It’s Ok Not to Love (or even LIKE) Being Pregnant.
Things I wish I knew at the beginning of my pregnancy.
(Part 1: 1 to 20 weeks)
One of the first things many women do when they find out they’re expecting is turn to the internet. Mommy blogs, pregnancy apps, Facebook mom groups, and other informational resources are everywhere these days. Honestly with so much information and opinions to wade through it can feel like you’re drowning and being pulled in a million different directions at once. I seriously feel like our mothers had an easier time of things in the pre-internet age. The sentiment I see more often than not is this: “Oh my god! We’re so excited! I just LOVE being pregnant and growing a little life inside me! It’s such a BLESSING.”
What I didn’t see a whole lot of was how I felt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to become a mother. It wasn’t something I was sure I’d ever do but my fiancé and I are excited nonetheless. Do I love being pregnant? No. It has been the single hardest thing I’ve ever done and I’m also sicker than I’ve ever been. I’m here to tell you that while many moms put on a brave face and talk about what an amazing time pregnancy is, if you are feeling less than thrilled and don’t enjoy being pregnant you are most certainly not alone. Here are some things I wish I knew from the get-go.
EVERYONE, will have an opinion
Everyone and I do mean EVERYONE, will have an opinion about your pregnancy. They will not hesitate to share it with you. And you know what? You don’t have to listen to them. For some bizarre reason, pregnancy gives people what they feel is express permission to comment on aspects of your life and body that any sane person would never share with you if you were not with child. I have gotten so much unsolicited advice when all I wanted to do was “vent.” Planning on having a C-section? Omg, that’s child abuse.
Here are 10 nonsensical reasons to support my argument. I’ll let you in on a little secret: no matter what you plan to do someone will think you’re a terrible mother. The beautiful thing? It doesn’t matter. Just smile, nod,
and say thank you for the advice. Then go on your merry way and do whatever you feel is the right thing for you and your family. Learning to bite my tongue and cut conversations short is one of the best skills
I’ve learned thus far.
Morning sickness isn’t just for the morning (and isn’t limited to the first trimester) I have been violently ill since the beginning of my pregnancy. Nearly everyone told me that things would get better once I got to the second trimester. They did not. I’m currently at 20 weeks and the nausea is
getting slightly better but it’s still ever-present.
I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum fairly early on after a trip to the emergency room because I literally could not stop vomiting. Zofran quickly became my friend (and trust me, people had an opinion on that too -rolls eyes-) People will share all sorts of morning sickness remedies. Some of them are helpful, many of them are not. Oh, and there will likely be times where you vomit so hard that you pee yourself. Go buy some poise pads, you will thank me later.
Most Mommy groups are not your friend. Don’t get sucked in. I’ve been lucky enough to find one mom group on Facebook where I don’t want to punch everyone in the face. The first Mommy group I joined made me feel like a horrible person and made my blood boil on a regular basis. It was in that group that I was told that I’m a terrible mother for needing to have a C-section (I have medical issues that necessitate it) and where I got into many an argument over not shaming women for the choices they make.
Mom groups are judgey. All of them. But some are less so than others. Be kind to yourself and try not to compare yourself to everyone else. Everyone puts their best forward up on Facebook and very little of the bad. It’s easier said than done but don’t compare what’s inside you to a heavily filtered picture of someone else’s life. It’s one of the easiest ways to set
yourself up for anxiety and misery, trust me.
Pregnancy is EXHAUSTING
Pregnancy is EXHAUSTING I’ve read a few articles likening pregnancy to basically running a marathon for 9-ish months. Pregnancy is one of the most difficult things a human body can do. The reason pregnancy only lasts 9 months and our infants are born so helpless (instead of being able to walk around moments after birth like some species) is because 9 months is literally all our bodies can handle. I never knew how exhausted I could be before I got pregnant. I have a feeling that in some weird way it’s our biology’s way of preparing us for all the sleepless nights and exhaustion that comes once the baby is born.
Your body will feel like it’s not your own And honestly, that’s kind of true. You’re sharing your body with this little creature. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard an Aliens joke. The first time I really felt like my body was not my own was when the kiddo basically starting to decide what would and would not stay down. Food that sounded good initially became stomach-turning once ingested. I frequently pictured my child going “PSYCH!” when I’d crave something, eat it, and then have it come right back up.
There’s also so much you can’t do and eat.
Aside from the obvious (don’t drink or eat raw fish), there are so many things I had no idea were off-limits. Some examples are Pepto Bismol, ibuprofen, lunch meat, and organ meat. The list is pretty long and at this point, if I’m not 100% positive it’s safe I turn to google to double-check. Once the baby starts moving it gets even weirder. I can press my tummy on the side that the baby is hanging out on and the baby will frequently push back. It’s really cool but the first time it happened I was seriously freaked out. Things got incredibly real when that happened.
I had something moving inside of me that wasn’t my own body. Watching my body change so quickly has also been bizarre. My chest is getting huge, my clothes don’t fit and everything is changing. My emotions are all over the place, too. I can go from happy to livid to bawling my eyes out in the span of 20 minutes. I have cried at water commercials. I guess the point I’m making here is that I feel completely out of control of what is happening to and in
I wish I had known
I know a lot of this sounds terrible, and I won’t lie it isn’t fun, but these are some of the things I wish I had known before going into pregnancy. The biggest thing I want to stress is that it’s ok not to love pregnancy.
More women than you think feel that way. It’s a truly bizarre time full of rapid-fire change. Find a group of women that you can turn to and get support from. Tune out the people who have nothing but negative things to say. And remember, there’s no instruction manual for this. Every pregnancy is different and the best thing you can do is be patient and kind to yourself.
Thanks for reading. Leave a comment and stay tuned for part 2, weeks 21-40ish!
Thanks for reading! Leave a comment below.