How can I get comfortable with the idea of being pregnant?

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Photo by Jenny Jimenez
Photo by Jenny Jimenez
I like the idea of having kids someday with my husband. They would be adorable, blond-ringleted, brilliant, rational-thinking little things. I see other people’s sweet little children and the fulfillment they get from raising them. I’ve decided that’s something I want in my own life.

But here’s the thing. I’m TERRIFIED of getting pregnant. Like, it is literally the worst fear I have of everything I could encounter in the world. There’s going to be this parasitic THING inside my body, screwing everything up: squishing my organs, messing with my hormones, and causing me pain, sickness, and constant discomfort. It’s going to be growing in and feeding off my body. If I were to describe this situation to anyone and just leave out the single detail that it was a human baby, everyone would be disgusted and agree it’s something from a horror movie. But because it’s a human baby, most people seem okay with it and even celebrate it.

I can’t get past it. Just the idea of it sickens me. Of course there’s always the option of adopting, but that’s expensive and as I said before, I love the idea of biological children. Are there other people who have dealt with a fear of pregnancy, and if so, how did you get past it? — Kaela

Comments on How can I get comfortable with the idea of being pregnant?

  1. I never ever wanted to be pregnant. Ever. So when I came to the point of really wanting to be a parent, I started looking into adoption. I think it’s a good choice for some people, but private adoption is too expensive for me and I learned that adopting out of the foster care system is a long, uncertain, sometimes heartbreaking process. The system’s goal is to reunite kids with birth parents or relatives whenever possible, even if that means a more difficult childhood for the kids. I realized that I would be signing up for years of being at the mercy of an overburdened, racist, homophobic system that (rightly so) didn’t have my best interests as a priority and which could at any moment take away a kid I’d chosen to love as my own and put that kid in a less-stable, less-caring home. Compared to that, enduring nine months of having my body taken over followed by, at worst, two or three days of intense pain at the end of which I’ll have a baby that no one can take away from me suddenly started looking like a better deal. Pregnancy is terrible, especially the first trimester, but at least you know when it’s going to end.

  2. I was terrified of pregnancy before I was even old enough to get pregnant. Eventually, the desire to have children grew stronger than my fear. You may just have to wait for that. If it doesn’t come, then it doesn’t come, and you might have to consider foster children or saving up for an adoption.

    I had a horrible pregnancy. I’ll never know if that was because of the extra hormones of twins or just how I’m designed. But now it’s over. I think most women are afraid of it to a degree. And, of course, a lot of women have very easy pregnancies. There’s no reason to expect that you’ll be miserable every second of it.

  3. Hi there, I am exactly the same. For as long as I can remember I have had a phobia of pregnancy. Last year my husband and I wanted to start a family, I’ve always wanted children but would have done anything not to carry one. But I decided that its an important experience to have if I’m able to, so i started having EFT treatment. This is also called ‘Tapping’ and it basically works on the aspect of diversion of your mind. When you are having these thoughts you repeat a sentence, mine was ‘Even though the though of pregnancy repulses me I embrace.’ whilst tapping certain points on your body. Sounds ridiculous, but it really helped me because the more I did it the more it sounded crazy. I am now 7.5 months pregnant with my first child and although I can’t say i’m cured and completely comfortable I am able to deal with it better. I’m also studying hypnobirthing which has inadvertently helped more because its based on science and nature of child bearing and birthing. Let me know if you want to talk more, and good luck, Tillie.x

  4. I completely understand because I was in that boat a few months ago! My husband and I were trying to get pregnant but not to the point of checking ovulations calendars etc. We’d be trying for a while and I just figured between different health issues for both of us we might have to do IVF. Needless to say I was terrified of all the things that can go wrong when I finally got pregnant… so I was actually relieved for a while that I wasn’t pregnant yet. Then BAM surprise! I got pregnant. And now I’m still a little worried (I do have anxiety normally) but I’m just rolling with the punches, because once it happens you can’t look back. It IS a little weird for me, with someone growing inside me and believe me I’ve had horrible morning sickness, really huge back issues (from a pre-pregnancy issue that got worse) and just other random little things but trust me when I say the anxiety about being pregnant is MUCH more than the actual pregnancy. For me it’s been like having the flu for months on end but nothing compared to how I had blown it up in my mind. Hope this helps you!

  5. You know what I was more terrified of than labor? The kicking. The seeing little feet pressed against my abdomen. At 30 weeks, it still is unnerving when she kicks. I am a type of person who isn’t gaga at babies, gaga about pregnancy. I was terrified of getting pregnant. It hasn’t been totally easy because I have fibromyalgia but doable. I look forward to not being pregnant anymore but I’m SO excited to meet my girl. So it evens it out some.

  6. I feel ya. I was (and still am to an extent) extremely unnerved by the entire concept of pregnancy and had (have) extreme fear of birth. I have always thought of pregnancy as akin to a disability or illness where you can’t do the things you want to do anymore (I’m a very active person), where you feel uncomfortable all the time, where your body changes (for the worse) in uncontrolled and freaky ways never to be the same, and the pinnacle of this lovely experience is having to squeeze a baby out of your vagina. What part of this sounds enjoyable, I would ask myself and others? I never understood how so many women seem not only tolerate and get through, but actively appreciate, enjoy or look forward to this experience. What was I missing?? BUT. I wanted a baby. I love babies and kids and have always assumed having a family would be in my future. And at the end of the day this desire overcame my misgivings about pregnancy. I considered (consider?) it an unfortunately necessary evil (perhaps too strong a word) that I would just have to get over because I WANT a kid and pregnancy is how they come about. If I could trade jobs with my partner I would do so in a heartbeat but that technology doesn’t yet exist. So anyway, upon deciding that this was what I wanted and that this was going to happen I read up tons, talked to friends and found out increasingly gross/freaky stuff you don’t know about until you really engage. But at the same time I made the active decision that if I was going to go ahead and try to make a baby I would make every effort to recognise my negative mindset for what it was/is and do what I could to change that. I thought well if it’s going to happen I might as well make it as easy for myself as possible, try to ‘enjoy’ anything that is remotely enjoyable about the process, and minimise all the negative stuff as much as I can. It was really about mindset recognition for me and almost forcing / convincing myself to be as positive as possible – especially because the less stressed / worried / negative etc., the worse for my pregnant body and birthing situation. So I focussed on doing everything I could to just be positive, let go of the negative and be okay with the changes as much as possible. Now I’m almost 6 months pregnant. Surprisingly I haven’t hated it – not like I thought I would – although I definitely don’t ‘love’ it and I imagine I will always find the whole process extremely strange and weird. The first trimester sucked and I was pretty miserable. At one point I felt ‘trapped’ in my own body lacking control for what was going on. And at times it made me unreasonably mad when everyone was so congratulatory and I just wanted sympathy – if I was that sick and not pregnant there would be something seriously wrong and I wouldn’t be expected to work, let alone be happy – but oh no you’re pregnant, so you should enjoy it (not). I didn’t enjoy it and moaned a lot to my partner but that’s life, there are things you don’t enjoy, you don’t have to enjoy it, and every now and then I would feel a crazy excitement about having a real baby in the future so it wasn’t all bad. I’ve passed that phase thankfully. I’m still dealing with other things that aren’t great – having to give up surfing, uncomfortable work place conversations, stares, just generally having to ‘share’ your body with people you don’t really want to – lots of things. BUT it hasn’t been all bad, actually by no means has it been as bad as I thought it would be. And yes it is kind of cool feeling the baby move and learning more about the physical / biological processes going on – it really does seem more amazing when it’s your own body. So to my surprise there are parts that I would say I actually ‘enjoy’. I still haven’t thought too much about the birth – one step at a time – but rationally I know baby will come someway or other and I will be okay (I do want to go down the natural route). So anyway, this is my long rambling piece about how I also had a near phobia of pregnancy but went ahead and did it anyway, and who knows it might surprise you – I’m sure there will be at least a few unexpected ‘enjoyable’ things about it – but if not, and for the all the bad stuff we have to endure, well on some level we just have to suck it up and do it anyway. And that’s how baby’s are born. Lol!

  7. I’m so glad this forum is here. My husband and I have been married for 2 years and are at the point of trying to start our family, and I am freaking out. He seems so completely excited and eager about it – he’s reading a book on fertility to make sure things go “easier.” He started following me around telling me all of the things he’s doing to improve our chances, and I feel like I’m losing my mind. I sat in my shower and cried yesterday, and I have no idea why. I feel so . . . alone. I don’t know who to talk to about this because it’s so deeply intimate and personal. So, public internet forum, it is.

    I want kids. I love my nieces like they’re my own kids and know I could be a good mom. I mother everyone, I know all the goofy kids songs, and I think I could raise a strong, badass daughter (if I’m lucky enough to have a girl). But the thought of actively trying to get pregnant terrifies me. Adopting isn’t an option – my husband isn’t interested in it. And I think I would regret not having my own kids if we gave that idea up entirely. But still, when I think about the fact that we’re *trying* now, I want to curl up in a ball.

    Parts of this are selfish: I spent the last year working my butt off to lose 30 pounds. I finally like my body. I’m also more than halfway through my graduate program, so I’m that close to having free time again. And now, I’m supposed to intentionally grow a human being who will make me fat, move all my organs around, and I’ll potentially never have time to take care of myself again?

    Parts of it are things I don’t look forward to with pregnancy and parenting. Frickin’ baby showers. When my friends have baby showers, I plan out-of-town vacations to avoid them. (Okay, that’s not true, but I loathe baby showers.) People drawing attention to me. People touching me. A human being moving inside of my body. Being fussed over and told that I can’t eat this or do that. Labor. Breastfeeding. Not sleeping through the night. Puke. Dirty diapers. Parent-teacher conferences.

    Right now, though, it’s about actively trying to get pregnant. My husband is already treating it like a science project, and it makes me feel like I’m a walking incubator (it doesn’t help that I’m just coming off birth control, so my hormones are screwed up, and all I can hear in my head is my doctor telling me the side effects of coming off of the birth control, and that I can get pregnant any time between this month and two years from now. How the heck am I supposed to plan my life when I don’t know when this baby is going to come in and shake things up? Also, I watched Handmaid’s Tale on HBO, and that’ll mess up baby making for anyone for a while). How do you forget about trying to get pregnant and enjoy the process? How do you let go of knowing where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing 9 months from now?

    I used to think I was so brave. Right now, I feel like the biggest, most selfish coward.

  8. So I have never posted on a public forum but this seems to be a “safe space” and I need to share my thoughts badly…. I’m 33 and I travel every week for work. My husbands job is not safe and wants to start his own business. We financially are not ready and don’t have a stable situation. We don’t have anyone at all that can help us – no family at all…I of course am struggling mega. I have never had the desire to have kids. I don’t want my body ruined. I also feel like it’s an alien and very unnatural to me personally. I smile at quiet well behaved kids and they warm my heart. Screaming kicking whining children make me feel so relieved I don’t have to deal with that. I am afraid of what can go wrong (I work in healthcare and I know too much for my own good) I am tired all the time and enjoy quiet time quite frankly I am selfish but…… I do think it would be nice to have a family (I envision holidays or Sunday dinners when the kids are older) but all I see are stressed out looks miserable moms on a daily basis. Once you have them no return policy goes into effect. I don’t want to regret or have major postpartum. I don’t know what to do but I’m not getting any younger. I’m afraid that because I’m older there’s more chance for complications as I’m not super healthy in my baby making parts as it is… I don’t want to regret not having a baby but also today’s world you can’t even parent or you get thrown in jail I swear. It’s a crazy world I have anxiety and if my child were being bullied or outcasted I don’t think I could calmly handle it. I don’t know. Sorry for the rambles. These have been my thoughts for almost a year effecting my sleep! Time is ticking …what do I do? Ughhhhh

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