It’s OK Not To Like Pregnancy

I really don't want to be one of those women, I swear. 

But every time a well-meaning friend, family member, or even stranger asks, “How are you feeling?” a happy smile plastered on their face, I can't seem to fake the serene glow I'm supposed to be feeling as an expectant mother. 

Instead, something along the lines of, “Ohmygosh, I'm miserable!!” always seems to pop out. 

Because I am. 

Miserable, that is. 

Now, I know I shouldn't be miserable, and I assure you that I am cognizant of  how lucky I am to healthfully conceive and carry a baby. But does that mean I have to enjoy it?

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Image via j&j brusie photography

I'm going to go with no on that one. 

Let's face it—we can't all be radiant mamas-to-be cradling our growing bundles of joy. Some us feel more like bundles of hugeness, with varicose veins, a vicious waddle, and feet more swollen than the watermelon we ate for lunch.

And that's all before the third trimester even strikes. 

I don't know what it is, but I am just not a graceful, glowing pregnant woman. I am cranky and always hot, and I honestly have a hard time walking to the bathroom at night so great is the sciatic nerve pain. I am 32 weeks and measuring 6 weeks ahead, so I look like I'm actually 38 weeks—you can imagine the fun looks I get from people when I tell them I still have about two months to go. #goodtimes 

So yes, I want to answer the question “How are you feeling?” with a peppy pregnant smile and say what I know they want to hear: “I'm great!” 

But I can't. I just can't. 

Because I honestly don't feel great, and at the same time, I feel guilty for not feeling great. It's a gift, right? Pregnancy is beautiful, right? I'm carrying the miracle of life, right?

Well, here's my theory, fellow miserable pregnant ladies: we are carrying the gift of life. 

And life isn't always perfect

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So, really, it's OK not to like pregnancy; it's OK to count down the weeks and wonder how on earth you can possibly go on. 

Because, really, the misery of pregnancy is just teaching us a valuable lesson about motherhood and parenting:

That even when you feel like you can't, you can. 

That even when it feels too hard, it's not. 

That even when you feel like all you see is a mess, there is still beauty. 

That even when you wonder if you're crazy and if it any of it is at all worth it …

It is. It absolutely is. 

What was your least favorite part about pregnancy? 


What do you think?

It’s OK Not To Like Pregnancy

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. Irene says:

    My husband and I tried to get pregnant for 7 years. Finally when we had lost all hope…there she was. I never thought I would hate being pregnant but it just did not agree with me at all. I had severe morning sickness, terrible back spasms and numbness in my legs. For the whole time! I had such bad heartburn that even water would do it. My baby moved with so much force that I couldn’t get a good nights rest from 20 weeks on. As you can gather, I hated being pregnant! This article made me feel so much better about the way I felt. Because my mother, who had 7 wonderful pregnancies made me feel like I was wrong to feel the way I felt. All you pregnant women out there, do not feel bad. It is totally worth it! I had a beautiful 6lb. 12oz. baby girl. She is all I dreamed she would be and more. There is life after pregnancy!

  2. Ira says:

    I hear you with that sciatic nerve pain. I got really bad one day randomly and so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a clot, it wasn’t, just nerve. But since then the paint hasn’t gone away and it’s hard to scoot down and pick stuff up or anything and my knee feels locked and hurts.

  3. Marcie says:

    I like this story, I am a 1st time mom at 36 and I dont feel like myself. I love that ive been given this opportunity,but I struggle with my emotions and how I feel. I wouldnt trade my baby for nothing in the world,but i feel like i have lost myself. This article made me ease up on myself and made me not feel guilty for the way I feel. Thanks again!
    Marcie Shields
    Dallas, Tx

  4. Carissa says:

    I heartily appreciate you writing this. A lot of the mommy-to-be articles I receive in my email are almost instantly deleted, because they’re so cheery…and currently, I’m not. I saw the headline of your article and almost jumped for joy. I needed to read this right now. My mom never had any morning sickness, and neither did I. Pregnancy, for the most part, was going great, until week 28 (this current week). Although I have had a lot of colds, the one I am currently trying to fight has been the worst so far. If I’m counting right, this is my fifth time with a cold since getting pregnant. I have a whooping cough, wheezy breathing, mucous galore, sore back, can’t sleep much, hot all the time, and…the ultra whammy…hardly any sex drive. That all being said, I am so grateful for the opportunity to become a mom. My husband and I have wanted this since we got married. 4 years after the vows, we’re getting that chance! Don’t get me wrong- I know it’s all worth it, and I know this is a miraculous gift. I am just looking forward to getting my body back in shape, enjoying sex again, and having a beautiful, precious little man to call “Son.” Thanks again for writing this article.

  5. Melissa says:

    Thank you for this article. I am 5 weeks and have headache, nausea, tummy pain, no appetite, and no energy. I had a miscarriage 2 months ago and now I’m paranoid that I’m gonna “poop” my baby out every time I go potty. I have a 5 y.o. daughter, whom I had a beeee-u-tee-ful pregnancy with. I think we have to remember that not all pregnancies are the same and that we are the only badasses that can make beautiful miracles inside our bellies. We have no choice but to wait things out, pregnancy does not last forever…even though it often seems that way. I love the last part of this article…it’s so true and almost made me cry. Shout out to all the wonderful moms-to-be…remember we are not alone, it’s ok to feel miserable, we have every right to feel this way. Just try to flash forward to when we are holding our little babies in our arms. Best wishes for everyone 🙂

  6. Stefanie says:

    Great article 🙂 I’ve been struggling with this my whole pregnancy. My husband and I had to use fertility medications just to get pregnant and I swore if it worked I wouldn’t utter a single complaint. Ha! Then I had morning sickness that lasted from week 5 to week 24. I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 17 weeks. I’m so short that my belly ballooned instantly giving me excessive heartburn and stretch marks galore. I had the flu. I had spotting. At 26 weeks they thought my water broke early. I lost 15 lbs and it’s taken me til now (27 weeks) to gain it back. I’m hot. I’m cranky. I don’t sleep EVER. My back is cramping. My feet and hands are sausages. My nails are hair did NOT grow and become glowingly beautiful. And my brain is nowhere to be found. This. Sucks. I am so grateful to be going through this torture and I can’t wait to finally meet my little girl but if one more person asks how I’m feeling I might snap. But as you said, it’s okay. And it is worth it. Here’s to all the miserable mommies and the beautiful babies we do this for. 🙂

  7. Meagan says:

    Thank you for this article. I’m 21 weeks pregnant with my first. The first trimester seemed like it would never end and, going into the second, it wasn’t getting much better. While the nausea went away and the energy came back, I was still just not the happy, glowing pregnant woman I was supposed to be. I finally went to counseling after my husband mentioned that I was showing signs of depression. I think the best thing about going was that she said it was ok to not always like pregnancy. Do I like to feel my son twirl and kick in there? Heck yes! Do I like him to do it to the point where he gets caught in my back and makes it miserable to do anything but lay down? No. I truly appreciate the blessing and miracle that is carrying another life inside of you and I love this little boy more than I could possibly explain…but I’m not someone who’s going to remember LOVING being pregnant. It’s just a thing….I’m really in it for the outcome. This article made me feel better about my feelings.

  8. Emily says:

    I am so glad someone wrote about this. Pregnancy is full of many different unpleasant side effects and realistically is not a walk in the park. I’m 36 1/2 weeks pregnant and I have hated pretty much most of it (although 2nd trimester was probably the easiest). But the part at the end of this almost made me cry. I love what you said about how it prepares you for parenthood. You are so right and it was a beautiful way to wrap up this article. Thank you for writing it.

  9. Amber says:

    I’m 22 weeks today and every time someone asks how I’m feeling, I’m just like however many weeks to go.. I honestly wish you could just skip the whole being pregnant thing and just have your baby. Between the awful, awful heartburn where nothing seems to help, to the excruciating back pain, to the migraines, already not sleeping, and everyone telling you how much they loved being pregnant, I’m just like well that was you and this is me and it sucks so get over it. And when people come up and try to touch my belly without asking, I pretty much go crazy and snap on them. I’m ready for it to be over with.

  10. Jody says:

    i hated being pregnant. after 2 losses, i just couldn’t enjoy being pregnant. every day i was afraid until the moment i held my baby. i think it’s perfectly fine to hate being pregnant. i early on came to terms with the fact that as much as i invested emotionally into getting pregnant, what i really wanted was to have a child, not just to gestate one. i viewed it as a necessary means to an end. that’s not to say i didn’t have any joys of carrying my son, just that ultimately, it was a scary situation for me.

  11. Regan says:

    All of it was horrible for me from start to finish. My husband got relocated to Japan for work – I do not speak the language, mind you – and we were more or less diagnosed as infertile well before we moved. After years of trying..the first week in a new country did the trick. So I faced pregnancy in an apartment in Japan after giving up our newly purchased house and yard in WA, left my family, girlfriends and any support network I had behind…to suffer nine months of hell. My husband regularly works til 8pm, so I was alone all day and had a really limited support network of only emailing or occasionally skyping family (we’d just lost my father a few months before, no one wanted to be online chit-chatting), needing a translator to even ask my doctor a question, finding out (oops) doctors in this culture don’t really have a long history of expecting patients to -ask- questions (very much the doctor is always right over here), being told I’d gained too much weight (15lbs start to finish) because I guess Japanese women don’t gain that much, being declined as a patient by my clinic of choice over said 15 lbs? Yup.

    Those were all things. And because of it, in my 9th month I got to start all over at a hospital and a new rotating staff of doctors…who decided to induce me for being overdue. I point out, first child…two days overdue…induction.. no explanation as to why, just a lot of translated attitude and the baby ‘could’ be in distress, maybe…possibly..and a drug used on me that I know for a fact they’re phasing out of use in the states. So 24 hours of arrested labor later and an emergency c-section…in a hospital where I didn’t even get to see my newly born daughter for almost 24 hours after her delivery…ended my pregnancy nightmare.

    A month later, I’m at pre-pregnancy weight but hated the whole experience so much that I’m a one and done mama. I keep hearing how lucky I am because I had PCOS and so much trouble (and money spent on fertility docs stateside) concieving – but honestly my entire pregnancy experience was so horrible, cultural issues and physical ailments that I couldn’t imagine going through it all again.

  12. Amber says:

    Definitely needed this today – at about 20 weeks right now during what is supposed to be the “great trimester” and I am miserable – tired, my feet hurt, etc. Anytime anyone asks me how I am feeling, I have just started saying “super, thanks.” In a completely selfish sort of way, I am happy that others are also miserable :-/

  13. Lisa says:

    AMEN! I did not like being pregnant at all. I enjoyed certain milestones like hearing his heartbeat, the first time I felt him move then kick outside my belly but that’s about it. I was miserable and doing it without a partner so I really had no support or someone to rub my aching back. Most of my friends talk about how much they loved being pregnant and I can’t relate on any level. Glad to hear there are other woman like me and I wasn’t alone in this because I had tremendous guilt.

  14. Theresa says:

    I love this article! My thoughts exactly! The only part I liked about pregnancy was the eating. Everything else was horrible. I had really bad insomnia in the beginning. It didn’t help that my cat would wake me up shortly after falling asleep and there I would lay wide awake for hours. I also had really bad all day sickness Then came second trimester and I was always tired. Too sleepy to do anything. I couldn’t hang out with my husband when I really wanted to because all I wanted was sleep. By the third trimester, I had put on so much weight, my knee was starting to ache every step I took. I also hated having to get up to use the potty every 2 and 1/2 hours at night. I often woke up with tingly hands and forearms. I hated only lying on my sides. All I wanted was to lie on my back or tummy for that matter. I counted down the days after the 38th week.. I was anxious to give birth at that time and as time went on, I was getting cranky and impatient. I started eating lots of chocolate hoping it would get things going. Then on the 40 week and 1 day, I had a Dr. appointment and she helped things along by rupturing my membranes. I gave birth 10 hours later and have felt better ever since. Now I have a beautiful, happy, adorably cute 20 month old and I could not be happier, especially since I’m not gi-normously pregnant anymore and have lost 60 lbs since then. 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Congrats on your little one! How did you lose the weight? The weight dropped off of me initially because let’s face it…who has time to eat or sleep when you first have a baby. But now I feel like I’m going in the opposite direction. I’m a single mom so I need to find a sitter to hit the gym unless I find one with childcare. Now that it’s getting warmer, I plan on going for a lot of walks with baby but I don’t feel like that’s enough. Weight Watchers has worked for me in the past, thinking about starting up again. I love hearing how other people did it!

  15. Stephanie says:

    I love this! I am so fricken’ tired of putting on a fake smile and saying ” I’m doing great!” And I hate the look on people’s faces if I say anything but that.

  16. Casey says:

    I’m pregnant with twins and just hit 16 weeks. I’ve been counting down the last weeks left for about a month now. I get the whole “How are you doing/feeling?” question. I always answer “Tired” cuz I don’t know how to say “I’m friggin miserable and wishing that I was sitting in the hospital already having these lil ones!” without feeling horrible about it. I feel huge and tired and the worst part about being pregnant to me right now is the fact that I can’t handle dealing with my almost 8 yr old who is hyper-active and constantly testing my patience. It is like he knows I can’t get after him like I used to so he just tries to run a muck as much as possible. I’m a single mom and only have help from my parents (Who are getting too old to handle energetic kids) So there is only so much they can do too. I feel miserable and just want to get that energy back so I can actually do more cuz I feel pretty useless right now. I am constantly in pain and feel sickly. It wasn’t even until this past week or so that I stopped having so much nausea. I was puking so much I lost ten pounds since being pregnant so I didn’t even get “the bump” until recently and it felt like it just popped up over night in the most painful way. I am happy to be pregnant but I kinda wish it was closer to my due date cuz I feel like I am just counting the days until I pop.

  17. kimberly says:

    Thought it is so wrong to feel that way, glad others feel the same

  18. Mandy says:

    Two words: degenerating fibroids. Never been more sure I was going to die. It’s scary to have that much pain in your belly, where your baby is. Thankfully, everything went fine and my beautiful boy is now 8.5 months old.

  19. kpilot says:

    Thank you for writing this. Though I’m not currently pregnant, I consider myself to be a fellow miserable pregnant lady. And I agree, it’s totally ok. Pregnancy is a miracle that at one point I thought I would never be able to experience. Thankfully, I now have a perfect 16 month old who makes the 10 months of pain, sleepless nights, sciatic nerve torture, carpal tunnel syndrome, exhaustion, and hot flashes worth it. Would I ever willingly go through that again? Not likely. Growing another human inside your body is pretty much the coolest thing women can do, but gaining 60 pounds to do it, yeah not so cool. Plus, there are parts of my body that are still numb after my less than ideal recovery from the cesarean. Even though I’m pretty sure I never glowed, and even though I hated being asked if I was sure I wasn’t carrying twins about 100 times, I wouldn’t change my experience. I definitely learned a lot about what my mind and body can handle. It was like an intro course to parenting. It’s most certainly not easy, but the rewards are grest 🙂

  20. Amanda says:

    Thank you for saying it! I feel like its so taboo to say it but “this sucks.” I’m exhausted but I can’t sleep. My hips hurt and my feet are swollen. I get a yeast infection at the drop of a hat. And I really, really want a big plate of sushi! (And a beer.) I’m so excited to be a mom but the road there is rough. It is great to finally hear another woman say it out loud.


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