What happens when a couple decides they don’t want to have children and then they get pregnant? Anger, anxiety, grief, and faking that you’re happy is all a part of my guest Courtney Renee Patterson’s story. Courtney Patterson is a writer of the blog The Unplanned Tiny Hand, a 9th Grade English teacher in Arkansas, a wife and a mom.
Today we’re talking the grief and loss in unplanned pregnancy. My guest is going to share her story of never wanting to have children and then getting pregnant. Her and her husband made a conscious decision to not have children. I realize if you are currently struggling with infertility, this may be a difficult episode to hear. But I wanted let you know that I feel like Courtney does a fantastic job of being sensitive about that. So, if you feel like your heart can take it and you are on a path wanting to be a more loving supportive friend, this is worth the listen.
I also understand that for some listening today, you cannot imagine a married woman (home-owning and fully employed) deciding to not have children. Maybe you are already secretly judging her as self-indulgent, self-absorbed…selfish. Ooo and if that is you, friend, I’m super excited for you to get to know my friend, Courtney Patterson.
Courtney Patterson is a writer of the blog The Unplanned Tiny Hand, a 9th Grade English teacher in Arkansas, a wife and a mom. She says in her blog post, 5 Ways to Cope with Unexpected Pregnancy,
“I didn’t want to get pregnant. Yep. This is the truth my daughter will one day confront me with. My husband and I were just a few months away from celebrating our second anniversary when the PREGNANT sign popped up on my Clear Blue pregnancy test. I wish I could say I was excited and filled with so much love and affection for a baby forming inside of me, but I just wasn’t. This was just the start of our unplanned pregnancy.”
She started The Unplanned Tiny Hand as a way to help new moms navigate the ups and downs of motherhood, from pregnancy to balancing work and her new role as a mom. She shares all the tips and tricks she’s learned through trial and error on her blog. Don’t forget to check it out after the show at www.theunplannedtinyhand.com
Courtney says on her blog:
00:07:40 How Courtney & Kathleen met – through a patreon member
00:12:45 What drew Courtney to blogging
00:15:40 Why Courtney and Patrick decided to not have children
00:21:57 Was there pressure from others to have children?
00:23:00 The younger generation is more comfortable with the idea of not having children
00:26:00 What questions to not ask of women who are not pregnant:
Check out Courtney’s blog post: 24 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman
00:30:00 The day they discover they were pregnant
The Program That Helps Patrick’s Anxiety
00:36:07 How long does it take for them to have their feelings change
00:39:00 How they coped with their grief during the pregnancy
00:41:10 Kathleen shares her story of not loving being a mom of babies and how society’s expectations that every mother should enjoy being around babies made her feel a bit broken. She also shares how much she appreciates Courtney giving women permission to not have gooshy feelings in her parenting.
00:44:40 The spiritual effects for them both came out of their anger towards God and their own feelings of guilt for being upset
What To Say:
What to Not Say to a Pregnant Woman:
01:07:32 Big Reveal
- to change your feelings about not wanting children
- improve a marriage relationship
- strengthen your relationship with God
- a way to get your partner to start a relationship with God
As a matter of fact, there was a reluctance in me to air these parts of Courtney’s story because I don’t want women to hear that having a baby is the To Do List (the prescription per se) to make all things shiny and wonderful. Many of us know by our own stories, having a baby is no magical pill. We cannot judge the outcome of someone else’s life as a guarantee of what will happen in our own.
I’m reminded of the Results Not Typical Disclaimer on weight loss products. “The weight loss and fitness testimonials presented apply only to the individuals depicted, cannot be guaranteed, and should not be considered typical.”
This is your Results Not Typical Disclaimer. LOL!
Can these things happen? Yes.
What I hope you do walk away with is empathy and compassion for women who are struggling to be happy about their pregnancy.
Another reason why I am spending so much time making sure you don’t camp on all the goodness that has come from Courtney’s heartache? Because I think then you will be tempted to not remember the terrifying 9 months she had.
Courtney’s story is a beautiful reminder of God making beauty out of ashes, and I believe he never stops doing that, but what often gets in our way from connecting to one another is our RUSH to make her feel better. When we rush to happy endings, we miss her.
So, yes please embrace gratitude that Courtney’s story has so much goodness, but also don’t forget the hard hard places her and Patrick fought through to get there.
I want to talk about one more thing. Another reason why I don’t want you to focus too much on Courtney’s “happy ending”
I know there are women listening right now who will be tempted to say,
And then here is my fear:
And why don’t we know about her story?
Here’s what I know about you: the last thing you want to do is shame your friend.
Wherever you stand on the spectrum on the issue of abortion, here’s what I think is important to ask ourselves:
Think of it in terms of this story:
I ask you this: How do you now feel for your friend?
We do the same thing with all sorts of topics.
So, here’s my challenge to you.
If you’ve had an abortion, dear listener. If this is your story, I see you. I don’t know your situation. I don’t know what was happening in your life, but what I do know is that you are loved by a God who isn’t holding this against you or is ashamed of you.
Connect with Courtney
Connect with Kathleen
Kathleen’s Workbook –Embrace You: A Guide to Uncovering the Real You
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