This headline is probably click bait. It’s true but not in the way it sounds.
When I was pregnant, I really and truly hated being pregnant. I was miserable. I honestly didn’t enjoy most of the pregnancy. Why am I telling you this you may be wondering? My child is after all three years old already. Well, the truth is, I’m still bitter over it. I still think about it and I still remember the reactions that I got.
I wasn’t “allowed” to say that I didn’t enjoy being pregnant.
I wasn’t “allowed” to feel my feelings.
The main reason for this was because “other women can’t get pregnant and I’m so lucky that I could, so I should be grateful.”
Look, I am not an idiot living in Narnia. I know that many women struggle with infertility. I know that many women struggle with secondary infertility too. We ourselves were told that “there was no chance we would naturally conceive” and had gone as far as to start planning our IVF journey.
We tried for almost a year before before giving up. And then, my little miracle child appeared in my belly. Completely unexpected. We had NO idea. I went by for weeks completely oblivious to this person growing in my belly!
And oh how thankful I was that day when I discovered I was pregnant!
I was so truly and deeply thankful. To be told you can’t have a baby and then for it to happen is really something to be grateful for and I was. I am still.
My child is EVERYTHING to me.
But I still did not enjoy being pregnant.
I wrote a blog post about it; called “The pregnant grump” stating all the things I don’t enjoy about being pregnant and another blogger wrote a post in response to it calling me ungrateful. I never spoke to her directly about this and her post didn’t name me but it was quite obvious. I haven’t ever forgotten it. It was so hurtful. It took something away from me and my journey. It made me feel ashamed. Like there was something wrong with me. It took a while for me to realise that her reaction wasn’t about me at all. It was totally and completely about her and her own issues with motherhood.
All our journey’s are different and unique.
It is hard/ harder for some women to have children than others.
Many women don’t want children at all.
None of our journeys are any less valid.
Just because I struggled being pregnant and didn’t lie around basking in my pregnant glow every day, does not mean I am any less of a mother nor does it mean I love my child any less.
It breaks my heart when I meet women who are struggling with being pregnant and they feel like they can’t talk about it.
Or when I meet women who don’t want to be mothers and yet somehow feel ashamed for that decision.
It really pisses me off that other people think we should feel a particular way and we should respond in a particular way to what is happening to our own bodies.
So no, I did not LIKE being pregnant.
But yes, my child was wanted more than anything in this world. He is EVERYTHING to me.
And the cherry on the cake, I nearly DIED giving birth to him – was that fun? FUCK NO! Should I be guilted into feeling bad that I didn’t have this beautiful natural home birthing experience? Also NO – because that doesn’t make me ANY less of a mother!
So the next time you judge a woman who is struggling with being pregnant or being a new mom or anyone really – remember this; we are all on our own journeys and above all, it’s not your fucking business.
I remember you asking on Facebook whether other people enjoyed being pregnant. We were similarly far along and I told you nope. In the end, I did enjoy being pregnant, my feelings changed, but I felt less of a woman during the time I didn’t. I’d already had one miscarriage and I was terrified for most of my pregnancies, I couldn’t shake it. And I could only start enjoying them in my third trimester. I always felt like I was missing out on something. I felt constantly guilty. And there’s nobody to talk to.
There is nobody to talk to! My mother is the most supportive person on earth and even she was unhappy about me saying I don’t like being pregnant. I felt so isolated. I’m glad that you ended up enjoying being pregnant, that’s really wonderful but I can’t even imagine the trauma you must be dealing with after a miscarriage – wondering every day if this is the day things are going to go wrong. I can’t even imagine! I remember the week we found out the baby might not be viable, that was the longest week of my life waiting to hear if I could be excited or not. Such a crazy ride. But here we are and i’d do it all again!
My second pregnancy (and post birth experience) is the reason why I don’t want any more kids! It was HORRIBLE! I was in so much joint pain by the end that I started actively reducing my water intake so that I didn’t have to walk to the bathroom so often ?
You are not alone in not enjoying your pregnancy. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with admitting that it sucked.
It really does have a massive impact on your life and yet here we are, being told you can’t voice it out loud! Thanks for sharing Nadia, it really is crazy how people expect you to be smiling and happy all the time.