Pregnant With Promise: A Spiritual Journey of Pregnancy, Bed Rest, and Childbirth is a raw and emotional look at pregnancy loss and two high-risk subsequent pregnancies through author Dorienna M. Alfred’s journal entries, filled with scriptures, faith, and a complete reliance on God’s promises and plan.

Relying on Faith During Pregnancy After Loss: A Book Review of Pregnant With Promise by Dorienna M. Alfred

Photo Credit: Pregnancy After Loss Support

Dorienna M. Alfred writes in the introduction to her book, Pregnant With Promise, “Life is full of adversity. Most of us have faced a time when we had to choose whether or not we would stand on our faith or focus on our situation and allow it to overwhelm us.” Dorienna chose to surrender her situation to God, trusting that he was with her, even when she did not feel his presence.

Dorienna and her husband, Greg, tragically lost their son, Joshua, at 19 weeks pregnant.

Ten months later, they were pregnant again, and it turned out to be a very high-risk pregnancy with bed rest at home, a cerclage placed, and 14 weeks of hospital bed rest. After an anxiety-ridden pregnancy, Brandon was born at full-term. A year later, Dorienna and Greg discovered they were pregnant again, much to their surprise. While they were thrilled, they had not planned another pregnancy since their pregnancy with Brandon had been so high-risk. After another high-risk pregnancy with a cerclage placed and four weeks of hospital bed rest, Jalen was born healthy at 39 weeks.

“God does not promise that our paths throughout life will be easy.”

Throughout her pregnancies, Dorienna journaled about her experience, seeking God’s presence and promise in her life to keep her and her babies safe. Pregnant With Promise compiles those journal entries with the scriptures that sustained her through her journey into a moving memoir. The book is a very vulnerable look into her mindset during these challenging times and how she wrestled with questions and uncertainty while trying to keep her focus on God and His plan. She wrote, “I had to remind myself regularly that God had placed me in this position and would equip me for the journey, if I maintained my faith.”

The memoir seamlessly transitions through her journal entries and the Scriptures that brought so much comfort and meaning to her, giving her the messages she needed at just the moments she needed them. She is open about the fear of another pregnancy and the worry that pregnancy will end in loss again, and she shares her story to both help her heal and to give “voice to women who suffer in silence.”

As she journals through her pregnancies, her emotions are so relatable to loss moms.

On discovering she was pregnant again, she writes, “It’s amazing how something we’ve waited so long for and something we’ve prayed so hard for, seems so tentative. Having one loss has altered our sense of security regarding pregnancy.”

Dorienna describes her journey as “one of continually battling fear and worry,” and holds on to the “gentle breezes.” She describes, “When life’s storms rage–and they have surely been raging–it is nice to feel the calm and gentle breezes otherwise known as peace.”

She even feels God’s promise to their family in the name of their son, Joshua, who died.

She wrote, “He purposed our son Joshua to remind us to ‘be strong and courageous’ and to ‘not be discouraged,’ because not only was God going to see us through the difficult time of loss, but also, He was making provisions for us to ‘take possession’ of the blessings He had in store for us.”

Pregnant With Promise will encourage those experiencing life after pregnancy and infant loss who rely on their faith in God and the resilience provided by God. The Biblical scriptures will guide the reader through the fear and anxiety of pregnancy after loss, reminding the reader of God’s promises, even when challenges feel insurmountable.

Get a copy of Pregnant With Promise: A Spiritual Journey of Pregnancy, Bed Rest, and Childbirth for yourself or as a gift. Available at Amazon and Bookshop.org.

About the Author

Dorienna M. Alfred, Ph.D., PMH-C, CTTS is a licensed psychologist and certified perinatal mental health provider. She is the owner of Works of Faith Wellness and Consultation, LLC, a private practice centered on maternal mental health services in Columbus, Ohio. Through the Practice, she provides direct clinical services, workshops and continuing education that promote health equity for those at the highest risk for complications during pregnancy and postpartum. Dr. Alfred is also the author of the book, Pregnant with Promise: A Spiritual Journey of Pregnancy, Bed Rest and Childbirth, a memoir of her experience with loss and pregnancy complications. Dorienna is mother to two angel babies, one was an early miscarriage, the other a son named Joshua, who was stillborn at 19 weeks in 2006. She has two rainbow babies, Brandon who was born in 2007 and Jalen who was born in 2009.

Dr. Alfred is a certified birth and bereavement doula through the Sisters in Loss organization and has a special interest in supporting families who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. She enjoys volunteering with local and national organizations that support maternal mental health and is passionate about increasing awareness of mental health and wellness throughout women’s reproductive life span. She has co-authored publications and refereed workshops on topics related to women’s health, racial identity, social justice, and cultural competence. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and sons, reading, scrapbooking, and Zumba.

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