If you're not enjoying your pregnancy, days can sometimes feel like weeks, and weeks like months, and even 9+ months can feel like years. When you can't even see your feet beyond your belly, much less the light at the end of the tunnel, it might feel like your pregnancy is nothing more than a life sentence of nausea and constipation. It's also hard not to feel guilty less than enthusiastic about pregnancy, but the one thing you need to know if you hate being pregnant is that your feelings are in no way an indication of how amazing you're going to be as a mother.
I fell into the trap of overwhelming guilt and self-loathing that stemmed for my inability to completely enjoy my pregnancies. Honestly, I felt like I had been scammed. Television shows and magazines make pregnant women look like these blissful, elated, glowing goddesses with these perfect little baby bumps, so I had automatically assumed that I would be one of those women and that my pregnancy would be a good look and feeling and experience for me. I assumed wrong.
For the first five months of my first pregnancy, I turned 50 shades of green from my morning, noon, and night sickness. I felt like I was throwing up every hour on the hour; all day, every day, and when I wasn't actually throwing up, I was trying to avoid thinking about throwing up because that would send my gag reflex into a fear-induced frenzy. It was like being in a constant state of sea sickness. It got so bad that I had to keep a barf bucket in my car and during my daily commute. There's probably a hand full of Nashville residents that have undoubtably witnessed me vomiting into said bucket while stuck in the daily 5 o'clock traffic jam and, to those people, I'm sorry.
Besides my morning sickness, I also had terrible back pain during my first pregnancy, and a microscopic fracture in my pelvis during my second. I was constantly uncomfortable, so the inescapable reality that was my baby kicking my internal organs, the countless trips to the bathroom (the crossing my legs every time I had to sneeze so that I wouldn't pee on myself), the constipation, the exercise routine that was getting out of bed once my belly overtook the rest of my body, the intrusive strangers that all wanted to touch me, the exhaustion, and don't even get me started on the f*cking hormones that turned me into a bipolar mess, were exacerbating by a continuous pain.
I felt like a hot mess. I was puffy and sweaty and moody, and not only was I miserable, but I was making everyone around me miserable, too. I felt like my presence was becoming an unbearable burden to my friends, family, and coworkers, and I was positive that they all breathed a sigh of relief every time my miserable self left the room.
The mixture of my rampant emotions, my extreme frustration with my level of discomfort and my inability to simply just enjoy my pregnancy journey, made me feel like an awful, undeserving, and unfit mother. Women are shamed for hating pregnancy all the time, and though my friends and family were all very supportive during my pregnancy, I couldn't help but to feel like they thought something was wrong with me, too. Maybe I wasn't ready to be a mother after all. Maybe I wasn't prepared for all the impending sacrifices that motherhood requires.
Again, I assumed wrong. I've got two boys now. I have been at this whole motherhood gig for almost three years and, as far as I can tell, I'm not awful at raising human beings. In fact, I'm pretty damn good at it. Yes, there are days when I feel like I'm failing, and yes, there are days when I don't want to parent anymore, but that's just par for the course when you're giving every ounce of yourself to people who are not yet able to reciprocate the same. Motherhood is hard and exhausting and frustrating, but it's also so damn amazing, and it makes me (almost) forget about my miserable journey getting here. The misery I felt when I was pregnant pales in comparison to the amount of love that I feel for my family every day, and I'd do it all over again (yes, every single puffy, miserable, nauseating second of it) without hesitation, if I had to.
Women who hate being pregnant should talk about it more. Had I known that my reaction to my pregnancy was actually normal and justified and completely valid, I might not have spent so much time sulking or beating myself up for resenting the thing that I thought I was supposed to love so much. If I knew that hating my pregnancies didn't have any affect on how I am as a mother, I wouldn't have spent time worrying about my capabilities. I was miserable then, but I'm elated and completely head over heels in love with with this journey now (at least most of the time). Pregnancy just isn't everyone's cup of tea, and not enjoying the (often very uncomfortable) feeling of having your body hijacked by a tiny fetus, is nothing that anyone should ever feel sorry about. For some women, pregnancy is an amazing experience, but for women like me, it just wasn't all that pleasant, and that's not something that I, or anyone else, should feel guilty about.