How to Count Your Blessings

blessingsWhen I found out I was pregnant I cried. Not because I was happy. Not because I was unhappy, but because it didn’t happen when I wanted it to. I am deeply passionate about horses. And I have been so since I was barely able to walk. I also didn’t really like kids. Even as a kid I didn’t like them. So right before I found out I was pregnant a local tack store was going out of business and I went bonkers getting stuff on sale; riding breeches, tack, etc. Then I found out I was pregnant. It was in February and I was just gearing up to get back in the saddle come spring.I cried. Now I was going to be pregnant, in the summer, and I wouldn’t be able to ride all year. I cried. I was going to be big and pregnant in the miserable, humid, Midwest summer. I cried. I wanted a child, I just wasn’t sure how badly I wanted a child. My husband cried. He was esctatic. He wanted kids before we even got married. I took a second pregnancy test, and I cried again. I was still pregnant.  My best outlet for stress was my horse, now that I was pregnant he didn’t want anything to do with me. He didn’t want his grain from me or even his favorite treats; peppermint candies. I was miserable. The next thing I knew those rotten pregnancy hormones hit and I was sick all day every day. As the baby grew I not only had all day morning sickness I had acid reflux. Unfortuntly the side effects of the medication for the acid reflux was worse than the problem it was supposed to treat. I was so sick I couldn’t even utilize my back up stress relief of yoga, bending over was a bad thing to do. No one wants to do yoga next to a pregnant woman vomiting all over the place.

I wanted a boy. I was sure I was pregnant with a boy. I had found a boy name that made me cry for hours. I actually cpntcted someone who would know the history of the boy name to learn more. We had our ultra sound and my boy was a girl. I cried. I wanted a boy. I know personally and professionally how difficult mother daughter relationships can be. I was going to have to face this, the Universe blessed me with a girl. My husband cried. He wanted a girl. The Universe blessed him with a girl. Fortunatly we had a girl name ready and waiting, Ella. It means beautiful, fanciful. I believe names have power. We chose names very carefully.

Labor stared almost 40 weeks to the day. It wasn’t comfortable in the begining. The contractions were far apart and so my husband drifted off to sleep. I did not. I fretted. I stressed. The contractions steadily became closer and closer. I woke my dear husband up. He drove me to the hospital. The contractions stopped and I almost cried. I felt like a fool. The nurse laughed at me, said it happened all the time. My husband is a chiropractor and acupuncturist. We had agreed, as did my doctor, to use acupuncture to help with contractions and pain. Unfortunatly the points for pain were on my back where the strap for the monitor was, so he couldn’t treat my pain. He was very successful at getting my contractions back and my cervix to dialate. I had planned to go natural. It only took a few trips to the bathroom, without my acupuncture needles to realize I was going to need drugs! So I asked for them. I was told it was too soon. I cried. Back labor and front labor, as I call it, was not fun. If you’ve had a child I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. When I was far enough along my OB/GYN came in and told me, jokingly, that he had a dinner date at 5pm so I better have Ella before then or his wife would be mad. My husband was so helpful that before and after the drugs he watched the monitor to tell me when I was having contractions. Like I didn’t already know! No I did not cry, I tried to break his hand. It didn’t work. Once I had the epidural though I felt nothing. I mean nothing. I’ve heard you still know when your having contractions and still have the desire to push. Nope not me. The only way I knew I was having a contraction was Ella kicked the living crude out of my rib cage. In fact she bruised me.

Pushing was not easy. Ella was not going to come into this world easily. She locked her toes around some ribs and hung on for life. I was vomiting, I needed oxygen, Ella was not doing so well, I wanted to cry. I couldn’t. And then she finally made it. She screamed. She cried. They took her to clean her up and such. I cried. My husband left me to go to her. I cried. That first scream, was my first defining moment as a mother. I had held some small attatchment to her while pregnant. When she emerged into this world with such a strong, self-confident voice I became so in love with her I cried. I wanted my child with me whether she was bloody or clean. I knew she was not happy, she was not warm, and did not feel safe. My husband cried. Ella cried so loud my parents heard her down the hall and out a set of doors. At the time they had no idea whose baby it was. They know now. And she was born at 4:47 pm, in time for my OB/GYN to get to his dinner date. Ella still remains very verbal. She still screams and each time I smile and reconnect to her. I hope she forever keeps her voice and her self-confidence. The Universe blessed me with a baby girl. Thank you Universe.

Tara S. Dickherber, M.Ed, CPC is a Certified Professional Coach and Certified ScreamFree Parent Leader. She specializes in coaching people to create balance for life, self-confidence, and healthy parent child relationships. To learn more about Tara visit her blog at or follow her on Twitter.


  1. Tara, this picture of you and Ella is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. What a great story! I know the crying part, but that happened AFTER the birth for me. PPD for about 3 months and boy did I cry and feel like my little girl wasn’t mine and I didn’t know what to do with her and was happy to let others hold her and take her from me. Now, she’s 2 and I don’t want to let her go ever. I love her hugs and kisses and when she tells me she loves me. She’s the best! Thanks for sharing your story and glad all turned out well! It usually does when you see how much our little babies are perfect 🙂


  3. I also did not want to be pregnant, but that was because I was young. Now, almost 15 years later, I don’t know how I could love one person so much. I have 3 children now and love them all equally but in their own way.

    But I am done with babies.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Laura Gordon says:

    Yes, thank you for sharing this. I wish I had read this 5 years ago! I had PPD after my 2nd child was born and didn’t fully realize how “crazy” I was acting until my wonderful husband lovingly pointed it out to me and asked me to talk to my OB about it at my next checkup.
    I felt un-attached to my daughter and unhappy most of the time. I literally snapped…flipped my lid…during a family gathering over an extremely minor (I realize that now) thing. (Thankfully, my family is very forgiving!)
    I am so thankful that my husband loved me enough to lift me up and support me through those dark 3 months. Now, my daughter is almost 5 and I can’t imagine life without her!

  5. Yep.
    I just cried.
    Thanks a whole lot.


    Our situations were completely different but your opening paragraphs spoke directly to me. It’s like you wrote exactly how *I* was feeling..

    Fantastic post!!

  6. Thank you, Robyn, Angie, Laura and Nicole… and of course, Tara for speaking up and sharing your story. It’s tough to admit it when you don’t feel the way the world says you *should* react/respond to a situation. Pregnancy and motherhood is almost always romanticized in the life of a woman, like nothing else can and should come close in terms of the emotional high and fulfillment… which discounts the complexity and depth of life.

    I love this recent video by Zen Mommy on How to Stop “Should-ing on Yourself”…

    Working on it!!! 🙂