Quite a controversial title to this post but so true. Not every woman does enjoy their pregnancy but it is completely OK.
This may seem like it’s going to be a post full of ranting and moaning but it’s not. It’s about me being honest and open about how me and some other pregnant woman out there honestly feel about their pregnancy experience.
Most people assume that being pregnant is glowing skin, being able to eat whatever you want and everyday being full of joy and pure happiness. Now, for some woman this may be completely true and that’s great but for the majority of us that don’t feel all of these things during pregnancy lets not make us feel awful for saying it out loud.
Pregnancy is a gift. It is an amazing miracle and blessing that I am so so grateful to be doing for the second time. I don’t want anyone for one second to think that I am not over the moon to be pregnant I just want to be able to make it the norm to say “I am not enjoying my pregnancy!”
For me it begins with the morning – no, make that all day – sickness and queasiness that lasts the first 14 weeks and then returns again in the third trimester. It’s so hard to feel this ill for weeks on end whilst trying to maintain work and general life commitments, but we do it. It is hard because we feel so awful but we feel we can’t moan or mope because we are supposed to be happy – right?
Another pregnancy symptom that I have never been lucky enough to encounter is the glowing skin. I have always had good skin. Never more than the occasional spot, even in my teens. With pregnancy however I get full blown acne. My entire face is red and blotchy and covered in huge red, angry spots that do not budge no matter what cleansing routine or expensive creams I buy. This might not seem like much of bad thing to some people but to me it’s so depressing. It brings my already low self esteem even lower. I can barely look in the mirror without crying – I look disgusting. As much as my kind husband will tell me “I can hardly see anything” I know he is just being kind.
I have always prided myself on being very organised and on top of things. In jobs and life in general I have always been the go-to person if you wanted a reminder or wanted to check something. I love being organised, it makes me feel happy and together. But being pregnant, especially towards the end has taken that from me. I forget everything! Appointments, work commitments, birthdays, my sons school dates. I can’t concentrate for very long and often completely forget what I am saying halfway through a sentence! Now, again for many this will seem like I am being a miserable, moaning cow but honestly it’s so hard when you’ve always prided yourself on being and doing something really well to then have it almost disappear. It feels a bit like I am losing my identity.
Exhaustion is something every expectant mother goes through. Again this really hits you in the final trimester. But why is it when I do tell someone how completely and utterly exhausted I am having only managed three hours sleep, I don’t get sympathy I get a competition “Oh me too…” or a “Well, what did you expect?” kind of comment. Mostly I don’t talk about how exhausted I am as I don’t want people to think I am being ungrateful for being pregnant. But that’s not really fair is it? A pregnant woman should be able to voice these feelings and have them acknowledged and listened to. Not have them dismissed for “Well, you are pregnant!”
For me body image is a tough one. I suffer anorexia so becoming pregnant was always going to be a challenge. Of course I know that I am going to be growing bigger, putting on weight and not being as active as I was. I’m not stupid. But what I do struggle with is the weight that is coming on other body parts that aren’t my bump. My thighs, my bum and even my arms. It’s incredibly difficult to look at yourself in the mirror everyday and hate what you see but at the same time love it for creating this amazing baby inside me. I have mentioned to people that I am struggling with being bigger but again I am usually met with comments like “You’re pregnant. You’re supposed to get fat when you are pregnant!” OK, so instantly my anorexic brain panics – Oh my god I knew it – I am fat! I know this is a particularly difficult subject that some might not feel at all but I think it is important to point out that even if you don’t suffer with eating disorders it can be hard to see your body change in ways you didn’t anticipate and feel you have no control over. Woman need to be able to talk about this without hearing such throw away comments.
I think that I am incredibly blessed to be able to have a second baby. I am beyond excited to meet my little boy and I would go through all these difficulties again and again if I had to. I just want to point out that not every woman will feel elated and full of joy at every moment of their pregnancy and that it is OK that she doesn’t and that it should be OK for her to voice these feelings without fear of judgement.
Be kind always, you never know what battles people might be facing.
Lots of love Amy x