It’s true! Baby number six has been making its tiny presence known in this house for the last many weeks. I just read the other day that hormone is the Greek word for impact. SO insightful. I mean, I try to be a pretty mellow person. But give me one whiff of a pregnancy-related hormone, and my body goes off like a bottle rocket of over-reactions. Luckily for me, there is a houseful of children here to sprinkle humor all over life. Blaire pretends to puke, rushing off to the bathroom, making everyone else howl with laughter. The bigger kids love to hush each other up whenever some kind of food is mentioned, “DON’T TALK ABOUT FOOD OR MOM WILL PUKE!!!” And we are old enough now to know that we forget about this phase later. We know that the baby at the end is worth anything in the middle, and more than anything we know that this baby is a gift. So, happy times all around!

But I am not the only one growing a baby these days, it seems to be quite the trend. I’ve been thinking back on having the other kids, about being a first-time mom, about being new to the world of nursing sagas. Thinking about welcoming babies, about things that could have been easier. Thinking of things that I’ve learned now, but wish I had known the first time. Terribly incomplete, but I can’t focus for very long these days, so you will have to forgive that!

Ways to Ease the Welcoming of Babies

1) Buy some new make-up, get a haircut, paint your toenails, and get some cozy new stretchy lounge clothes that are cheerful and fresh before you have the baby. It makes you feel so much better, and the pictures will thank you. With my first baby, I gained 22 pounds. She was almost 9 pounds. I figured with the placenta, the water, and everything else (besides the fact that you feel super skinny right after delivering), ย I could at least get into a few of my old clothes. Pulling out what I had deemed a loose button up shirt, I was unable to button any button but the neck. Nice. Don’t do this. Just wait until you are in a mentally and spiritually stable place before trying on your pre-pregnancy clothes! Now I have a pile of fat pants and fat-chance pants, proving that I have traveled this road before.

2) In the very beginning, trust your instincts, and look to your baby for answers. Do not let other people tell you what your baby needs, figure it out yourself. Of course I am not meaning to disregard medical advice or serious situations. I mean, in the normal scheme of “Is she hungry? Is she gassy? Is she wet? Is she tired?” Try to figure it out with your baby. Don’t stress about the baby crying and run look somewhere else for answers. Stay calm, look to your baby and work on figuring it out. And then, don’t take this too seriously. If you can’t figure it out, and you are sleep deprived and desperate, get help! Ask for ideas from people you trust.

3) About worry. I’m sure every mother remembers the first baby worry. Little burbles in the night, squeaks, choking while nursing, etc. Just remember that your baby is a gift, not a statistic. God created and sustained that life inside you. He gave you this child, open your hands to Him, and trust Him to protect what He has given you. I can remember specific times when I had to think, “Do not cling to this baby like it belongs to you. Open your hands to God, and trust Him to protect and preserve this little life.” Your protective instincts are good, but don’t let them rule over your heart.

4) Take advantage of the help you hopefully have in the first week or so. Everyone tells you this, but sleep when the baby sleeps! I did not do this the first couple times. Now, I know well that the help will end, the days will come when you cannot snooze in the middle of the day. Sleep when you can! It pays off when you are up in the night.

5) If you have other kids – especially little ones, put a baby gate in your bedroom door. I did this with Blaire, and it really helped. She slept in our room, so first thing in the morning I would clean our room, make the bed, etc. Then step over the gate into the real world. When I needed to nurse her, or change a blowout, I would go into our room. The little kids could come to the door, ask questions, and shout observations about how cute she was. It enabled me to not spend all the nursing time saying, “No, don’t climb on my lap. Don’t lean on the baby! Back off!” The gate was a simple way to enforce a boundary that everyone would have forgotten to obey in the excitement of a diaper change.

6) I used gallon ziploc bags to make what we called “blowout kits.”ย  They smashed flat easily in a purse or diaper bag, and came in excessively handy more times than I could easily tabulate. I included a one-piece outfit (usually pajamas), a cloth diaper or two (the cheap kind – in lieu of a changing pad). Diapers and wipes we always have in my purse, in the glove compartment, and in my husband’s back pocket, so I don’t include those. The best part is that you simply insert all the soiled goods right back into the ziploc, later to be plunged into oxyclean. If your child is a blowout hobbyist, you might want to keep one in the car too. And a stack of cheap cloth diapers kept me from always having to change the changing pad, or sanitize the diaper bag.

7) Do not mind telling people who want to hold your baby, “No thanks.” If you don’t feel like passing your baby around, don’t. This is a great reason to have a baby carrier of some description. It keeps people ย from just trying to take the baby away from you, and might make you feel less awkward about saying no. Especially when the baby is new, and when a lot of people are around, feel totally free to say “I’m gonna take her back now, thanks!” ย or “I’m gonna keep him right now.” Babies are not public domain, it’s ok to say no. You and your husband are the only people who have rights, everyone else is just asking.

Enjoy yourself. You know babies- they don’t stay that way long!

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87 thoughts on “Baby Time.

  1. Congratulations! I’m due in June, which will give me 7 children 10 and under. It seems like I know of a lot of people expecting right now!

  2. Congratulations on your new tiny person, Rachel! I really appreciated all of your thoughts and ideas. If you ever have other humor or encouragement or suggestions as you move through your pregnancy–*about* pregnancy or the aftermath–please write on the subject again. :)

  3. Congratulations! The thought of 6 kids makes me feel nervous, but I love your book and feel like I *could* maybe do 1/2 that number! :) You Rock!

  4. Congratulations! That’s so exciting! I loved tip #7. I have found that the trickier-looking the baby carrier the better (think Moby wrap), though strangers at the grocery store still think it’s okay to peel it back to see the baby. Anyway, I’ve been so blessed by your book and am thrilled with your news.

  5. Thank you so much for posting this! I am due on Valentine’s Day and love having all these little reminders. Congrats to you and yours…

  6. Great news! Congratulations to you and your family, I enjoyed this post as I’m trying to get back in little baby mode too. The Lord has greatly used you to bless me as I mother my little guys, I’m excited what more He will teach you (and us) through adding another to your family.

  7. Congratulations Rachel! God has blessed your family richly and blessed my family through yours. We have read Loving the Little Years MANY times and refer to it often.

  8. Congratulations!!

    I’m just beginning to compile my list of things to prepare before our latest debuts this Spring. The baby gate idea is brilliant, thank you! We’ve found that having my hubby hold the newborn while we are out also effectively discourages well meaning folks from touching or asking to hold the baby…and then in the event they still do, he is much better at turning down the request then I am. :)

    Blessings on your pregnancy.

  9. Many, many congratulations. New babies are always so exciting! I have 5 kids. Just in the past two weeks, several of my friends have announced #6 and it’s making me think I need to get on track. :-)

  10. Thanks Rach!! Well stated-I sure could’ve used this last June. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And of course, congratulations and blessings to you.

  11. I too am welcoming another little one in August. I’m slightly behind you…it’ll be my fifth. So excited for you Rachel. I’m sure there will be some great stories!! God bless!

  12. Congratulations! I just bought two more copies of your book to give away. It is transforming my house.

  13. Congratulations! Our third was born in November and we are treasuring him so much. They really don’t stay little for long! I really needed to hear #3 above about entrusting them to God. I struggle with being overly protective and deterministic with mine. God is so good!

  14. Congratulations Rachel. Mom told me your news the other day when we made our announcement about our #5, also due in August. Seems like it’s going to be a busy month for many!

  15. “Fat pants and fat chance pants” and “shout observations about how cute she was” both had me giggling and sympathizing. So happy for you guys! I love your kids; they’re so jolly.

  16. Congrats! You had me laughing out loud…thanks for one of the best pregnancy-related posts I’ve read!

  17. I really appreciate point 3, even as a ‘seasoned’ mother (expecting our 9th this spring). With my last one, I don’t think I put him in his crib at night for the first two months because I felt he was safer with me holding him all night long (not a good idea, no sleep). Wonderful tips words here.

    Thank you and congratulations!

  18. Congratulations Rachel! What a blessing for your family! Great tips too for moms. Love the baby gate and the blowout kit idea!

    Thanks for writing with honesty and humor. Love it!

  19. I am a new reader here, and love what you have shared since I have begun. Congratulations on #6! You are so blessed! I absolutely love the advice you give, too. I wish I had thought of the baby gate, and definitely needed #7, too, since I tend toward passive politeness even when my instinct is screaming assertive protectiveness. :)

  20. Hurrah!! I am due in September with our third baby. These were really helpful reminders. It will be easy for me to remember your #6 in our worship time as we pray for our little one.

    By the way, you should know God is using your book to transform a lot of hearts here in Tasmania. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (There’s a comment above from someone I probably know further up…!)

  21. Love the necklace! Check one item off the “Making This Pregnancy Easier” list. And, just think, now you can use all those great items you have shared with us here on Femina (pretty puke bags, vomit absorbent pellets) to care for this, well, messier time of live. Oh the joy! : )
    Cheers to the worth while gift at the end! Congratulations!

  22. Congratulations! God bless you for rejoicing in the joy of God’s littlest wonders and announcing it to the world regularly. Our culture certainly needs as much of that as it can get!

  23. I’m due in August too! The 6th of August, to be exact. I can totally relate to your morning sickness woes. With this new baby, I will have three babies ages 3 and under. I’m just not even thinking about all the tough stuff ahead. There’s no sense in letting fear rob my joy in this new little one, even if it’s coming a little sooner than we’d thought. Love your baby gate advice. I may be trying that one out, if I can somehow guarantee the safety of my youngest, who will be 18 months.

  24. “Fat pants and fat chance pants.” Ha! I needed that laugh right about now. Congratulations Rachel and Family.

  25. I was just reminded about your blog yesterday, and what good timing! Worry has been quite the challenge, especially since we just spent several days in the hospital with our 2-week-old. Thanks for the encouragement.

  26. “A baby is a gift, not a statistic”. Amen and Amen! Our nine-month-old was born with Spina Bifida and we REALLY had to keep that in mind as I was in the NICU with her for 29 days. Lots of statistics thrown at us and remembering that the Lord is sustaining her life –or not– was sometimes a challenge in the midst of that. Thank you for the good reminders all around. May God grant your little one a new spirit even in the womb and give your family joy.

  27. As a mom of 4 children, (3 years and under)I realized at baby number two that if I need to step over that gate while I’m nursing to address behavior issues, that the discipline needs to be MEMORABLE. Interpret that as you will. If its not memorable, then you’ll be stepping over the gate often to attend to the other children in their effort to get attention on themselves and not on the new baby. I also give the 2nd youngest her own baby to “feed” while I’m nursing, works like a charm!

  28. Congratulations Rachel! Thank you for this post. I’m expecting my first in July and this was very helpful advice! I love the image you provided of remembering this baby is a gift and we must hold it with open hands to God. That’s even helpful while this baby is in the womb.

  29. Congratulations!! Love the necklace too! Great tips for first time moms! and I love the “fat chance pants” too.

  30. Congratulations, and I love these tips! I have a 3 month old and I am looking forward to more baby-related posts from you, hope you start feeling better soon! And I can relate to the hormones, heartburn and irrational crying were the first signs of my pregnancy… :)

  31. Happy news indeed!
    The fact that you are really speaking “from the trenches” makes your words go a whole lot further with all those out here in our homely trenches too. At least for me it does.
    And the fact that you are trusting God and allowing more “gifts” from Him, walking daily by faith, bearing all the joys and sufferings that go along with motherhood, in Him, gives hope and encouragement to mothers everywhere.

    (I splurged on a super cozy pair of slippers for myself when my sixth began “making her presence known.” It just made running to the bathroom all those times a tad bit easier. Warmer? Fuzzier? Whatever… :)
    God’s peace to you.

  32. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Hooray for another Jank! And though I’m not a mommy, I love reading through encouraging lists like this and tucking such things into my memory for later.
    Blessings on you and your family!

  33. Congrats! I’m due in 4 weeks with my first and this was a very helpful post for me. My husband got me your book for Christmas and I plan on reading it again in the next few months! Thank you!

  34. Congratulations, Rachel! We’re thrilled for your family!

    We will be praying for a healthy pregnancy and happy delivery.

  35. Congratulations!! I am so exciting for you. I saw the title of this post and this is exactly what I was hoping for.
    I am expecting our third in May. Then we’ll have 3 age 3 and under.
    I really enjoy your posts and your crafts.
    God bless you and yours!

  36. Hooray for babies and big brothers and sisters! I’m expecting #3 in early July and can’t wait to enjoy him or her as a family. Thanks for the good ideas and reminders. I really struggled with holding my previous two with open hands–sometimes I still do. Thanks for your wisdom. I need to get your book:)

  37. Yay for another baby! I just finished reading your book, and it was SO encouraging to me! We are expecting #2 the end of August. The Lord has changed our hearts a lot on family planning (or letting HIM do the planning), so your book brought insight into what life could look like in the future. I always love reading your articles here. Please post more about pregnancy stuff if you are so inclined! Blessings…

  38. Congrats Rachel, What exciting news! I am expecting my second in September, so I will have 2 under 2. I feel so blessed by my little ones, I have tears in my eyes as I type this. Thank you so much for your encouragement, you have been a blessing to me. Thank you for being willing to let God work through your life.

  39. Terrific news! (I always have to wonder to myself when I see dads doing the school pick-up and drop-off routine where mom used to be, and I had definitely been seeing a lot more of Luke than before….) Well, here’s to some more “little years” for you to write about and, of course, love.

  40. Congratulations Rachel and Luke! So fun. Hope that the yucky stage passes quickly for you. Blessings!

  41. Congratulations! So exciting! Thank you for the words of wisdom. I particularly like number 5. I feel like I’m constantly saying those things to my toddler when nursing my 8 month old. I will definitely be instituting the baby gate with the next one!

  42. Congratulations, that’s so wonderful!!! I love these tips, I’ve never thought of putting a baby gate up to designate a nursing area. I think I’m gonna try that one, as I’m pregnant with our third right now!

  43. I haven’t even finished the list, but I LOVE #3. I lost so much (extra) sleep over worrying about every little noise, and even lack of noises! Finally, I learned to lie in bed with my hands open, remembering that my baby was in God’s hands, NOT mine… thanks for the post, and congratulations!!!

  44. Congrats on number six!!! I found this so encouraging as I am currently pregnant with number six, I’m holding my 17 month old on my lap and my oldest just turned eight. I’m 30 and six kids and the thought can be overwhelming at times, but I love the idea of cozy clothes and painting your nails. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. So excited for you!

  45. Congratulations! We are expecting baby Eleanor in a few weeks, and the gate idea is genius. Part of me thinks the other three (ages 3-6) should be able to stay out of my room, but the extra boundaries sure do make things crystal clear. And I need to go dig out my old yoga pants (not the ones that have the elastic slit so they don’t cut off my circulation during pregnancy) and put them with my birth stuff. :) Great ideas- thanks for sharing!

  46. Congratulations….and I totally love what you said, “Now I have a pile of fat pants and fat-chance pants, proving that I have traveled this road before.” So funny and true.

  47. Congratulations! So exciting! Still holding out for my own fat-chance pants ;).

    When I was a first time momma, a dear friend of mine encouraged me by telling me that even though I might not be the perfect mom, God knew that I would be the BEST mom for my child, and that He had equipped me to make the decisions necessary to raise my child. It was advice I went back to a lot because I was so unsure of myself in those early days!

  48. Oh, and I totally agree about cute fat clothes!

    I didn’t understand this with my first either and what a disaster! In the family pic from Christmas that year (baby two weeks old) I am wearing a hideous mismatched ensemble of a stretchy gray/blue turtleneck that was too short because of my nursing boobies, a long white maternity tank under that and pair of clashing blue velour lounge pants!

    Now I always know to budget in a little Target run for a few fresh and cheerful big pieces Pre-delivery :0)

  49. Congratulations, and thank you for this post! I’m also expecting a little one in August, but it will be my first. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time, so I appreciate this wealth of advice.

  50. Thanks for the article. I’m due with my first in August also. So much to think about, do and buy. I did buy a pair of “fat” lounge pants. They are so good on my swollen belly. Love, love, love. I used to be opposed to wearing sweat pants out in public but I’m finding that it is a great solution and comfort.

  51. I had my 6th kiddo (first boy)this past August. The rest are 2,3,3,6,7. I love your book and blog. Our lives seem very similar in chaos and hilarity. For some reason that is comforting :) Thanks for taking the time to write!!!

  52. I’m a new reader and I really enjoyed this post. I’m due around the same time you are with our 4th. Even though I’m (I guess) pretty practiced at the pregnancy/new mom thing, I still found your words very encouraging. Especially about worry.

  53. Oh my! That’s wonderful news, and I’m glad you are so jovial despite the “grossness” of this stage (pregnancy sickness is my BIGGEST obstacle to considering being pregnant – 3 kiddies so far).

    Also very much Tasmanian here, and am loving the blog, it seems to be full of things I’m needing to hear, very encouraging :-)

  54. I just said to my husband, “Hey! Rachel Jankovic is expecting a sixth!” And he said, “Guess they’ll be Loving the Little Years for a little while longer, then!” :) We’re both so happy for all 7 of you! And praying–we know how it is. I also experience the puking.

  55. Congrats!!! A friend of mine just mentioned your book to me and I am excited to read it! I too am pregnant with my 6th baby. I have 2 boys, 3 girls so that are 9,6,5,3,1. I am still in the “all day” sickness stage. We are due in September!
    Nic
    http://AFarmhouseFull.com

  56. Thanks for the post. A friend just recommended your blog today and this post was a nice find. I’m due in May with my first and feel very ignorant.

  57. Ahhhhh- congratulations! I just finished reading your book and found it a real blessing (and challenge!). I am laughing about Blaire pretending to be sick- I always get VERY sick. With my 2nd baby, my then toddler got very upset every time I was sick, but by the time I was expecting number 3 the other two found me puking quite hysterically funny! Guess it beats trying to comfort an upset toddler whilst throwing up!!!!

  58. Congratulations Rachel. We are also expecting our 6th child (4th girl) in June. I am not finished with the book yet, but almost (I started reading it less than 24 hours ago). It is a HUGE blessing for me. I just finished reading the part about the kitchen “help” and then your story of homemade tortilla’s. I was laughing so hard I was crying and then I really started crying as God gently led me with His cords of kindness. I will never be the same. He has already restored the years the locusts have eaten. He saved me, made me a keeper at home and brought my children home to be taught by me. He has mended mine, my husband’s and my children’s hearts through lots of repentance and forgiveness. God is so good. And, not only has He restored, but He has graciously allowed me to have a redo of “The Little Years”. Our 6th child will arrive weeks before my 42nd birthday and I will officially have 3 children 3 years old and under. God has brought me to, so gently, the kind of sorrow/brokenness that has led to repentance TODAY over my ungrateful heart and lack of joy! How could I lack joy, how could I? I did and now I don’t. Joy, unspeakable joy. Thank you for writing this book and encouraging me. I praise God! I also praise God that I have three lovely godly daughters to help me (Hannah age 15 Meghan age 12 and Katie almost 8). God Bless you!

    Love and blessings from your sister in Christ,
    Lisa Seegert

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