What’s So Scary About Big, Bad Pregnancy?

By Megan McChesney

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One of the things that people ask a lot when you’re pregnant is “How are you feeling?” It’s a nice question to be asked, really. And it’s even nicer when I can honestly answer “I feel great!” And, for the most part I do. I’m just at the start of my third trimester, and I realize that things can get tough near the end of a pregnancy, but I’ve honestly enjoyed the ride so far. Yes, some parts are less than amazing (nausea, back pain, heart burn, random hair growth [see video below], smaller bladder capacity, interrupted sleep, wicked head colds, random tearful outbursts during episodes of Futurama), but I have loved being pregnant so far. Feeling my baby move around and watching my body change has been unexpectedly delightful. So that’s what I tell people when they ask me. I really do feel great.

What’s interesting, though, is how rarely other women must say this. Because any time I say it to young women in their pre-baby stage of life, most of them say the same thing: “It’s so nice to hear someone say that!” Or they say something like: “Hearing you say that makes me feel better.” At first, I thought it was just a handful of women. But more and more of my pre-baby friends and colleagues have said the same thing. And before being pregnant myself, I can remember having trepidations and fears, which must have come from somewhere: will I still feel like myself? (yes), will I feel unattractive? (no), will I feel sick and tired and awful all the time? (no).

I realize that some women have a really tough time during pregnancy—it’s not all rainbows and unicorns all the time. Some women have complicated pregnancies or feel horrendous throughout. I don’t want to discount those women, but I know far more who have had relatively standard pregnancies.

So, here’s my question: Am I really unusual in feeling like pregnancy is actually pleasant, despite the unpleasantries? Are we somehow collectively creating and reinforcing this idea of pregnancy as a horrible, uncomfortable and stressful time, despite the fact that it’s really not so bad? What are we doing to create this idea of pregnancy as a scary thing, and how can we stop spreading it? For me, it’s being open and honest about how much I’ve enjoyed my pregnancy so far, because I really have.

And I know I’m not the only one.

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