While I was excited about becoming a mother and raising a tiny human with my partner, I can't lie about absolutely hating pregnancy. Like, it was not an experience I enjoyed. I was very sick and experienced my fair share of pregnancy complications and didn't feel radiant or beautiful or "feminine," like most friends and family members told me I would. A part of me thought there must be something wrong with me, like I was missing a "mom-gene" or something, but over time I realized that being grossed out by pregnancy is totally normal because, well, pregnancy is pretty gross.
I mean, yes it is beautiful and it truly is a miraculous experience that's nothing short of incredible. The fact that a woman's body can grow and birth another human being is, you know, insane. However, pregnancy usually comes with some not-so-beautiful side effects, like nausea and vomiting and constipation and insomnia and, you know, it's not that much fun to experience said side effects on a regular basis for upwards of 40 weeks. I, personally, never felt "one" with my body when I was pregnant, and while I could appreciate the things my body was doing, I didn't necessarily like the fact that it was doing them. I was more grossed out than in "awe," and because pregnancy is packaged as this joyous experience that every woman wants to (and should be happy to) undergo, I was more than hesitant to voice my less-than-stellar opinion concerning my own pregnancy experience.
Now that my son is about to turn two, I'm not as afraid as I used to be. Hell, parenthood is pretty gross too, and saying that or acknowledging those gross moments definitely doesn't make me any less of a parent. Which is why, honestly, if you're grossed out by pregnancy, all that means is that you're normal. In fact, here are just a few reasons why:
Your Body Is Doing Things It Has Never Done Before...
Even if you've been pregnant before, every pregnancy can (and usually is) different, so chances are that when you're pregnant your body is doing things it has never done before. Some of those things are awesome, sure, but some of those things are awesome pretty strange and weird. It's hard not to be "grossed out" by something that you've never experienced before, especially when those things are happening without your control.
...And It Can Be Hard To Get Used To
Even though my pregnancy lasted 40 weeks exactly, I never got used to feeling constantly nauseous or constipated or (especially towards the end) extremely large. I never got used to secreting things or constantly farting or just not feeling like myself, and I would argue that there's nothing more "gross" than feeling like you don't know your own body.
Pregnancy Isn't Always Fun
I think a lot of women (myself included, at first) are afraid to admit that they don't enjoy pregnancy. Procreation has become something society has arbitrarily assigned as just one of those things all women "must do" (which is ridiculous and dumb and sexist and, you know, gross) and, in turn, for women who do make that choice it's almost expected of them to just absolutely love it. I am one of those women who didn't love pregnancy. My pregnancy was difficult and uncomfortable and riddled with complications. However, my inability to enjoy the majority of that 40 week experience didn't keep me from being a great mother. Nope, it just kept me human.
No One Likes Constantly Throwing Up
Morning (read: all day) sickness is no joke, and some women continue to experience morning sickness way after their first trimester ends. I was one of those women, and throwing up constantly every day for months on end is just gross, you guys. It's gross and it's not fun and anyone who has ever had so much as a hangover should understand.
Your Body Might Not Feel Like Your Own...
The farther along I got in my pregnancy, the further I felt from my own body. It was hard to recognize a form that was changing constantly and, well, never truly feeling like itself. I was throwing up and constipated and gaining weight and, in turn, bumping into things and losing my balance and I just didn't feel like myself. I felt gross.
...And Feeling Outside Yourself Can Be A Jarring Experience
Pregnancy was the first time in my life when I didn't feel like 100% myself, in my own skin. I haven't always been the most body positive person, but even at my lowest when I had an endless list of things I didn't like about my body, I still felt like it was my body. That changed when I was pregnant, and my body essentially felt hijacked by a tiny fetus that was calling all the shots. It was an uncomfortable feeling, to say the least.
One Word: Constipation
I mean, how can you not feel gross when you're sitting on the toilet for far too long, straining to produce an ounce of stool because you haven't gone to the bathroom in a week. Constipation isn't fun, you guys. Not at all.
You're Constantly Being Poked And Prodded And Examined
It's hard not to feel gross when you're going to checkups regularly and having someone poke you and prod you and take pictures of your insides and ask you to pee in a cup and, well, you get the idea. I normally like my bodily fluids to remain inside my body, but when you're pregnant that's rarely an option.
Pregnancy Is, Um, Gross...
Like, it just is. Yes, it's miraculous and wonderful and magical and all of those things, but it's also pretty disgusting, and it's OK to admit that.
...And You Don't Have To Enjoy It To Be A Good Mother
Enjoying every second of your pregnancy is not a prerequisite for adequate parenting. Like, you can be a fantastic mother and enjoy motherhood and give your kid everything they need, and still feel gross about the majority (or even all) of your pregnancy. Just because something is beautiful, doesn't mean it's not also a little bit (read: a lot) disgusting.