There's nothing easy about being pregnant, and I say this as someone who runs marathons, has volunteered with the Peace Corps, and has been an escort at an abortion clinic. I know the difference between "easy" and "hard." I honestly can't believe I got pregnant again after my first. On purpose. All of those happy birth endorphins must've made me forget the pain. I mean, yes, pregnancy is amazing, childbirth made me feel like a warrior goddess, and I love being a mom. But there are so many reasons being pregnant is one of the hardest things you'll ever do.
From the moment the second line appears on a pregnancy test, you are in for a 40 week (more or less) endurance event that throws challenges at you from all directions, like some messed up game in the Olympics. The first trimester brings the worry and stress of not knowing if your baby is OK while you simultaneously wonder WTF is happening in your body. Not to mention mood swings, vomiting, and awkwardly falling asleep in random places, like your desk or during sex (I was really tired, dear).
If you are lucky, the second trimester will be awesome and those horrible first trimester side effects will subside. Or, if you're unluckily like me, you will still be vomiting, but will also have the added bonus of sciatica, hives, and acne. The third trimester is, well, let's just say it lasts roughly three months but feels more like 30, especially when you consider the back pain, pelvic pain, swelling, Braxton Hicks contractions, and outgrowing even your largest maternity clothes. Then, like some bizarre triathlon, you have to run the marathon that is childbirth.
On the bright side, once it's all over you get a baby out of the deal. Which is awesome, because parenthood is so much easier than pregnancy. (OK, that's a lie. Parenthood makes pregnancy seem like a warm up to the main event, which it kind of is, if you think about it.)
Because It's Physically Grueling
Pregnancy is physically demanding, which is not surprising when you consider that you are literally growing a tiny human inside your body. Your body hurts in ways you've never experienced before. To make things worse, if you have hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme nausea and vomiting), like I did, you also have a lifetime of vomit packed into a few months. Add to that hives, sciatica, back aches, and swollen feet, and honestly, pregnancy is more painful than running a marathon.
Because Your Hormones Are Out Of Control
My hormones were totally out of control. One minute I was happy, the next I was sad. See also: angry, afraid, freaked out, unsure, and probably every other emotion in the human experience, sometimes in the same 20 minute time frame.
Because It Can Be Seriously Scary
Pregnancy made my anxiety go through the roof. Every time I was spotting, contracting, aching, in pain, or having high blood pressure made me freak the hell out. Growing humans is not for the faint of heart.
Because Your Body Changes
Pregnancy means weight gain, melasma, stretch marks, sore boobs, and losing the ability to control your bladder at the most inopportune times. And afterwards, it feels like your pelvis was broken in half during delivery, because, well, it sort of was. Ouch.
Because You Can't Control Or Predict What Happens
If you are a control freak like I was (before having kids, that is), pregnancy will make you feel completely helpless. It's so bizarre to not be able to control something that is happening in your own freaking body. It was so frustrating. When you think about it, though, it's nothing compared to how unpredictable and uncontrollable kids can be, so I guess it was good practice.
Because It Can Change Your Relationship
My first two pregnancies were extremely hard on my marriage. They put a spotlight on the cracks that were already there and tested my then-husband's ability to grow up, step up, and support me while I literally grew children inside my freaking body.
Spoiler alert: he totally didn't make the cut. However, pregnancy, and related health problems put a strain on my current marriage, too. It's so hard.
Because It Can Impact Your Career
I used to joke about people getting "mommy tracked" when they decide to start a family, and then I got pregnant and realized it's not just a joke. Why is it that no one ever questions a man's commitment to his career when he becomes a father? People just assumed that having babies would make me less competent at work. It is so unfair.
Because They Don't Call It Labor For Nothing
Labor is intensely hard, especially back labor. It would actually make a pretty effective torture technique. I know I would tell you pretty much anything to make it stop. To make matters worse, I was convinced I should try and go through labor and delivery without any medication. Twice. The third time, however, I got the epidural before things got too intense to handle. It was still hard, though. Birth is badass.
Because It Will Change Your Life Forever
A wise person once said that nothing important is easy. Or maybe, it was no pain, no gain. Either way, both are true when it comes to pregnancy. Having kids is hard and pregnancy is an excellent training program. If you make it through the months of pain, mood swings, scary moments, and major life changes, you'll absolutely be ready for whatever parenthood throws your way.