As I sat on the toilet, I stared at the pregnancy test in my hand with disbelief.
Two faint pink lines meant that I was suddenly not alone in my body.
And I started to panic.
My husband and I had decided together that we were going to start a family and went about the business of doing that thing you do when you’ve decided you’d like to ruin the perfection of two people living together in a house that is never messy (or sticky).
For a few months, we gleefully told everyone and anyone who’d listen that “We’re trying!” And though it seemed like a great idea on paper (and frankly, as we were bumping uglies like rabbits all over our very clean, not sticky house), admittedly, seeing those two pink lines left me feeling less than elated.
I wandered around for the rest of the day, intermittently touching my abdomen and wearing a “What the fuck did I just do?” face while trying to convince myself that I was going to love being pregnant. So many of my friends raved about the connection they felt to the child in their womb, and I had heard something about growing a human making women glow.
I looked forward to that glow, but I can report, I did not glow during pregnancy, people.
Well, unless you count my forehead glistening from the water I splashed on my face after I’d puked up everything but my toes several times a day.
Turns out, I hated every single minute of my pregnancies, no matter how much I tried to embrace the wonder and awe of hemorrhoids, sore boobs the size of cantaloupes, and being nauseated at the very sight (and smell) of my spouse for 10 months.
Try as I might, I just didn’t enjoy cohabitating with another human that pushed on my bladder and made me question whether I’d ever eat guacamole again after that last round with the Porcelain God.
And when I’d try to bring up my pregnancy misgivings to my friends, they’d tell me, “Oh, pregnancy goes by so fast. You won’t remember any of it when you have that tiny baby in your arms!” Sure, they’d commiserate that swollen boobs and all-day-long nausea (not “morning sickness”) sucked, but for the most part, I often felt alone when I tried to tell people that I wasn’t enamored by what the life inside me was doing to my hips and six-pack abs (just kidding, I never had six-pack abs).
My mood swings were epic, my appetite was nonexistent thanks to constant nausea and vomiting, and I quickly grew tired of never being able to get comfortable when I’d try to put my swollen ankles up on the couch.
Worst of all, I was expected to cope with my body changing and impending motherhood without a drop of wine. I’m sorry, but surviving pregnancy constipation deserves a stiff drink, and it was a cruel injustice to have to suck on ice chips while my friends sucked down sauvignon blanc at parties.
So, for me, pregnancy sucked, and I don’t mind saying it out loud. And I’m here to tell you, being excited to be a mother and hating pregnancy are not mutually exclusive.
Of course, I was over the moon to become a mom, but that doesn’t mean I had to like baby’s mode of transport into the world. And even though I read all of the pregnancy books I could get my hands on, there’s no book out there that will prepare you for what your body looks like three days before you deliver a baby.
I realize that there are women out there who would give their left arm to complain about being pregnant, and believe me, I know I sound like an asshole to some of you for complaining that I was able to become pregnant and carry a child without struggle. But I won’t apologize for admitting that, for me, pregnancy really sucked.
I wanted to enjoy it, and I wanted to revel in it, so it was devastating to realize how much I disliked what so many women revere and cherish. There is nothing glamorous about pregnancy, and I seriously don’t understand when a woman glazes over with a dreamy look on her face and describes how much she enjoyed watching her body morph into the Pillsbury Doughboy.
I don’t begrudge women who enjoy it, and I know there are plenty of them out there. But I also know that I’m not the only woman who rolls her eyes when women yammer on about how beautiful they felt when they were lugging around 50 extra pounds in their midsection. I looked like a swollen train wreck.
And that’s not to mention what happens to your hoo-ha when that tiny little sack of wonderment pushes its way through an opening the size of a lemon. I think every pregnant woman should get fair warning about what it’s like to take your first postpartum poop, because otherwise, it can come as a real surprise when you see God and all his angels as you squeeze that 7-day-old petrified rock out of your ass as your newborn wails in discontent beside you. The books don’t mention that part.
So, yeah, I hated pregnancy and the aftermath, and you can stop with the sanctimommy bullshit judgment right now. Just because I was counting the minutes until my body was my own again doesn’t make me, or anyone else, less worthy of motherhood. It makes me honest, and I don’t know about you, but I would have appreciated hearing from someone who felt the same way during her pregnancies. Women need to hear that they don’t suck as a mom just because they hate dealing with gestational diabetes or complications requiring bed rest.
It’s okay to hate being pregnant, I promise.
And thankfully, those trimesters do seem to pass quickly, because if women had to endure ankles the size of redwood trees and flatulence that would kill a cow for longer than 10 months, no one in their right mind would ever get knocked up.