We heard from Hannah’s heart as an expectant mother in a two-part series interview post this past summer. She will share more with us today! Hannah is now enjoying the beauty and richness of motherhood. You may have a newborn child, or you may be in an abundant season of life that you know is full of both potential and challenge. Let the Holy Spirit minister to you in this witness of the truth and goodness of his faithful ways in our lives as mothers.
Question 1: Now that you have your sweet baby in your arms, what was the most unexpected yet blessed part of your birthing story?
Hannah: I cry every time I tell the story. It’s hard to explain it until you have been through it. It’s not extravagant, but when your baby is brought to your chest, it is unreal. You get it that God destined this moment—this is our calling. Our marriage was literally brought to life. Holding a newborn baby brings this reality home.
Question 2: How have you and your husband seen God’s promises fulfilled through your child?
Hannah: He promised that it wouldn’t be easy. Last night my husband was watching the baby. It’s not easy “swimming in a sea of sanctification.” I am seeing the fulfillment of deeper sanctification through the crosses. “I have been crucified through Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives through me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20).
In many ways I see the cross and the resurrection daily (sometimes hourly) while raising a child. It has been one of the hardest endeavors, but also the most joyful. And many times, these emotions happen back to back. The continuous trust in the Lord through the mundane diaper changes and feedings makes it all worth it once my child shines that bigger-than-life smile at me. God promises joy as we keep trusting in his ways.
Question 3: What part about this early stage of motherhood has been the toughest and required the most trust in God?
Hannah: Finding the balance of LIFE has been the most difficult among becoming a worrier and an anxious person. I never used to be anxious before. Balancing not just eating, sleeping, and feeding my child, but also balancing taking care of myself, spending quality time with my husband, family, work, and all the while trying not to feel that I am failing at all of it. Days go by, and I just feel like I only have 50% energy to give to all of life, and it can be challenging.
Question 4: What have you loved most about having your baby now for these past few months?
Hannah: I just absolutely love his smile. When he goes to sleep, I go through pictures of him smiling. And he smiles at others!!! It’s amazing to see him bring joy to others. This child God created in me is now bringing joy to the world around us—being a light.
Question 5: Have you struggled more than you thought you would in any particular areas of motherhood? What advice would you give to new moms regarding those struggles?
Hannah: One major one is that I want to find a solution right then and right there. I kept googling all my new “problems” and struggling to want to constantly “fix” my child. I have to accept that many of the things that I want as his mom just aren’t going to happen right now.
And comparison has crept in way more than I ever thought it would. Early on, I just wanted my child to sleep well, and I kept hearing stories of babies sleeping better than mine. Or I heard ways of getting a baby to sleep through the night early on if you followed a certain method. I tried to fit my baby into a box thinking that he would follow my lead. Boy was I wrong! After a mono-mental breakdown, I started listening to my child better and following him more. It changed things around to where I wasn’t stressed all the time. I learned to accept the small wins daily and not just focus on the main goal of sleeping through the night at some point way down the line.
I also don’t believe I was taking the best care of myself and giving myself the small breaks I needed. I went through a dark stage of sleep deprivation while still trying to do it all. I was becoming depressed. And this was during month four when I thought things were supposed to get better. I could have done a better job of asking for help when friends and family offered. I just thought I only needed help early on, which I got plenty of, but then didn’t know how to ask for it months later when I needed it again. This is the advice I would give to new moms.
Question 6: How has God met you in those struggles?
Hannah: I am reminded that our baby is God’s child, he is not, ultimately, for me to “fix” . . . He is finding and figuring out things . . . Love is the ultimate answer. Even if he still appears in distress momentarily.
I still need to accept love as a mom and not just give it away all day long. When I was struggling with my mental health, my husband took many of the nights so I could sleep. It was hard for me to accept because I knew he would be tired too. But he told me that for him to feel peace, he needed me to be in a good mental state. I had to accept that he needed me to take care of myself. God was showing me his love once again through the grace of my husband.
Question 7: What things have you learned about your husband through this process?
We have encouraged one another. Marriage is so beautiful. My husband has shown me the face of God—he has reminded me that it comes down to loving our child even if the “solution” has not been figured out.
My husband has way more patience to give some days than I do. And I thought I used to be the patient one before the baby. He doesn’t focus on the end goal, but the process. I kept trying to focus on the end goals and missing the moments of each day. He had to teach me this over the past few months, and I am so grateful for him. I would have missed so much if he didn’t tell me to slow down.
Hannah Weigel and her husband have embraced openness to life and specifically a call to the vocation of family life. Hannah serves currently as an Associate Director of Youth and Young Adults Ministry at St Thomas Aquinas Parish in Dallas, Texas.