Pregnancy is magical. It’s special. It should be treasured.
Women around the world are desperate to get pregnant and can’t. You’ll never experience this again. Treasure every moment. Pregnancy is a privilege.
You know what, all of these things are true. Obviously they’re true. But do you know what else is true? Sometimes pregnancy SUCKS. It sucks! It’s truly dreadful. And it is definitely, one hundred percent, categorically okay to admit it. In fact, not admitting it might be one of the unhealthiest things you can do.
I’m not having anymore children. When I was younger I never thought that two (plus a step son) would be enough. I wanted a big family and I was certain I would have it. But now as a thirty year old mother I have changed my mind for various reasons; finances, space, time, energy, other commitments… all valid. But the big seller for me? Pregnancy.
I felt so guilty during my pregnancy with Baby B. I felt guilty because of how much time I was having to spend in hospital, I couldn’t be with Miss Rose and she struggled with it. I felt guilty because she would go to school expecting to see me that night and I’d vanish off in an ambulance and, without warning, I’d be missing from her life and she would sleep at grandma’s. I felt guilty because even when I was at home I was in so much pain and so sick that I could barely look after her anyway so she was either taking care of herself, at three years old, or spending the majority of the day at grandma’s. I felt guilty because I couldn’t care for my family, I couldn’t look after my home, I couldn’t cook meals, and I was mostly too ill to do my job.
But do you know what I felt guilty about most? HATING my pregnancy.
When I was pregnant with Miss Rose I wrote her a letter every single day. I have notebooks full of daily letters to her updating her on what was going on, how I was feeling, what we’d done that day. Thoughts about how lucky I was being pregnant, how excited I felt. How long I had dreamed of having that very experience.
Do you know what Baby B got? A folder full of medical notes so thick that I couldn’t carry it. Do you know what else? Nothing.
And I tried to deny it. I tried to focus on the positives. I tried to make myself enjoy it and celebrate it. I knew it would be my last experience. I should have been taking beautiful portraits of my growing bump, I should have been making fun time lapse videos, I should have been doing fun pregnancy and baby related arts and crafts to record everything and be able to provide her with amazing memorabilia about her journey into the world.
I remembered all those women who would have given anything to be in my shoes, to have a baby girl growing inside them just ready to live and be loved. I remembered how much I had done in preparation for Miss Rose’s arrival. How she has special memorabilia waiting for her.
I tried to force myself to be positive and happy.
But it didn’t stop the pain. It didn’t stop the misery. It didn’t stop the vom. And it made me feel even worse. The guilt ate at me because try as I might I couldn’t enjoy it, I couldn’t treasure it, and I hated myself for it.
Baby B is here. She’s healthy. She’s loved. She doesn’t care that I found pregnancy so hard. All she cares about is that she’s clean, warm, fed and loved. It makes no difference to how much she’s wanted and how good her life is.
All I did was make myself feel worse.
Pregnancy can be beautiful.
But it can also be HIDEOUS. And you know what? Labour HURTS. It hurts like mad! That is also not beautiful and special. It’s PAINFUL. I swore, I told The Boy I hate him, I howled in pain. I was rushed back to hospital, in another ambulance, and an hour and a half later she was crowning.
Then… it was done.
It was over.
Suddenly I didn’t feel sick anymore. I didn’t feel pain anymore. I didn’t feel the crushing misery anymore. It was over. I held her and I felt good. The Boy held her and I got in the bath. And I felt wonderful. I felt amazing.
Pregnancy is awful and it’s okay to admit it. Don’t feel guilty. Other people’s experiences don’t eradicate yours. Other people’s pain doesn’t make yours lesser or greater. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby and it doesn’t mean you’ll be a bad mum. It just means you’re going through something that is difficult and you’re allowing yourself to acknowledge it.
And before you know it, it’s done. It’s over. And a month later you’ll be sitting with your baby in your arms and remembering how crappy you’d felt just weeks earlier and feeling so grateful that you’re not going through it right this moment.
I’m never doing it again. But I’m so glad I did it this time.