Wednesday, September 5, 2012

P.S. #8: Isn't it supposed to be better than this?--Anonymous

I'm glad that Dana has decided to do a postpartum series on her blog, as it has given me a much-needed place for an outlet for my feelings on my personal pregnancy and postpartum story.

I had expectations of what a pregnancy should be like. I had created an ideal scenario in my head of what being pregnant should be like based on movies and books and stories from my friends and family. I wanted my time to be happy and joyful and radiant. I wanted the bad times to be like a comical downside that was not ideal, but what are you gonna do right? We'll laugh at it later. I wanted people to see me and give me attention and treat me differently, as I hear most people complain about in a lighthearted way. I wanted my husband to dote on me and never take his hands of my tummy, for fear of missing all the cool stuff that was going on in there. I wanted the world to revolve around me. And why shouldn't it? I was doing something unique and wonderful and above all hard. Everyone told me that it would. Everyone told me that there is no greater happiness than bringing new life into this world.

They lied to me. Everyone lied to me. Being pregnant wasn't the most beautiful, spiritual experience of my life. It sucked. Being pregnant sucks. At least it did for me. I was sick and hungry and hurting and when I told people that I couldn't be pregnant and carry on with my life the same way that I had before, they told me that I just had to suck it up, that I didn't get any preferential treatment just because I was pregnant. Everyone else who gets pregnant can still work and clean and take care of everyone else and I should be able to as well. It's all in your head, they said. Nothing you're feeling right now is valid because it's all just hormones and as soon as that quiets down you'll see how much of a baby you're being. Then you'll know what a wonderful time you had being pregnant. I hated being pregnant. Maybe I would have hated it less if someone had just told me it was okay to hate being pregnant.

No one said these exact words to me. They said it in nicer ways, in gentle voices. But they still said it. They still made me feel like I didn't matter. I felt like I was ruining it for them. They knew what I was supposed to be feeling like, and since I didn't feel that way, there must be something wrong with me. I tried desperately to get them to understand what I was going through, how I was different from everyone else. They didn't take me seriously. You'll get over it soon, they said. You won't feel this way forever.

Once before I was pregnant, I asked my husband what he would do if I did get pregnant. He said he'd probably come home every day and put his hands on my tummy, and we'd sit quietly together, and feel our baby grow. He lied. He never once voluntarily put his hands on my tummy. I always had to place his hands there myself, and he would take them away again as soon as he could. I don't know why he did. I don't think he was trying to hurt me. More likely he was afraid of hurting our baby somehow. But it did hurt, and I felt alone for 9 months.

Because I hadn't been able to sleep a full night for about two weeks, my doctor recommended we induce 2 days before my due date. Finally! I was going to be not pregnant again! I was so excited. I couldn't wait to see my baby and be done with having her in my tummy. My husband was as excited as I was. Soon we'd be a family of 3! I was in labor for a day and a half. It was painful, and it was long. A lot of the time it was boring. My husband tried to be supportive, but it seemed like he was always in the way. The nurses were in and out every 15 minutes doing something to me, and my husband just seemed to always be exactly where the nurses needed to be. I think he just gave up after a few hours. He walked me around the ward when I wanted to walk, and helped me take baths, but at other times, he took out his phone or his laptop and ignored me. He can't give an accurate account of my daughter's birth story because he wasn't paying attention most of the time. It wasn't all his fault. Sometimes there just wasn't room for him to hold my hand. But he could have at least payed attention. Why didn't he want to know what was happening to me and and his baby? I feel cheated out of my happy birth story. I wanted a story that I could share with everyone else, just like they all shared with me. I don't have one.

It has been a year since I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. I don't hate her. I don't regret carrying her for 9 months. I love her more than life. I would not trade her for anything. I don't remember the physical pains of pregnancy and labor. I don't remember what it was like to have a baby growing in my tummy. But I do remember how I felt; how they made me feel. I am angry, because it was supposed to be better than that. I spent 9 months of my life miserable and depressed, and I can't get that back. I do not look back and think how wonderful it was to be pregnant. I do not look back and laugh and think how silly I was being. I still hate being pregnant. I will never do it again.


  1. Being pregnant is the worst. I shouted it from the rooftops every god-forsaken miserable day and had lots of validation, but it was still unforgivably awful. I liked nothing about it.

    Labor sucks, too. It's worse than the most painful hell Imaginable. I hated it, too.

    I'm pregnant again because I like my kid and being a mom and I wanted another little person in our family, but I'm afraid this might be it. I always wanted four, but the costs of production are simply too high.

    I was chastised a few times because there are things worse than being pregnant, like infertility, or, heaven forbid it, loss. These are way worse than being pregnant, but being pregnant is WAY worse than just being my regular self. My body is still a mess, even though I lost all the weight I gained plus more. Nothing works right and it all hurts. Ugh. I couldn't have known how bad it would be.

    1. I am glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for sharing! We need to be honest with each other and stop promising to-be mothers that they will have a great experience. We can support them, tell them it's okay to hate pregnancy, and tell them that life definitely seems unfair towards women in the sexual/reproductive department. There is more to life than just bearing children!