I Don’t Like Being Pregnant

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Image via Flickr/ Scotbot

After experiencing three pregnancies in the past four years, I have something to confess:

I don’t really like being pregnant.

Ok, ok, so maybe there is maybe a month or two in the second trimester when I feel halfway decent. I can sport the cute little baby belly and feel like I am actually the glowing pregnant woman that I am supposed to be. The overwhelming fatigue and constant feeling like I’m going to puke every five seconds of the first trimester has dissipated. The books talk about the second trimester as the best part of pregnancy because you get an energy boost of sorts, but part of me has to wonder if it’s simply the absence of the misery that is the first trimester; kind of like how you feel the first day after being sick for a really long time—you feel joyful simply because you’re not sick anymore. 

But other than those few fateful weeks when I am tricked into thinking pregnancy is fun, I find the entire process of growing a human being incredibly difficult. 

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While watching a follow-up documentary of “The Business of Being Born” the other day (fantastic, by the way, you should watch it), singer Alanis Morissette described pregnancy and childbirth in a way that I found profound. She described it as being trapped in the reality of our bodies; as women, she said, so many of us spend our days trying to escape our bodies.

We wear the special jeans to try to make our butt look better; we buy the push-up bra to enhance the ladies; we diet or exercise to try to change or maintain our shape.

Many of us spend the majority of our lives fighting against our bodies instead of accepting them.

In pregnancy, however, there is no escaping your body. It’s there—every waking minute of the day and usually at night. It’s there, performing at maximum capacity as you go about your business. While you eat breakfast, your body is laying down the building block of someone else’s future.

You can fight it if you want, but in the end, your body takes over completely on its own during pregnancy. The maternity jeans win out, the flip-flops come on, the realization that you are going to have to give birth dawns.

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Like it or not, during pregnancy, your body rules.

And apparently, for some of us, that’s a hard thing to accept. 

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What about you? Did you enjoy being pregnant?

What do you think?

I Don’t Like Being Pregnant

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

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35 comments

  1. Trisha says:

    For years I never thought I could get pregnant, so imagine the excitement my husband and I had when we found out we’re expecting. There has been some rough days, but 23 weeks later I’m still loving every moment of it. My body is going through some crazy things, but the moment I feel his movement and swift kicks, I know it’s all worth it. I feel so blessed and I’m ready for the pain….Bring it!!!

  2. Brittany says:

    Thank you for taking the words out of my mouth!! This is my worst pregnancy so far. I have been to the hospital 3 times this month for dehydration because I can’t stop vomiting!! Yucky and the back pain!! Can’t wait until my little person comes out! 🙂

  3. Kim says:

    This DISGUSTS me…. to say pregnancy is easy isn’t true, your right. HOWEVER, this is a slap in the face to the countless women who WISH to be pregnant, who PRAY everyday to be pregnant. It’s a slap in the face for the women who have experienced pregnancy loss at ANY stage… because while you are an RN/BSN with three healthy pregnancies and your biggest obstacle was feeling gross and not fitting into clothes and being concerned about your image you CLEARLY know that women suffer MUCH more from MANY different conditions and I GUARANTEE you that they are grateful for a day that their only frustrations are what you have listed… OR the women, like myself, that have been through difficult pregnancies that ended up resulting in labor and delivery but instead of being wheeled out of the hospital with a 8lb baby I am wheeled out with a memory box, HEAVY empty arms and a broken heart…. I’d do ANYTHING to have three healthy kids – instead I have 1 living child and 2 heavenly …. I can’t even begin to indicate how disgraceful this article is… If you had for ONE moment thought about the words you were using and the sentiments you were expressing perhaps you’d recognize the levity of the post and at least include some type of sentiment that showed some understanding… instead you didn’t…

    • Brittany says:

      I am sorry for your losses. I too have had losses from miscarriages, stillbirths and 1 that passed after I had her. I also have 2 live children. I am currently pregnant again. We have suffered pain that many women will never know. Even with the losses the pain from pregnancy is still sometimes unbearable thus causing me to hate pregnancy also. I am high risk with Multiple Sclerosis. In a nutshell I am writing this to say even though we experienced pain we can’t take it out on others. Our losses aren’t their faults. They have a right to hate pregnancy if they choose. I pray though that you NEVER experience another loss and I pray my own current pregnancy is a healthy one, also. Hopefully you don’t take what I am saying the wrong way. Just trying to let you know you aren’t by yourself

      • Kim says:

        By NO means am I “taking it out on others” – all I was indicating that as a PROFESSIONAL in the industry and UNDERSTANDING all sides and outcomes rather than highlighting “hating” pregnancy, perhaps – just maybe she could have also included the levity of it. That yes identity struggles are inevitable and the body will win out – however, there are so many things during those frustrating moments to be grateful for. As an author being published in a well known forum perhaps add realistic perspective.

        In my original statement I say, and I will reiterate – being pregnant comes with its challeneges. However, just as you know, identity is just the tip of the iceberg. Additionally, just as you know, you clearly would do it over again – because it’s for your family and you. You have an end goal and that ultimately outweighs EVERY negative.

        Yes – pregnancy is difficult but that’s no reason to be negative when you can instead be positive about your journey, about perspective and thank goodness for every day – even if those days include a frustrating/difficult side effect.

        • Hi, Kim, thanks for your comment. I do write a lot of different pieces on pregnancy and have reiterated over and over again, especially from working in OB, that of course I don’t take pregnancy for granted. But a lot of women experience pregnancy differently and many women feel guilty for not enjoying pregnancy–which is something completely out of their control. This piece is just one piece of the iceberg, as you said, and it obviously don’t encompass EVERY woman’s experience. I do think it’s possible to be grateful and recognize other women’s losses and I thank you for that reminder.

  4. Rebecca says:

    I don’t like being pregnant either! I feel so much pressure and responsibility over everything I eat and drink. I also am battling depression but not wanting to take anything for it because it might harm the baby. I am stuck between a Rick and a hard place!

  5. Emily says:

    THANK YOU. Hearing it from someone else is such a relief! I am in my second trimester of my first pregnancy, and I agree that it is more a lack of feeling sick than it is an actual energy boost.
    Also, I hate being pregnant. It’s not that I don’t like it. I really hate it. And I’ve cried to my husband asking him what is wrong with me, because everyone I talk to will say to me, “Oh, isn’t pregnancy just the best?” and I smile and nod and then I feel even worse about myself because I just hate it. It’s really cool to feel the little one inside me punch–the first time in the morning. The rest of the day I am silently begging him/her (we are waiting to find out the gender) to “PLEASE stop. I know you are there, and I appreciate the occasional kick or punch to know you’re in there and developing properly and I do love you, but Mama needs a few minutes to feel relatively normal for a change, because her life is turned upside-down right now and seriously one more kick will be the one that makes me burst into tears!”
    Anyway…yes, thank you so much for this! :]

    • Jenell says:

      I HATED BEING PREGNANT!! Like….HATED IT! People thought I was crazy! Cause it’s so awesome not to be able to feel you left leg or have you bladder used as a trampoline??? Am I Missing Something??

      That’s the reason I still breast feed…I feel Guilty! (Oh…and it’s what’s best…)

  6. Josmery says:

    It’s funny that most of the ladies that are first timers love it! I think things get so much harder after the first time. I am currently 34 weeks and up till now I LOVE IT! l can’t wait to see my princess but I’m going to miss being pregnant. My first trimester was horrible day and night nausea, vomiting it was really bad but a week before ending my first trimester it all went away and I did experience that energy boost talked about but the further I came along the only way I would make it through the day was to take at least one nap a day if I could fit more in I would. Now in my third trimester I started experiencing crazy heartburn which I’ve never had before and I’m starting to ache here and there mainly because of the weight of my belly. This pregnancy has also brought my husband and I so much closer and honestly it has made me fall in love with him in a deeper way and I’m not trying to be vulgar but the sex has been the best we’ve ever had. Not that it wasn’t amazing before but it’s actual love making now while before it was oh my gosh that felt so good make me feel it again type of sex. I’m not sure if I’ll have another baby, if so in the very far future but for now I say no. Not all of it was fun and pretty till this day some mornings/days you should run away from me because I might not be feeling all that great but I do love this pregnancy. I think if most of it runs smoothly us first timers with the exception of some ladies we love our first pregnancies mainly because of the idea of the first baby and it all just being so new and “cute.” And no it most definitely does not make you selfish, a bad mom or nothing in that sense if you don’t like being pregnant; it’s the way you feel and pregnancy is a difficult, painful, hard process mentally, physically, emotionally etc. It’s a life changing experience and hey you’re growing a human being inside of you! With just that being said it’s so understandable you feel the way you feel.

  7. Shayla says:

    I agree with you. My pregnancy was the worst experience of my life. I was miserable throughout it and was concerned I would hate my baby because I suffered so much with her. The end result is that I adore her but I will never do that again. I was concerned I would die towards the end and cannot take that chance again. I do not understand why women that have had horrible pregnancies are willing to have more children. Nothing is worth the amount of suffering that you endure and the real possibility that you may not make it during a bad pregnancy.

    • April says:

      I could have wrote your post. I am 33 weeks and ready for this to be over. It has been a miserable experience that I plan to never go through again.

  8. adriana says:

    I feel the same way…i am expecting my fifth child..have two boys two girls..never imagined I was gonna have another..I was using the depo shot and then..I am pregnant!! How you described everything is exactly how I feel..there are times when I am ok..but days when I dont even like looking at myself in the mirror:(

  9. Chelsea says:

    I’m due in less than three weeks with my first. I have loved almost every day of my pregnancy. Grant it, I can count one hand the total number of days I’ve felt bad the whole time. Every day has been exciting and new. I worry that if I ever decide to have another it won’t measure up to this pregnancy. Ready to meet my baby girl though!

  10. Sindy says:

    I loved my first pregnancy, my body was perfect. No nausea, no sickness, no back pain. .it was perfect really. However, in my second pregnancy everything is different. I hate my body, I’ve been sick for who knows how long, moody, tired..and besides that I have to handle a 3yo. toddler. I might consider this as my last baby too..and not because I don’t want a bigger family but because I’m really hating this pregnancy 🙁

  11. Erin says:

    I don’t know that I have ever really put it into words, but I kind of just realized that I have greatly disliked the majority of my time being pregnant. There are those blissful weeks during the second trimester when I’m not vomiting or uncomfortably big. But the rest of the time, it kind of stinks! I am currently 18 weeks with child number 4 – our other three children are 5, 4, and 1.
    Unfortunately, I was one of the very unlucky ones. I had hyperemesis gravidium with all of my pregnancies, losing massive amounts of weight, getting sick 5-10 times a day up through 20 weeks, and a host of other issues. With two of my pregnancies, I ended up with a PICC line, constant IV fluids, three anti-nausea medications, numerous hospitalizations, and TPN for a period of time. With pregnancy #3 my dehydration caused gallstones and I ended up having surgery at 14 weeks along. With pregnancy #4 so far, I had a PICC line, IV fluids multiple times a week, 10 hospitalizations so far, acute urinary retention as a medication side effect, a UTI, the early stages of pneumonia, blood clots in my arms and lung, a staph infection in my bloodstream that almost caused organ failure, and I recently tested positive for Fifth Disease which now means more careful monitoring of the baby. Needless to say, I am not having a great time.
    I LOVE the idea of being pregnant. And I get baby fever just like many women do, remembering back on the few joyful weeks of pregnancy that I ingrained in my mind about those first kicks, seeing their little faces on an ultrasound, hearing that heartbeat…so I end up doing it all over again 🙂 Per doctor’s recommendations though, this will be our last. Not sure my body can handle another one.

  12. Courtney says:

    I’m pregnant with my first child and although I haven’t made it into the third trimester just yet I can say that so far I love being pregnant. Did I enjoy the nausea and exhaustion the first trimester brought? Not particularly. I had just started a new job and work ten hour days on my feet as a banker. So it wasn’t ideal, but I made it through it. Do I enjoy the hip and back pain, waking up three times a night to turn over or go pee in the middle of the night? No, I don’t know anyone who would. But up to this point I have loved being pregnant. I may not have the motivation to do my hair every morning or put on makeup, I may have to pee 10 times a day. But all that pails in comparison to the joy I feel when I hear my baby’s heart beat, or feel her kicking away inside of me, or seeing her on the sonogram. I could be having the worst day and be in the worst possible moment, then, I feel a kick, I instantly feel comforted and joy. She reminds me that I’m not alone and that in the most difficult moments, I have a reason to keep going, to try harder. And the closeness that I feel to my husband since becoming pregnant is indescribable. I may change my mind later on when I’m huge and hot in the heat of summer. But as of now, I love it and I would love to do it again.

  13. Jamie says:

    I love it! Currently pregnant with our first baby, and I will be 32 weeks tomorrow. I’ve loved being pregnant and know I will miss it (until we start on number 2!).

  14. My pregnancy was hard…one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things I have ever done. Worth it? Absolutely!!!! Nonetheless, so hard!! I did not like it!

  15. Sara says:

    Totally with you. My husband and I agreed on two mostly because neither one of us can handle me being pregnant again. so sick of having no sense of humor, zero fuse on my temper, peeing, and having feet in my ribs. But I will spoil and snuggle the crap out of her when she’s here!!

  16. Francesca says:

    I totally understand. I am pregnant with #2 and highly considering ending on this one. I thought the second pregnancy was supposed to be easier, but so far it hasn’t been. And just having the baby in your arms doesn’t necessarily change the way you feel toward pregnancy. I LOVE babies and I did feel great love for my son when he was born (and still do), but that didn’t take away everything I went through to get him here! I feel like I’m caught between a rock and a hard place because my husband wants more kids and I’m not against that, I just don’t want to go through it all again. But adoption ain’t easy either.

  17. dvmsara says:

    I’m 39 weeks with my first and can honestly say I haven’t minded being pregnant, BUT…that’s easy to say when you’ve had pretty much no pregnancy symptoms (no morning sickness, no significant swelling, just a little minor soreness, waking up usually only 1-2 times per night). I could easily be singing a different tune if circumstances were different. The main part that I haven’t liked is all the extra attention (from both friends/families and strangers)–I’m an introvert by nature and don’t like being the center of attention.

  18. angelica says:

    I have an 8 year old son with PDD-NOS/ADHD extremely high functioning and a 5 year old girl, typical. I yearn for another child but I have a fear of having another with a disability more severe than my son’s. We don not have autism on either side of our family, so perhaps it just happened and not hereditary for us. Still I worry. Every time I hear a story about a family with multiple children having ASD it scares me. That it so hard. But I know that alot of familiies only have one. May I ask what are your other son’s concerns? Also, is autism present in other family members besides your son? Also how old are you? I am 40. So I know alot of risks are involved, but so many women in forties are having healthy children. I hope all goes well for you and congrats to you new little girl.

    • Erin says:

      Angelica-
      Our second child, 4 year old daughter, has ASD. When we were pregnant with our third, we were warned that although they don’t know why, there is a higher risk of another child having it as well. Also, they told us that the risk was higher for boys. Our little boy is currently about 18 months. We haven’t gotten him tested at this point in time, but he is not showing any of the signs that our 4 year old showed at his age. We are pretty sure that he is just a typical little boy. I am currently pregnant with our fourth and I know there is of course a risk of ASD. But I guess for me, when I think about all the joy that our 4 year old daughter brings us, even through her challenges, it is totally worth the risk. She is such a special little girl and it makes me know that even if we did have another child with ASD, they will still be perfect in our eyes. I encourage you to go for it if you really want another child. You don’t want to live with regret and wondering what ifs.

  19. MiriamSmith says:

    I hated being pregnant.

    I have two kids, one 5-1/2, the other almost 3 months. When I was pregnant with my first, it was the easiest pregnancy ever–no morning sickness, no swollen ankles, no aching back, nothing. But I hated being told what I could/couldn’t do. It was so annoying to have people hover over me like I was going to break.

    When I was pregnant with my second, I spent more time in the hospital than I wanted to. Two to three visits a week to check my sugar levels (I had gestational diabetes) and do NSTs. And while I had to watch what I ate (I did very well, thank you very much), I hated logging in what I ate and checking my sugar levels before and after meals. Halfway through this pregnancy, I told my husband, "No more kids. If this one’s not a boy and you want a son, we’ll adopt."

    I never guilty over saying, "I hate being pregnant." People always thought I was joking, until they talked to my husband and he said I wasn’t. The end result, having the baby here, is amazing. But everything leading up to the baby being here was not.

  20. Megan says:

    I hated being pregnant. I never wanted children in the first place, so it was not a state I ever expected to be in, but my husband wanted a child if not more. That being said-my pregnancy was a surprise. And then the sickness started and never left. I was sick the entire pregnancy. I threw up at least once a day for at least 8 months and I was on meds to try and control the sickness, so I could eat food and try to keep it down. I had to see a specialist as well due to my Thyroid condition. Everything about my pregnancy was torture-except feeling the kicks and seeing the ultrasound. I am holding my sleeping baby in my arms now and can say for a fact that I will never get pregnant again. It was not appealing to me in the least and still doesn’t appeal to me now. And I don’t believe that makes us selfish.

    • Astra says:

      I have 3 girls. 6, 5, & 5months. I was sick though the whole pregnancy with all 3 of them. I tried all kinds of meds and remedies and nothing worked so I vomited the whole time. My body went crazy. I was in so much pain in this last pregnancy I could barely move. My hips were so bad. My dr said my bones had softened to prepare for birth. But for the last 4 months I was pregnant I couldn’t sleep because my hips hurt so much and when I went to move position they would painfully pop.that didn’t go away for another 2 months post pregnancy. Plus this baby really beat me up on the inside. She loved jabbing at my already sore bones. I love my kids with all my heart…I would love to try for a boy but I couldn’t handle another pregnancy. It takes too much out of me. I feel bad when I talk about how much I hated it and people always look at me like I’m crazy so I usually don’t mention it.

  21. It doesn’t make you selfish or wrong. Some people don’t want to do it more then once. If I didn’t want to have 4 I would of stopped at one. I hate being pregnant too. Sometimes I don’t even like to feel the baby move because of how painful it can get. Sometimes I say it is worth it for what the outcome is but sometimes I don’t. The people that say "wait till you have that baby in your arms" are somewhat right. I don’t believe the pregnancy is worth it but the little bit of time you are in labor and pain from it is. Once that baby is out the pain is gone. Wish you luck in your future with your precious gift from god!

  22. I am on number 4. I have 3 boys at home and we found out this one is a girl. She is due June 25th. I told my husband when we were in the ultrasound room that if she tells me this one is a boys he better run and find his own way home. Lol! I had no issues with my first two but my last two were horrible. Morning sickness every day for the first three months, once that was over I was exhausted all the time. Then the last trimester hit; I ached all the time and when ever they would move it would hurt so bad that it almost had my on my knees. I hate being pregnant. If I could get it done within 24 hours I would have as many as my husband wants. The braxton hicks with her have been worse then with any of my babies. Can’t wait for this one to be done. So with me there is nothing worse then being pregnant. The only good thing to come out of this is the wonderful little baby that you get to hold, love, and care for.

  23. Thank you for writing this. I hate being pregnant and I feel guilty even saying it. I really don’t plan on doing this again. When I say I hate being pregnant and this will be my only pregnancy everyone says "wait till you have that baby in your arms". I am SO excited to meet this new little baby and I love seeing the ultrasound and feeling the baby move but I have no desire to put myself through this again. Does that make me a selfish person or wrong because I only want to do this once?

  24. Angela says:

    I hate being pregnant. I hated it the first time, and I’m hating it this second time too. First trimester is full of sickness day and night; and once that’s over, I’m just tired and achy all the time. I wish I got a boost of energy for my second trimester, but I guess I’m not so lucky. I’ve already told my man that after this one, I’m done having kids simply because I don’t want to go through pregnancy again. Because, for me, it’s just a miserable experience. I think the only upsides are feeling the baby move, and seeing it in the ultrasound for the first time. I enjoy those parts.

  25. sarah heiler says:

    i am on my third child right now. she is due in late august. she is also my first girl. when i was carrying my boys everything was cake. no morning sickness or weird cravings or being over tired. but this time i had four and a half months of nonsto morning sickness and im still nonstop tired. things are very overwellming right now aswell. my boys are 10 and 5. my 5 year old has autisum and my 10 year old has other issues. when i first found out i was ppregnat this time i was really excited but then things started getting crazy at home and then i wasnt. then i was really happy when i found out im haveing a girl. then things got really bad at home. im so confused with this pregnancy that i have no clue if im happy about it or not. i know i will be happy when i see my little girl for the first time and that things should get better by then but right now its all too crazy.

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