Having a baby was something I wanted with every bone in my body. I dreamed of holding my newborn in my arms, dressing them in the cutest outfits, and making silly faces to hear just one glorious giggle. But as fate would have it, I hated being pregnant.
Pregnancy made my body feel foreign to me, not to mention how it seemed to give other people permission to comment on my body (and personal decisions). I was barely a few weeks into my first pregnancy when my uncle told me that I shouldn’t have a baby this young. It felt like he had slapped me in the face. It didn’t matter that I had a college degree, was in a committed relationship, and had a solid job. It seemed like pregnancy not only changed my hormones and the curves of my body, but it also changed how people saw me.
After coping with infertility due to a long, painful battle with endometriosis, I never imagined that I wouldn’t enjoy being pregnant. Some might say it isn’t fair for women to hate being pregnant when others are struggling to conceive, but I think gratitude for the baby growing inside you can coexist with hating the pains of pregnancy. In fact, not loving being pregnant is actually pretty common.
Every person deals with pregnancy differently, whether it’s mentally or physically, and that doesn’t mean we love our babies less. I think it’s important to talk about the nuances without sugarcoating it all.
Let’s start by discussing 5 things it’s OK to hate about being pregnant:
1. Changes to your body
Women often sacrifice so much to make sure our babies are safe and healthy. From peeing when you sneeze to discovering a new array of stretch marks, the changes your body is going through are OK to hate. I remember having to donate or throw out nearly all of my shoes because my feet went up in shoe size. Having one more thing change about the old me felt so frustrating.
2. Your new pregnancy superpowers
One of the first changes I had when I was pregnant was that I was extremely sensitive to smells. I could smell the food going bad in the back of the fridge from across the kitchen. It was a new superpower I never asked for and honestly wished would go away.
3. The magnetic attraction of friends, family, and strangers
As an introvert, I never adored a lot of attention. I lived for quiet movie nights with my husband and often slipped into family parties unnoticed. But the second people heard I was pregnant, I became the center of attention. No question was off limits—people asked personal questions about my weight and even about how the baby was conceived. Friends and strangers also touched my stomach without asking, and it made me feel like a stranger in my own body.
4. Baby kicks all night long
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the feel of gentle kicks because it meant that the baby was healthy. But when tiny limbs would kick and punch me in the ribs in the middle of the night or put endless pressure on my bladder, I was pretty much over that part of pregnancy.
5. Health changes
Gestational diabetes, increased anxiety, urinary tract infections, and high-risk problems during pregnancy are just a few reasons why you might hate the nine months of pregnancy. It’s normal to be upset about these new obstacles. As always, make sure to contact your doctor with any questions or concerns about your physical, mental, or your growing baby’s health.