Hi! My name is Shawna Finch and I live in Bozeman, MT, with my husband and four children. One of the struggles that I have faced in motherhood that I wanted to share with you is unplanned pregnancy. My first and last pregnancies were both unplanned and were devastating to me at some level.
The first was difficult because I had not yet decided that I even wanted to have children and also because I was in the process of earning my BA and didn’t feel like I could juggle both school and a baby. When I got pregnant with my fourth baby unexpectedly I was overwhelmed when I thought about having to raise four kids and frustrated that once again I had to put my life goals on hold to go back into “babyhood”.
Both of these pregnancies were also difficult because while pregnant I wasn’t “excited” to be a new mommy and socially I felt like this was frowned upon. So, I felt guilty for not being excited. I knew from experience and from scripture that children are a blessing and a gift (Psalms 127:3) but it didn’t feel like it until months down the road when I was able to bond with my new baby. The blessings DO come, in time, and you have to hold onto that hope when it doesn’t feel like a blessing yet.
I want to encourage all you women who are pregnant and feeling like it isn’t a blessing to not feel guilty! These feelings are normal. BUT, also, try to stay positive and hopeful. Try to spend your energy thinking about the blessings in your life like your awesome husband, your beautiful children, your cozy home, or your health…There are always things to be thankful for! Write the things that you are thankful for down on paper and look at it and add to it each day.
When you have to rethink the goals and plans in your life because of a new baby on the way- be creative! Talk through them with a friend or your husband and brainstorm new ways to accomplish your goals or change your goals to better fit your growing family. Looking back on my first unplanned pregnancy, when I felt like I had to put all my personal goals on hold until I was done having babies, I wish now that I had been more creative in either achieving my goal of completing my BA or in discovering new goals to pursue that I would enjoy. For instance:
1) I could have completed classes online or at night school
2) I could have found volunteer work relating to my field of study to gain experience
3) I could have done something completely unrelated but fun and adventurous to balance out my quiet life at home with baby!
There are options out there, we just have to be willing to be flexible and creative! So, don’t think that all is lost with the changing of your body and your life. There is a blessing in store for you and, take it from me, it is well worth the pains of pregnancy, birth, and altered plans for your future!
PS – a book that encouraged me during my fourth pregnancy was “Life Interrupted” by Priscilla Shirer. It is the story of a woman unexpectedly pregnant and I found it to be very helpful.