Oh, hello there! I'm sorry, I didn't see you come in. I was too busy doing my daily gratitude ritual. Today, I'm recognizing the fact that I'm not currently pregnant, because there are so many things you can't do while pregnant that I think it's worth remembering on the days where we have our physical freedom. See, I honor my state of non-pregnancy by consuming copious amounts of coffee, wine, brie, cookie dough, deli meat, and sushi. Then, I ride a horse to a nearby theme park, where I ride roller coasters and do one of those mini-bungee jump thrill rides. Finally, I conclude by smoking a cigarette in a sauna.
OK, I'm kidding (about...some of that stuff). My son is now a full-fledged toddler so I don't have time for the sauna. But seriously, some of that actually sounds like fun, doesn't it? If only pregnancy didn't require you to abstain from everything enjoyable ever invented. And if only it wasn't so physically uncomfortable. And if only it didn't throw off your sleep patterns...and make you buy find an entirely new, yet temporary, maternity wardrobe...and limit your mobility...and bring about significant mood swings at 7:55 a.m. when you both should be at work but OMG the tears are here and they aren't stopping. Whoa. Yeah. Pregnancy, guys.
The fact of the matter is that, yes, while pregnancy is one of the most miraculous, beautiful experiences a woman can have, sometimes it's just not fun. Recognizing the struggle is OK. Here's why:
It Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Excited To Be A Mom
Whenever I have even the slightest hint that nausea could lead to worse, I am a useless lump, curled up on my bed with my eyes closed, willing my stomach contents to stay put. During these moments, I think it's totally OK to acknowledge to yourself, "Alright, this sucks." Doing so is not the same thing as saying "everything about motherhood sucks." These are very, very different things. Hating pregnancy is not, in fact, any indication about what your feelings are/will be about motherhood or your baby or your life. Being full of fetus is a very unique, well-defined experience, and your feelings about it are allowed to exist completely unto themselves, no matter what they might be.
It's One More Reason To Be Happy When You Finally Get Un-Pregnant
Despite the discomfort, I was so, so grateful for my pregnancy. I was thankful to have it, thankful it progressed fairly normally, and thankful to live in a place and a time where healthcare was readily available to me. But as grateful as I was, I knew I was going to be even more excited when pregnancy was over, when I had a baby I could hold in my arms, and when my focus turned from my pregnancy to my child.
It's A Never Ending Cycle Of Frustration, But Not Being Able To Drink Wine, And Then Feeling More Frustrated
Before pregnancy, a sleepless night meant a big, foamy latte. A long day of work meant forgoing the kitchen and picking up sandwiches or sushi, and an even longer day meant a glass (or four) of wine. But when you're feeling tired or overwhelmed due to pregnancy, these things aren't exactly options (depending on which rules you and your doctors are following). And so, all of a sudden, you're not able to comfort yourself and do your normal self-care routine, which leads to more frustration. Yes, I see you, women trapped in this vicious cycle. I see you.
Speaking Of Cycles, The Lack Of A Proper Sleep Cycle Doesn't Help Your Mood
If I heard more person crack a joke about losing sleep when my newborn arrived, I was going to do something dramatic that would have landed me in unfavorable viral videos, I'm sure of it.
It's Pretty Much Fine To Not Like Anything You Don't Like, As Long As It's Not Hurting Anyone
So, I personally believe that pregnancy is an insanely life-altering experience, so who am I to judge how anyone else responds to it? It's neither realistic nor fair to even attempt to prescribe one single correct way in which a person is supposed to synthesize and digest any insanely life-altering experience. Whether you love it or hate it, those feelings are unique to you. I mean, as long as you're not using your delicate condition as an excuse to like, kick puppies or steal books from sick kids, you're allowed to feel however you want.
Hating Your Own Healthy Pregnancy Doesn't Mean You Aren't Understanding Of The Struggles Other Women Have With Pregnancy
Real talk: I had a really hard time with this one. Like, I personally felt guilty when grouching about another day of nausea, or another night of waking up to pee eighty thousand times, or another wardrobe malfunction while trying to maintain an aura of professionalism at work, because I knew that there were countless women who would have traded their big-picture pregnancy problems for whatever small nuisances I was dealing with. Could I be thankful for the fact that my pregnancy was still progressing? Yes, definitely. But like the side effects? I just couldn't.
Your Feelings Aren't Always Up To You
I mean, I can't exactly control how I feel about sour cream and cheddar potato chips, alpacas, and Justin Bieber, so how can I expect someone else to control how she feels about pregnancy?