Archive for Pregnancy

Pro-life but Anti-kid?

A new prolife group called Pregnant on Campus floated across my facebook feed last week. (I’ve told you before, and I mean it–I really do get all my news from facebook.) When I went on a fact-finding mission, I found that the group itself is actually not new, but is hitting some news outlets lately because of a newly redesigned website. 

In a summary from, we read that that group has been founded specifically to combat the message of Planned Parenthood on college campuses. They are looking to provide pregnant students with resources to help support their pregnancy, instead of aborting the baby.

Pregnant On Campus enables students at over 530 colleges to locate nearby pregnancy and parenting resources. Each school profile provides emotional, financial, and material resources including but not limited to: peer-to-peer support; off-campus housing; clothing and food assistance; child care; adoption agencies; counseling, available also for post-abortive women; and community or religious organizations.

Any organization looking to counteract the message of Planned Parenthood on college campuses has a worthy goal in mind, and will find they have their work cut out for them.

But if we look again at the interview on Campus Reform, we see that at the heart, the philosophy of this organization is flawed. The fact that they would like to lessen the number of college women having abortions in admirable, but both their starting assumption and their final solution are problematic. At the heart, their basic message to women is the same as Planned Parenthood:

Becoming pregnant in college does not have to change your life at all.

“It’s a site where pregnant students [can] search for resources that are available for them at their own campuses so they don’t have to choose between their baby and their education,” SFLA Director of Communications Kristina Hernandez told Campus Reform.

The solution for Planned Parenthood is abortion. The solution for Pregnant on Campus is financial support and provided daycare.

This may be a pro-life solution, but it is not a pro-child solution. Kids who grow up in single-parent households are worse off than children who grow up in a two-parent home.  And as we have talked about before on the blog, daycare is not good for children. 

Sadly, this organization with a noble goal is answering the problem with feminist solutions. They are telling young women that they can have their baby and continue on their career path. That they can, in fact, have it all. These girls will be in for a big let-down when their baby arrives and they try the juggling act of classes, friendships, homework, day-care, and the fact that they love their little baby so much it hurts. They’ll find the promises that you can have it all ring a little hollow when they feel torn in all different directions. 

There is no easy solution here. We know that abortion is not the answer. But neither is lying to young women, telling them that their life and plans will continue with only a short interruption. The responsibilities that come with pregnancy do not disappear with government intervention. We need to encourage these young women to take on the responsibility that their pregnancy requires, whether that looks like going home to parental support or putting their baby up for adoption.

Posted in Daycare, For New Moms, Having It All, Pregnancy | Leave a comment

When a Friend Has a Miscarriage

Last week, a childhood friend lost her twin boys well into her second trimester.  As always, it was heartbreaking to get the email, and as I grieved their loss, memories of our own miscarriage overwhelmed me.  It’s been over five years since we lost our second child 9 weeks into the pregnancy.  At the time, well meaning friends and loved ones tried to console me, but some of the things said were not helpful.  If you’re in this sisterhood of suffering, you already know what to do and what not to say.  But if you haven’t experienced a loss yourself and want to be there for a friend, here’s my advice.

  • Don’t say “Oh, you’ll have another one,” or “at least you have (older child)” or “you’ll get pregnant again soon!”  All these things might be true, but they really have nothing to do with the intense grief and loss for the child I lost.
  • If you have not lost a child yourself, please don’t try to compare your experience of loss.  Your family pet might have been very precious to you, but there is nothing like the bonding a mother does with her child from the moment she thinks she might be pregnant.  Just listen sympathetically.
  • Don’t say, “Oh, it wasn’t really a baby yet.”  For those of us who believe that life begins at conception, this is simply wrong.  For those of us who bonded to that life, even for a few short weeks, this is incredibly hurtful.
  • Don’t be shocked or overly worried if you hear the grieving mother question the goodness of God or express anger at Him.  In the early days after our loss, I struggled with all of those things.  I rationally knew that God is good and that His will is perfect.  But I did a lot of agonizing crying out to Him.  It is so comforting to read the Psalms and know that David did this, too.  I laid claim to the fact that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And whenever I hear that a friend has miscarried, I immediately pray for her the words that she probably can’t pray in the freshness of her grief.
  • Pray a lot.  Pray as a group.  The night we found out that our baby had died, we had small group, where our friends were able to pray over us as I wept.  Follow up and pray afterwards.  Pray whenever your friend comes to mind.  If you know when the duedate would have been, try to remember to pray then.  It’s a hard time.  If you remember the anniversary of the loss, pray then.  I still think about it every year.  And as I typed this, I stopped and prayed for a half dozen of my friends who have miscarried recently.
  • Bring a meal.  There is a lot going on hormonally, physically, and emotionally, and grieving moms don’t have the adrenaline boost that we get when we delivery our healthy baby.  Don’t ask if they want a meal, just tell them, “I’m bringing you dinner tomorrow night.”  Bring paper plates and plasticware.  If you’re not local, send a care package.  Sometimes calls might seem intrusive (I ignored the phone most of the first couple days), but a note or an email telling the friend that you’re praying and thinking of them can never go amiss.

And of course, if you’ve had a miscarriage yourself, you know these things (or would perhaps give slightly different advice).  If you’re at a place where you can share about your experience, I would encourage you to, whenever the topic comes up.  It was so incredibly helpful to me in the early weeks to talk to my friends who had gone through the same thing.  It helped to have a head’s up about some of the aftermath—the migraine headaches as my hormones readjusted, the depression, even the decision about a D&C.  It was hard for me to talk about at first, but now I try to be really open about it so that if and when other friends experience this, they know they can talk to me and ask questions.  I’ve found it encouraging that one result of my loss is that I can empathize with and know how to pray for others.

Posted in Friendship, Pregnancy | 1 Comment


IMG_2386Along with having a sweet baby, one of the rewards of giving birth is getting to tell the birth story afterward, right? I mean, it’s like a badge of honor among women. And it should be! No matter what kind of birth you have, it really is a life-altering experience every time.

JW’s birth was actually different from my previous births in several ways. The first was that it was a VBAC, since our special-needs girl was born via c-section. Having had four completely normal births, I felt like I had a good handle on how it would go, but there was always a little bit of a question mark in the back of my head, knowing that a VBAC could be a very different experience.

We had arranged to have the baby born in Spokane, about four hours away from where we are living this summer. Part of the reason for this was that my parents live in Spokane, and the help would be huge. About 10 days before JW was born, we travelled to stay with them and await his birth.

If you ask me how many hours I was in labor, I could honestly give you about three different answers. Labor really started about a week beforehand, with Braxton Hicks contractions pretty consistently, and a backache that would not die. I did a lot of walking that week, trying to get things going, but it never turned into real labor. Unfortunately, my attitude during much of this was not to trust God, but to get very frustrated every time the contractions would die out. It was an emotional week.

About 24 hours before he was born, things started a little more in earnest. I was awake most of the night, having contractions every 10-15 minutes. I was able to catch a few hours of sleep in the wee hours of the morning, but woke up sorely disappointed that things were not moving more quickly. My parents, seeing my exhaustion the next morning (and it being a Saturday, so my Dad was not working), took all five of our big kids for an all-day adventure, and my husband and I spent the day perusing a used book store, having lunch together, and driving around looking at houses for sale (does anybody else do that obsessively in any town you visit?). By the evening, contractions were still 10 minutes apart, so we ate a light dinner with my family, and then walked all the kids and the neighbor’s kid down to the park. I purposely pushed the stroller J.  At the park, things finally changed. We stayed about an hour, and then walked back up the hill to my parent’s home. By the time we got there, I was having to stop walking during contractions. We hung out another half-hour, and then decided to give the hospital a call. The nurse my husband talked to was completely unimpressed by the fact that I had only been having strong, consistent contractions for an hour, and told me to take a shower and wait another hour. I complied, but by the time I was out of the shower, I knew we needed to go. I have had several babies born very shortly after getting to the hospital, and driving during transition is not my favorite activity, so we called the nurse back and told her we were coming in. We got to the hospital at 10, met the doctor on call, and two intense hours later, he was born.

JW was a chunk, for me—he was 7 lbs, 12 oz, which is our second biggest baby. There are so many things to be thankful for in his birth—a successful VBAC was such a blessing, the doctor was very kind, and very skilled. My husband was my support and companion throughout, and transition and pushing were so short that he didn’t even make it all the way through Psalm 139. The doctor saw our open Bible, asked what we were reading, and told us that his church sings a version of that Psalm. That is the second birth for us where the doctor has been a spiritual encouragement (the other one was our special needs baby, where the surgeon asked if he could pray with us before she was born). The hospital staff was kind, and because they were really busy, basically left us alone.  We got to go home the next day, and two days later we drove back to the cabin.

I’m slowly settling into a new routine. I’m definitely feeling the pressure—with so many, there is always somebody who needs attention, and JW has decided that from 8-11PM is the best time for him to want to nurse constantly.  Last night I squeezed in a shower before this happened, and I was able to just curl up in bed with him and go to sleep. So far that seems like the best solution. I’m trying to remember that the first two weeks are all about survival, and remember to take it one day at a time!


Posted in Pregnancy | 1 Comment


Baby!Story coming next week…


Posted in Pregnancy | 3 Comments
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