Courageously Expecting: 30 Days of Encouragement for Pregnancy After Loss – Jenny Albers

Courageously Expecting: 30 Days of Encouragement for Pregnancy After Loss by Jenny Albers
Published by Thomas Nelson on January 11, 2022
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Memoir, Parenting
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Using Scripture and personal narrative, Courageously Expecting empathizes with and empowers women to face a pregnancy after loss with faith and courage, despite inevitable feelings of grief and fear that accompany life after losing a baby.

Pregnancy is widely regarded as the most joyful time in a woman's life, but for the mother who has experienced pregnancy loss, a subsequent pregnancy can feel like she's holding her breath and hoping for what she can't control. In Courageously Expecting, Jenny Albers meets women in this difficult season as someone who has also experienced the worst and cautiously hoped for the best. Through the telling of her own story, Scripture, and heartfelt prayer, she encourages readers to cling to faith in the face of fear and guides them to

cultivate hope when doubt weighs heavy;
realize that the past does not dictate the present or the future and that God creates a way in the wilderness of grief and loss;
flip the script on the what-if, worst-case-scenario narrative in their minds and learn to take their thoughts captive;
and find the courage to humble themselves and ask for and accept help from others.

Regardless of where readers are on their pregnancy after loss journey, Courageously Expecting is a companion to help them through the days when fear overshadows hope.

This sensitive, compassionate book includes thirty daily readings and reflection prompts for Christian women who are pregnant again after miscarriage or stillbirth. Throughout the book, Jenny Albers shares her personal story, emphasizing the constant sense of uncertainty, anxiety, and fear that she felt throughout every stage of her pregnancy after she had already lost two babies. She shares about her previous loss experiences, about challenges during her later pregnancy, and about what she wishes she had done differently. For example, she encourages other women to actively bond with their babies in utero, talk about them with others, and take pregnancy photos instead of feeling afraid to emotionally commit and hope for a good future.

Courageously Expecting: 30 Days of Encouragement for Pregnancy After Loss is full of honest, heartfelt thoughts about pregnancy, grief, and the Christian life. Albers shares Scriptural encouragement through the book, helping her readers consider ways that they can rein in their anxieties, find comfort in God, and honor the life of their child for however long that child lives. She never offers platitudes or falsely promises a happy ending, but she is an experienced, gentle, and compassionate guide for other women going through circumstances like her own. Her wisdom can also encourage women who haven’t lost a child, but who are dealing with the stress and anxiety of a high-risk pregnancy.

This book is incredibly powerful, and I admire the author’s willingness to share vulnerable personal details. Even though people expect pregnancy to be a special, joyous time, Albers does not sugarcoat her experience to uphold anyone’s assumptions, and she is honest about her complicated feelings about motherhood and pregnancy. Her deep honesty is reassuring in and of itself, and I would highly recommend this to women who are dealing with pregnancy after loss or preparing to conceive again. This is also a wonderful read for friends, family members, pastors, and counselors who want to better support women in their lives.