The road to motherhood isn't simply paved with Pottery Barn bedding and Gymboree outfits. For many moms, infertility struggles leave them weary and longing. Others conceive easily, only to discover serious health concerns with their babies. Kelly Stamps experienced both. In the following interview she talks about what it was like and how the hardships changed her.
What emotional or practical hurdles did you and your husband have to overcome to start your family?
Scott and I got married a little later in life; I was 30. We wanted to have some time together first before we started a family to build a foundation of a strong marriage before we added children. We were definetely ready when we started trying for children. Little did we know it would take us almost three more years before we finally had our daughter. We struggled with infertility and that can be tough on a marriage, but it made us stronger. When we finally became pregnant (by the grace of God with NO medical help—we were on a break from fertility treatments), we were more excited than you could imagine.
Where did you go for advice; what were your sources of encouragement for getting started?
Most of our friends were already married or had children by the time we started trying so we knew what a blessing (and how much work) having a family was.
Did you have any unusual cravings during pregnancy?
I wanted Mexican food a lot and I did NOT want sweets.
What surprised you most about becoming a mom?
How much I could love a baby and also how much work it is. But it is so worth every minute. Also, how much nothing else really matters as much as your child once they are here. My priorities changed very quickly.
How has having a baby affected your marriage?
It has made our marriage stronger. Watching Scott take care of Harper, I have fallen in love with him completely all over again. I have seen a whole new side of him as a father. Because Harper was born sick and we were in the NICU for weeks, I think we bonded together quickly over almost losing our child. I love him more now than I did before she came.
How has having children affected your relationship with God?
It has made it so much stronger. I see the correlation between how much God loves me and how much I love Harper. The fact that He chose to give me a daughter and saved her from being so sick has shown me so strongly my need to trust Him completely. I have learned to put more and more in His hands. I need Him now more than ever as I journey through motherhood. When do you find time to blog as a mom?
I blog when I feed Harper or when she naps. My time is VERY limited now but I enjoy so much the opportunity to blog and I view it as a chance to record her little life.
What role has your blog—and blog readers—played in your journey to parenthood?
In the last two years my blog really has revolved around my journey to be a mother. I shared our struggle with infertility, then the joy of being pregnant, and most of my pregnancy with the blog world; and then, when Harper was in the NICU, we were able to share about that and have readers from all over the world praying for us. I don't know how we would have made it without the kindness and encouragement and prayers of so many blog friends who have never even met us. Now the main topic on my blog is about raising a newborn.
What advice would you give a couple considering starting a family?
You will never feel ready. You will never feel like you have enough money. You will never experience anything greater. You just have to trust God and know that He will provide. And spend a lot of time in prayer that God will bless you with a child and make you the parents He wants you to be—to raise that baby in a godly home. He gives you the strength and wisdom you need to be a parent and He provides for your needs.
----------------------- Kelly Stamps is a mom in Arkansas. After struggling with infertility, she and her husband Scott were blessed with their baby girl, Harper, now a healthy two-month-old. Kelly recently became a stay at home mom after 14 years in the business world. She and Scott have been married for five years. They are very active in their home church. Kelly blogs at www.kellyskornerblog.com.