I wish someone had said that to me when I was pregnant with J, instead everyone myself included thought that I had to be over the moon to be pregnant, we’d already lost one baby and had been trying for a while and then I was pregnant – I was excited that we were going to have a baby, but enjoy the pregnancy I don’t think so. My second pregnancy I thought was going great I seemed to be enjoying it but then things changed and much like the first I was putting on a face to show that I was enjoying being pregnant but it wasn’t what was really going on inside.

It's OK NOT To enjoy your pregnancy
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Everywhere I looked friends that were pregnant were enjoying their pregnancies we talked for hours about the latest shopping trips they had been on walking through the shops or virtually finding the perfect stroller, cradle, clothes to bring the baby home from the hospital in. All the while I smiled and nodded and thought to my shopping trips to find baby things for the first baby and then to stock up when the second one was due to arrive.

The first few weeks of both of my pregnancies were difficult after having a miscarriage you expect every time you pop to the rest rooms that there will be signs, every ache and pain you worry if it’s cramps that will signify the end. Combined with morning sickness it made for a worrisome few weeks. The few people that we told that we were pregnant were over the moon for us and happy.

Then around the 8 week mark, things started to go from worrying about what may happen to starting to hurt. We all know aches and pains are normal in pregnancy but at 8 weeks after a day of teaching I was in agony and it only got worse, by 14 weeks I had a visit to the emergency room as I couldn’t get up my hips and knees had gone – I was given crutches and exercises, but these didn’t help and then at 20 weeks pregnant at the half way point I was in a wheel chair and my dose of pain medication was as high as it could get.

Pictures of what a 20 week pregnant woman should look like showed ladies standing holding bellies in summer clothes and I was stuck in doors on my sofa with a pack up my husband had made me on pain killers just so that I could sit or sleep and a wheel chair to go out and do my baby shopping.

As the pregnancy progressed it didn’t get better and instead of enjoying trips to get things for the new arrival it was horrific, getting in the car was painful, being pushed around stores with baby things on shelves beyond my eye site and being unable to help with the basics of preparing for bringing our much longed for baby home made the next 18 weeks some of the most difficult I have gone through.

People would say thinking it was for the best “Cheer up your pregnant and being miserable won’t help you or the baby” but really all I needed was someone to say – “It’s ok not to enjoy being pregnant not everyone does!”.

It's OK NOT To enjoy your pregnancy

After the birth which wasn’t anywhere the antenatal class vision of birthing I didn’t forget how I didn’t enjoy pregnancy but instead knew that I wanted to have another child so that J wouldn’t be an only child and have a sibling to enjoy his time with. Luckily our second pregnancy happened quickly without any miscarriages.

The first 28 weeks went by and I wasn’t in pain but I was tired being pregnant and looking after a crawling baby/toddler was tiring yes some things helped but then came the Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) and it was discovered I had gestational diabetes, gone was the occasional mid wife visits instead we were on 2 weekly and then weekly and then twice a weekly visits to the hospital, monitoring blood sugars injecting myself with insulin and arranging for the date when the baby had to come out.

Yes I could walk unlike last time but it wasn’t easy and the constant hospital visits the side effects of the medication and the pressure of having a “big baby” was difficult. Again I didn’t enjoy pregnancy and it was OK – I didn’t have to the end product was a beautiful tiny baby girl that I held in my arms.

BUT I wish someone anyone had said that it was OK not to enjoy pregnancy and I hope if you are reading this that I am that person that is telling you it’s OK, what ever your circumstances you really don’t have to enjoy it some of the time, all of the time. Yes the baby is amazing but each pregnancy is different and no one can know how you feel and what you are going through as they can’t walk in your shoes for those 9 months. Look away from those pictures of joyful mums holding their pregnancy bellies and realise that is just a imagine like those in magazines to give a fleeting glimpse or the “ideal” of what pregnancy is supposed to look like.

It's OK NOT To enjoy your pregnancy

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

5 Comments

  1. HI,

    It’s always refreshing to hear from woman who aren’t totally enjoying pregnancy and dare I say it Motherhood!

    I suffered from SPD in both pregnancies and as a pretty active person (i teach pregnancy, post natal and core yoga) I was restricted to maximum 5 minute slow walks before the pain set in.

    The fact that our bodies can house & feed this unborn child is obviously the most amazing physical wonder of the world, HOWEVER the trauma not only physically but mentally and emotionally can be truly immense.

    I don’t know why we feel we shouldn’t say anything bad about being pregnant. I mean who doesn’t love having heartburn from a mere glass of water, pain from the slightest of movements and having your partner roll you out of bed as you can’t quite manage it yourself!! As I said, nature is wonderful but the journey to get this little being out of us isn’t always rosy and full of delight….then comes the lack of sleep, crying and arguments with your partner about who has had the most/least amount of sleep. This is for another post!!

    So woman be HONEST, it is ok. It’s ok not to love the swollen ankles and double chin you aren’t used to seeing. Make friends with the woman who are being honest because when that baby comes out, you want to surround yourself with those honest ones who talk about how tough they are finding motherhood and not the ones who say everything is wonderful and look what my baby can do….here comes the anxiety…”should my baby be doing that too?!!!!” AHHHHH!!

    I teach pregnancy yoga at the moment and as much as I don’t want to paralyse my pregnant ladies with fear about motherhood, I do think that being realistic is important. I say “it can be totally crap being pregnant, our poor nevertheless amazing bodies are going through so much” I tell them they are doing the most important and hardest job in the world and I emphasise how crucial it is to keep in touch with the other members of the class and use them as support.

    remember it is ok to be honest and just avoid those mums who bring out your anxieties.

    Stay honest
    Mairi

  2. Can so identify with this Cerys … had a complete rollercoaster and was in and out of hospital and pretty immobile by final trimester. So many screwed up feelings of being robbed of the picture book pregnancy, feeling like I was failing, in pain and just unbelievably scared. Was what prompted me to start MML – a way of writing out the trauma (not sure how effective but that a different story!!) and fact I just didn’t find anything that helped in the baby manuals. – Al xx

  3. My friend Rosie told me about this post as she knows how miserable I’ve been through pregnancy. I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said! I had constant nausea up until 18 weeks, then SPD kicked in (I’m not 32 weeks and on crutches). A couple of weeks ago, I was also diagnosed with GD which I’ve thankfully managed to control with diet – but it can feel like your body is attacking you. It’s very frustrating when people tell you that you should be grateful to be pregnant – I absolutely am, but it’s possible to be grateful and miserable at the same time.

  4. I can relate to not enjoying pregnancy. I wasn’t in pain like you but I was so sick with both of my children that at the 6 month mark they gave me the same drug they give chemo patients to help me keep food down. Can you imagine 6 months of throwing up non stop? I was miserable!

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