There’s this romanticized idea of what pregnancy is or should be like for expectant mothers. Women are supposed to be mesmerized by the miracle taking place inside them, so totally in love with the changes their bodies are undergoing and grateful for the opportunity to nurture and bring forth new life into this world that they can hardly contain their elation. Anyone who doesn’t subscribe to this philosophy is somehow off. She is not thankful for the blessing that is having a child. There is something Not Motherly Enough about her. Something terribly, terribly wrong.
Well, guess what? I hate being pregnant. I’m making no apologies for that. And I’m guessing I’m not alone.
I suppose I should marvel at the wonder of new life growing inside me, for it is quite a miraculous phenomenon, but I can’t seem to stop feeling like shit long enough to really get my thinkbox into the whole thing.
While other women are “glowing” (whatever the fuck that means), I’m sweating like a heifer in a heat wave.
While other women claim to “have never felt better,” I’m begging my husband to mercy kill me with a pillow so I don’t have to endure one more date with my toilet.
While other women are celebrating their “bumps” (more like a collection of 12 pound bowling balls strapped to my midsection), I’m cursing that damn thing for making turning over in bed a 3 day venture.
While other women are peacefully practicing their Kegels in anticipation of the glorious day they welcome their precious marvels into the world, I’m rocking football sized labia and shoving frozen condoms down my underpants.
While other women are embracing their roles as life givers, I’m over here feeling like donkey poo and counting the minutes until I can walk through the grocery store without throwing up in my mouth and poop without straining again.
Society expects women with child to fawn over their growing babies with tenderness and excitement, but I’m here to tell you, the only thing good about pregnancy to me is the baby you get to enjoy post-delivery. I do not enjoy the morning sickness. I am not into the achy joints and abdominal cramps. I do not welcome the swelling and obnoxious weight gain. I can not stand the smelly discharge and gassy intestines. I do not like the constant feeling of general malaise. I am not happy about the saucer sized nipples and unsightly stretch marks. And I especially do not appreciate getting sliced halfway open, having my innards removed from my body, and then suffering from excruciating surgical pain for the next 1-3 weeks.
Does this mean I am not grateful for the ease with which I am able to conceive and bring a life into this world? No. Does it mean I don’t empathize with women whose journeys toward motherhood are rife with difficulty or impossibility? Absolutely not. Does it mean I am somehow less of a mother or don’t love my children as much as other women? Of course not.
It simply means I (and women everywhere) should not be expected to relish all that goes into creating life, especially when that process is nowhere near as easy or as uneventful and healthy for us as it is for our counterparts. It means it’s OK not to be overcome with awe and astonishment at the miracle of life every second of every day. It means we women are allowed to bemoan and complain and gripe about our circumstances freely and without judgment. It means we love our kids as much as the next person and are beyond grateful for the opportunity to bring them into our lives; we just aren’t 100% in love with what it takes to get them here. It means we won’t apologize for hating pregnancy. And it means we can’t wait for our little bundles to get here.
Literally. We can’t wait until this nightmare is behind us.