Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Thursday, 14 October 2010

Depressed and Despairing Expectant Mothers Can Have Happy Well-Balanced Children.

I know, both as a Mother and as a counsellor, that pregnancy does strange things to a woman, both to her mind and her heart, as well as to her body! Women who have been desperate to have a child can become numb, terrified or suddenly determined never to have a child upon finding themselves pregnant. Depression, despair, fear, disgust, feelings of alienation from one's "normal" pre-pregnant self as well as from the baby are not unusual occurences.
This doesn't happen to everyone, but it is a familiar experience to a number of women.
The women who cope best in the face of this often unforseen attack are those who know their own values and beliefs well and who hold fast to them despite the storm of emotion and irrational thoughts they are sucked in to. Those who don't have strong beliefs and values about the sanctity of life may fall at the first fence, believing their distress is a sign that they won't be happy with this baby.
Yet those who continue the pregnancy of an "unwanted baby", in virtually every case, go on to have and to hold a much loved and wanted child. Whereas those who abort carry that devastating decision in their heart like broken glass forever. And to their great distress, they suddenly find that the baby they thought they didn't want and hadn't bonded with must now be grieved and loved, named and remembered if they are to have any peace. And the taking of his or her life must be repented of.
The abortionists know about this time of confusion, hence the constant push for earlier and earlier abortion methods.
We as pro-lifers must be careful that we don't make the women who go through this despair and depression and feelings of not wanting or not loving the child, feel that they have irrevocably damaged their child. With repentence of heart much human error can be undone. And many a once supposed unwanted or unloved unborn baby becomes a happy, well-formed and deeply loved child.
Does a child in a Mother's arms always experience her sorrow, or fear, or depression? And even if they do, do they not still feel secure and loved just by being held in the Mother's arms? Surely this is why God in His Wisdom surrounded the unborn child with the actual flesh and blood of his/her family and buried the growing child just beneath the Mother's heart? So that regardless of the tempest of mental, psychological and physical craziness that can happen to an expectant Mum, there is the security of the tight embrace of the womb.

In the words of two of our "clients":
Rachael: I think my baby will be damaged because I have been so worried, so unsure that I want him, so depressed. I have had no time for him.
Mary: No I thought that about my child too but it's not true. She is always smiling, always happy. People ask me why she is always so happy. And I tell them, I cried so much during my pregnancy that she never wants to cry again! I had all that sorrow so that she could be happy!

Clare McCullough


  1. Lovely post..I experienced severe post-natal depression after my 10th child Jacinta & was worried how it might affect her. She has just turned ten & is the happiest, lovliest & full of humour child I ever saw!

  2. Pregnancy is such a change to a woman's life, body and future I'm sure that it's totally understandable for them to feel depressed and even to despair. But, in the words of the song, "A Baby Changes Everything". Keep up the good work!

  3. Thanks. Well growing another person is a big job! I cringe when I hear people telling distressed expectant Mothers how they are damaging their baby. Sometimes just getting through pregnancy and the first year or two is enough to cope with without feeling guilty for not being joyful about it. We all know a baby is the greatest gift for us humans but nobody CHOOSES to feel miserable about it! And these babies often do become extremely happy souls. Neglect and abuse are different, but a mum feeling totally out of it isn't necessarily communicated to the baby at all in my experience.


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