I hate being pregnant and it's totally okay

Guest post by Erika Hammer
Photo by  – CC BY 2.0
Photo by CC BY 2.0

I hate being pregnant.

There. I said it.

Does it mean that I’m going to hate motherhood? Absolutely NOT! Since the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my child, and had a plethora of hopes and dreams running through my mind 24/7. I can’t wait to have my kid in my arms, snuggle him, kiss him, and tell him how much I love him… I just haven’t enjoyed the journey of pregnancy.

So why do I hate being pregnant? Well, let’s face it, pregnancy isn’t all about “glowing” and the occasional bout of heartburn. Well, maybe it is for some people but it definitely hasn’t been for me.

Pregnancy has been brutal

Going into pregnancy as a high-risk mamma-to-be, I got dealt a further hand of nasty cards — including nine months of morning sickness, pelvic girdle disfunction, a post-nasal drip that lead to additional vomiting, as well as the grand finale of excessive swelling, dangerous increase in blood pressure… And don’t even get me started about the wild world of hemmorhoids and the other absolutely horrific things that happen to your nether regions. Needless to say, there hasn’t really been a day since the moment we conceived that I haven’t had to deal with nasty pregnancy symptoms.

Being a Simpson's fan (I had a Simpsons baby shower, after all) I tried to express myself using Simpson's quotes and screenshots from things that I felt really expressed my life at that moment. Around week 32 I posted this one in, relation to all the swelling I had:

The fingers you have used to dial are too fat

I thought it was funny, clever and a pretty “me” way to express my difficulties. Until a really odd comment appeared under the photo. The comment was along the lines of “God help you if you resent this child this much once it’s out of the womb.”

It made me realize that while I’ve come to terms with hating being pregnant; it’s still incredibly socially unacceptable to be anything but joyous and ridiculously positive about the entire experience.

So to all of those out there who hate being pregnant, please remember this…

You don’t have to love being pregnant

The things that are happening to your body right now can be gross, downright nasty and frankly, they can really put a damper on your quality of life. As excited as you may be for your baby, you may be mourning the loss of your “normal” self and abilities, especially if you’re suffering from a lot of pregnancy related side effects.

If you hate being pregnant, you’re not alone

There are so many other women that feel the same way either at times or throughout the length of their pregnancy. Unfortunately, not many women will speak out about it due to the nasty backlash they can get.

If you find yourself not being the happiest of campers while you’re creating a mini-human, find people to talk to either in person with friends, in a forum of supportive women or with a social worker or other mental health professional.

If you choose to post about your point of view online

It’s normal to get haters. But remember that while haters gonna hate, there will also be so many other women who are relieved to see that there’s someone else who shared their sentiments, and who had the courage to discuss it out loud.

So why am I talking about how much I hate pregnancy?

To quote my best friend and doula, Laura Cooper (in response to the nasty comment)…

Because silencing a woman’s complaints about pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period can set the stage for a women to feel like she had to keep quiet when things are spiraling out of control. You don't know the whole story or the extent of someone's discomfort or even suffering just based on their complaint, so please practice empathy, even if complaints make you uncomfortable. When women are complaining, they're likely giving voice to some serious underlying concerns, like… Is this normal, or is it something I need to talk to my care provider about? Am I alone in this? Has anyone else gone through this? Who is here to be my support network? Let's take care of each other.

Who else hated or currently hates being pregnant? Let's talk about and support each other!

  1. ME. Me, me, me and all of this!

    Oh my, I hated being pregnant. Sickness, exhaustion, panic attacks and low blood pressure / fainting until 16 weeks, a brief period of respite, then round ligament pain, sciatica, extreme swelling (had to be carried up the stairs at times because I physically couldn't bend my ankles / feet to do the stair-climbing motion) and high blood pressure requiring hospitalization 3 times. Not to mention crazy nightmares, night time excruciating cramp in my calves, sleepwalking (completely related to pregnancy, never happened again) and a general feeling of being off-balance.

    I never got the 'glowing' phase. I also had an awful 40 hour labour and delivery. I remember vowing during that time never to do it again and I haven't! My 8 year old son is the love of my life though. You are not alone!

  2. I need a THIS!X100 button!
    My pregnancy was high risk and difficult on me physically.The first time I responded honestly to my mother/sister in law about how I felt, I received backlash. Not directly, but my husband heard more than once "I hope that she is more maternal when the baby arrives…" and "Wow, she makes pregnancy look so difficult…"
    Dude, not everyone looks like a size 6 model with glowing skin when preggers. I had huge cystic pimples for the first 6 months, lost 10 lbs in 4 weeks thanks to excessive morning sickness, slept with two wrist braces due to carpal tunnel, had a case of bells palsy where half my face was paralyzed, still dealing with darkened skin on my face from hormones, gained 65 lbs due to extreme edema, and bed rest thanks to low amnio fluid and crazy up and down blood pressure. Not to mention all the other shitty things that happen to your body when you are growing a human.
    One of the hardest parts of my pregnancy was pretending to smile and act like I was enjoying myself whenever one of my in laws asked how I felt.

  3. I was fortunate to not have any morning sickness while pregnant, but it KILLED my back and the shift in center of gravity and additional weight made the problems I have with my knees even worse. I also had pre-eclampsia and needed a C-section to protect us both. All of this after enduring 3 miscarriages before having my one-and-only child. My body and pregnancy don't go well together, I hate it and it hates me.

    And I tell this to everyone who asks about when are we having another. No one wants to hear about this "miracle" being something that is torturous and unhealthy.

    • Ah, yes. The dreaded "So when are you doing this again?" question.
      I'm not bothered TOO much by the people who ask the question. While I would prefer never being asked, I can understand that some people simply don't understand that it can be a sensitive question so I try to throw them a bone on the matter. It's the ones who judge you AFTER answering the question… those are the ones that drive me bananas. "Oh, you DON'T want two/three children? You're doing life wrong."
      How do you deal when people ask you that question?

  4. Pregnancy actually wasn't that hard on me. Did I love it? Eh. I do wish someone had warned me ahead of time that I could feel nausea, heart burn, starving, and yet too full all at the same time (aka a good portion of my third trimester when all my organs were shoved up into my rib cage).

  5. I almost wrote this EXACT post today. And my pregnancy has been rather "normal" as things go. No really terrible symptoms, nothing out of the ordinary, just garden variety pain, discomfort, and heartburn. Still, that stuff isn't exactly a day at the amusement park. I hate being this big. I hate this pregnancy's (my 2nd) effect on my ability to move (can't climb stairs, can't roll over or get up from sitting/lying down without tremendous effort, can't move very fast). I hate being too tired to do the things I normally do and things I enjoy doing. I hate figuring out creative, acceptable ways to answer "How are you feeling?" I would think that just these, things I think almost every pregnant lady goes through, would be enough to make anyone hate pregnancy, I can't imagine throwing more severe pregnancy symptoms on top. Don't get me started on people who say "yeah, but it'll all be worth it." Well of course it will, but that doesn't make it suck less!!!! The correct response is "I'm sorry, that sucks, you're pretty, you're doing a great thing, do you want some ice cream?" And people who LOVE being pregnant? Bless you, but I do not understand you.

    • "Tired" is a great response to the how are you doing question. It's one of those answers that isn't a lie, and doesn't make you seem miserable / ungrateful (which I think is part of the reason there is so much must-be-joyful pressure – you are supposed to be grateful that your body is growing you a beautiful baby). Plus, it's easily understood by anyone who has ever been pregnant, regardless of whether they had an easy pregnancy.

      • I usually answer "pregnant." Either they understand what that means, or they don't but aren't offended by it. But tired is a good answer too.

    • The third trimester coma (exhausted all the time, but never able to sleepfor long making it seem to people like you're always sleeping even though you never feel rested) is awful. I'm not gonna say "it's the worst" because first trimester nausea and second trimester heartburn are both pretty awful. But I think it's the most frustrating because we accept feeling sick as a reason to lie on the couch all day and get nothing done but doing it because you're tired just seems like laziness

    • I had a friend once say to me "Pregnancy is like traveling. You may LOVE being at the destination and have an amazing vacation once you're there; but you hate the plane ride." I've thought about that a lot in regards to the "yeah, but it'll all be worth it" line that you hear from so many people. Don't they understand? Yes, some people love vacationing but they hate flying! Knowing they'll love the vacation doesn't make the flight any more fun.

  6. I have never been pregnant. I never plan to be pregnant. The thought of it terrifies, sickens, and just generally makes me want to scream. My husband and I do not plan on having children at all but should we change our mind in the future we will look towards adoption or a surrogate. Me bearing a child is not an option.
    Thank you for this post because whenever I express my distaste for being pregnant I'm met with "oh, but it's so beautiful and life changing and roses and butterflies and unicorns" etc. I'm also met with "you'll never understand until you go through it." I call bullshit on all of that because just because a person hasn't experienced something doesn't mean they can't understand it. I'm sorry people gave you negative reactions on your feelings and wholeheartedly agree that maybe the reason pregnancy has the beautiful, wonderful, natural stereotype is because women who express distaste for it are shamed into keeping quiet. Not cool.

    • So much of this. Pregnancy does not interest me whatsoever. Baby, yes. Pregnancy, no. So I mentioned to a few people that I would much prefer a surrogate (as my partner would prefer to attempt for a biological child before turning to adoption) than to do it the old-fashioned way, and people FLIPPED. I was a failure of a woman for even CONSIDERING having someone else carry my child. Gross, unnatural, weird, etc.

      And then the same people would outline how horrible they felt during their pregnancies, and then I was like "okay, so you see my point!" and then they'd pull out all the life-changing rainbows and unicorns crap. You can't win.

      Thanks for talking about this. Now that we're in a place of actually considering babies in the very near future, I'm trying to face my discomfort/fear/etc of pregnancy (surrogates are expensive, and so not a realistic option for us).

      • Ahhhhhh, Anony I'm right there with you! I really, really don't want to be pregnant. I'm on the fence about having children at all, which I consider to be a separate issue from pregnancy. (I mean, being a foster parent or adopting are always options.) But people have generally freaked out if I mention the idea of surrogacy, even if we likely couldn't afford that realistically.

    • I'm right there with you all! I have no desire to be pregnant, but I'd be pretty happy having a kid if my life circumstances permitted it. In my case though, it would definitely be by adoption – my eyesight is so bad (and my spouse has even worse eyes) that I would never want to wish that on a kid. But I tell that to people, and they get confused: "Oh, but don't you want a kid that's related to you?" "The eyesight thing wouldn't be that bad" (say people who don't need glasses) "Well, but how would you feel if you adopted a kid who needed glasses" (Um, well, it wouldn't be my FAULT.) Anyway, thank you all for being a space where not wanting to be pregnant is okay.

    • It's weird, isn't it? How people seem to judge you for being incomplete somehow unless you have a biological child? (Or for not wanting children at all?)
      Empathy and sympathy are closely related; it's more than possible to understand something without going through it.
      Sorry to hear you've been judged by your decision so many times.

      • Thanks! My husband and I are both very used to it by now but the assumption still kills me.

        Who I feel bad for is my parents. Since we got married they get the "when are you going to be grandparents?" question a lot, especially now that we're looking for a house. Apparently, if you look for anything bigger than 1 bedroom you're naturally meant to fill the other bedrooms with children! My mother is funny because she answers the question honestly and just says "Never, they don't want any." My Dad is a little more vague and will say "That's none of my business." But what kills me is the people who think I'm awful because I'm depriving my parents of grandchildren. Like, wtf! My mother actually said to one guy "I think it's horrible that you obviously view your children as a means to get grandchildren. I respect my daughter more than that!"

          • She SO is! I asked her once if she was disappointed that she'd never be a grandmother and she said "Well, I always thought it would be cute to have a granddaughter who looked just like me and kids do think I'm cool and I like playing with them. But I had you and that was enough." She has SUCH a good attitude.

    • I'm the total opposite. I cannot imagine being a mom and all of the things that go into that process, but I want to be pregnant sooo badly. I've read about all the bad and gross stuff and I'm like, "Yeah, sign me up! That sounds horrible. I totally want to do it!" (You can probably guess that I'm a masochist.)

      • That's definitely unusual but also kind of awesome because if someone you know is ever in need of a surrogate you could be that for them! My best friend doesn't really want to be a mother but has said she'd gladly be a surrogate if family or friend ever needed one.

  7. Yes, THIS. And much more. The worst, is now after 2 kids and 4 years later, I am still suffering from pregnancy-related health issues. I am much more queasy, smells bother me more now, my body is all clanky and have back problems galore.

    A book that I found in the midst of my 1st pregnancy helped me so much in realizing that I'm not the only sucker who is suffering, and grumpy about it, called "Pregnancy Sucks." I have sent it as a gift to many of my frumpy friends when the time befalls them.

    Did it change how I love my kids? No way. But at the time, when 9 whole months is lurking ahead, it was rough going.

  8. Pregnant and hating it right now! Also, been there twice and hated it then too!
    I'm 15 weeks and I've been dealing with hypermesis since 8 weeks. Sooo being nauseous all day, throwing up a few times a day, barely being able to do anything, frequent migraines, being dehydrated, restless legs, very little sleep, etc. Yeah good times. I can't wait to meet this baby and be over this part of the whole thing.
    Oh and I keep getting "the sickeness should be over by now/soon right?" And "well at least there's a baby at the end of all this." Yeah not helping me feal any better right NOW. It's overwhelming.

    • Ooooh yes, the "Oh, you're still sick? That's weird. I didn't think that was normal." and you don't know what to say to the person except… "Guess I'm not normal?" I know that people don't say things like that with malice, but when you hear it 10+ times a day it starts to make your own coping a bit more difficult as you start to feel, indeed, abnormal.
      Thanks for sharing your story! I hope the HG ends sooner than later for you; I'll send all my positive vibes your way!

  9. It is funny, I am 19 week pregnant and I wouldn't say I hate it… but I wouldn't say I love it. I usually tell people that I am mildly uncomfortable and would like it to be over. Yeah, things have gotten better now that I am out of the first trimester (I was just a tired zombie) but I crave beer, and social stigma in the US about drinking a beer is super strong. It is one of the rare times I don't do something because it isn't social acceptable (even though drinking once or twice a week shouldn't cause any damage to the baby)

    I think mostly don't like how people treat you differently as a pregnant woman. I don't like being ask "so how are feeling?" everytime I see my Mother In Law because it use to be "so what's going on?" I get that people are being nice and trying but frankly I don't like the extra attention. My husband yelled at me for not "quitting" coffee, but soon stopped when I laughed at him and said that I still drink less than the suggested amount. Even my husband is noticing a shift in the attention joking that "well, I guess the way to get my cousins to talk to us, we just needed to have a baby" (which is kind-of true, most of his relatives who are hard to keep a conversation going with, sudden had plenty to talk about)

    I forget which feminist activist said this, but she said something a long the lines of pregnancy was barbaric and a practice that we should be working to get rid of. She wasn't saying that we shouldn't have kids, but I think suggesting test tube babies for all! Okay, maybe not really. But I think it is a way to get people's attention that pregnancy shouldn't be romanticized, and women shouldn't be stigmatized for now wanting to go through that stage. Yeah, you have to do it to get a baby, or someone else does.

    • So beer cravings, like most pregnancy cravings, are legit and should be met. Fermented barley triggers milk production. If your body is having trouble getting that ready, it might be sending you beer cravings. Drinking a beer or two while pregnant is perfectly acceptable from a health perspective. Do it in your own home if you're worried about the stigma. If your partner, like mine, is just strongly against any drinking while pregnant, alcohol free beers tend to be sub-par but will satisfy the craving. And you won't even notice how bad they are because your body will be so happy to be getting what it needs

      • I think my beer craving is more triggered by season (it is the summer, and I want all the hops) and because I love bitter flavors. And there isn't ANY non-boozy bitter drinks. It is driving me nuts. I mean there are some sodas with complex flavors, but there is always sugar (like tonic water). I am not ANTI sugar, but I am the type of person who thinks it does more harm to our palette and I'm not a huge fan. There are already enough sugary things out there. (more snack bars, take out drinks, and the like have more sugar than I prefer, but they are easy to grab on the go)

        BUT my husband and I have a pact, he prefers I don't drink any alcohol, so if he has a beer, I take a sip or two (and nice big ol' wiff) to satisfy my cravings. I am also trying to eat more complex/whole grains, just in case the cravings are because of a lack of b vitamins.

        • Can you get alcohol free lagers where you are? I'm not a beer drinker but I know quite a few people who drink alcohol free beers (because they are driving). The range here in the uk has really increased in the last couple of years. I imagine this might be a good option for pregnant people!

          • In the USA there are few alcohol free beers to choose from, but I haven't tried any yet. I am a little fearful since I am not a fan of the mainstream American beers, but I have heard O'Doules is the best out there. Some micro breweries are making alcohol free beers (though they are never ACTUALLY alcohol free, but an incredibly low dose) but they are pretty hard to find. I am sure at some point I will end up getting a pack of booze free beer.

  10. Getting this email allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief. I'm having a baby for my sister and am only 8 weeks and 3 days and I haven't found a venue to participate in,vent in, or relate to. I have the Glow nurture app but people are pretty brutal on there if anyone complains – most of the time when ppl do talk about ailments its always couched with a "this is so worth it, I'm so excited!' and even then there is a big chance someone will try to shame you. It really feels like there's no space for pregnant women to be raw and real without having to fill in some flower-y, loving language.

    I feel terrible. I'm experiencing severe nausea and congestion. I'm regularly throwing up and trying to take diclegis to lessen the nausea which inadvertently makes me drowsy and dizzy. I don't have feelings of "oh I can't wait to have this bundle of joy" because in my case that won't be happening (plus my sister lives in a different state). However, I'm excited for *my sister* to have her baby and start her family. It doesn't mean that I'm not suffering and wishing this part of the pregnancy would be over (hopefully this doesn't last throughout).

    So thank you for speaking openly about how you're feeling and creating a space for people to be honest about pregnancy being difficult sometimes (or even all of the time).

    • That's so freaking fantastic you're doing that for your sister. I know that won't help you feel any better now, although I wish you were feeling better. 🙂

    • 1) That's amazing that you are doing this for your sister! You must really love each other.

      2) Nausea AND congestion!? Ugh. Sorry you have to deal with that bad combo (it is like the two things I hate XD) Have you tried The Ginger People Rescue? I got a pack at Whole Foods, and I found it helped with some nausea, and now I am constantly offering them to my hubby when he gets motion sick.

      3) Have you tried the What to Expect When Expecting App? They have message boards, and it might be more helpful. They also have it so you can join a group with people with similar due dates. I found (so far) a good vibe but it isn't my thing overall.

      • Oooh I've never heard of Ginger People Rescue but I definitely want to try it! As for the app – I downloaded a few apps but not What to Expect When Expecting. Is that the app associated with the book? I was hesitant about the app because I heard a lot of mixed reviews about the book so I wasn't too eager to get the app. However, I will give it a second chance and check it out. I do like the glow nurture app for the daily info, ability to track my happenings, and see day to day how everything is changing – I've just stayed clear of the message boards.

        Thanks for sharing your pro tips. I really appreciate it. 🙂

        • Well I download Glow Nurture (didn't care for it) and a few other apps and just felt a little meh about them. I have been using Ovia Pregnancy, mostly because I was using the Ovia cycle tracking app when trying to conceive. This app is very "you" centric. You can track you daily weight, doctor appointments, notes, milestones, etc. They have a food and medicine lookup which is somewhat handy (though I don't like it completely) There is a community thing, but I have never used it. I mostly like this app because it gives baby sizes with options other than fruit and veggies (seriously, I have no idea what people mean when they say my baby is the size of a sweet potato) so you can have little bb compared to animals, toys, or french pastries. I also use it to track my weight since I was concerned for awhile about not gaining anything until the 3rd Trimester. They have cute little weekly updates, and articles, you can have it set up to email your husband as well about milestones, appointments, and baby/pregnancy info. Overall I think this is my favorite app, but sometimes they have promoted garbage, and some information that is so basic I just skip right on over.

          As for What to Expect When Expecting they have a daily collection of article that come up to kind-of give bite size amounts of information. Most of the information is taken from the book so it is a little redundant for me. But some are totally new stuff, and can be empowering. There are week by week info, about your body, your baby, a video (that is kind-of so cheerful it is creepy, who says sweet little fetus?), places to make notes, track weekly photos (which sucks at importing photos) then they have access to their message boards, which I like occasionally checking out the board of people with similar delivery dates.

          The reason why I picked up What to Expect When Expecting since it has sort of a bible status with pregnant ladies and it was my local library book sale. I have previous edition (the newest came out shortly after picking it up) and I didn't know some people had beef with it until recently. BUT I can see why. I find all the information and very straight forward talk great, but some people who are worriers might question everything. I DON'T think the book ever implies that you should expect the worse, and I like how they stress that everyone is different. In fact many of the symptoms seem to counter each other sometimes, but it was nice when I had the opposite problem of constipation in the first trimester. Things have evened out without changing anything to my diet. Here are things I don't like about the book:
          1) There is a lot of food shaming. The app almost always has some article about nutrition, and that can be fine, but from reading the book there isn't much extra you need to do to your diet. A healthy diet for a woman will be a healthy diet for a pregnant person. Just up your calcium and iron
          2) This woman is OBSESSED with dairy. As a vegan I have my own personal beef with dairy, but as someone who cares about nutrition, I don't like how much milk she recommends to have. Eating a bunch of kale is probably more nutritious than a cup of sugary yogurt. And for people with lactose intolerance she suggest taking lactaid… which is just… ugh. Not saying you can't have that, but I feel like it is super misleading to the reader of how important milk is to a diet.. okay I'll stop ranting XD
          3) Body image issues is pretty weak. I get it, diet culture is strong for women. So when there are questions about dealing with weight gain, I don't like her advice. It is mostly "JUST THINK OF BABY!" and "Remember you aren't on a diet!" and totally ignores the fact that social standards or not, dealing with a rapidly changing body is a total mental fuck on your self image.

          Things I like:
          1) Month by Month chapters, that make reading much more manageable
          2) Parts for Daddy, which I haven't checked out yet
          3) Points out that veganism is manageable for pregnancy
          4) Very clinical and thorough. This might not be good for everyone though.

          Overall I like the book, I've been reading it month by month and it has been answering almost all question I would normally have for the doctor, making for the most pointless doctor appointments. XD Sorry for such a long answer, I just wanted to give an accurate view because mine is complex.

          • That totally makes sense. I might check out Ovia it sounds a little more up my alley and I would love to have a way to look up food and medicine since I'm constantly trying to google discreetly or figure it out on the spot (mostly bc most ppl are unaware I'm pregnant yet). Also I totally LOLed when you said you don't know what ppl are saying re your baby being the size of a fruit and veggie. I looked through the glow app (which I paid for premium for the year! ugh) and each week it shows you the size and it definitely jumped from an avocado to a banana which thoroughly confused me.

            For What to Expect When Expecting, I was instinctively going to buy it but read a bunch of mixed reviews including a slew that thought the author was very condescending and didn't bring in any feedback from a physician – which its nice to hear from other pregnant people (obviously) but I do want to know that I'm reading a book with at least a little sprinkle of medical/scientific support. So I steered clear of that book but found others that have been helpful and do have some medicine and/or science included.

            Not sure if you heard of these but I bought What to Eat When You're Pregnant and the Pregnancy Countdown Book. What to Eat When You're Pregnant has been the most helpful it explains why certain vitamins and minerals are important and gives you examples of different foods and the related quantities so that you know what you can substitute and can work with what you've got going on, especially if you're vegan. I'm not vegan but I have in general been trying to eat less meat so it helps to know I can have 3 cups of spinach in place of something else especially if that is something I can keep down. I've been struggling in the eating and keeping food down department so its been rough navigating food and smells. Anyway, the book is great not only gives you some foundation as to why these foods are important, it provides substitutes, and a week-by-week breakdown of what foods you should try to incorporate in your diet that week.

            The other book, the Pregnancy Countdown, is cute. Its short and sweet and gives you a week-by-week overview of whats happening, what you might be feeling, whats changing, and includes a pro-tip from a mom and a little blurb from a doc that she co-wrote the book with.

            Oh and I'm not a fan of food shaming and I'm lactose intolerant. I've been craving sweet things so I've been eating some things with dairy but I'm not sure whats up with our society's obsession with dairy in general. I mean I sort of get it in that the government has invested so much in the dairy farmers that its become a gimmick sold to the masses but its weird that we're the only mammals that drinks another mammals milk and most animals in general don't drink milk after they're adults… we're unique in that way too. So yeah I totally agree that kale is probably more nutritious than a cup of sugary yogurt and sorry but lactaid doesn't work for those who are severely intolerant such as myself. I appreciated this rant fyi… to the point where I went on my own rant 🙂

            I think its legit to acknowledge that we don't live in a vacuum and its so interesting to me to see how people handle these issues with pregnancy.
            It's like no one wants to discuss that people who are pregnant still live in the real world where these stigmas and pressures still affect people. I know a friends of mine who really struggled with the weight gain. I've actually been losing weight this semester but I think its a combo of my metabolism speeding up and my inability to keep food down/loss of appetite.
            I'm trying to be mindful and make sure I'm not losing too fast but I have worries about how being pregnant will change my body. Also gaining too much weight is not really "thinking of the baby" since there are a lot of consequences for gaining or losing too much weight (read: everything you do will put your baby at risk). But really though – I learned a lot about what weight gain/loss can do in What to Eat When You're Pregnant and it actually helped me feel like I just need to balance my weight gain and try to eat and be healthy without feeling like I'm ruining my sister's baby's life before it even gets here.

            Okay sorry for the ramble response. I appreciate hearing your perspective.
            I don't know if its worth you still checking out the books above but if you do let me know what you think. I'm pretty happy with them. Now on to checking out Ovia!

  11. I had a best-case scenario pregnancy/birth with zero complications, and it still SUCKED. Right after giving birth I remember thinking, "Oh, that's why women used to die in childbirth all the time. I'm done!" No round two for us.

    • XD The more I read, the more I think I know why there are so many stereotypes about women being weak! All our pregnant ancestors were probably anemic during pregnancy and passing out from all those pregnancy corsets!

  12. I was kinda meh about the actual pregnancy. I was happy I was having a baby, but the process didn't do much for me. I had some pre existing health issues that I had to watch out for but didn't affect me until the end.

    Except for the kicks. I loved and dearly miss the kicking.

  13. I'm in week 24 of my first pregnancy and definitely in the "I HATE this" camp. I haven't had any really extreme symptoms (*knock on wood*), but threw up enough in T1 to need prescription meds. Now I'm in T2, which is supposed to be the easy part, but it's summer & I've discovered that I get dehydrated super easily with any time outside, even with drinking lots of water, & it results in miserable cramps and vomiting. I'm not exactly optimistic about what T3 will bring. :/

    One of my friends who had two really awful pregnancies (and has two awesome daughters) has been an invaluable resource for me in terms of letting me vent, being reassuring, and pushing me to call our midwives when necessary. I know in theory that some people love this experience, but I don't think I will ever understand that. (And since we want two kids, I'm already trying to figure out how in the world I'll convince myself to go through this again. My friend said it's a combination of experiencing how wonderful your first kid is and hoping the second time won't be as bad. I guess I'll find out. At least I've got a couple of years before that is even a question.)

    • I remember my sister telling me how she had a hard time just walking to the train (literally her house is a block and a parking lot away, maybe a quarter of a mile) towards the end of the pregnancy, in July. I thought she was crazy and out of shape. Now that it is July and I am 19 weeks along I am just getting swamped by the weather. Yesterday on my day off, I got NOTHING done. My husband seemed a little ticked, and I couldn't really explain why I was so drained, just the heat. Which is frustrating to me since usually he gets bogged down by heat faster than I do, so I feel bad asking for the car with the better air conditioning, or to lower the air temp… and I tend to forget to ask these things since I normally wouldn't ask for it anyways.

  14. I haven't been pregnant and very much hope one day to be pregnant (currently saving money to start fertility treatments again). That being said I still see why you, or perhaps my future self, does not enjoy being pregnant. I recently cut my finger badly and needed stitches, I couldn't stand how it felt to have these "foreign bodies" in my finger. I can't imagine how it would feel to literally have a foreign body inside me. So while I envy your position simply because you are pregnant I can also completely understand why you are feeling the way you do.

  15. I was mostly okay, physically and accepting that my body was no longer my own. Then late in third trimester I held on to the hope it was almost over.


    I went past my due date. And it didn"t end!!!
    I have no words to describe the frustration. Hardest two weeks of my entire life. Oh god. I was itching in my skin alternating between crying and praying to just have that baby already!!!

  16. As someone who wanted nothing in life but children I had to go through 3 miscarriages before I had my son. And then my body decided menopause was the next logical step (I was 42 when I had my son) so I could not have any more. My pregnancy went smoothly but I know several women who suffered horribly so I know that pregnancy can be a terrible time, and no, I don't think that reflects on your feelings towards motherhood, and neither should anyone else. And if they do think awful things about you they probably had no bad effects from their pregnancies so ignore them. It's all about the child, not the pregnancy. And congratulations!

  17. Oh how I hated it, and I didn't suffer nearly as much as this poster did. I love my son to absolute no end, and I'm happy I went through it for him, but I couldn't wait to be done with the whole thing. And I will never do it again.

    I was never overly quiet about not enjoying it, either, but I live in a place and am surrounded by people who are supportive and not overly judge-y about stuff like that. But I did keep it out of my social media for the most part, as that's where the most judge-y people I know reside.

    In any case, I'm happy to read this and know that I wasn't alone in not enjoying it.

  18. I hated with despair my 4th pregnancy and probably my 3rd but not nearly as much as I really felt so terrible about the alien who was eating me from the inside. The vomiting and discomfort all passed after I gave birth. The birth was amazing as I knew what I was doing, and gave birth at home and into my hands my amazing and wonderful daughter now 11 years old.

    My partner had to have a vasectomy to come anywhere near me after that. I am so very grateful.

    She is an incredible child and I do not think my despair and discomfort affected her. However I cannot sing the praises of my family enough as I really suffered and I am no martyr.

    Wishing you the best


    • It's so awesome to hear that your friends and family were there for you to help out during your pregnancy. Having support helps so much – I can't even put into words how thankful I am to all of those who have been there for me too.
      Thanks for sharing your story!!

  19. I haven't heard of one person who has enjoyed pregnancy. I'm pretty sure the pregnancy "glow" is a myth, or like in the movie "what to expect when you are expecting" the woman who does have a wonderful pregnancy is a "pregnancy unicorn". Not all women talk about the struggle, but nearly all of them express relief when the pregnancy is over. Though at the moment I have a REAL hard time when pregnant women complain (especially the ones who are having a normal pregnancy, AND got pregnant right away.) You never know who is struggling with infertility.

    • My metamore loved being pregnant. It does happen. Weirdos. 😛

      And good luck to you. I remember when I hated every pregnant friend, especially the ones where it was an accident.

    • It's totally understandable that you have a hard time when pregnant women complain; dealing with infertility or even miscarriage is so incredibly difficult!! There's this taboo about speaking about difficult pregnancies, about miscarriage and about infertility and there really shouldn't be. We all need to take care of each other and be loving, kind and supportive as you never know whose journey is hitting some major bumps in the road. All the best to you xoxo

    • My friend really enjoyed her pregnancy, though I do know she had some hard days. I remember her coming into work and hour late, cried in the break room for 30 minutes, only to find out that she wasn't even scheduled. She was super emotional and had super bad pregnancy brain, but she overall enjoyed herself. But then again, she was very hippie dippie so I don't know how much was just telling herself that she was enjoying it.

  20. While I loved being pregnant especially after the morning sickness died down in the second trimester it was still rough. However, as somebody who got pregnant after three years of trying and IVF, I felt so conflicted about complaining. It was very hard for me to moan and groan to friends without feeling ungrateful. I had to give myself permission to feel bad and to recognize that acknowledging that not all aspects of pregnancy were awesome in no way diminished my joy, it was just a part of the experience. I really had to let myself know that I deserved to feel bad and it was no commentary on my greatfullness or love for the baby. I still struggle with this and navigating toddlerhood is bringing all this back.

  21. My son is nearly 2.5, and I still look back with horror on my pregnancy. Let me tell you, being pregnant when you have a chronic illness is ridiculous beast that took so much planning to begin with (and many doctors to coordinate), that kind of shut my eyes and hoped for the best with the actual pregnancy.

    Bad idea. I was nearly hospitalized with pregnancy sickness (which lasted nearly six months), none of my regular meds could be used during pregnancy (think torturous migraines that lasted a week or more with little relief), round ligament pain, restless legs so bad I couldn't sleep (and had to live in three inches of scalding water a lot of the time)… Then there were specialized medicine doctors, extra ultrasounds, a week of labour before my water broke, then 15 more of back labour before an emergent section. And, you know, the regular stuff, like back pain, constant peeing, food cravings, etc.

    It was horrendous. I'm never doing it again, no matter how people tell me I will change my mind, or that I'm being selfish. Sure, the baby kicking was cool, but never again.

    • I am always amazed that people find it "selfish" to not want children. I think it is selfish to want kids when you aren't ready (ie single, no job, struggling with addiction, might pass a genetic problem, etc) I am not judging anyone who would BTW. I am the first of most of my friends to have kids and I think that is because some of my friends are younger than me, and we all know the economy is crummy, so no one is wanting to have kids. At first I heard a lot of my friend kind-of feel awkward that they had no intention of having kids, and I reassured them, there is NO LOGICAL REASON to want kids. Yeah there are physical drawbacks, but there would be if I got a boob job. Yeah it'll cost a lot of money but if I bought a porsche that would be expensive too.

  22. Yes. All the yes.
    I'm 6 months 2 weeks. Still hate it.
    Me getting out of bed is the ugliest, graceless thing you've ever seen. My pubis hurts. I'm getting breathless. I have to wear a belly belt made of velcro, scuba material and sadness. My breasts are weird and sandbaggy. I have one bright purple nipple. I walk like a drunk penguin. People at work forget I'm pregnant and ask me for my physical help all the time. When people ask how I'm 'going', I reply 'fat, thanks'. Because it's true- I'm quote short and my girth is rapidly engulfing me. I am becoming more baby than human.
    I have never been maternal, really- not for children anyway. Dogs- yes.
    I refuse to have a baby shower because the squealing and the games just make me gag.
    My little tenant kicks every now and then, and it makes me smile. It's healthy. It's there. It likes Led Zeppelin and my husband talks to it and plays music through headphones on my stomach. I marvel at my ability to do this as a mammal and as a human.
    So it's not all bad.

  23. This so much this!!

    I had a fairly non eventful pregnancy with my son but I hated it as I was scared and frightened as I was only 17 at the time, and every time I voiced any concerns they were shot down, the labour with my son was not uneventful and at 32 hours long I delivered him naturally (his cord wrapped round his neck tight and he was already in the birth canal so couldn't perform an emergency c section) but he was ok and I love him to bits even though he is now an annoying 18 year old lol, I was treated very badly when I had him one midwife even passed comment that I was a slut which I very loudly pointed out I was a virgin when I met my childs father and had been with him 8 months before I fell pregnant not that it was any of her business, however they treated me so differently when I had my daughter 2 years later I had the pregnancy from hell that time and hated every minute of that too for very different reasons but again still got shot down if I said anything, its not fair that we as women should be made to feel ashamed for being real about how we are feeling, I love both my kids but I hated being pregnant too.

    I have since split from my childrens father am now married a lovely man, and had to have a hysterectomy four years ago for health reasons and when we got married this feb the amount of people who kept asking when are we going to have kids drove me potty, why do people feel its their right to dictate to you about when and how you can have children and then tell you that you are being selfish for not wanting them/more.

    Anyway sorry for the rant and thank you for this 🙂

  24. I'm 10 weeks along and boy, am I ready for this to be over! I know I don't have it as bad as some do but that doesn't make the constant nausea and exhaustion any easier to deal with! Not to mention "pregnancy brain"! How annoying and embarrassing lol. I'm definitely ready for this pregnancy to be over and I've just begun. Heres to hoping I'll feel normal in my second trimester like everyone says I will!

  25. I think pregnancy, birth and babies are kind of like taking a really long hike. There's some scenic views and memorable moments, but there's also a LOT of work, sleeplessness and discomfort.

    I had severe morning sickness (so bad I ended up dehydrated at one point), sciatic pain and then had to be induced early because of cholestasis (hormonal liver failure). And as fun as all that was… it hardly compared to the 15 months of purple crying (I kid you not… at least 2 hours a day of straight screaming… thank god for earplugs). Now this was all extreme… and I was lucky it was with my second child. My first child was (and still is at 8 years old) an easy-breezy-babymoon.

    Like hiking… some trips are full of beautiful sunny weather, and on some trips it rains the whole time. But that is all part of the adventure. Now that my purple screaming child is 3.5… I can almost look fondly on other people's children and think about doing it all again. 🙂

  26. I have actually had the opposite experience. I don't love pregnancy but I certainly don't hate it. In fact I have had little to no symptoms at all. Whenever I tell people I am pregnant they always ask me how I feel and then act confused when I say "fine." I feel like I have to find something to complain about because that is what they expect.

    Prior to getting pregnant all I heard about from everyone is how hard it is and how much it sucks but is worth it. I was convinced that I would have morning sickness all day for 9 months and would swell everywhere. The fact that my pregnancy has been completely uneventful almost made me feel like I was doing it wrong. It wasn't until I started having this conversation that I started to hear from other people about their easy pregnancies and learned that my experience is also in the wide range of normal. There is an awful lot of fear mongering out there about what is hard and can go wrong with pregnancy and parenthood. I think that all experiences need to be talked about and reflected more often.

    Do I love pregnancy? No. What's to love? Some bits are kind of cool, like when the baby kicks, but most of it is just a thing that I am doing for a period of time. I don't sit around "glowing." I just live my normal life as I did before and am thankful everyday that I can.

  27. I don't see why hating pregnancy should have ANYTHING to do with how you feel about the actual kid. That's like saying that because you hate flying, you won't have fun on vacation. Sometimes the journey sucks, and you suck it up and do it because you're excited about the destination.

    So basically, f*** that commenter in the earhole.

  28. I was physically mostly okay during my pregnancy, a bit of indigestion and sciatica, but otherwise pretty good. So pretty grateful for that. However, I was suicidal the entire time, and for about a year or so afterwards.
    My son is eight now, I love him more than anything. I'm also 41 now and have been single since not long after his birth, and am glad I have an excuse not to have more children, because I'm not sure I could survive a second pregnancy.
    I was prepared for post-natal depression but ante-natal took me completely by surprise (I have since received pharmaceutical treatment for depression as following the pregnancy I realised I have had depression all my adult life). I know my circumstances are not everyone's, but ante-natal depression is a thing and I talk about it now to anyone who wants to listen.

    • I'm 35 weeks right now, so I haven't hit the post-natal stage just yet, but I've known since day 1 that it is going to hit me like a ton of bricks. What I did not know was that the first trimester was also going to be a super low point for me. Thankfully a lot of that evened out part way through the second trimester, but in my third it is at least a weekly struggle (if not daily) to not sink down deep. I absolutely agree that ante-natal depression is a thing, but I think the fact that we're supposed to be so happy about building a person that no one ever wants to talk about it. I'm glad you're being vocal about it, I'm working on that too.

  29. Definitely this! My pregnancies were both fine, just the usual morning sickness, aches, pains, always being hungry… But I just hated it! I hated having to basically forget all my beloved, painstakingly-aquired-through-countless-days-of-thrifting clothes for not only the second or so half of the prengnacy but then for the years of trying to lose the weight again, being pregnant again, then trying to lose the weight again! I also had a really hard time feeling connected to the babies in utero–they always talk about how dads don't feel connected to babies often until they are born because it doesn't seem 'real' to them, but I had the same problem, especially with my first. Now that they are out, pregnancy seems more and more like a 'blip' that didn't mean nearly as much as everyone made it out to be. You're pregnant for 9 months with each kid, but then you get to spend a lifetime with them, God-or-whoever-willing, and every year that goes by drives that home for me more. I hated pregnancy, but that had NO bearing whatsoever on how much I love my kids!

    • The whole idea of mommy bonding with baby in womb is a semi-myth. Everyone is different, but historically speaking, for the longest time women had little to no bonding with their babies before birth. People largely didn't view their fetuses to be "real" or a human yet. A lot of our bonding is from cultural views and knowing how developed our babies are in the womb.

  30. Well, I'm a little late to the conversation but in my desperate internet search to find ANYONE who feels as miserable as I do I've found this thread. If anyone is still out there I'd be interested to hear back because I'm pretty lost with how I'm feeling. My husband is amazing (although I feel like I hate him lately) and we PLANNED for this – this was a decision we made, together. And I have never been more miserable or depressed in my entire life. I've always been anxious but how I feel is over the top. I'm only about 9 weeks but I am fully panicked. I lie awake at night (because I haven't slept through the night since I got a positive on the test) thinking, "I don't think I can do this," feeling absolutely terrified and so alone. I am afraid we made a mistake – or that I made a mistake. To be really, really honest, I've always felt pretty freaked out about pregnancy – about the physical part of it….things stretching, moving, changing – UGH, I'm horrified by the idea of it. But I thought that when the time came, things would fall into place, nature would take its course and I'd be fine and happy – NOT SO. What I was completely unprepared for was how depressed I would feel. I don't know if it's my hormones, or just the way I am or if my anxiety is just taking over my life. I've always been anxious but now I feel anxious about feeling anxious and guilty too. I feel like a disappointment to my husband – who really wants a baby. And I thought I did too. But now I'm not so sure – maybe I'm just not cut out for this? I don't know….I haven't told anyone I'm pregnant yet – except my boss b/c I'm off my game at work and most of the time I don't feel well. She was very understanding and by and large, has pretty much just given me my space. I don't want to tell anyone else yet because I had a miscarriage last year and I'm not 12 weeks yet so anything could happen. But I think the real reason I haven't told anyone else is because I just can't deal with it – I'm not ready for people to ask me how I'm feeling (I have nothing good to say anyways) and I'm definitely not ready to discuss any of this, not without crying anyways and I don't want people to judge me. My husband is horrified. I can tell, it's written all over his face. He does his best to be supportive – well he IS supportive and he's great but nothing he says makes me feel better and I feel so, so alone. From what I've read/heard this is all supposed to get better but I just can't see that happening – there is not light at the end of my tunnel and I don't feel like the same person. I'm not imagining it either because just last night my husband said to me, "you're like a different person." I feel like a shell of myself, unable to make decisions, unable to decide how I feel or what I want and each day seems like an endless cycle of misery. 7 more months of this may as well be forever – I don't know how my marriage will survive it, I don't know how I will survive it. I've never ever been so low – I'm so disappointed in myself. I know I should be grateful – and I guess I am even though it hardly sounds that way. If this makes any sense – I feel intellectually grateful, but emotionally terrible. My house is a disaster, I just can't keep up with it and yet I hate that it's cluttered and messy and even doing the laundry overwhelms me. In fact, everything overwhelms me and I guess while I'm looking forward to the baby on some level I'm more looking forward to pregnancy being over. And since I've only just begun and I'm obviously not handling this well I'm worried it will only become worse as the pregnancy and the discomfort progresses. I'm worried about what will happen when the baby gets here – from everything to losing the baby weight to how it will affect my marriage, which is already suffering to how we will handle practical things like childcare and money. I'm worried about everything. We went to a friend's get-together yesterday and I was one of the only girls there without kids yet and I was horrified. All the kids screaming, the tired moms and there was a 9 month pregnant woman there who I couldn't even look at. I saw someone touch her stomach and my skin crawled. What is wrong with me? I know this isn't normal but I don't know what to do. I wanted to run away screaming.

    • I'm so, so sorry you're going through this, Jen. I did not enjoy either of my pregnancies at all either and envied the moms I saw that seemed to love it and had that 'glow.' Your situation sounds like some actual chemical depression, and you might benefit from some kind of support outside your husband, someone who is not involved, like a therapist or an alternative health professional of some kind (whatever your preference is between conventional and alternative modalities). I found depression much easier to cope with when I started to understand that it wasn't all my fault but the product of lots of crazy chemicals, and pregnancy is a major time of 'brain chemical soup,' as I like to call it. Then, at least you could start to feel less guilt that all of your feelings are your fault alone. They're not, not by a long shot. Pregnancy is one of the most terrifying and intense rites of passage we ever go through as women, and your sadness and feelings of loss and confusion are what almost every woman feels, though
      many are too ashamed to even admit it to themselves for fear of seeming unhappy or ungrateful. It's ok to be the biggest wreck you've ever been. And it's also ok to need help and support like you never have before. It doesn't mean you're broken or weak, it means you're human, and you should be very proud of yourself just for being able to have the courage to say it out loud and admit that you are hurting.

      And if you are also overwhelmed with my own worst fears while I was pregnant, namely of losing yourself and never getting your life back, I'm here to tell you it's NOT TRUE. I have a 2 and 4 year old that I have been a stay at home mom to, and it DOES get better. Do NOT let anyone tell you it doesn't (many women will because they don't want you to have too high of expectations or something). It is going to change your life, but it will NOT always be so immediately difficult as pregnancy and those first few years. If you are a stay at home parent, the first year or two is a lot of work, but it isn't long before you can start to go back to your usual self again, maybe even as a more confident person than before! And you will find ways to keep doing what you love even in the toughest moments. Hell, I took a writing class the week after my son was born and wrote most of my work with him asleep on top of me, and I'm a pretty lazy person 😀 I promise you will not lose yourself and become a mom zombie where you just live for your kids and forget everything you ever loved. Not gonna happen.

      You are SO so not alone.

    • Jen, I'm right there with you and totally could have written your post exactly — especially, "I was completely unprepared for was how depressed I would feel. I don't know if it's my hormones or just the way I am or if my anxiety is just taking over my life. I've always been anxious but now I feel anxious about feeling anxious and guilty too. I feel like a disappointment …" The only difference between you and I is I'm supposed to be in the honeymoon phase by now (22 wks). I'm hoping things will get better for you as your hormones start to level out. Sending warm thoughts and support.

      Anyway – I just wanted to reach out. No real answers for you .. but maybe some comfort in knowing you're not alone.

  31. It sounds like you pregnancy was a breeze… Heartburn, hemorrhoids, vomiting? I could only dream that was it.

    Let's see. I have hyperemesis gravidarium, I vomit 20x a day without medication to point of blood, and a few times with. I am so weak i can't get out of bed. If I stand up I get very dizzy and have to walk half hunched while the room shifts from black to not. I am not exhausted I am one step above comatose. I look like a skeleton, I have no color in my face, and if the pregnancy glow they speak of is purple I have plenty of that under my eyes.

    I am so constipated from the dehydration and medications that I have to manually go up there gloved, because keeping down stool softeners and laxatives is a joke. I don't cry from having to go up my butt anymore, I have no dignity left. I am am so dehydrated that when i went to hospital to get an IV they couldn't find a vein and when they thought they finally did the IV fluid poured into my arm.

    Because of all this I lost my job, had to drop out of University and lost my home. I currently sleep on someones couch along with my 8 year old daughter. I'm anemic but only can half keep an iron pill down once a week maybe. Which does nothing…So I am constant chalky white color all over. I wake up shaking, with cotton mouth and a sandpaper throat. I can't remember anything. I'm severely depressed, and fully isolated. I have anxiety attacks pretty consistently. The doctors don't take me serious so the ER doctor is pretty much my OB/GYN. My sciatic is already kicking in probably from my wobbling and horrible posture from weakness. Migraines so bad my eyeball feels like it's going to pop out of my head. Not to mention if my tits get bumped or moved i want to scream. I can't remember the rest so I guess I will leave it at that. What a joyous time while each day feels like a week. Oh yeah, I have gone through 2 Costco size Tums bottles from the constant heartburn, throwing up bile burning of my throat. Not to mention i had to get an emergency root canal, that took the last of my money and currently can't afford the crown (or anything) and the vomiting is eating away the temporary they put on, that you are suppose to have on for a week and i will be having indefinitely.

    Stretch marks, I rubbed so many concoctions on i have permanent grease stains on all my shirts. Im waiting to see how much more my stomach could look like Freddie Kruegers face. It can't get worse if every square inch is already covered right?

    Pregnancy is hell would be an under statement.

  32. Just came across this now in a search for experiences others had hating pregnancy. We experienced infertility issues and finally managed to get pregnant. This was the “goal” for so long I didn’t really prepare or anticipate what pregnancy would be like… I’m almost 12 weeks now and it’s just been awful so far. I feel guilty saying that with the issues we had getting to this point, but it’s true. Can’t wait to know if baby’s still doing well and for the baby to get here. Still really, really excited to be a mom… just over the “growing a baby” experience.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.