My Husband Grew a Beard & I Got Pregnant

Hear me out.

Last April I finally found the mental strength and love for myself to participate in the 4th Trimester Bodies Project. I was pampered and loved on for the goddess that I am. I had a wonderful day celebrating me for me. I was glowing. Little did I know at the time, Ashlee Jackson was also documenting the beginning of another life.

4th trimester, january harshe

Shortly after this photo shoot, I became ill with a stomach virus. (There may have been vodka involved. I can neither confirm nor deny.) I was also traveling that weekend for my Columbus MeetUp. You can only imagine the pure agony I was in. Basically, the weekend was hell. The event was amazing, but my body hated me.

I finally realized, in my seasoned age and all my wisdom, that something else had to be up. I survived that trip, came home, and the next day went to buy a pee stick. Funny thing, when I’m pregnant, I crave childhood foods. Basically, processed crap. So here I was at the store and all I could think about was oatmeal cream pies, bagel bites, and startbursts. Foods I never touch.

I knew. I didn’t have to pee on anything. I just knew.

january harshe, pregnant birth without fear

I peed anyways and sure enough. Positive. This is the moment where I laughed and cried simultaneously. I truly did. I can’t honestly tell you exactly how I felt. Probably a mix of: Scared. Relieved. Happy. Oh shit!

Being the faithful wife I am, I called two girlfriends first.

Then, I told the bearded man. My amazing husband. I told him it was his fault with his sexy beard. Thirty five years old, sixteen years together, and five children, but here we are acting like teenagers. I can’t help it. It’s the beard. There may have also been some steamy vampire books hidden away in my Kindle app, but we don’t need to go there. He grew a beard. I got pregnant.


january and brandon harshe, beard

We were and are….happy. A life is always to be celebrated. Our lives are already chaotic, so that’s not going to change.

How is the pregnancy going you ask? Typical. I wish I could say this unicorn/mermaid has pregnancies full of sunshines and rainbows, but I don’t. I rather hate being pregnant. There are two things I like. My health actually seems to improve. My body loves being pregnant. Also, feeling a baby move inside my womb. That is the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. Other than that, extreme nausea and fatigue have ruled my life. If I tell you how I feel and how my summer went, you’d be too exhausted to read on. You’d need a nap and I’d approve.

Doing events this year while keeping it a secret was quite a challenge! At my last event people kept commenting online how great I looked. Yes, the dress was rad, but I’ve also lost weight and have the pregnancy glow. I let the dress have all the credit though. I’m not the jealous type.

january harshe

The MeetUps ended at just the right time. Actually we conceived at the perfect time for many reasons. Sometimes you really do get a dose of ‘life happens when you’re making plans’. For those of you coming to the 2nd Annual Conference in Austin, you will get to see me with a nice, round belly!

So please join the Birth Without Fear family and celebrate this new sweet baby that will be joining our family sometime in January/February 2015. And get ready for the annoying pregnancy updates that are sure to fill your news feeds on Facebook and Instagram. You’ve been warned.


  • Kate Taylor

    Wonderful news! So happy for your family. This pregnancy is a blessing for your family and will continue to help share life changing empowerment for birth with many many more families.

  • Erin

    Congratulations! Your 4th Trimester Bodies photo definitely had an extra special glow. Guess this is part of why! The other part of course being the glow and light of your natural beauty. So happy for this news.

  • Talia B.

    I was at the Columbus meetup and it was great. So I got to meet this little bean inside your belly and didn’t even know it 🙂 congrats

  • Heather Beebe

    Yay!!! Congrats! I just wanted to tell you, my almost 2 year old was on my lap while I read this and she saw the 4th trimester photo, which is GORGEOUS by the way, and she yelled out “MAMA!” She saw you as a Momma without knowing anything else about you. She loves your photo and I do too. We have similar bodies and I am proud of my body. You are an inspiration and I hope to meet you one day!

  • Monica L.

    Congrats! My husband is a firefighter and I saw him working a scene the other day and thought, “Man, good thing I’m already pregnant because otherwise I might try to make a baby with that guy!” Hahaha. Those sexy husbands will get ya! Hope the remainder of your pregnancy goes well and baby and mama are happy and healthy come January/February!

  • Juli

    January, Congrats! I guess I’m just confused though. Vodka? Really? I don’t want to judge at all. But aren’t you active? It just really left a sad feeling in my heart thinking about all the people reading this thinking of you as an example and you’re talking about vodka. 🙁

    • Mrs. BWF

      If that’s the only thing you got from this, I’m sad for you, not me. I will always be honest, even if they are faults and even if I get judged by others. When you are perfect, then you can judge. Until then, let it go.

  • April

    According to Juli’s life philosophy, women shouldn’t drink alcohol between the ages of 13 to 56, in case we might be pregnant. Ha, no.

      • Mrs. BWF

        That they admit. Or shop or go out on sunday…that they admit. Or drink sodas….that they admit. Or drink coffee…that they admit. Or judge…which is just as much of a sin. Or watch pornography…and admit it. They also follow the teaching of the WoW on WHAT TO DO, not just what not to do. So they all eat meat sparingly and mostly fruits and vegetable. So yes all Mormons are perfect….

        Yes, that was sarcasm. NO one is perfect. No one in the church is perfect. Just most people in the church go to meetings and events and pretend they are. And this right here is why. I for one don’t do that because I think more Mormons needs to be HONEST. So it’s not such a shock to people like Juli when a Mormon admits they are human.

        • Juli

          I’m FAR from perfect. But I’m always trying to be better. And if you think ALL Mormons are a bunch of liars, you are wrong. I just think it’s a double standard (and confusing to your readers) to say that you are an active member of the Church, but casually (and jokingly) talk about drinking vodka. It’s not my place to judge you, and I’m sorry I detracted from the point of this post. But I hope once you realize that this is an AMAZING and INSPIRING post without the reference to vodka, that you’ll take the sentence out. Say it, forget it. Write it, regret it.

          • Mrs. BWF

            Juli, I said people who claim they live perfectly are liars. I regret nothing. Not a thing. Your further comments will be deleted for you since you can’t seem to control yourself. Cheers!

  • Chelsey D

    My daughter’s 3 weeks old and now that I think of it, hmmm… My husband DID grow a beard last winter! And then I grew a baby. I think we’re onto something here!

  • Juli

    January, it is definitely NOT the only thing I got. In fact I shared this on my husband’s wall, and said “Do you want to rethink growing your beard? :)” But it just shocked me! I agree with honesty, but it just seemed so casual. Like you’re proud of it and you wanted to share it with the many, MANY people who are inspired by you. I have so fab friends who aren’t active, or make choices that are not in line with the standards of the Church. And I still love them, mistakes are made. But the casual attitude you have about it is what I was surprised by. So many people look up to you, and for EVERYTHING that you unapologetically do.

    Congratulations on the pregnancy. I can’t wait to read another beautiful birth story!

    • Mrs. BWF

      Juli, I don’t go to you and tell you that I have an opinion about the ‘mistakes’ you are making. My journey in my faith is mine and I own it and I share it…honestly. I could have omitted it, afraid of being judged. Like many other Mormons do with many things they are going through. To each their own. It’s not yours to have an opinion about. Simple as that.

      • Juli

        It’s your journey. But when you shared it in such a public way, it just confused me. If you’re going through a hard time, I hope you find some support. You support so many, it’s only fair for someone to support you and help you along your journey.

        • Mrs. BWF

          I’m sorry you are confused by me not lying or hiding my imperfections. I’m not going through a hard time. I’m human and imperfect. Yes, I openly share truths. Let it go Juli, let it go.

          • liz

            Have you also watched Frozen way too many times like me?! I end most of my sentences lately with Let it go, let it go….! Congrats on cooking another bundle of beauty, big love x

  • Delisa

    Congratulations!! I am expecting my little addition around the same time!! Really hoping to find a vbamc friendly provider soon, as I want my vba3c!! Good luck,mama!

  • Stasni

    This makes me sooo happy! I’ve had the mr reading here and now he is having dreams (literal) of an at home birth! I can wait to see more bump pictures!

  • Dani Floyd

    I love my husband with a goatee but I’ve actually never seen him with a beard. I can imagine it though… Good thing I’m already pregnant Lol. I’m also due Jan/Feb 2015! Congrats!

  • Heather Bays

    Oh guuuuuuuurrrl!! I feel the EXACT same way as you do about pregnancy. But dear lord I have been soooo broody lately and this certainly didn’t help, ha ha ha!! This is AMAZING news!!! I’m excited about the pregnancy updated followed by birth and new baby!!!! Congratulations. xo.

  • DorothyK

    Love! Hearing your story at BWF Chicago was so inspiring, and I’m glad that you and that sexy bearded husband of yours will be welcoming a new life! Also, I thing of your cleanliness story every time I look at the mess that is my house. Love and hope to you and your family.

  • Karina

    Congrats !! Your amazing ! I love reading all your blogs and stories an I was actually thinking ” when is Mrs BWF goin to have another baby ! Congratulation how amazing !!! Looking forward to all the updates !

  • Farah

    I thought you were writting about me. My husband grew a beard and I got pregnant too lol. Only 7 more weeks to go and our 4th and only boy will be here. Congratulations to you and your family. Have a happy and healthy pregnancy. My mantra about nausea is, if I’m nauseous my body is doing it’s job lol.

  • Sarah

    I wasn’t going to post anything in response to Juli and Mrs. BWF’s conversation, but it has been a couple of hours now and it has really been bothering me.

    I just want to say that the single most wonderful thing about this site/blog/group is that it is so non-judgmental and inclusive. The reason I come to this site, follow BWF on facebook, etc. is based entirely on my trust in this being a place where we are all united in support for women/families for the birth they want, without judgment about any of their life decisions.

    The complete lack of reference to all belief systems, creed, etc. is what makes this place welcoming to so many. I hate to see that sacred trust and safety diminished for any woman, including the founder and creator of this wonderful community.

  • Rebecca Mar Young

    What a beautiful story. I especially liked the part about feeling like teenagers. I hafta say, I feel exactly the same way with my hubby sometimes – arrrhh – a lot! And it’s nice to hear others feel it too. I’m a mother of two gorgeous bubbas and run the Red Tent down under at Bondi Beach in Australia. We treat pregnant women all the time and I always recommend they read your blog for all it’s incredible inspiration. I really want mums to know that birth can be positive and uplifting and just plain awesome. There’s so much horror out there around birth and your site really has lit the way for change on that. It’s beautiful to watch the ground swell of support it has created too – it means the word is out and women are listening. So all the very very best with your latest life project – growing that little bean – and congrats on your 4th trimester photo – divine 🙂 I’ll continue to recommend your site as I have done for years now and hope one day we can meet xx

  • Caroline

    So very happy for you and your family! We just welcomed twins as babes #4 and 5 in our family! I love reading about other families embracing and celebrating life! Sending love and encouragement! ❤️❤️❤️

  • Diane

    This makes me so happy!! I’ve been following your blog for about a year and a half and you’ve inspired me more than you can know. I’ve laughed and cried with you. You helped me get excited about trying a natural labor and delivery before we conceived our second baby and now we’re both expecting! Congrats to you and blessings to your family, January

  • Alyssa Laughlin

    Congrats again!!! I’m so excited for you and your family!!! Also Feb. 2nd is a great day for a baby to be born…… I maybe bias though! >_< since it's my birthday and groundhogs day! 😉 Whenever baby decides to arrive though will be a beautiful day though!! <3

  • Christa

    You look fabulous! 🙂 Congratulations on the new addition! Also, thank you for being honest and open about your imperfections. I am now starting to realize that mine don’t make me a bad person. They make me human. There are people in all religions that have their own relationship with their religion. I am glad I am not the only one that is willing to be open about it. 🙂 take care!

  • Ashley Williams

    Such wonderful news! I’m so so happy for you and your beautiful family! You are such an amazing strong woman and have inspired me more than I could ever explain. Rock on with your bad self!

  • Amber Green

    How amazing! I look up to you and your momma wisdom! I blog about my failed attempt at a natural delivery and my hope/dream of a VBAC. My son is 2
    But no new baby on the horizon. I can’t wait to follow your new pregnancy & delivery!

  • Hippie Mama Pea

    I’ve already congratulated you, but this is the first time I got to sit down and read how it happened. Wait…no. Not *how it happened* Uh, The story of the last four/five months. lol

    I’m so happy for you and your family. You deserve nothing but happiness. I can’t wait to meet Six when you visit our city again next year.


  • melanie willis

    Congratulations January I am soooo happy for y’all !!! I pray the best for you and your new babe ! The beard thing and being happy with my hubby is why my hubby is getting a vasectomy soon lol no more babies for us !

  • Bethany

    You know, I was at the Columbus meetup, and when they said you weren’t feeling well and brought you a chair to sit in, I thought to myself…maybe she’s pregnant? Did I miss an announcement? Surely not, but she kinda has that first trimester “I’m growing a baby and it’s making me feel ill” look about her? Lol. Well little did we all know…haha!! Congrats January!! May your pregnancy be as wonderful as possible., and may you birth without fear. Can’t wait to see pics of the new babe!!

  • Lee-sa

    Oh come to Africa already! We need help here, seriously…breastfeeding in public is just about as frowned upon as drinking coffee while pregnant ;). I read all your posts and wish we had this kind of support happening in Cape Town.

  • lindsay

    C9ngrats! You look amazing. Like so.many others, I too am envious of your amazing hair! We should be having our babies around the same time. I am due January/February as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Order the BIRTH WITHOUT FEAR Book at One of the Following Book Retailers!

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iBooks 

 Google Play • Books-A-Million • IndieBound

***Sign up below for more updates on the Birth Without Fear book!***

We respect your privacy.