wonder whether I can handle actually having a baby to take care of if I can hardly deal with the pregnancy part, so it’s really reassuring to hear from other people have felt like this and come out the other side as moms who have made is this far quite well! Thank you, and love to you all!

  20. I’m at 16 weeks now with my second (I’m finding out the gender of this one so my second ultrasound coming up is going to be another kind of thrilling). I have a very attached daughter, who I wouldn’t want any other way. But I’m worried about that sibling jealously acting up. I’m prepared for it to happen, expecting it and dreading it! I’ve already read Siblings without Rivalry but was disappointed about the lack of information preparing a small one for the birth of another small one. What did you read or do to prepare Toby for the birth of Anton? Have they always gotten along in their short lives? I remember one post, and I’m planning on finding it but I would love a good book recommendation.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your note! and how exciting to find out if you’re having a boy or a girl!

      when i was pregnant with anton, i also felt very nervous about how toby would react when we had a new baby. i wrote a couple posts about it, and the reader comments were VERY helpful for me. hope they might be helpful for you, too:

      http://cupofjo.com/2013/02/motherhood-mondays-how-do-you-prepare-your-older-child-for-a-new-baby/
      http://cupofjo.com/2013/06/toby-nostalgia/

      as for books, i’m not sure! this book looks good although i’ve never read it: http://amzn.to/1PP86ai

      and i also really liked reading Janet Lansbury’s website; she seems very down-to-earth and encouraging and had great practical advice: http://www.janetlansbury.com/ — she talks about siblings, new babies, etc.

      to answer your question, toby had an okay time when anton was brand new, but a VERY hard time when anton was between 2 and 5 months or so. we had a new brother, a new nanny (our old nanny went back to school), moved apartments (in a neighborhood with different playgrounds) and he started school for the first time. his entire life had been turned upside down. it was a tough time with a lot of tantrums and tears. to help, i tried to have very consistent routines for our family, be as patient as possible, take him on some “dates” on himself, and have a very predictable bedtime routine so he could count on having that special private time with me every day, even if it was just for 15 or 20 minutes. for what it’s worth!

      good luck, and we will be rooting for you! lots of love. xoxoxo

    • Katey says...

      I’ve seen “Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings” recommended, although I have not read it. It is supposed to be geared toward younger children. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0399168451/

  21. This isn’t relating to pregnancy, but I just ran across this Facebook post and had to share! I remember you posting about beautiful words that had no direct translation to the English language, and these relate to that. I hadn’t read these before, and they’re quite dreamy.

    https://www.facebook.com/postsecret/posts/10153572832620240

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so beautiful, laura, thank you!

  22. Lindsey says...

    I’d love to see more talk about those first few weeks of being pregnant. For me, there were (are–I’m 9 weeks) so many emotions, from fear to elation to worry to joy. And a lot happens with your body, too, but no one can see it yet (and you’re likely not talking about it yet, either.) I’ve found it so hard to find good resources (besides the standard “what your baby’s doing this week” sites) because most bloggers don’t announce their pregnancies until much later, which I understand, of course. But perhaps some hindsight posts?

    • Miranda says...

      Lindsey, I’m 9 weeks pregnant too! And I totally get it. I went from being SO excited to being SO AFRAID. And I found that forums online caused more anxiety (I almost passed out due to one intense ‘is this a miscarriage?’ forum I read).
      I too love the newly pregnant posts. Joanna, maybe a fun group post with advice for each trimester?

  23. Lindsay says...

    What are everyone’s thoughts on infant travel systems right now? I ordered the Graco Click Connect but don’t like how it’s not really washable. If it’s going to last for years, my little one will likely make a few messes in there. I’m looking up the Chicco, Britax, and other options, and nothing seems very washable. What do moms suggest?

    • Colleen says...

      We’ve had the Britax B-Ready travel system for 4.5 years now (using it with our second child). It’s obviously durable, we’ve gotten our money’s worth out of it, I like how sturdy the carseat is (and it allows for a larger size baby than other models), and the infant car seat interior is washable (it just takes a lot of work to wash it). I think it depends on what you want and need. The Britax is BIG – so big that I don’t travel with it unless it’s a car trip and even then it takes up so much space in the trunk. It’s very big and so we are often not the favorite family at restaurants (we have to plan to fold it up and store it rather than use it at the table). It’s also heavy so I abandoned it with my first child when she started using an umbrella stroller (hence we never needed to do a major cleaning – just spot cleaning and some hand held vacuuming). A bunch of my friends went with super simple Graco snap n go setups and then moved on to City Minis / Uppa Babys since those have very good handling and large baskets, etc. In retrospect, I probably would have done this too, had I not already committed to the Britax system. Good luck!!

  24. melissa says...

    I am pregnant again and it is the first time I’m not pregnant along with you. So thanks for the posts to help me feel at home. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, what a sweet comment! i’m touched. and congratulations, i hope you are feeling well :) xoxo

  25. JoAnna says...

    This is amazingly well-timed for me! I’m headed TODAY to my first doctor’s appointment; I found out I am pregnant around 5 weeks ago. I’m so nervous but very excited! I couldn’t believe this is what you posted today, as I sit here at work with nervous, jiggly legs before my appointment! Thank you for all the wonderful resources and kind help at this overwhelming time, haha.

  26. hannah says...

    Thank you so much for this post! So timely. I’m 23 weeks pregnant with my first and the registry post is especially helpful. xo

  27. Jackie says...

    Thank you for sharing this today! I am due with our first baby in 3 and a half weeks and have had to hold back tears three times today already (twice thanks to the kindness of others, once out of frustration)! I am equally excited and overwhelmed/terrified. I’ll be reading these (or re-reading them) throughout the day!

  28. Julianne says...

    I’m 21 weeks and have looked to your blog for advice several times already, so thank you for all of the tips. First of all, I took your advice and bought the Bump Nest, and I agree that everyone must have it! I also read that in your birth story, your husband was nervous about being in the room during delivery. My husband is very nervous/queasy in any medical environment (I’ve seen him turn green during a blood draw) and I was wondering if anyone has any advice so I don’t end up in labor BY MYSELF with him passed out in another room. I’ve thought about having a back-up friend there with me just in case but I’d really like to get my husband to rally and make it through.

    • Heather says...

      Julianne, have you considered hiring a birth doula? You can find one in your area through DONA: http://www.dona.org/mothers/find_a_doula.php. I hired a doula for the birth of my son last March, and she was hugely helpful to both me and my husband. She looked out for both of us during labor – helping me through contractions, but also making sure that my husband was hydrated and fed so that he could focus on me. When I ended up needing a c-section, she helped us talk through that decision, too. (She was also incredibly helpful in the pre- and post-partum weeks, when she would call or stop by to see how I was doing, physically and emotionally.) HUGE help.

      Another great resource is Penny Simkin’s book, The Birth Partner (http://www.amazon.com/The-Birth-Partner-Childbirth-Companions/dp/155832819X). It’s written for husbands/wives/partners, but I ended up reading it too and it was my favorite book on labor and birth. The author talks through a lot of potential scenarios: unmedicated birth, medicated, c-sections, etc., in a very practical and unbiased way, and her tone is very encouraging.

    • I second Heather’s doula suggestion! We had one, and even though some of my friends thought it was a little kooky/unnecessary, it was incredibly helpful to have a comforting, knowledgable person there with me before, during, and after the birth. I had an unusually long labor, and my doula took care of both me and my husband throughout the whole process. Plus, she was an amazing advocate when it came to dealing with nurses, doctors, and hospital policies, which can be overwhelming and confusing when you’re in the midst of labor. Ultimately, the birth didn’t turn out exactly the way we’d planned (I don’t think anybody’s every really does), but I felt confident knowing that I had someone (non-queasy and well-informed!) solely looking out for my best interest.

  29. Hannan says...

    I just became a mother of two girls 19 days ago. My first born is 1 year and 7 months old. It’s a bit overwhelming sometimes handling a toddler and a newborn at the same time. Do you have any advice on how to handle two children?

    • My best advice is to try to remain calm, and be gentle with yourself. Going from one to two children was the hardest thing I have ever done, but it got better pretty quickly. They started to become friends much sooner than I expected, which was a tremendous help. Just remember that this time is hard because they’re both at ages where they really need you, and you’re doing a good job even if it doesn’t feel like it. My second best advice is to be extra sweet with your older child. My daughter really acted out when my son came home, but it wasn’t misbehavior…she was experiencing such a major upheaval, and she was distraught about sharing mommy. Make sure you carve out some time just for the older child. My kids are three and 18 months now, and I wouldn’t in a million years say things are easy now, but they bring us and each other so much joy. Hang in there!

      As for practical advice: wear the newborn as much as possible, keep the older child as much on her pre-sibling routine as possible (especially if that routine included childcare of some sort), say yes to any and all help, it’s ok to use the TV or iPad as entertainment sometimes (some days it was the only way I could put the baby down for a nap), buy a Keurig, and set up a diaper changing station in the room you hang out it the most.

  30. G says...

    I found one of ur posts on grief moving. N since u asked… will just try my luck to ask if u or ur readers can share anything on pregnancy & grief. Am pregnant & my husband passed away recently. Am ok. But will appreciate anything that may help. Thanks so much.

    • Ali says...

      G, I am so sorry for your loss. What a terrible circumstance. I don’t know if this will help, but when I first read your comment I wondered if you really are ok. If it helps, please remember that it’s ok if you AREN’T ok and it’s ok if you ARE ok. People (including me just now) will expect you to feel certain things at certain times, and it’s ok if your feelings don’t match their expectations or even your own expectations.

      I’m not a person who prays, so I’m sending all my best vibes and thoughts to you and your baby. I’ll be thinking of you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, g, i’m so sorry. i wish there were something i could do to help lessen your grief. have you considered a support group? i know they are not for everyone, but they can be very helpful. in a more practical way, you might consider asking a friend to set up a Meal Train for you, where friends can sign up to bring you meals regularly when your child is born (or even help out with cleaning up, running errands, etc.) those can be very helpful, too, and take care of the logistics so you don’t have to. sending you a big hug. you sound like an incredible person, and i hope your child brings you great joy as he or she grows. xoxo

    • Pi says...

      So sorry to hear this G! Don’t be afraid to ask for help whatever that means–counselling, meals, help with chores, putting together ikea furniture…
      I hope motherhood brings you joy amidst the grief!

  31. Prudence says...

    My husband and I are considering to have a baby so these resources are really helpful! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Prudence
    http://www.prudencepetitestyle.com

  32. Jennifer says...

    Thanks for posting. I am 22 weeks pregnant with my first child, a baby girl! I am a pediatrician, and I am so excited to be a mom. I’ve noticed feeling more vulnerable throughout my pregnancy, and I appreciate hearing about how you and other strong women dealt with these feelings rather than reading about all the should and should not do pregnancy posts online.

  33. Kathleen says...

    Hi Joanna-I love your child and motherhood posts! They are always so interesting and insightful and you should do more posts about the funny things your boys say!

    I always hope you’ll do a post about miscarriage. I just experienced one and it’s heartbreaking and very lonely, and it also just isn’t talked about. I think it should be, because the few women I was able to connect with (why so few, when there are so many?) are helping me work through my grief little by little. It’s another form of motherhood, and I’m sure you’d tackle the topic well.

    • PM says...

      I would love a post on miscarriage, as well. It’s so very hard to endure, and helpful to know you’re not alone.

      Kathleen – I found this post to be helpful: http://www.mothermag.com/miscarriage/

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      kathleen, i’m so sorry to hear that, and i’m sending you a hug. i’m actually working on a miscarriage post right now and i hope to have it up in the next couple weeks. i hope it’s helpful in a small way. sending you all my love. xoxo

  34. Laura says...

    Perfect timing! I’m newly pregnant with my first baby…can’t wait to re-read all of these!

  35. Such a great read. As a newlywed, this isn’t reality for me at this point, but someday it will be. I loved reading these posts, and I love the huge number of fun links you include in your posts!

  36. I’m 35 weeks pregnant with my second so this could not have been more timely – thanks for the compilation.

    I think distilling the “best of” motherhood around the world series parenting tips and wisdom could be a great entry – and you can solicit feedback from mother readers around the world to add to it. That series is the favorite of many readers judging from the comments, so why not get more out of it?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great idea, thank you!

  37. Jenny says...

    Wonderful timing as I’m pregnant with my first….a baby boy!!!! Also, I appreciate you linking to the article for those having trouble conceiving. We had difficulty getting pregnant and I remember reading that article during that time and crying through it, so cathartic. I just read through the article again, feeling so grateful to be past that but also sadness remembering how sorrowful that time was.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, jenny, i’m so glad to hear that. i can’t imagine how hard (and endless) that time must have felt. congratulations on your baby news!!

  38. kp19 says...

    Eesh, I’m hoping this timing couldn’t be more perfect for me. I’m taking a test in the morning. Fingers crossed!!!

  39. Claire says...

    I have two boys who love books! I find that it is easy to come across children’s books with wonderful male heroes but now that I am expecting a little girl, I want more books with female heroines! Both for my coming daughter’a sake as well as for my boys! After all girls are heroes too!

    What are some of your favorite children’s books with heroines? Do your boys have any particular favorite stories?

    • Claire says...

      Please excuse my grammar errors!

    • june2 says...

      For pre-teen’s (or any age older than that) I loved Juniper. It may be a bit out there for some but it was essentially a tale of empowerment. Also, Island of the Blue Dolphins. For younger kids, the Madeline books are a classic.

      For video, absolute favorites are:
      1. My Neighbor, Totoro for young kids and adults who wish to re-parent themselves, ahem, and
      2. Spirited Away for ages 3 and up
      Both are available with excellent dubs.

    • Allison says...

      There are so many… These are just a few my daughter has enjoyed off the top of my head:
      Journey by Aaron Becker
      The Balloon Tree by Phoebe Gilman
      Blueberries for Sale by Robert McClosky
      Flora and the Penguin
      Little Night by Yuyi Morales
      The Knuffle Bunny series of books by Mo Willems
      The Frances series of books by Russell Hoban

      Happy Reading!

    • Allison says...

      “Blueberries for Sal” (autocorrect got me!)

    • Bonnie says...

      Zog by Julia Donaldson comes to mind…

      I’ll try to think of more!

    • Check out amightygirl.com! It’s an entire website devoted to empowering books for girls!

  40. Angela says...

    Love! I am 12 weeks pregnant with my second. I always reference your post about feeling disappointed at first that Toby was a boy. I felt just the same when we found out about our darling son. Now that we are on to number two, I feel like a girl would be fine, but oh how I love having a son! I could just keep having boys for all eternity. 😊

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree!!!! and also, they are all so different. toby and anton are night and day — two totally different yet equally delicious little guys. it’s fun to see as they grow and change. i hope you are feeling well! xoxo

  41. Irene says...

    Sad face, and skipping this read… I wouldn’t mind seeing a post on dealing with (unexplained) infertility.

    (Most of your nuanced posts on motherhood seem to only address those women who already have children or those who made the conscious choice not to have children.)

    • Irene says...

      Or, I guess, it’s in a PS… ;)

      I’m saving this post and will keep hoping I’ll be able return to it soon.

    • Ruth says...

      Irene,
      I am with you. I haven’t experienced primary infertility myself, and I am really sorry that you are going through that hell. I agree that this might be a cupofjo blindspot.
      I have experienced 3 miscarriages in less than a year (after one son) and am now pregnant again. I do not really relate to many of the posts linked to above–because of my anxiety, grief, and depression that has all come from the losses it is extremely hard to have what seems like the ‘mainstream emotions/excitement’.
      In addition to nuanced posts related to infertility, ones about miscarriage, and pregnancy after loss would be great. That said, I have read one very moving post about stillbirth on cupofjo and I am grateful for that.
      Best wishes to you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so sorry, irene, and thank you so much for your note, ruth. we’ve done a couple posts on infertility as well as the post from Kate, who had a stillborn son, but we could definitely do many more. i would love to do more of these types of posts in the future; thank you so much for the push and reminder of how important these discussions are.

      What If You Have a Hard Time Conceiving a Child?
      http://cupofjo.com/2011/10/motherhood-mondays-what-if-you-have-a-hard-time-conceiving-a-baby/

      What If You Can’t Have a Baby?
      http://cupofjo.com/2014/04/motherhood-mondays-what-if-you-cant-have-a-baby/

      “I Had a Stillborn Baby”
      http://cupofjo.com/2013/11/motherhood-mondays-i-had-a-stillborn-baby/

    • Irene says...

      UNBELIEVABLE but 100% true… I just got a positive pregnancy test a few hours ago (first ever)!! I was so sure this first IUI cycle (+injections) didn’t work, that’s why I was in kind of a bad mood when I posted this…

      There is hope! :D

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh my goodness!!! That is so exciting!!!! Sending you a big hug :) :) :) xoxoxo

    • Irene says...

      thank you Joanna – i’m going to wait for the blood test to come back in a few days’ time, and save this post for the weekend. fingers crossed!

  42. JackieDee says...

    Thank god you compiled these. I’m 12 wks and just starting to sift through the internet for credible resources/info/insight. Thanks!

  43. Hannah says...

    Joanna, I first found your blog when I was hugely, exhaustedly 38(ish)weeks pregnant with our little girl, Vivian. Your Pregnancy Survival post was so chill and ‘right on’; for days I entertained myself by reading archives. Now I’m 31 weeks with our second, a son named Walter, and finding the same kind of reassurance and ‘I can do this’ from your wonderful motherhood posts. Love your scene! Thanks so much.

  44. Laure says...

    I’m 22 and far from being a mom but still love these motherhood posts!
    Also in one of the last Mindy Project episodes she starts breastfeeding in public and gets called out on for being “inappropriate” and defends herself like a boss as always. It made me think of your post on the topic and how it’s a mother’s right to feed her baby anywhere! Weird how people can be such prudes and mean about such a natural thing…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i LOVED that episode! she is awesome.

  45. Michelle says...

    I am new to the world of babies, meaning I have my first pregnant friend. I am beyond excited for her and to see and hear about her experience, especially since the hubby and I are thinking about starting the baby making process ourselves. I was wondering if you have any recommendations as to congratulatory gifts for first time moms? I would love to send her something that she will actually enjoy/use.

  46. Cloud says...

    Literally was just wondering if i conceived recently and was pausing thoughtfully for any signs from the universe about it. Then I went to check your blog – I wish I had a photo of my face! Eyes as big as dinner plates.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my goodness, what a sign! i’m so curious to hear what you find out. good luck! xoxo

  47. i am so excited to see this! My husband and I are trying for our first (just wrapped up month 3 of trying) and I’ll find out soon if this month worked! I think he’ll really appreciate the posts for dads. Thank you for posting!

  48. Jenny says...

    We’re expecting our first in about a month and your pregnancy posts have been incredibly helpful to me; many thanks for that! One topic I’d love to see covered is how having kids affects your marriage. I cherish alone time with my husband and love our little twosome. I’m so excited to become three, but I also worry about our marriage getting unintentionally pushed to the side, at least for awhile. It’s very important to both of us to maintain what has been a pretty blissful relationship so far, and I’d so appreciate insight and tips on how to do that. Thanks again for your wonderful, thought-provoking content.

    • Kate says...

      I second this request! As a mother of a one-year-old daughter, I’m so interested to hear about other couples’ experiences.

      Thank you for your thoughtful pieces, Jo & co!

    • Lea says...

      I would love to see something on this as well!

  49. Karen says...

    Yay for your breastfeeding posts! I didn’t have friends or family who had done it, but the “breastfeeding in public” post normalized the idea for me and helped me feel comfortable feeding when out and about in the earliest days. Of all the wonderful things that your blog introduced into my life, this was by far the best.

  50. LRM says...

    Wow what perfect timing! Just found out last week I am pregnant with our first child. And I’m completely overwhelmed! So much to learn, so much to do, so much NOT to do!

    • Laura says...

      In the same boat!! Congrats! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      congratulations!

  51. Here’s a topic on which I’d love to get your/your readers’ perspective: the process of ADDING motherhood to your existing personhood. In many cases, I see new mothers around me losing touch with who they were before the baby arrived. They get sucked into baby world and seem to misplace the ability to discuss other things or maintain other priorities/interests (and not just at the all-consuming newborn stage, but way beyond, sometimes throughout the rest of their lives). That loss of identity scares me – I will still be ME after children, but maintaining that identity as a woman/wife/worker/creator/etc. after baby seems quite difficult to navigate.

    Joanna, from what I’ve read on the blog, you seem to have done this process well. I’d really enjoy hearing yours and others’ ideas on how to add “mother” to the list of what makes you you without it become the only part of who you are.

    • Ali says...

      Yes yes yes! I still want to be me (+mom) after I have this baby boy, and not disappear into mommy-dom. What do you say when people express shock that you do more than mom all day every day? I want my kids to grow up independent people, not reliant on me or my husband, and I think that starts when they’re kids.

    • Charli says...

      Yes. Thank you! This is one of my biggest hang ups about having children and I’d love a Cup of Jo take on identity and motherhood. This blog and Molly Wizenberg’s Orangette have helped me feel excited about having a child one day and have given me a lot of hope that you can still maintain a happy relationship with your partner and have an adult life while also being a parent.

    • Alexa says...

      I had the same fear, Shannon. For me, the key was deciding what was important to me in the pre-baby life, and making it a priority post-baby. My top things were exercise (I did it in 3 minute increments while on maternity leave, and gradually added more as I recovered/had more energy/the baby slept), spending time with friends, and making a bit of art. I kept those as top priorities when I returned to my full-time job, and it made a huge difference in my general well-being. In order to make those a priority, I had to sacrifice other things–I read less and I watch less tv than I did before having a kid, but that is fine with me. Wishing you the best of luck!

    • I second this request!

    • Ann says...

      I agree that this is an important topic! I/we definitely went through a mourning period of sorts when our first was brand new and we were adjusting to being parents. Our default thought process was “Where are we going out this Saturday night?” and suddenly it was, “We’re not going anywhere. Got this baby.” By the time our second was born, we didn’t even give it much thought (too tired!). I found that after the first year, or whenever you start to get decent sleep again, and (if you breastfeed) once you’re not nursing ALL THE TIME, you do start to feel like yourself again, but it really does take time, and you just have to be gentle with yourself.

    • karrie says...

      I agree, I agree! So glad someone mentioned this…I’m 24 weeks pregnant with my first, and I feel a lot of anxiety and fear about losing my identity. This definitely marks the end of girlhood and an official entry into womanhood, which is both exciting and frightening. So glad someone else voiced this, was worried I was just extra vain…

    • I’d love a post on this topic. I’m not an overly domesticated gal, but the way things are shaking out it looks like I will pretty much become a full-time Stay at Home Mom when our first babe is born this winter (I’m 24 wks now). We moved to a rural area a few years ago and there are no career opps for me here, so my self-employed husband supports us and does a great job of it. I’ve used the time allowed me by not having to work a 9-5 to volunteer in our town and pursue my passions, which has been amazing. I feel extremely lucky to have had this time to enrich myself and connect with our community. But that time will be coming to an end soon and I’m anxious about it. Taking on the role of SAHM when home-making has never come naturally to me makes me feel overwhelmed and lost. I’m also worried that my hobbies and passions will fall by the wayside, and ultimately my identity–outside of “Mom” –will slip away.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      these are such great questions and comments. i would love to write a little about this and hear what other readers/commenters say. thank you so much for weighing in!

    • It is so exciting to read all your responses. I am a counselor in training wanting to focus on this topic in my clinical work, so knowing there are women out there who care about motherhood identity is hugely validating. “Meeting” women like you is part of what makes COJ so wonderful! Thank you all, and I look forward to reading more about this topic on the blog :)

    • Maria says...

      yes, I love these comments about “identity”. I was so sure I’d be able to find the perfect balance of work and motherhood while still maintaining my own friendships and interests, but over time I slowly spiraled into an insular and lonely existence being a SAHM. For some reason guilt started to creep in and take over… I’d feel guilty if I wasn’t with my children all the time – it’s a terrible, “waste of time” emotion!! My children are the same age as Toby and Anton and I feel like I’m finally starting to peel back the layers of time and remember who I used to be! It’s such a great and empowering feeling to get the balance right.

  52. Alexia says...

    What about Anton’s birth story? As a long-time reader, I would love to read that one, as I have read Toby’s birth story.
    Kisses from Argentina!

    • Allison says...

      I agree! I had hoped to read this at some point too :).

    • Skoosh says...

      Me too! I’m currently 28 weeks’ pregnant with our second and would love to read your “second baby” birth story! Especially if it went as fast as you were fearing…

    • I must admit I’ve always wondered the same thing! What ever happened to Anton’s birth story?!?! ;) Would love to read if you all care to share, of course :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your note! partly i was hesitant because it was kind of a weird experience. but i guess that is good to share too!

    • Samantha says...

      I would also love to read this if you are ever willing to share. I loved reading Toby’s.

  53. Kate says...

    I love your posts on pregnancy! It sure helped me through my first. Also, you look amazing in this photo! Xoxo