It’s important to note before reading this blog that it is not about depression. If you are having scary or dangerously unhappy thoughts there’s absolutely no shame in that but please let someone know how you’re feeling. Depression of all degrees is common during pregnancy, you are not alone, and help is never as far away as it seems.
The worst pregnant person I know . . .
Pregnancy just isn’t my thing. Yeah, yeah, I’m aware it’s miraculous, I am amazed at what our bodies can do, I feel blessed to be able to bring children into the world (While pregnancy isn’t my thing, I love children. ; ), I just . . . don’t enjoy it–any of it.
I’m not much for bump pictures.
I don’t love feeling them move, though it’s nice to be reminded they’re okay in there. (I mean, that is my bladder they’re doing headstands on . . .)
And I don’t get particularly excited about gender or ultrasound photos or nursery decorating or . . . any of it really.
We are now at 22 weeks into this twin pregnancy and I have lost any semblance of interest in “real” pants (yes, even the maternity ones). To that end, I’ve purchased five pairs of fold-over yoga pants and four pairs of serious but quite stretchy leggings that I consider my “nice pants.”
Most days I eat what anyone would consider a full meal every three-four hours with snacks in between and still just manage to gain weight as I should for twins. This is, thus far, the only true benefit to being pregnant I can discern (other than getting my sweet babies when it’s over, that is : ).
Because I am pregnant with twins, the medical community has honored my pregnancy earlier than most with the title, “Geriatric Pregnancy” and they like to refer often to my “Advanced Maternal Age” when explaining tests. Jerks.
In short, I’m just not a glowing, excitable, example of prenatal joy. When I was pregnant with my first baby, my lack of excitement and general grouchiness about the whole thing was upsetting and certainly guilt-inducing.
I was afraid I wouldn’t love my daughter like a mother should. I felt guilty for not savoring each moment when I know there are so many who go through so much to be pregnant and for not wanting to participate in celebrating each new development along the way. I didn’t like talking about it because everyone around me was so happy and excited and I just wasn’t.
Then she was born.
And, for me, in that instant, everything changed.
I knew without a single doubt that I loved her beyond anything I had ever known before and that has held true. I have absolutely loved being a mama. I have loved watching her grow and experience new things. I have loved holding her and feeding her and taking her places and getting to know her unique personality.
So this time, I’m not surprised to feel frustrated, uncomfortable, and generally annoyed with the physical state of pregnancy, but unlike last time, I’ve let go of the anxiety and decided not to feel bad about it.
If you’re pregnant and you aren’t enjoying it either, that’s okay. I think it’s perfectly normal to not feel like celebrating when you’re pregnant. Lots of people don’t want to celebrate a three month long stomach flu, constant nausea, terrible lower back pain, peeing when you sneeze (or laugh or throw up, etc), suddenly having to overhaul your entire diet to suit the whims of the beasts within, not sleeping well for months at a time, and so many more “fun” side effects.
It doesn’t mean you won’t love your child. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy. It doesn’t make you a bad person.
And for all of my friends and family who are so excited for me, that’s okay, too! I couldn’t possibly be more grateful to know that my children are so loved and anticipated by such an incredible community before they’re even born. Just bear with me, I’ll have a lot more fun with it all in a few months. Promise. ; )