Pregnancy Is Not Happy

by Mikki Caplan-Zaple
Originally Published: 
A pregnant woman wearing a gray robe and pajama, holding a head-cooling ice bag while lying on a cou...

Dear ad execs, television producers and movie directors:

I have a bone to pick with you, and as a nine month pregnant woman, I’m going to pick it.

I’m sick to death of watching your portrayals of pregnancy as a glittery, glowing and wonderful experience. Pregnancy certainly has its wonderful, flowery moments, where everything is joyous and fantastic, but it also has other moments I’d like to see represented as well. Moments like this:

The other day when I got home from an appointment, I let my dog out and promptly vomited. It came out of nowhere. But not only did I get the opportunity to randomly vomit, I also got to pee myself. Not just a little bit either, I full-on soaked my pants. I got to enjoy the wonderful experience of having bodily fluids exit my body from two different areas at the same time.

This, unfortunately, isn’t the only time I’ve experienced something like this. Cough? Pee a little. Sneeze? Pee a little. Vomit? Pee a lot more than a little. Bend over the wrong way? Pee a little. I go through pants like they’re going out of style. Thankfully I have a few pads left over from the last time I actually got a period, but to use them would presume that I know when I’m going to suddenly have a bout of coughing, sneezing, throwing up, or bending over the wrong way. And pregnancy is anything but predictable.

There are the days when I am so exhausted that I can barely function. As a normal human being with things to do and places to go, I have no choice but to function. This adds up to disaster.

Of course, there is also the unpredictable emotional roller coaster. Take the series finale of How I Met Your Mother, for instance. I just had the opportunity to watch this gem, and as a completely rational pregnant woman, ended up crying for an hour, not only out of sadness for the ending (no spoilers), but also out of complete and total anger. Yes, I’m one of those people who is angry about how the series ended (I think it was a cop out, and am pissed I spent the last nine years of my life watching that show), but unlike other people, I didn’t take my anger to the internet. Instead, I cried and cried and cried and cried.

And this is a good pregnancy! With my first, I threw up literally the entire time, from the moment I conceived right up until the day I gave birth. I’ve heard stories of pregnant women becoming literal monsters during pregnancy, constantly fluctuating between happy and vehemently angry.

There are the body aches, the health issues, the fears about health issues, the worry that your baby hasn’t kicked as often as they did the day before, the acne, the stretch marks, the bloating and water retention, and the heartburn that’s so bad it makes you feel like you’re having a heart attack – and this is just a small list of the various issues one might face while pregnant.

While the happy-go-lucky pregnant women who find joy in all of it do exist, they exist in moments between random tears or bodily fluids and the constant worry that is a pregnancy. Pregnancy is not happy.

If you advertisers, writers, directors of the world want to provide a real picture of pregnancy, here’s what you need to do: Have a pregnant lady covered in her own urine, in hysterics on the bathroom floor because her lipstick broke. That’s pregnancy, but it probably wouldn’t sell many bottles of shea butter with vitamin E for pregnant belly stretch marks. It would, however, endear you to a large portion of the population. Think about it.

Sincerely yours,

A very unhappy pregnant woman

Related post: You Are Going to be Fat, and Other Inevitabilities of Pregnancy

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