I'm Not Ungrateful, I'm Just Honest

The other night, one of my best girlfriends lounged across my couch with her hand resting on her belly. As our 1-year-old babies played on the floor in front of us, I marveled at her revelation that she and her husband were newly expecting again. “I can’t believe you’re willing to go through it all again so soon!” I exclaimed.

Sad pregnant woman

“What you are talking about?” she said quizzically. “I love being pregnant!”

My jaw dropped as I looked at her, my mind flashing back to my last miserable pregnancy. The hot summer months, sleepless nights, the swollen feet that still haven't gone back to normal.

"Are you serious?" I asked.

"Oh, yeah!" she replied.

"I would be pregnant all the time if I could!"

Now I know that theoretically, there are women in the world who love pregnancy. I will even admit to enjoying some parts of pregnancy, like the early stages when you feel like you are carrying a precious secret, or even some time in the second trimester when the baby bump manages to look cutely pregnant, not killer whale pregnant.

But for the most part? I really don't enjoy being pregnant

Now, I really don't say that lightly, because I am sensitive to the infertility struggles of many women — and the pain of wanting to hold a child in your arms is a pain that aches to be fulfilled. So, yes, I am grateful for my pregnancies, of course, and I would never want to throw that around lightly.

But at the same time, can we speak honestly here?

Some women love it, but not me

Pregnancy is not always a wonderful and magical experience for me. Some women love being pregnant for the extra attention it garners them from others — grocery store clerks, little old ladies, the bank teller. They love being the center of attention, with their bellies taking center stage. Me on the other hand? I could willingly fade into the background and avoid all that fuss and bother — except when I'm pregnant, there's no way my belly will allow me to fade anywhere. And throw in a stranger or two who insists on asking you repeatedly if you're having twins, and the center of attention bit gets old real fast.

And then there are the women who claim that their partners dote on them more when they are pregnant. They love sharing moments talking over her belly together, enjoying endless foot massages and late-night ice cream runs while they shop for nursery furniture together online. My husband, while a wonderful partner, runs more along the school of that's-what-women's-bodies-were-built-for, right? He's not forgetful or neglectful by any means, but after three kids, he doesn't fall over on his face in loving awe of me either.

What about the cute clothes?

Some women love the cutesy maternity clothes they can wear. Stretchy jeans rock! And admittedly, while I fully support the campaign to bring the give of maternity wear to non-pregnancy occasions, there is also only so far that I can go with looking "cute" in maternity clothes. Somewhere along the line, I morph from a cute preggo into a ginormous creature whose "maternity" shirts don't even fit over her belly. Not such a cute look anymore, huh?

Then there are women who just love every minute of the pregnancy experience. The morning sickness? Just means they are growing a healthy baby! The heartburn? Full head of hair! How about a raging case of varicose veins and massive hemorrhoids? Just a mother's sacrifice! Endless rounds of bathroom visits every hour on the hour, even in the middle of the night? Good preparation for when the baby comes!

And finally, there are those women who just won't stop proclaiming what a miracle it is to be a part of the wondrous events that unfold when a baby is grown from two tiny cells and brought, wailing and screaming in the world.

And OK, OK, I admit — that part is pretty cool.

More about pregnancy

Newborn safety in the hospital
Come on, baby! Natural induction techniques
Would you trust a male nurse during your labor and delivery?

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