“Don’t you love being pregnant?!” This question came at me several times during each of my pregnancies, and each time I was confronted with it, I wondered if I should lie and say, “Yes! It’s the best experience ever” instead of confirming that pregnancy is hard!
Truth is, I did not enjoy being pregnant. I LOVED my unborn baby fiercely, and I marveled at the pregnancy process (making a baby and then carrying it around in my body remains a mind-blowing concept to me), but I did not enjoy being pregnant.
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Here’s another confession: I thought something was wrong with me because I didn’t like being pregnant. I oftentimes would think, “What’s up with me? Why can’t I be happy about being pregnant like Shauna or Steph?” I would feel guilty about not enjoying the process; some days I was harder on myself than I care to admit.
If I had a do-over, my self-talk would sound more like these 10 “today” statements:
1. Today, I will be gentle with myself. I will treat myself kindly. I will feel what I feel.
2. Today, I will remember that not loving pregnancy is normal, even if many people don’t admit those feelings.
3. Today, I will avoid those few people who tend to lead me to feel badly about myself.
4. Today, I will understand a few of those reasons why I may not love being pregnant
5. Today, I will remember even though I don’t enjoy being pregnant, I do love my baby. I will talk to her, sing to her, write to her, and look forward to her arrival.
6. Today, I will check in with my emotions. If I’m entering the “danger zone” with my feelings (overly-depressed), I will immediately call my doctor or midwife.
7. Today, I will find an older, wiser lady who can reassure me and walk alongside me. I will not isolate myself.
8. Today, I will eat healthy foods, take my prenatal vitamins (even if they do increase my nausea), and care for myself and my baby.
9. Today, I will be honest when someone asks and I will say, “I don’t really enjoy being pregnant, but I do marvel at the process, and I adore my baby beyond words!”
10. Today, I will remember that in xx days, I will be finished being pregnant, and I will be holding my baby in my arms.
Twenty years after my last pregnancy, I realize I now am that older, wiser lady who wants to reassure you that you are okay. You are perfectly normal not to enjoy pregnancy. Pregnancy is hard! You are incredibly courageous to wade into the waters of pregnancy and motherhood.
Take things one day at a time, practice a few “today” statements, and know you are not alone.