I started writing this post earlier in the week. It began as a 32 week update. When I read it back though, 99% of what I wrote was me whinging about how fed up I am, and I scrapped it, worried what people would think.
The fact is, I have found pregnancy a little bit crap. There, I’ve admitted it.
This is something I am slightly ashamed to admit, but I know I am not alone in feeling like this.
My husband and I have been together for 11 years, and waited a long time until we felt the moment was right to bring children into the world. We wanted everything to be perfect first, marriage, a nice house, decent jobs. We were very fortunate to get pregnant quite quickly once we decided this was the right time, and we were both absolutely over the moon.
I suffered with bad morning sickness from around 5 weeks, and this lasted until 16 weeks. I struggled to keep any food down at all. Even when I wasn’t puking, I felt sick. It wasn’t enjoyable at all. The majority of the second trimester wasn’t too bad once I got over the sickness. The bigger I got though, the more of a struggle life became. Lower back pain and heartburn were the main issues I came across.
I’m now well in the third trimester and I’m finding pretty much every second of every day hard. I haven’t slept properly in months. I get up to pee four or five times a night. When I’m not sat on the toilet I’m pouring Gaviscon down by throat to ease the burning in my chest. For the one or two hours I actually manage sleep, I am tossing and turning, in agony with an aching back and burning ribs. Waking hours are not much more fun. My job involves sitting infront of a computer, and I really thought because I don’t have a physical job I would be able to work until the very end of pregnancy. How wrong I was. I have inflamed ribs and the only relief I get is when I am up and waddling about. Sitting down to work for an extended period of time is no fun at all, but like most people, I have to work so I have no other option but to deal with it.
Am I saying all this because I want everyone to feel sorry for me? No. Am I saying this because I think I am the only pregnant woman suffering with such issues? Absolutely not. I know for a fact many women suffer with worse conditions, and I have gotten off lightly.
Of course there are things I’ve enjoyed. I love my bump. I love watching it grow every single day. I adore feeling our baby kick, it is simply the best feeling in the world. Despite this though, overall pregnancy is something I have endured, rather than enjoyed.
Does this make me a bad person? Ungrateful perhaps? I don’t think so. I know how lucky I am to be pregnant, and we are luckier still to be pregnant with a seemingly healthy baby. I have witnessed the heartbreak of family and friends who have struggled to conceive, or suffered the pain of miscarriage. I am thankful each day to be in this position.
I do believe though that we are made to feel like we have to enjoy every second of pregnancy, and there is a stigma around the whole thing.
I have spoke to many women about this, and lots feel the same. It is simply not the joyous 9 months it is made out to be. Yes, some absolutely love pregnancy, but in my experience these women are in the minority. This isn’t surprising really. Why would anyone enjoy vomiting everyday, haemorroids or leaking, painful boobs? Not my idea of fun, that’s for sure.
I don’t believe any woman should be made to feel guilty for struggling with pregnancy. We shouldn’t have to lie, pretend everything is going swimmingly when really it isn’t. It doesn’t mean we’re going to love our babies any less, or be bad mothers. The only way this will become socially acceptable is if more and more women admit that pregnancy isn’t a bed or roses. It’s bloody hard!
As much as I have disliked pregnancy, I know the months of pain and puking will all be forgotten the second our baby girl arrives. I know if we are lucky enough in the future, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Hopefully by this point though, when somebody asks me how pregnancy is going, I will be able to reply, honestly, “It’s a bit crap actually.” without feeling any shame. I hope it won’t be the taboo that it is now.
Let’s face facts, if it was men who had to endure pregnancy, I’m sure we would never hear the end of it. They would milk it as much as they could and we would be fully aware of just how hard it can be!