Joy and Grief During Pregnancy

 Written by monthly contributor, Emily Pastor.

My husband and I were planning a bike tour across Europe when we found out about our first pregnancy.  We planned to quit our jobs in a year’s time and head off on an adventure for three months of cycling and seeing the world. I was 22 years old. With places to see and adventures to enjoy, a baby just wasn’t on our itinerary.

Although we welcomed the news, it also came at an unexpected time. I believe that children are a blessing from the Lord, so why did I feel such a mixture of joy and grief throughout my pregnancy? All around me, women struggled to conceive, adopt, or carry to term the babies they so desperately wanted. It seemed so shameful and ungrateful to hold even a hint of sadness regarding such a gift of life.

Every Woman Experiences Different Emotions Regarding Pregnancy
Many women enter motherhood with the utmost joy and abandon. Many women enter motherhood with grief from less than ideal circumstances. Many women desperately desire to enter motherhood but face grief due to infertility, miscarriages, and adoption delays. I am not qualified or equipped to speak about the emotions in each of these circumstances. I can only relate my experience and hope it encourages other women facing a pregnancy with mixed emotions.

New Life Born from Sacrifice
A seed cannot bear fruit unless it first falls to the ground and dies. In marriage, spouses must die to their independent life and choices to promote a united life together. Jesus Christ Himself couldn’t bring us true life without first giving up His own. Each of these “new lives” were born out of sacrifice and death. It is right and true that grief accompanies the greatest of joys.

Grief comes through the realization of what must “die” to bring about new life.  I grieved for the loss of personal freedom.  I grieved for the loss of alone time with my husband.  I grieved the unknown changes that were ahead of me.  I grieved for the delay in travel plans.  And while I knew the joy set before me would be worth these sacrifices, I still felt grief in the midst of that joy.

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.

-Theodore Roosevelt

A Harvest of Joy
With the arrival of our daughter, grief remained. I felt it in the new and daily sacrifices mothering required, but as my daughter grew so did my joy and delight in mothering. My husband and I haven’t cycled across Europe yet, and I haven’t actually ridden my bike in two years, but as my daughter and I walk hand in hand on a crisp fall day, somehow those things don’t seem so important anymore.  Joy is replacing grief.  The new life that started so small in me, now produces joy a hundred-fold daily.  Yes, motherhood is hard work.  Yes, there are times of grief and sacrifice, but I now know from experience that great sacrifices produce the greatest harvests of joy.

Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

-Psalms 126:5-6

What emotions have you experienced regarding transitions into pregnancy/motherhood? 

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About EPastor

Emily Pastor is the wife of her high-school sweetheart and mama to their energetic one and a half year old daughter. They recently moved from the Pacific Northwest to the suburbs of Chicago and are expecting their second little one in the late fall. Emily is passionate about incorporating nourishing foods and holistic household management practices into everyday life as a full-time homemaker. You can find Emily’s latest musings at Sustainable Food for Thought.

64 Responses to Joy and Grief During Pregnancy

  1. pd October 31, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    I’m coming a bit late to the thread here, but I am reading the previous comments with a full heart.

    It seems to me that a lot of the dissent on this post is related to the use of the word “grief” in the context of the joy of pregnancy, motherhood, and new life. I feel deeply for those of us who have lost children, or been unable to conceive. I grieve with you.

    But to say that the author here uses grief wrongly is foolish. It’s also misguided to quote dictionary definitions of the term. What matters is how we use the term, not what it “means.”

    It seems to me that this article is talking about natural, seasonal grief, and was not written to address the acute, piercing loss referred to in a child’s death, or the deep chronic ache of infertility. Though there may be overlap there, they are profoundly different to me.

    If you feel that she should have picked a different word, you are entitled to that. But in her experience she picked the word that best described her feelings. I’ve felt that grief too, when a life season has changed, and good things have left to make room for new, different, good things.

    This article’s talking about the kind of grief that I’d imagine mothers feel when a daughter enters school, leaves school, gets married, etc. The kind of grief you feel at the passing of a good thing, to make room for another good thing. This is not the grief of tragedy, it is the grief of seasonality. Don’t you feel a little sad when summer turns to autumn? Summer was so joyful. Autumn is so fruitful. Grief at the passing of a good thing is a sign of value, an affirmation of the goodness of it.

    Let’s be careful to name our griefs well, and listen sensitively to one another.


    • Abby October 31, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

      PD, VERY well put! I agree wholeheartedly. I think you verbalized what many of us couldn’t get the right words for.

  2. Lori October 29, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Thank you. My first pregnancy was a lot like what you described–unexpected, newly married, with plans to adventure around the world. Our plans quickly had to change to settling down. I love my daughter dearly and can’t imagine life any differently now. But there had to be a process in that pregnancy for me to adjust to the new plans. And yes there were some tears and unhappy moments. And I believe that’s okay–God gives us room for that. To suggest anything other is to deny being human with emotions. Look at David. Look at Job. Look at Jesus–He was in such agony over following God’s plan to the cross that He sweat drops of BLOOD. To come alongside a fellow believer who is struggling and not extend compassion, love, and empathy is ungodly too. We are cautioned to speak truth carefully–in love. Not just go about trying to convict people.
    Now I’m pregnant with our second and struggling with PUPPP–a severe itchy raised rash all over, that doctors say goes away only with delivery. My face is swollen. I look like a burn victim. It hurts to sit because the rash is down there too. It’s difficult to sleep. If someone is going to tell me there can be only happy moments over that, they’ve got to be crazy. I am grateful the baby is doing well, thankful that it’s only a rash, thankful for whatever God is bringing through this. But I can be upset about having the damn rash too. God doesn’t mind hearing the good, bad, and ugly, as long as we surrender to Him.

  3. Jessica October 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    To all the women who wrote that they “grieved” when they found out they were pregnant… first i believe that using the word “grief” may have been a poor choice. I don’t mean to be overly critical but as mother who lost her child, i know that “grief” is better used for that type of indescribable pain instead of using it to describe the loss of a biking trip in europe. In the dictionary grief is defined as “Deep mental anguish, as that arising from bereavement; deep or intense sorrow or distress, esp at the death of someone.” I know that it was probably just a honest mistake but i would hope that words could be more carefully chosen in the future.
    Right now I am 12 weeks pregnant and I am so sick of our culture shouting at us women that we must be “independent and self-centered and have the whole world revolve around us”! Sisters, do we stop to question what messages we are receiving?? That is where i believe the source of your “struggles and sorrow” at discovering your pregnant are coming from. In this modern world “Information Age” as we are blasted with messages from the internet, TV, Iphones, radio, magizines, ect., do we receive everything passively or do we try and figure out if it’s a truly Christian Christ-centered message or if it is anti-christian? And by “anti-christian” i don’t mean it’s “specifically against our religion”, i mean… does it have His Truth behind it or not? Everything in this world is either of God or it’s not. This leads to the next question… Do we stop and invite the Holy Spirit to discern with us whether or not the thoughts we’re having are from the Lord or if they are from the world? As christians we acknowledge that satan, the Enemy exists and that he is constantly at work in this world… trying to subtly deceive us and turn us away from our precious Savior… shouldn’t we also acknowledge therefore, that sometimes the Enemy is ultimately behind our train of thought or emotions? I’m not trying to bring fear of any sort, for with Christ on our side we have nothing to fear! But i am saying that all too many times we allow thoughts or emotions to fester in our hearts which are actually poison. Sometimes we have challenges and may need to work though difficult thoughts or emotions, but other times we must see that the thought or emotion in-and-of-itself is not from the Lord and NOT something that He wants us to dwell on.
    I admire all the women on this post (including the author) for being so honest with her struggle and brave by sharing it publicly. But i have had many good Christian friends challenge me to grow at times when i didn’t even see where the source of my problems were, so i’m simply inviting anyone else to do the same. I believe that all the women who wrote about being saddened with their pregnancy should continue to invite Christ into their lives and ask Him to sort through what is Truth and what are lies. If we are being fed with lies that happiness can be found in “having-it-all: a nice car, big house, successful career, lots of travel, lots of ‘me’ time, being pampered, doing what i want, when i want, ect” and then we fall trap to believe these lies, then OF COURSE we are going to have problems and struggle greatly and protest when we find out we’re having a child. If our train of thought is thinking that happiness is all those things listed above, then in our mind, a child= no happiness. Instead of looking at the world, why don’t we look more to the Word of God where over and over again God tells us, practically SHOUTS at us that children are a gift and a blessing and that they one of the major fruits of marriage? (I read the bible but i am far from being a scholar, so if what i’m writing here is a mistake then please someone correct me…) How did women all throughout the bible react to discovering they were pregnant? All the women i have read about rejoiced! Eve! Hagaar! Sarah! Rebekah! Hannah! Elizabeth! And most of all Mary, who was definitely in a “less-than-ideal” time in her life. She praised and joyfully thanked the Lord!
    i know firsthand how much of a challenge it is to listen to God’s voice in the midst of so much chaos and confusion in our lives, but i pray that we may strengthened by His grace to be like the sheep who “know the voice of the Good Shepherd and will not follow the voice of a stranger.” may we remember: dying-to-self is hard, yes, but the baby is a blessing! being pregnant is a blessing and a cause to rejoice! new life from God is better than ANYTHING that this world has to offer!

    • LJ October 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

      Amen, Jessica! I think you articulated my sentiments much better than my attempt below.

      I think it’s legitimate to seek to encourage weary sisters. HOWEVER, we must not coddle one another’s selfish emotions. We are not to be victims of or controlled by our emotions about a situation; we are to be controlled by the Spirit of Truth.

      Is morning sickness tough? You bet! Is it hard to give up those plans for adventure and time as a couple? Sure. Are there unknowns and overwhelming responsibilities that come with motherhood? Of course!

      Is it “normal” to feel overwhelmed, sad, and fearful at the thought of these things?

      Yes, but we are not called to function according to what is “normal” and “natural” to us; we’re called to according to the Spirit, producing the fruits of the Spirit. So by His power, we can choose to acknowledge, “OK, these emotions I’m feeling might be ‘legitimate’ and ‘normal,’ but I CHOOSE to walk instead in the truth of God’s Word and in obedient self-lessness. I CHOOSE to face anything from morning sickness to sleepless nights to post-poned adventures with joy as I fixate on God’s truths about children and motherhood.” I think we as women need to learn to acknowledge our emotions, but then surrender them in obedience and submission to what God’s Word says about motherhood and then move on. It’s normal to get in a funk now and then, but we are disobedient to stay there.

  4. LJ October 28, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    I appreciate the honesty and transparency of this post, but I have a few thoughts I’d like to add.

    I can relate to some of the author’s reservations about entering the adventure of motherhood. As a military wife, I had a lot of fears and concerns regarding when to start a family. My chief fear was giving birth or raising a newborn on my own, while my husband was away (and his schedule is such that he is away a lot and without any predictability). My chief desire was to find an “ideal” chunk of time to start a family; one where my husband wouldn’t be deployed and would be home for awhile following the birth. Pretty legitimate, right?? However, a wise woman counseled me to be very careful not to allow my fears to eclipse the truth of what God has to say about children, and to not allow my desire to control the outcome to stand in the way of obedience. I quickly realized that because of my fears and reservations, my attitude toward children and motherhood was not at all aligned with what God’s Word says about both. He says that motherhood is an esteemed role and that children are a blessing. I was viewing children as a burden and motherhood as a fatigue-inducing task.

    After some prayer and searching of Scripture, I realized that my fears and my desire to pick an “ideal” time to start a family were completely crippling my ability to trust the Lord with the timing and the outcome. (I also realized that I was being ridiculously idealistic in searching for that “perfect” timing; my husband’s job is completely unpredictable and something I just have to trust the Lord with!) Long story short, we have a little one on the way now and I could not be more thrilled. The outcome is still uncertain. A potential deployment looms in the future, the timing of which is to be determined. I know that it will be a rough road at times. I will have to sacrifice sleep, time with my husband, personal “fun” time, and so much more. There is a whole lot of “self” that I will have to die to in this adventure. But I’ve realized that God’s ideal plan is not always my ideal, easy plan. Sometimes he wants us to have to lay down our selfishness. Sometimes he wants us to face less-than-ideal circumstances to learn to depend on Him more fully. And through it all, He is good, and what He says about children still stands: They are a blessing. No conditions; no if’s, and’s, or but’s. They’re not a joyous blessing IF the timing is ideal or IF they’re compliant and content rather than colicky and fussy. They’re a blessing, plain and simple. (Do we enter marriage with grief because of the sacrifices it will entail? Of course not! Why should we view children and motherhood the same way? A blessing is a blessing, period.)

    I hope my story gives me some credence to say that I have one major disagreement with this post. I agree that motherhood involves a lot of dying to self, and dying to self is not fun. However, I completely disagree that the process of dying to self is something to be grieved. Those things that we have to give up – personal time, sleep, time with the hubby, world travels – aren’t to be grieved. Scripture never once speaks of dying to self as a thing to be grieved. It’s a thing to embrace in joyful obedience. That doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. But Paul counted it all as loss for the joy of knowing Christ, and James said that we should consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, and neither of those sound like “grieving” to me. In my personal experience, the answer was to repent of my fear, lack of trust, and desire to control the outcome, and to exchange my fear and the lies I was embracing about motherhood for trust in the Lord and the truth of what HE says about children. The answer was not to bemoan or grieve the things I was laying down and the potential challenges I would face as a military wife and mom. I needed a complete attitude change; I needed to re-align my heart with what GOD says about children .

    Finally, I was really challenged in my struggles with fear/control/trust to consider Mary. Could the timing and circumstances of Jesus’ birth have been any less ideal?! Forget bike tours or deployments or loss of sleep or losing time with her man; she faced the complete destruction of her reputation. And yet, what was her response? Her soul rejoiced and magnified the Lord.

    I guess what it all boils down to is this: We have a choice, ladies. It doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, and Lord knows the hormones of pregnancy make it an even more adventurous roller-coaster. But we have a choice to wallow in and grieve the challenges and sacrifices of motherhood, or to embrace our children as a blessing and to gladly die to self as we make sacrifices and face challenges.


    • Emily @ Sustainable Food for Thought October 28, 2011 at 11:34 am #


      Thank you for your thoughtful and thorough response. I first wanted to thank you and your husband for your service. My brother recently returned from deployment and I first-hand saw the strength, grace, and poise my sister-in-law demonstrated as a mommy while he was away. Blessings on you and your expanding family during this time!

      I whole-heartedly agree with you that we should not wallow in what we “lose” as we gain new life through precious children. My heart behind this post was not to encourage women to grieve those “losses” nor to compare those “losses” with such grief as infertility or the loss of a child. You are absolutely right that we should trust the Lord in His timing and joyfully die to self. My heart in this post was to encourage the mama who is feeling alone, isolated, and guilty for recognizing what she is laying aside for her sweet child. Again, not to dwell in it, but to acknowledge that motherhood requires many sacrifices but it produces so much more joy.

      It saddens me that my words were misunderstood and caused frustration/hurt. I hope in this limited form of communication that women will understand this post was meant to show grace and compassion to the weary mommy whose emotions don’t always match what she thinks they should.

      Thank you again for your thoughtful response. I pray women will trust the Lord in His goodness during seasons of uncertainty.

      • LJ October 28, 2011 at 11:55 am #

        Hi Emily,

        Thanks for your reply. :) I suppose my response came out of concern that there are women who will use this post to justify or vindicate their own selfish, negative attitudes towards children and motherhood. I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh, but in a culture that tells us that children are another thing to check of the list, and that the best day of the year is when they finally go back to school and get out of your hair, I feel like it’s imperative that we call women out of our culture of selfishness and complaining and into the beauty and joy of what God says about children.

        I am not so naive as to think that it’s going to be an easy road or that I’ll greet every sleep-deprived day with a broad smile, but I pray that by God’s grace I will CHOOSE to dwell on the joys and blessings of motherhood rather than on the challenges and sacrifices of it. Hope that makes sense.

        I completely understand your desire to encourage weary mamas! I am so grateful for the aforementioned mentor who gently affirmed my fears and concerns as legitimate, but she also did not shrink back from exhorting me to examine my heart for any selfishness, disobedience, lack of trust, and lies that were taking root there and causing me to choose a negative view of motherhood and children. I think the exhortation (rebuke, even!) is just as important as the encouragement, particularly in a culture that coddles our complaints about motherhood.


        PS – Thank you for your kind words about military service, too!

      • Amanda October 29, 2011 at 11:54 am #

        Emily…I want to thank you so much for your post. As a woman who suffered a miscarriage last year and am no pregnant for the fourth time now, I often feel guilty that I am not more happy at this moment for this pregnancy after following a loss. I AM happy to be pregnant, this one, as well as all the others were planned. But sometimes the feelings of extreme morning sickness, mixed with exhaustion from taking care of my ever growing family can make me feel downright miserable, and then I feel guilty for not enjoying every moment of the blessings God has given me. I don’t think your post in any way encourages us to be selfish, but allows us who feel similar to understand what we are feeling are common feelings among other women. Of course I love to read articles that talk about how great motherhood and pregnancy can be, but sometimes I just want people to be real…it doesn’t encourage me to continue in my miserable feelings…if anything it encourages me to believe that I can make it through the rough days, and that it will all be worth it. Thanks again, Emily.

      • Lori October 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

        I appreciated this blog entry so much. Thank you for your understanding and compassion. I posted further below.

  5. Debra October 28, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    This speaks to me on a whole different level. We have 2 kids and my husband recently had a vasectomy of which I was strongly opposed and I have been dealing with the grief over his decision and never having another child again.
    “In marriage, spouses must die to their independent life and choices to promote a united life together.” helped remind me that we are in this together and sometimes I must die to my independent choice and respect his. I also was encouraged when you said “Joy is replacing grief.” I prayed that God would do that same thing for me! Thank you for encouraging me though this post!

  6. Abby October 27, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    It makes me very sad that so many people are taking this so very personally & missing the intention and the heart of this post. I’m so sorry, Emily.

  7. Sarah October 27, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    I understand the heart of what you are trying to say, Emily, but as a Mom who buried her 6 month old baby, I have a hard time with your choice of words. Yes, it is hard to transition and tread into the unknown, but it is not grief. A sense of loss, maybe– but please do not equate the journey I have been on these past two years with not being able to bike through Europe or spend time with your husband.

    • Debra October 28, 2011 at 9:44 am #

      Just wanted to let you know Sarah that your loss made me cry and that you are prayed for.

    • Emily @ Sustainable Food for Thought October 28, 2011 at 11:41 am #

      Sarah, I cried as I read your comment. I am very sorry for your loss. I am praying for you today. I would never imagine comparing the sacrifice in motherhood with the unimaginable grief of losing a child. I am very sorry that my choice of words conveyed that to you.

  8. ag October 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    This post makes me very sad. I would do anything to be married and have children. It grieves me to see people put themselves before what God calls them to – motherhood. Women should know that having children will ultimately be more satisfying than traveling across Europe.

    • Brandy @ Afterthoughts October 27, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

      Isn’t that human nature, though? We, being born sinful, are constantly becoming aware of all the places we fall short. We all struggle with areas in which we are selfish–in which we need refining.

      • Abby October 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

        I could be wrong, but I think I’m looking at this from a little different angle. I’m not so sure it’s about selfishness … or maybe it is in both cases.

        Is it selfish of me to not think I’m ready to have a kid when God thinks I am? Is it selfish of me to want to spend time nurturing my new marriage and get to know my husband before we add kids to the mix? Is it selfish of me to want a baby when it’s not His timing for me to have one? Is it selfish of me to want my OWN baby when God wants to give me an adopted child? Is it selfish of me to want something God doesn’t want for me? Or to want something when it’s not his timing for it?

  9. Mama2boys October 27, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Its a relief to read a post about this topic! I’m almost 14wks pregnant with my 3rd, have a 4yo & an almost 2yo and have hyperemesis for the third time. I’m exhausted, I’m sick, I’m struggling with the fact my boys aren’t getting much of me and what they do get is tired and nauseous. I have had many moments where I wish I wasn’t pregnant and yep this is after multiple miscarriages and fertility issues to get here so I also feel guilty about not feeling grateful and excited. I grieve the loss of time with my husband too, we live in a very isolated area so we don’t get to go out without the kids – EVER. I count my blessings every day but having my less positive feelings validated is comforting (:

  10. Colleen Sleadd October 27, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    I married my high school sweetheart and got pregnant right away, then a second child again 18 months later. I love my children, but now I grieve for a time I never had of sweet years alone with my husband. This article was so encouraging. I have felt so guilty… I love my kids more than anything, but there is a cost. Thank you for directing my heart to the harvest of joy, while validating the reality of the sacrifice.

  11. Lisa October 27, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    Oh my goodness. I can’t tell you how perfect the timing of this post is. I am 9 weeks pregnant with our first child. We wanted this child. We planned for this child. We tried for this child. I cried when I saw babies and small children because I wasn’t pregnant yet. And now that I am? I’m terrified. I keep wondering what is wrong with me. Why aren’t I more joyful? Yes, seeing our little one on the ultrasound did bring some joyous feelings, but I have to admit, they were short-lived. Most of the time, I’m scared and sad, and I feel such tremendous guilt over it. People keep talking about how magical and joyful pregnancy is, and I? I haven’t really seen it so far. So far, it’s brought up all sorts of fears and insecurities that I just don’t feel equipped to deal with. Knowing that I’m not the only one to experience grief, and that joy will come, does help. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my mixed feelings. Thank you.

  12. Kristy October 27, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    I am so very sorry for your aching arms. I know it sounds odd to someone who is in the throes of infertility. I waited five long years for our first child–watching other women have two new babies in that span of time. I remember my arms literally aching when I thought of the baby I so wanted to hold.

    The second baby was then conceived easily, which was in itself a surprise, but the third of our pregnancies was not planned by anyone other than God. I was in some form of grief throughout the entire pregnancy (for which I felt ridiculous guilt…after all I wanted to be a mother and God chose to bless me again, but my other children were three and one, I was horribly sick for over half of the pregnancy, and I felt life was spinning out of control).

    In many ways it is a mourning for the same thing, these two diametrically opposed things–the loss of control. I could not ever have seen it in the midst of it (infertility or unexpected pregnancy), but it turned out God’s timing was perfect. More perfect than I in my limited vision could have seen because He knows all that is to come. I pray that your arms will be filled with the baby intended for you in His way and His time.

  13. Jo October 27, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    A friend and her husband waited seven years (trying very hard) to have their first child. He came prematurely, had RSV, food allergies, mama broke her arm and a host of other issues. But they were joyful and thankful. Three years later they finally had their second after months of labor-intensity contractions, lots of shots, bed rest, and great complications from mama’s childhood diabetes. When Baby 2 was 5 months old, Baby 3 joined their family by adoption when she was 15 months. Baby 4 was much like Baby 2, probably riskier, three years later. They were joyful and thankful….and tired! They waited a year while preventing pregnancy–Mama had peace that their family was complete, Papa didn’t yet. Mama’s diabetes was health was a big concern. The time for diapers was finally past. Mama made an appointment…..Mama found out she was pregnant. She was floored and shocked for weeks. She herself was stunned at needing to work through this. Of course, that baby is a beloved blessing and they really ARE done now. :^)

  14. hath October 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Thank you Thank you for writing this…. it mirrors how I felt and feel now…. though I enjoy the birth of our son (which was only blessed after 5 yrs of marriage) somehow I feel at loss at times… Thank you again….

  15. Ayla October 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    I am floored. This post shot straight to my heart. My husband and I recently found out that we are pregnant with our fourth child. We had planned to stop after three since our third child is a huge handful and demands so much from us. We were actively trying not to get pregnant so this really came out of left field and I’ve had to sit by in recent weeks, so sick from morning sickness, watching our plans fall away to the demand of raising another child. I’ve been praying so much that I would and could find the joy in this and I’ve struggled with it sincerely. This was very inspiring and helped me so much! Thank you :)

  16. Valerie October 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Thank you for writing this. I had these feelings when I was pregnant for my first son at age 37. (We had not planned to have children.) At Christmas time that year, I received a mailing from Focus on the Family. It told the story of a woman who was hospitalized in the 1940′s with lung disease and dying. She was allowed to go home for one night to spend Christmas with her husband before she died. Soon after, she began vomiting and was unable to eat. To everyone’s surprise, she hung on, day after day. A doctor suggested that she be given a pregnancy test and, unbelievably, she was pregnant. As the weeks went by, doctors were stunned as she began to get stronger. She was able to eat again and stopped vomiting. AS THE BABY GREW, IT PUSHED UPWARDS AND SLOWLY CLOSED THE ABCESS IN HER LUNGS!! She not only delivered a healthy baby, she was able to nurse it and eventually, both mother and baby returned home and lived!! The baby saved her life.

    I know that mailing was a gift from God that Christmas. And my baby was and is a gift from God. Some of the hopes and dreams *I* had for *myself* died when I had children but they were replaced with something far, far better. God has used my children to save me from myself and I am so thankful for them and for His mercy.

  17. Karis October 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    Thank you for this post. It is very encouraging to know that I am not alone in my mixed grief and joy as we await the arrival of our little one in a month and a half. Thankfully the Lord has been pouring his peace and joy into me so that I may trust in Him. Thank you!

  18. Tiffany October 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    I hate to admit that I cried (tears of fear and disappointment) when I told my husband we were pregnant with our first. It was unplanned and so many plans had to be cancelled (our trip to Machu Piccu, our 200 mile bike race together). When people asked me if I was excited to be having a baby, I told them ‘yes’, but I was not excited on the inside. Only my husband knew of my doubts.

    I struggled my entire pregnancy, up until the night before our daughter was born, hoping that I would love her so much and put my personal plans aside to raise her. And the minute she was placed on my chest, I cried tears of extreme joy. We now have two kids, I’m a full-time SAHM and I could not be anymore happy raising my children. I adore them and while my life has certainly changed, there is no place I’d rather be.

  19. Lisa October 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    I am pregnant with our third child, after losing our second child just 19 short days after he was born premature. I am certainly filled with mixed emotions as I face a potentially high-risk pregnancy and the uncertainty of possible early labor again. My first pregnancy was easy and normal and I led a very active life, so I feel like I’m grieving the fun and “freedom” of having a normal pregnancy and have been on modified bed rest since 14 weeks. So many tears I have sown from losing our sweet son and am trusting God for shouts of joy at the end of this pregnancy. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Megan October 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    Thank you so much for your honesty. It is refreshing. I truly believe the Lord used you to encourage me today. I believe I am pregnant w/ our 3rd (we have a 3yo daughter and a 16 month old son) God has taught me so much through these past 4 years and I know He will continue to be faithful in everything we need, but I do struggle with mixed feelings and then the tremendous guilt that I even have those feelings. I was telling my husband a few weeks ago w/ tears in my eyes that when I found out I was pregnant w/ our son I struggled with not wanting to be pregnant and just so much fear. Now I look at him and the huge blessing he is in our lives and the joy that he brings to every one of us (especially my 3 yo) each day and I feel so much guilt that I responded that way. I think I’m going to write down part of your article and post it on my fridge. God is good!

  21. Rachel October 26, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Wonderful post. I was a career woman who never planned to get married (the nice Christian guys liked all my friends/sisters, but never me), so had settled myself into my job. Well, low and behold at age 27 I got married and we had our first baby at age 30. Now we have 4 little ones (6wks, 2, 4, 6) and I’ve had the whole spectrum of emotions, of which you mentioned. I am so thankful that God knew better than I did what was best for me, most of all. My favorite verses for times of weakness (whatever the cause -grief, lack of sleep, hormones) is these:

    2 Corinthians 12:9,10 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

  22. RebeccaT October 26, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    This was an encouraging post! I have a 12 month old who we found out about approximately 8 weeks into our marriage. We weren’t planning it, but were excited. At 27, I was relieved to finally be married after many years of singleness and happy to start a family. BUT, I found out after her birth (slightly traumatic in that she was breech and my planned homebirth turned into a highly ‘medicalized’ (is that a word?) c-section. I promptly found that I am one selfish, selfish person! None of the overwhelming feelings of joy and wonder accompanied her arrival and I felt terrible about not feeling happier. Perhaps there was some low-grade postpartum depression going on with this, but I never knew that motherhood was going to be so hard! And, my baby is very good. She was never a crier and plays well alone. How much I have to be thankful for! The emotions just weren’t there, though. (The happy ones that is!)
    However, she turned one almost two weeks ago, and I can finally say that I’m starting to really enjoy motherhood a lot more. Although some of it may be hormonal, etc…I have to say, i really think God has just taught me a lot about getting out of my selfish self and to start letting him sanctify me. I’ve got a long way to go, but he sure used motherhood as a major tool!

  23. BH October 26, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    Thank you so much for your honesty and sharing your heart. I cried when I read this because it’s exactly how I feel right now at 20 weeks pregnant. It has been difficult for me to remember that God is Sovereign and that His plan is best, even when I’m confused and reluctant and it hurts. Reading the comments of the women who have miscarried breaks my heart, and I cry out to God at the injustice of it all; and yet, I am called to trust Him and I can look back through my life and remember that He is trustworthy. Your post refreshed my heart and gave me hope. Thank you!

  24. jenney October 26, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Thank you for this post. I am 7 weeks from due with our 4th and our oldest is only 5 years old. To say I am overwhelmed would be an understatement. I am suffering from depression with this pregnancy, something I’ve never had happen during pregnancy (had postpartum with my firstborn). It is so hard to try and be a positive, energetic, godly mom to my other three while feeling downright miserable so much of the time. I really thought I was crazy feeling this way-because truly I feel very blessed to have our children and to be pregnant when so many of my friends struggle with infertility and a good friend just had a second miscarriage. I don’t think that we can choose our emotions, especially when they are hormone driven…but I do believe that God will use this time to strengthen our family. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Jessica October 26, 2011 at 11:47 am #

      Jenney, I am almost right where you are! I am 22 weeks pregnant and have an almost 5 year old, 3 1/2 year old and 2 year old! It can be so overwhelming!!! It is hard to be exhausted and know that three lives are almost totally dependent on you 24 hours a day! I have been feeling pretty depressed with this pregnancy, too. I live hours away from all of my family and do not a community of friends or support system where I live. I know that I need to rely on God right now! Thank you for sharing your story! I feel a little less alone!

      • Amber October 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

        Jessica and Jenney, I have four kids 6,5,4,and 2. I also live away from family. I really struggled after my fourth was born with exhaustion and the needs of the kids. I found that prayer with my kids was very helpful as well when things were hard. My youngest is 2 now and things are great. I just wanted to let you know that it gets easier. I’ll keep you both in my prayers.

        • Jessica October 27, 2011 at 3:36 am #

          Thank you very much!

  25. Holly October 26, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Thank you so much for this. I am not yet pregnant, though we hope to be soon. I am looking forward to it with anticipation, and yet there is a small something inside of me that is almost envious of myself now!
    This was truely what i needed. I know joy will overtake this selfish feeling.
    thank you

  26. Alana of Intentional Womanhood October 26, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    Emily –

    Your honesty is refreshing. When we were unexpectedly expecting our first son {who will be 3 years old in another month and a half}, I was mostly happy but I did experience grief for losing time to myself and more one-on-one time with my husband. I think I struggled more with fears {“I-don’t-know-what-I’m-getting-myself-into”} than anything else, but the grief was still very real.

    Women need to know that they’re not alone when they have negative thoughts about motherhood. Even if we strongly believes that children are a blessing, negative feelings can creep in and overwhelm us. It is at this moment that we should lean on Jesus more and ask Him to give us His heart for our children.

  27. tc October 26, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    I agree. I have recently had a miscarriage of my first baby. It is hard to read this post. The comments which state they were melancholy because “I had not planned to become pregnant” hurts too. You were having unprotected sex, so why are you surprised. Don’t mean this to be rude, but to those of us that have had baby die before they are born or want to conceive but cant-some of these comments felt little insensitive.

    The alternative of what you have could always be worse.

    • Emily @ Sustainable Food for Thought October 26, 2011 at 10:12 am #

      Anonymous and tc,

      Thank you for your honest and gracious comments. I truly appreciate hearing your thoughts and perspective on this sensitive topic.

      tc, I am very sorry for your loss.

      • tc October 28, 2011 at 8:57 am #

        Thank you for your comment. I think going through this has made me come off as harsh or insensitive sometimes. And for that I am sorry. It just too painful and sometimes it just helps to have someone say it’s okay how you are feeling. I feel like I am losing my mind some days. Sometimes i’m better, then other days right back to despair.

    • Abby October 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

      I have many, many friends who have fertility problems to the point of multiple miscarriages, infertility procedures and long drawnout adoptions. I’ve walked through this pain with several close friends and family members.

      I can not imagine the pain of losing a child. Honestly, I don’t want to even go there … God hasn’t given me the grace to go there. But I do know what it’s like to want something SO badly and honestly believing it’s what God wants for you but it not coming to pass. I think that’s something everyone can relate to.

      My husband and I got, unexpectedly pregnant with my daughter on our honeymoon. We were using the “watch your cycle” method of birth control … I did it wrong. So I can relate to the grief of having many, many plans for my new marriage and with my new husband and having to adjust those to include an addition.

      Even though I didn’t scream from the mountains that I wasn’t fully embracing this event, I have a hard time keeping my emotions out of my face. When I was pregnant, one of my friends who couldn’t have babies & adopted 2 kids, told me that if we didn’t want this baby they would adopt it. I was SO hurt and completely speachless!

      Not WANT my baby? I may need some time to adjust my thoughts and feelings to the situation but I WANTED & LOVED my baby.

      I won’t apologize for not being one of the ones who have conception problems. I grieve with you!! I am so, so sorry that’s happening to you.

      We’re all in different boats, but we’re all in the same boat as well … wanting something we’re not getting/not wanting something we are getting. I think the bottom line is having God’s perspective on whatever is or isn’t happening on our lives.

  28. Rachel October 26, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    I really enjoyed your post- so far each of my 3 pregnancies have been unplanned and unexpected. When I first started experiencing grief (and the guilt that comes along with feeling that grief) with my first child (4 years old this week!) I began searching for encouragement or at least someone to tell me that I was not alone, but the only things I could find about unplanned pregnancy were geared toward single mothers. That caused me to feel even more isolated and guilty. I am so glad you have taken the time to share your experience in such an honest and vulnerable way!

  29. Brandy @ Afterthoughts October 26, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    I could have written this post! Well, not the part about bicycling across Europe, but still…

    I married my husband when I was 23, and became pregnant 3 months into our marriage. I had *not* planned to spend my first year as a wife enduring what turned out to be a very difficult pregnancy. No. I was independent. I was supposed to finish my graduate degree, get my career underway first. Travel the world. See some things. Enjoy marriage ALONE. And on and on, ad nauseam. The truth was that I was incredibly selfish (and didn’t realize it), and I didn’t want to sacrifice myself–me me me–for having a child. I always knew I would stay home–and HOMESCHOOL–my children. I knew that took something that I didn’t have, and I thought I’d get it later. (Silly me.)

    It is amazing how God works in our lives in order to bring us to maturity. I–and maybe you, too, though obviously I cannot speak for you–needed to be forced out of the safe little nest of selfishness I had built for myself. This was God’s grace in my life, as it seems to have been for you. Not just the pregnancy, but the entire first year was a difficult adjustment. At every step, I was internally kicking and screaming. It was really hard to lay down my life for this child, even though I loved him very much. Feeling love and learning to live in love are often two different things.

    And now he is 9 and I can’t believe we are “halfway done” with this parenting gig in his life. I thank God daily for intervening and giving us this precious gift, even though we didn’t deserve it. We now have four children–9, 6, 4, and 3–and life is not at all what we had planned. But I always think about Psalm 127, which says that unless the LORD builds the house, those who labor are laboring in vain. I wanted to build my own life with my husband, but God intervened. I was laboring in vain, and God redirected me.

    I loved reading your post because it is something that most people don’t talk about. The world tells us that its treasures are more important than letting the LORD build our houses, and many of us, by the time we graduate college, have swallowed that lie hook, line, and sinker. When God graciously begins to correct it, it can be very painful because our struggle is with our own sins, and our own lack of maturity. Growing up is hard, but God is gracious to keep us from chronic adolescence. :)

  30. Shawn October 26, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    I love your post. It is such a difficult topic and I think you did a beautiful job of being both honest and respectful.

  31. Lisa October 26, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Ah, what a refreshing article. What a difference from the rosy, “I love everything about motherhood,” posts that usually pop up among Christian circles (not that they’re not good…just a bit disconcerting for those of us with mixed emotions.) I suffered from 5 years of infertility and three miscarriages in my journey to motherhood. I was incredibly thrilled to finally get and stay pregnant. But then I got pregnant and stayed pregnant 3 more times in just 4 years. I am so thankful for these wonderful blessings, but motherhood has NOT been what I thought it would be. I had severe post-partum depression after my firstborn, and it carried through to my second born’s arrival 16 months later. It didn’t help that my babies screamed their heads off most of the time, and seemed to never sleep. After having 7 years of having my husband to myself in a sweet, peaceful honeymoon that seemed to go on forever, I suddenly have all these little whining, crying, needy babies (who, incidentally, also have celiac, which makes my food preparation job about 1000 times harder and more time-consuming) who don’t let us get a word in edgewise to one another ( and when we do, it’s shouting over all the noise!) I have felt so guilty over my mixed feelings: one moment I could eat them with a spoon, and the next moment, I feel like I could crawl out of my skin from all the noise and mess. I have prayed, wept, and fasted for these precious children, much like Hannah. Yet, unlike Hannah, there have been days where I wondered what in the world I was thinking. I know it will get easier as they get older and a little more independent, but I pray I can find some contentment and patience (and maybe a little deafness to the noise and blindness to the mess) until then. Thank you for a very encouraging post!

  32. Moira October 26, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    We are a missionary family who moved to Paraguay a year and a half ago. I am a 26 year old mother 32 weeks pregnant with #5! My oldest is 6, and my next child was born right after he turned one year old. Our third was born in missionary training, our fourth right after a two month road trip, and #5 is due right in the thick of language study! I just this pregnancy noticed fine lines on my forehead and several other signs of aging, and I’m starting to slow down although I try to be as healthy as possible…but the Lord is faithful and He can use all these things to mold me more into the image of His dear Son!
    I never would have described myself as a selfish person before having children, but the Lord has used my children in a great way to show me the things in my life that I was unwilling to give up – time alone, competency, my youthful goals and dreams – and to give me the opportunity to draw closer to Him in love and obedience every day. I can remember crying when I found out I was pregnant with my second child when my oldest was only 2 months old, out of fear that I wasn’t adequate and grief that my first wouldn’t really have a babyhood with mom to himself for a while, but God has shown me in the years that have followed how His grace is sufficient for all things. Some of the sadness was affected by hormones and stress, I know, and I’ve always tried to handle that wisely and naturally. But not to forget what’s going on spiritually! How sad that I so often refuse that grace in my daily life by hanging on to my feelings and wishes that originate in the flesh!
    A passage that always encourages me is 2 Corinthians 3: 4-6, which speaks of all our sufficiency coming from God. Come what may, no matter what we feel, He has already made us able ministers of His new covenant! It’s a great thing to hold onto His Word. I love all of my tiny ones soo much and although we are not perfect, we are loved by a perfect Saviour with a perfect love and He daily calls us to enter into that love!

  33. Ashley Willcox October 26, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    Oh, what a wonderfully encouraging post!! THANK YOU!! I am expecting our second and had such a startlingly difficult time with my first (after infertility) that I have been more fearful than joyful in this pregnancy–as delighted as I am about it! Thank you for your words of wisdom. It is easy to feel so much guilt at feeling fear, anxiety, and grief at the expectation of a new life–especially when we know children are a blessing and so many who long for them are unable to have them–but what truth that everything that brings joy also requires sacrifice, and that is what makes it so very beautiful in the end! Thank you!

  34. Laura--The Sushi Snob October 26, 2011 at 6:52 am #

    I’m expecting my first baby in March, and this baby was planned, although it took longer for me to conceive than I had wanted. We were hoping to have a boy first (and convinced that this baby was going to be a boy)–I grew up with brothers and the thought of having a girl first terrified me to no end. Well of course, we found out last week that we are having a little girl. Am I terrified? Oh yes. But I am coming to accept that God decided we needed to have a daughter first.

    • Megan October 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

      I have *so* been there. I grew up the only girl in a household of 5 boys. I took care of many baby boy nephews. I loved the idea of having a son first so that there would always be an “older brother” to look after his siblings. Well, God blessed us with a girl instead and then a boy. God certainly showed me that He knows what He is doing. It has been such a joy to watch her grow and want to be just like mommy. She is only 3 but she cares for, plays with, entertains, and protects her 16 month old younger brother in a way that just astonishes me. It blesses me just to watch them together. I could go on an on about all the ways I see how wise and perfect it was for God to give me these two in the order that He did. Just look to Him and He will give you the wisdom you need to raise this little girl, He is *always* faithful! Congrats!

      • Megan October 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

        Oh, and I meant to tell you, I had her in March as well :)

  35. Reese October 26, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    Motherhood definitely made me realize how selfish I was, and how often I felt like I needed to check social media.

    This post has come at a great time for me as well. Right now I’m sitting here wondering if I might be pregnant and what it would be like for my baby, who is now 8 months, to have to share me so soon.

  36. Lanai October 26, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    Oh my this could not have come at a better time in my life. Tears whel up as I think back just a few months ago..
    I’m 21, married to an Amazing Godly husband who has been a joy to my life for 4 years.. I’ve never been the mothering type; no maternal instinct. I’ve always been a selfish human being, enjoying my own time doing whatever I please.
    When I married, I counted the cost. I took into account the sacrifices, or so I thought.
    Last July when we found out we were expecting our little girl, terror filled my being. Like you, I had been surrounded with the same individuals who had endured the trials of infertility &miscarriage.. So when I felt scared to become a mother and almost resented the fact that I had no choice in the matter I was filled with grief.
    I thought the feeling would pass but it never did. I thought once our little one arrived God would bestow me with the maternal instinct to care for our little one. I was so turned off from anything natural that I was running in the opposite direction & would say “I’m not…” .. I wasn’t going to breast feed, or anything.
    Once she arrived I did not have the moment I was hoping for. The hospital sent me home with this baby for my husband and I to care for and I was TERRIFIED! To top it all off she was colicky from day 7 and on.. As if settling into an unwanted motherhood wasn’t difficult enough, my baby screamed all the time. This made me feel nothing short of crazy. All the while, the other half of the population I was around were spitting out kids left and right & their baby’s were angels and they LOVED motherhood. Said it was the best thing ever! This made me feel like I was even more of a monster.
    During all this time, even throughout my pregnancy, I was overwhelmed with the HUGE weight of the responsibility that I would forever stand accountable before God for this child’s spiritual state. This being as overwhelming as it was I buckled & cried out to God many a times. I cannot explain the terror and fear that had overcome me.
    I can remember at one point I looked up and just said “God, she’s yours. I can’t do this, it is humanly, spiritually, & emotionally impossoble.” I felt such a relief from EVERYTHING.
    Now, I’m trying to get back to the simplicity of life God had intended for life to be. I’m as crunchy granola as they come., or I’m trying to be. And as I sit here rocking my little one to sleep I realize that, as you said, the things that mattered before don’t matter as much anymore. I am at peace with who and where I am. This has been a long difficult journey, but worth every step, every tear, every doubt, every fear. Mothering is what God made me for. This has been a spiritual journey that God has birthed many things In me, and He’s used this little human to bring it into reality. I am SO grateful for the joy I have in my heart now, that my little girl brings me. Azlyn Truth has become the manna my wilderness.

    • Lori October 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

      Thanks for the post. I have been there and understand completely. I appreciate Emily taking the time to blog this and you to comment so honestly.

  37. Lisa October 26, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    I’m so glad you wrote this because it’s not something people speak out on very often, but I’ve been there too, and don’t really share about it. After I had my first I was thrilled beyond anything, she was the baby girl I had prayed for since I knew I wanted to be a mom. Shortly after her first birthday we found that we were expecting again and I was devasted. I knew I wanted more kids but I felt guilty that my daughter’s babyhood would be cut short by a sibling. I thought we were robbing her of the attention and time she deserved by bringing another child into our family so soon. After she was born I experienced post partum depression that I think stemmed from my pregnancy grief. Of course I grew to love our second daughter and would not change a thing about her or the timing of her arrival. The Lord has worked deeply in my life concerning my views on planning my family since then. But I wish I’d been able to acknowledge that grief during my second pregnancy, I think that would have helped a ton.

  38. Katrina October 26, 2011 at 6:07 am #

    Your posts have been a great inspiration and reminder of God’s “interesting” way he puts us where we need to be if we listen. This doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating at times but it’s nice to be reminded to just trust Him.
    Thank you!

  39. Kari October 26, 2011 at 4:33 am #

    Such a good reminder about following Jesus, enduring grief for the joy set before us. During an intense season of postpartum blues with my firstborn daughter, I mourned the loss of my “freedom” and the loss of my youth. I, too, felt guilty because I loved my daughter and was thankful for her and yet felt such sadness. The Lord used this time to draw me closer to Himself and His Word, give me compassion for others going through emotional struggles, and renew my vision of death to self and life in Christ. Because He died for my sin and gave me faith to trust in Him, my life now belongs to Him, I have hope of eternal life, and I can live for eternal things above rather than temporal things of earth (Titus 1:2; Colossians 3:1).

  40. Lauren October 26, 2011 at 4:31 am #

    This is exactly something I needed to hear right now, thank you! While we have suffered the grief of infertility, we of course were able to naturally conceive at the EXACT moment we had decided to stop trying in order to get through the overseas move we had just received orders for. There has been so much joy, and we are both so excited, but I have had so much guilt for feeling like she was an inconvenience and so much apprehension in the midst of some already dramatic changes! We arrived in Japan when I was 34 months pregnant, we still don’t have the majority of our belongings and only have the bare minimum basics for her arrival. It’s left me feeling unprepared and so very anxious. Not to mention I am terrified I won’t be able to emotionally handle a newborn and all the challenges that come with it! Thank God for His grace even when our so very human emotions try to take control and mask the joy of such a blessing.

  41. Jessica October 26, 2011 at 4:01 am #

    Thank you for sharing!!! I too grieved loss of freedom but more after the kids were born. Ours were more planned though. Meaning we were ready for our babies. However I am 6 wks away from having our 4th and I am feeling like I don’t want to interrupt our family again with a newborn. This time I am not only asking my husband and I to die to self but our children as well. When a new sibling comes they give up things as well. The bigger issue: We really wanted a boy, we are having a 3rd girl. I think that anytime God changes your plans things get dicey in the emotions department. Thanks again for sharing!

    • Emily @ Sustainable Food for Thought October 26, 2011 at 5:24 am #


      We are due with our second in about 4 weeks, and I’m also realizing the challenges and changes this will mean for our 1.5 year old daughter. I know it will grow her in so many ways, but as a mommy I’m imagining just how hard it will be to watch that growth process through her sacrifices. I’m praying for a smooth transition. I hope the addition of your fourth will be smooth and transformational for everyone involved!


      • Megan October 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

        Just wanted to share that I worried about my daughter so much when I was pregnant w/ number two. I just knew it was going to be so hard on her and she would have to give up so much with a new baby coming along. I was so surprised when he was born, she was never anything but excited about him. She never felt like there was anything to resent or give up. She just loves him, mothers him, and absolutely adores him. Those two are such a gift to each other and it warms my heart to see the relationship between them now (3yo and 16 months) Sometimes I wonder if that’s just one more thing we hear and buy into (because I know I absolutely did) and don’t realize the gift that siblings are to one another.

    • Abby October 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

      Jessica, I’m pregnant with my second. My daughter will be 2 when this one is born. So I don’t know what it’s like to be going on #4. :o )

      But one thing my mom’s always told me is, “She’ll be alright, if you’re alright.” Kids (at any age, I believe) take alot of their ques from mom. Dad, too, but when you’re a SAHM I think they take them from us alot more.

      God will do big things in your family’s life with this 4th addition! I hope it’s somewhat smooth ride. :o )

    • Lisa October 26, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

      “I think that anytime God changes your plans things get dicey in the emotions department.”

      Amen to that! After 10 yrs of marriage we were blessed with our first child. We intended to have more children as soon as possible. Well, 4 yrs (and 2 miscarriages) later we finally had our second child. I was a wreck about the age difference and how my kids wouldn’t be close, blah,blah blah. Lo and behold it all worked out fine. THEN, I got pregnant with #3 when our second child was barely 9 m/o and I freaked out because they would be so close in age! The Lord must shake His head sometimes…

      As for the kids making sacrifices and being jealous about the new baby, I think a lot does depend on the atmosphere you and your husband project. I was concerned that my 17 m/o would feel slighted/ left out when her new sibling arrived- but she didn’t. She adores her little sister. And it has made me be more intentional about spending quality time with #2 when we DO have the opportunity.