The Guilt of Being Pregnant

When I found out that I was pregnant with this new baby, I was in a state of disbelief for the first few days.

I just couldn’t believe that the fertility drugs had worked– in the first round.

Then I had a whole bunch of other emotions, the same ones other women feel when they find out they are pregnant: excitement, happiness, nervousness, thrill, and anticipation. I had ’em all.

And then came the strongest emotion of all– GUILT.

“How can you feel guilty?” you might ask.

Because infertility is an epidemic in this generation— one that affects more women than you realize. And for me personally, it has touched not only my life, but the lives of several women I know.

Many of them have been trying for a long, long time to get pregnant.

So I feel guilt. Guilt because it happened for me. Guilt because this is my third child and many of my friends don’t even have one– and they are desperate to have one.

Some of my friends have gone the route of adoption and are now waiting. Some of them are still going through fertility treatments. Some of them are just starting on this road of infertility, realizing that after two or three years of trying, they just can’t get pregnant without medical help.

And while I understand all of these issues and have been through many of them myself, I am blessed that God has answered this prayer for me.

But I don’t understand– why me and not them?

Please understand, readers, that I am thrilled beyond all measure that God has chosen to answer our prayer, and I pray for a healthy pregnancy and a beautiful, perfect little person to join our family. I can’t wait, actually. I’m giddy about it.

But I know exactly what it feels like when you’re trying to get pregnant and can’t, but it seems like everyone around you can.

What a punch in the gut it is.

I remember when a friend at church announced her pregnancy right when I was in the middle of our infertility struggle before our second child. I wanted to walk out of Sunday school that day. I wanted to punch her in the face. She already had a kid. In fact, she had just had a kid and now her second was on the way?? How was this fair?

And then another friend got pregnant. And another. And another. Until it seemed like everyone was pregnant. But not me.

At the time I thought, “why not me?”

I know that anger, frustration, and jealousy. None of it’s right, but knowing it’s not right to feel that way doesn’t stop the feelings from coming. They come. Like a raging typhoon, they come.

At that time, it was a real struggle for me to overcome those feelings. I had to overcome. If I didn’t, I risked letting those negative emotions overwhelm me.

What I eventually had to do was train myself– whenever I felt that anger or frustration, I would stop whatever I was doing and pray for those women who were pregnant. I’d pray for their healthy pregnancies and babies, and that they’d be godly parents and raise their children to follow the Lord. I’d pray even if I didn’t feel like praying.

Sometimes I prayed a little like this:

“God, I’m angry. I want to be pregnant. I don’t understand why I’m not or what your plan is, but God, I’m going to trust. So bless those other women and their babies. Bless them and give them the eyes to see just what a miracle they have.”

After a few weeks of doing this, my chest was a little lighter, my soul a little more relieved, my joy for others more abundant. I still fought those negative emotions, but the fight was a little easier. I was getting stronger.

And now I face the monster of guilt because God has answered my prayer but so many of my friends are still waiting.

But guilt isn’t right either. So I’m going to replace it.

Every time I feel guilty, it’s going to be a reminder to stop whatever I’m doing and pray specifically for those women I know who are struggling. I’m going to pray for them, encourage them, and do whatever I can to help them through this time.

Because I’ve been there. And it’s not a fun place to be.

Share with me: How can I pray for you this week?

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21 Comments

Filed under Infertility

21 responses to “The Guilt of Being Pregnant

  1. Lori Dilworth

    I pray for you, my friend, in your emotional struggle and celebrate your joy with you. I am one of those friends that has been trying for a long time without being pregnant, but I am happy beyond measure for you and your family. My prayer is that God will release you from the emotional bondage that is covering you and allow you to be able to enjoy this special time in your life. God has picked you as a mom of this little life and that is such a wonderful and precious gift. I pray that you don’t worry so much about hurting your friends that struggle with infertility and enjoy the gifts that God has given you!

    You are welcome to continue to pray for me and my family as we continue to fight infertility with medical intervention. Thank you for being one of those people in my life that prays for this issue and allows me to talk, vent, grieve, and hope in your presence.

  2. This is beautiful, Jenny. Love your heart, girl. And super excited for baby number three. You’re either going to have a BUNCH of boys on your hand, or you’re gonna have a little bitty baby girl. 🙂

  3. What a beautiful post! Thoughtful to the core. I remember feeling guilty about giving my third girl a stuffed animal I’d planned to give to both of the babes I lost.
    I’m so pumped for what God is doing in your family and for the fact you wrote this.
    ~ Wendy

  4. Amy

    Such a touching post today. So happy for you and Brian. I know God will use your struggles in the past and present experience to minister to others who are facing the same trials in their life. Love you friend!

  5. It’s so hard to celebrate in the face of someone else’s sorrow. And yet you have something to truly celebrate. It shows your tender heart that you care so much and are able to empathize with those still on the infertility journey.

    • Thanks, Erica. I just know what it’s like to want it so bad and feel like you’re never gonna get it. It’s hard because I want to be overjoyed and yet not rub it in the faces of so many who are still trying.

  6. Love your heart for others, Jen! I know I felt guilty in the past when a friend’s engagement got broken and I was happily married. She felt very left out. I know it’s a different situation, but the guilt was still there.

  7. This was so touching. Ok, ok, I know, I’m fifteen still and definitely not married or pregnant or going to be unless and until I am married. But I hope that that doesn’t take away from this being really touching to me.

    I think it’s a little because I find it so frustrating how sometimes God blesses other people with the answered prayers I was praying for. And I love the people and am happy for them, but at the same time, I want to shout my disappointment to the world, wallow in my anger…and my pride. And sometimes I’m on the other side, when I am blessed beyond what even I had prayed for, and my friend is in the depths of despair.

    But how can I complain in the face of all these strong, brave women who I read comments from (and of course, you, Mrs. Hale) on here? You inspire me so much. I’ll be praying for you.

    And I think God works through us, when we are on either side of the situation. When we are the ones in dispair, He finds His way to show us hope and redemption, a lifeline in a storm. When we are being blessed, He uses us to be a light, or to show that hope to those in despair. As long as we do all things to the glory of Him who made us.

    As for me, I wouldn’t mind a prayer on me being able to grow into a strong and Godly woman. 🙂

    Thanks for the thought-provoking and very touching post. 🙂

    • Hannah,
      You are well on your way to becoming a Godly woman. Thank you for your kind compliments. I pray that when you marry and start a family, you’ll be untouched by things like infertility! 🙂

  8. I commend you. Letting go of your guilt shows you trust God’s love and work in the lives of your friends. Your prayers, support, and encouragement will mean far more than guilt ever would.
    And congratulations, btw! 🙂

  9. Lauren

    Thank you for posting this. I haven’t dealt with infertility but I deal with guilt and some of the other feelings you have experienced with Andrew being Autistic. I adore my little boy just as he is but when he was diagnosed I had, and at times still do, struggled with looking at others and asking why do they get to have a “normal” child that doesn’t have the difficulties in day to day life and my child had to be cursed with it? Why doesn’t he get to be a normal kid that doesn’t have to have special therapies and treatments? Then when I meet parents with children who are more severely Autistic I feel guilty for ever having the previous thoughts. It’s a daily battle for me sometimes. So I am praying for you and the feelings you are having and this beautiful little one you are carrying and would you please pray for me and my son and the struggles I am dealing with as well? 🙂

    • Lauren– I will be praying for you. I already am. 🙂 I know your heart, too, and it comes from a mommy-place of wanting everything to be perfect for your child. I don’t know the struggles you face on a daily basis, but I know that mommy-heart.

  10. What a heartfelt post, one that sent me back to my days of cryingin private every time someone announced their pregnancy. I felt so guilty for THAT– I was so happy for them, truly, but those tears WOULD come up and strangle me, despite my joy on their behalf. Now with our two beloveds who entered our family through adoption, I cherish the road we travelled, difficult as it was and still is at times. Praying for you and your family; what a blessing you are.

  11. i’ve felt guilt before…when your loved one is trying to get pregnant for years and we just decided to try and wham! preggo immediately. i didn’t even want to tell my brother, for fear that he’d be upset or would try to act like he wasn’t so i wouldn’t be upset. hard to deal with. but we do serve a God who holds us in his hands, and we have to rest content that he has us where he wants us to be for HIS reason. i’ll be praying for your friends that you encounter regularly who still feel the pang of their barren womb.

    as for praying for me, we just found out great news about our short sale on the house we put an offer on! please pray that this goes through!!!

  12. Amy Leigh Simpson

    Thanks for the honest and refreshing vulnerability here. such a great perspective for me since my best friend struggles with infertility. Forgive me if this seems insensitive but after losing a baby this year I truly believe we just have to surrender our expectations, our emotions and plans to God. Sometimes he is protecting us, or just waiting for the right timing…though we seldom like to wait.

    I haven’t struggled with guilt as much as jealousy. I see a pregnant woman at the store and almost burst into tears…that’s about how pregnant I would be right now, or I wonder of she knows how lucky she is to still be carrying that baby.

    Our emotions are flawed…Gods plans are not. It is a hard lesson in trust, fire sure.

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