Right now I’m pregnant. 18 weeks to be exact. And I hate it. Yup, those words left my lips and fell onto the page. For a long time I felt guilty about it… like really guilty. I thought of all the mothers who are desperate to have children but can’t and I cried because I felt so bad.
But then I realised, it’s okay to hate being pregnant.
Whoever said pregnancy is this magical happy time in their life either had the most uneventful pregnancy (and congratulations to them) or they were on some awesome happy drugs and in that case, what was the name of them and where can I get them? (Jokes)
Pregnancy for me is stressful, it hurts and it literally tries to kill me.
I’m one of the unfortunate estimated 2% of women who suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (yay Mum, you were right, I am special!). Which means my body has difficulty processing the idea that I’m pregnant, produces enough HCG to power up twins (even though I’m only having one baby) and creates what is like an allergic reaction. I throw up continuously, become severely dehydrated and can even go into serious, life threatening organ failure. Sounds like a treat.
While there are wonderful well meaning people out there who offer up support and tell me to take ginger and eat crackers, I am on more medications than I care to mention, including those used to help chemo patients cope. So, ginger just isn’t going to cut it.
Even if you’re not a sufferer of Hyperemesis, and you still hate being pregnant. It’s okay.
[clickToTweet tweet=”For many pregnancy isn’t an enjoyable experience. It’s okay, you’re not alone. ” quote=”For many pregnancy isn’t an enjoyable experience.”]
It doesn’t mean we love our babies any less. It doesn’t mean I’m ungrateful for my ability to conceive and carry. And it doesn’t mean I wish I wasn’t pregnant. It just means I don’t enjoy being pregnant.
I don’t get the pregnancy glow… unless you count the sweats I get before I throw up. I’m uncomfortable from like week 9 and get a lot of hip and ligament pain. I get intense reflux that makes me drink Gaviscon out of the bottle. My boobs are huge, and not in a good way. It just feels like crap.
I hate being pregnant and I’m not apologising for it.
In fact, if we all spoke about pregnancy in a more frank manner, perhaps we wouldn’t feel so alone and so ‘guilty’ when we find ourselves more than a little disappointed by the illusion of the perfect pregnant woman. When we find out plans of eating perfectly healthy in pregnancy fall wayside to the insane cravings for all the carbs. When we are told of the wonderful energy we will feel in the second trimester only to realise we are still tired after sleeping for 12 hours and the only energy we have is to waddle towards to pantry to find more carbs.
And when people offer well meaning advice and we can’t decide whether or not to cry because of our failures or just eat them. The person that is, because we are so darn hungry!
It’s not even just the physical aspects of pregnancy that are difficult to deal with. Pregnancy takes its toll mentally too.
I had a miscarriage right before I fell pregnant with this baby. It was heartbreaking. We had decided over a year ago to try for another baby at around this time. The timing all seemed right, everything felt like it was in a good place. And then those two little lines told us I was pregnant. And then I wasn’t. I’m certainly not ungrateful for my ability to fall pregnant, I actually consider myself quite lucky.
But pregnancy also messes with my anxiety. Really bad. I was on an amazing herbal tablet prior to falling pregnant that kept my adrenals in check and my anxiety at bay. But, I can’t take it during pregnancy.
Cue hormonal surges, anxiety attacks and my inability to function as a mother to my 3 year old son, as a wife and as a human (thanks to Hyperemesis) and pregnancy really starts to mess with my mental state. All the more reason to hate being pregnant even more.
I’m not the only one. Pregnancy brings with it all kinds of anxiety.
You’re told what you can and can’t eat and judged by others for doing basic things. I ordered sushi for my husband and got a dirty stare from a lady in line. I don’t even like sushi!
You can’t drink and are made to feel guilty for even having a sip of red wine.
You can’t fit into your old clothes anymore and are forced to either wear baggy clothes or shop for new ones, that in a few months won’t fit you anymore anyway.
You lose your body as it morphs into something you barely recognise.
You give up your ability to work in your chosen career which was a huge struggle for me first time round.
You are no longer you… you are pregnant you. You plus baby. Which is nice, most of the time. But there’s no escape. I can’t say to my husband ‘hey honey, can you just take the pregnancy for the day please? I need a break’. It’s all the dang time. All day, every single day.
So, if a woman says to you ‘I really don’t like being pregnant’ or if they say anything that gives you any indication they are having a hard time, please refrain from telling them how blessed they are or how lucky they are. They know. Listen to them, tell them they aren’t alone and give the woman some carbs!
And if you’re the woman who feels like pregnancy is just one big crap time, it’s okay. You’re not alone and you most definitely aren’t a bad person.
Be kind to yourself.