WHY IT’S OK TO HATE PREGNANCY
Despite being thrilled about each one of my pregnancies, I can easily confess that pregnancy is the WORST.
HOW I KNEW I WAS PREGNANT EVEN BEFORE SEEING THE LITTLE PINK LINES
I had been training for a half-marathon when I realized.
I spent most of my Saturday mornings running 8-10 miles around my town thankful for a quiet break from my toddlers. One beautiful warm evening before dinner with my family, I went out for a quick 3 mile maintenance run. Even though I had been running 6-10 miles on any given day, this time, I barely made it ½ mile before I literally laid down on the pavement unsure how I was going to make it 3 blocks back home.
As I sat down on the pavement trying to figure out why my body just wanted to take a nap in the middle of the street, the lightbulb went off. I was pregnant.
After 2 pregnancies, I knew the tell-tale signs of fatigue, lethargy, and lack of strength even early on. Sure enough, by the end of the night I had 2 positive pregnancy tests. I was thrilled, but I knew what was coming: the nausea, the fatigue, the irritability, the sleepless nights. All part and parcel of each of my pregnancies.
Don’t wait for me to sugar coat it. Don’t come to me looking for stories of glowing skin, unusual sources of energy, long flowing hair, or even silly cravings.
The Truth About Pregnancy
Instead, come to me for the real story. The truth. Pregnancy means having a sore back all the time; it means strange breakouts, and pregnancy is never being able to sleep because of hormones and a baby kicking you in the lungs. One of the many things that you give up when you have children!
I didn’t glow. I never glowed. In fact, I did the opposite. I ballooned, bloated, and grew paler. My pregnancy was never just in my belly, it was in my face, my back side, my hands, and my thighs. My wedding ring didn’t fit anymore, my seatbelt needed constant adjusting, and if something fell on the floor, it was dead to me.
Forget cravings, the only thing that I could keep down were breadsticks. It wasn’t some cute middle-of-the-night-request for pickles and cream cheese. Instead, it was tears in the kitchen about how I was so hungry, but everything made me nauseous except those blamed breadsticks!
Pregnancy is the worst.
If you hate pregnancy, you are not alone!
I would go hang out with my pregnant or young mother friends. They giggled about wanting to take an afternoon nap, enjoying different foods, or even feeling strangely energized because of the pregnancy.
As I sat, listening to them, barely able to keep my head on top of my neck and bits of food down, because even that required too much energy, I wondered what I was doing wrong.
Each one of my pregnancies has been difficult. (Read more about my 9 blood transfusions here.) Each one has had its own unique challenges, but they have all had a foundation of discomfort, fatigue, and nausea. Symptoms that I read over and over would subside after the first trimester were only compounded by the symptoms of the second and third trimester.
Honestly, labor and delivery were a huge relief! I went home from the hospital with far more energy than I came in with!
Encouragement for the struggling pregnant mommy
So, if I will be that brutally honest about pregnancy, then you know that I will be brutally honest about being a mother.
And, here is the truth: I’d do it all again. Over and over and over again, I would do the fatigue, the nausea, the weight gain, the stretch marks all again. Pregnancy might be the absolute worst, but being a mommy makes it all worth it…a thousand times worth it.
I learned that the moment my first baby was born. And, I learned it everyday when I held my firstborn as I was pregnant with my second. I remember thinking: if I love my second child half as much as my first, then it will all be worth it.
Of course, I love my second child as much (maybe more) than my first! Because despite the exhaustion and the discomfort, that child made my heart grow so much larger in love. They have each unlocked a portion of my heart that I didn’t know existed.
And, today, I don’t even think about the terrible discomforts of pregnancy (except to write this!).
WHAT MAKES BEING A MOMMY WORTH IT?
Being a mommy means arms wrapped around your neck after a long day at work. Mommies get to (yes, I said get to) wake up to tears and cries in the middle of the night and be the sole source of comfort for a precious life.
Motherhood means a sleeping newborn on your chest.
Despite pregnancy, being a mommy means watching first steps, listening to baby giggles, learning new vocabulary words, and seeing the world in a new and different way. Mommies have the distinct pleasure of the mother-son dance, going prom dress shopping, or even getting to be the first one to hold a new grandchild.
MOTHERHOOD MADE LIFE MORE FUN
When I was younger, I believed that motherhood was a farewell to a life I loved. A life filled with late brunches, full nights of sleep, and shopping in stores where they sell glass. However, what I learned is that younger me was really missing out.
I was missing out on all of the love, snuggles, and joys of parenthood. I was also missing out on the fun of the zoo, a slide, chasing each other, and small celebrations: lost teeth, first words, and ½ birthdays!
When all of the pregnancy, labor, and delivery pains and frustrations subside, you are left with an immeasurable gift. Your child opens up a new world to you that you never believed existed.
Before children I wondered why other people’s children had to be so noisy, messy, and dirty. I wondered why kids said and did so many weird things.
Now, I realize its because they are having an absolute blast every single day. They are playing soccer in the rain; they are making snow angels in the yard, and they are blowing bubbles in their drinks just to make each other giggle.
IT’S OK TO HATE PREGNANCY BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE MOTHERHOOD
So, it’s ok to hate pregnancy; honestly, pregnancy is the worst. It doesn’t mean that you will be a bad mom or a distant parent.
Don’t worry if the pains, sickness, and downright grossness of pregnancy make you wonder why anyone would ever do this. Because, when you see that precious face, when those little arms wrap around your neck, and after those tears are wiped by your fingers, you will know it was all worth it.
A thousand times worth it.
Being a mommy rocks.