9 Things to Hear When You’re Pregnant and Not Excited

My husband and I had been married for 34 days when I got pregnant.

9 Things to Hear When You're Pregnant, but Not Excited

This was not part of the plan. To say I was devastated is an understatement.

We were in our mid- and late- twenties, deeply in love, and chasing some very big dreams – this unexpected pregnancy was like a prison sentence to me. In addition, I carried a lot of guilt – as a Christian, I had learned all my life that children are a blessing from the Lord.

My blessing didn’t feel like one.

However, there were very, very few people with whom I could talk about these feelings. People expect that if you’re married, and pregnant, it’s because you wanted to be. People expect you to be happy about it. Christian people expect you to trust in God, and that’s supposed to be that. They simply don’t understand that it can be much more complex and layered than that.

I do understand this.

Dear friend, who does not want to be pregnant:

These are the things I would tell you, if I could sit across a table from you, hear your story, and hold your hand. These things, some of them can be hard to hear…but they can also bring hope. This is my prayer for you – that you can walk away with fresh hope.

When You're Pregnant and Not Excited

Here are 9 things you need to know, when you are pregnant, and not excited.

1) It’s OKAY that you aren’t happy.

I’m gonna say it again, because you need to hear it again.

It. Is. Okay.

Give yourself permission to acknowledge the unhappiness. Recognize that there is no law that says you must be happy about your pregnancy.

Also know that there is a deep difference between “happy” and “content.” More on that later. For now, just know that you are allowed to have emotions that are not pure joy.

2) You absolutely have the right to take time to adjust.

Nobody, no matter how excited they are, should force you into false celebration. Nursery decorations and name-picking can wait. You should, nay, MUST go at your own pace.

This is YOUR baby, and YOUR motherhood journey, and YOU get to make the calls. Do not forget that. Those who truly love you will respect your need to go slow, no matter how thrilled they are.

3) Your worst fears will not all come true.

You may be feeling right now that the very fact that you are pregnant proves that your worst fears are materializing. Let me put you at ease. Just because you feel helpless today does not actually mean you are.

Your baby is not going to hate you, run away when he’s 15, or turn you into a different person. You will not give birth on the side of the road {probably}. You will not go under financially. You’re not going to be forever sleep-deprived, permanently overweight, or never able to be alone with your spouse again.

Some of these things could happen, but it doesn’t mean they’re inevitable. The statistical probability of getting pregnant is much greater than any of these fears coming true. 

You actually have a great deal of power and control over most of what you fear. Not all. But most. You can learn about sleeping schedules, healthy eating, tight budgeting, and wise parenting. {You can even research how to deliver a baby on the side of the road.} You can do something about almost anything. At this time in your life, when you feel like everything is out of your control, take heart, and take comfort in this.

4) You need a tribe.

It doesn’t need to be large, but your tribe of people must be solid. Intentionally surround yourself with people who are willing to support you in going at your own pace, who want the best for you and your baby, and who will show up, physically and emotionally, when you need them to.

My prayer is that this group includes, first and foremost, your husband or the baby’s father. This may also include your close family members. This may be a random group of friends who are willing to walk with you through this. Whoever these people are, whether just one or two, or a whole pack, you need to be able to count on them.

This one is hard. You’re may be a do-it-yourself-er, a driven person, a goal-setter. You’re going to need help, and you probably don’t like that.

But I think one of the reasons we have babies is so that we can learn we aren’t MEANT to do it all alone, aren’t SUPPOSED to, and aren’t EXPECTED to, by people with a grip on reality. God created us to need Him, and one another. You need others, just like your baby needs you.

5) We live in a self-centered culture.

This is vital to recognize.

Everything in post-modern culture points to self-fulfillment, self-celebration, and self-focused lifestyles. Children are thought of as obstacles, instead of objectives.

If you’re like me, you may need to ask yourself if you have perhaps subconsciously bought into this lie. It’s a creeping and subversive propaganda. And it can ruin your perspective on motherhood, parenting, and life in general.

This point deserves an entire post all it’s own, but for now, let it suffice to say that recognizing the fact that we live in a self-centered culture is part of the solution. Be willing to ask yourself a hard question: how much of my heart is centered around myself…and is this affecting how I feel about being pregnant?

6) Emotional pain is not meaningless.

Sweet girl, this is going to be a time of growing up for you. This is a good and beautiful thing.

Do not mistake the pain in your soul for something without value. Just as the pains in our limbs at 8 or 10 signified growth and strengthening, take your heart-pain as a sign that good things are happening – things you don’t necessarily understand yet, and that will require time to discover. A lifetime, in fact.

Believe it is a good journey.

7) Some people would give anything to have this fiery trial through which you walk.

Do know that you needn’t feel guilt for your own grief.

But do also realize that there are those who look at what is your burden, and wish to bear it – to them it would be nothing but blessing. Like you, some women cry themselves to sleep…but it’s because their body can’t do what yours can. 

This does not detract from your pain – but it does provide a wider lens through which to look at your circumstances. Just as you wish others could understand your feelings, seek to understand others’, and hold compassion out to them.

I personally believe God gives each of us the struggles He knows will help us to know Him better. He does this out of compassion. For some people, this is infertility. For some of us, it’s a pregnancy we’re not ready for.

8) Gratitude is your new secret weapon.

If you have never learned the habit of giving thanks, it’s time to cultivate it. Or, maybe it’s time to relearn it.

No matter what your relationship with gratitude in the past, developing it now is crucial. Learning to be intentionally grateful will protect your mind from needless negativism on the hard days, and make the happy days that much more beautiful, because you’ve learned to look for the blessings.

Thankfulness is like a muscle – work it out, and it will grow stronger. Neglect it, and your ability to be grateful will actually diminish.

9) There are days of joy ahead.

This package of pregnancy, birth, and parenthood brings some dark hours with it. But you know what? That happens through all of life. There will always be dark hours. And we don’t get to choose when, where, or how they happen.

The beautiful truth, my dear friend, is that there will always be hours of light and gladness, too. I can honestly tell you that I am utterly thankful for my son, that he is a continual delight to me, and that I have come to a much better and deeper understanding of myself and my God through the whole journey.

It does get better. It will be worth it. 

 

This is not part of the list of 9, but I feel compelled to include it. If you are not decided, as yet, whether or not to give birth to your baby, I ask you to consider this resource; it may provide some guidance and encouragement.

I am not a professional counselor, but I seek to be a listener. If you would reach out to me, I would consider it an honor to talk with you, or pray for you.

Words of understanding and encouragement are candles in our dark places. If you know someone who would benefit from reading this, please share it with them. It may be the easiest thing you do today, and it may also be the most impactful.



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