Posted by: Ingrid | April 24, 2009

Stop the bad press

I have become acutely aware in the past few weeks that pregnancy gets a lot of negative press.  I’ve been paying more attention to what people say to me now and I find it a bit ironic.  When I was miserably wading through the first trimester and wondering if I’d ever not feel nauseous again, people would ask me how I was feeling, listen to my answer, and either one up how I felt with a story about their pregnancy and how I didn’t know what bad felt like or basically tell me that I should stop feeling bad.  Helpful, I know.

I don’t feel bad now.  I feel fantastic!  I have energy, my back doesn’t hurt, I have no pain anywhere, I’m staying just about as active as before, and over all, I never expected that I could feel this great at the six to seven month transition period.  The odd thing though, is that now when people ask me how I feel and I respond with, “I feel great!” the overwhelming response has been, “Oh.  Well, just wait…”  This seems to mean all sorts of things.

Just wait until you balloon up and get huge and feel like you’re going to fall over.

Just wait until you gain 30 pounds in your last 3 months.

Just wait until you feel miserable, uncomfortable, and hate your pregnant life.

What on earth is this?  Do people not want other people to have babies?  Because if I weren’t pregnant and was hearing the sort of responses I’ve gotten for saying that I feel good I would seriously consider never having children.  Why opt for 9 months of misery?

Even the pregnancy books are full of grim possibilities and painful symptoms that you might experience.  While it’s true that they might happen, I realized (mostly while on vacation) that it was very easy to take that infernal list of symptoms now emblazoned on my brain and read into everything.  The day we flew in I got ready for bed and noticed my ankles were swollen.  Right, I thought with a sigh, just another annoying sign of pregnancy.

But then I thought about it.  My ankles swell when I sit on a plane for 5 hours and don’t drink enough water even when I’m not pregnant.  I probably need more sleep than I get even when I’m not growing a human life.  I still get grumpy when I’m tired and do too much sight seeing in one day, pregnant or not, I still feel uncomfortable and get heartburn when I overeat, I still get bloated, I still get tired if I don’t sleep well, and I still have emotions that sometimes go up and down.  I know that there are some nasty symptoms that some women experience, but I’m wondering if some of it is perspective too.  If I go through pregnancy looking for the list of “Icky Pregnancy Side Effects and Symptoms” (a recent addition to my email) I’m likely to find them where they may not even exist.  But if I just go about living life… well, it feels a lot better and a lot less uncomfortable than if I blame every bad thing I feel on being pregnant.  Plus it’s nice to know that I can just live life.  How freeing!  Yes, I’m pregnant, but I’m still me and I can still enjoy things.

There are hard parts and annoying things about everything we do, from training for a marathon to going to school to being pregnant but I’m starting to see that dwelling on those things can get old fast!  I guess if anything, this has helped me to see how important it is to really listen and respond to people where they’re at in the highs and lows of whatever they’re a part of.

So lets stop some of the bad press and stop making pregnant women think that pregnancy has to be miserable!  We could stand to see a few more babies around. 🙂



  1. To be fair, some of us really do get lots of the icky pregnancy symptoms. And really are miserable.

    But I’m glad you’re not.

  2. I realize that there are some pretty nasty symptoms, what surprises me is that people who talk to me about pregnancy want to talk about just how bad or horrible everything is going to be. I guess I’d rather let it unfold and see if things come up rather than being under the impression that all these bad things are going to happen just because I happen to be pregnant. I don’t want to be told, “Just wait, you’re going to be miserable.” but I’m getting the impression that’s the expectation from people if they’re talking to a pregnant woman and I think it’s a little weird. Not to mention discouraging! 🙂

  3. I dunno, I liked being pregnant most of the time. It’s so INTERESTING. 🙂

    The end might be partly hard because the baby’s very big, but part of it is your extreme eagerness at that point to meet the kid, which exacerbates any symptoms that might or might not be there. You want it to be done ’cause it’s uncomfortable, sure . . . but more because you want to MEET THE BABY. And that’s not a bad thing. 🙂 It’s exciting, really.

  4. I think it is discouraging, although it’s true that some women feel icky and awful and pregnancy is not easy or fun for them. I have heard both sides many times over. Some of my friends loved being pregnant and never felt sick and always had their energy and others felt the complete opposite.

    I’m feeling neutral. I feel ok, but the nausea is awful and I hate it. I’ve also lost my energy and am an avid health nut. It’s trying day to day. We’ll see what is to come.

  5. Yeah – it’s hard to hear negativity when you really need encouragement. Awesome that you are feeling great. I think the happy running endorphins help, too.
    But, as Emily said, some pregnancies really can be miserable and it’s kind of comforting to know others experienced the pain yet survived. My first baby was cake(…then again, I constantly wanted cake!) This one, I’ve been throwing up everyday for the last 3 months.
    Reading your story helps get me out and exercise because I know I’m going to feel better afterward. I appreciate your positive outlook!

  6. Well said Ingrid! I’ve never been pregnant, but I can imagine that would be very difficult and I sure wouldn’t want that sort of feedback during ‘up’ times. It seems it would be much more beneficial to have those sorts of comments offered only if you begin to experience them.

  7. Oh boy, can I ever relate to this post!!! I feel very lucky that I’ve reached the final weeks of my pregnancy without a single negative symptom, but I have experienced EXACTLY what you are talking about. It’s almost as if your peers want to bring you down! If we had more positive feedback about pregnancy, women might have less fear about it and more happiness.

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