I’m in the last few weeks of this pregnancy, and I’m sort of stupidly realizing that I’m in the last few weeks of this pregnancy. As in soon, this phase of my life will be over forever. There’s a part of my brain that’s telling me I need to enjoy this remaining bit of time, relish feeling a baby moving inside me and strangers being nice when I venture into public places. But I feel like I’m just going through the motions.
I’m trying to make sure I do all the things for The Acrobat that I did for Annabel…like this:
Still as impressively, terrifyingly painful as it was with Annabel.
I have a lot of guilt because I am not feeling joyful. I worked hard over the last thirty-five-plus weeks to not get stressed out, and it had the unfortunate side effect of leaving me feeling…detached. A year ago today I found out I’d miscarried, leaving my pregnancy track record less-than impressive. I’ve kept my heart guarded since then, but now that I’m so close to the end I wish I could open it up. Instead, a pregnancy’s worth of stress is slamming me and I’m just hoping that the moment I see him all of this will melt away.
I tell myself that I don’t have to enjoy this time to be grateful. I am allowed to hate every remaining moment of the pregnancy if I need to, and then be happy when he’s born. (I do need to come to grips with the fact that this is happening and pack a frigging hospital bag already!) But I don’t need to enjoy pregnancy to love my baby. I really wish pregnancy agreed with me, but it doesn’t and I can’t have guilt about it anymore.
So while I really do like feeling The Acrobat wiggle inside me (or, more accurately, tenderize my innards), I’m not going to be sad when this is over. I want to see this baby and get my heart and mind back.
Peace out, pregnancy. I will not miss you.
Firstly, how the heck do you not have any stretch marks? I’m in awe!
As for your concerns, well I don’t think you have to enjoy pregnancy at all! In fact I think you answered all your own bullet points with this one sentence … “the moment I see him all of this will melt away” …
… and it will!
Genetics help with the stretch marks, my mom didn’t get them on her stomach and she was pregnant with twins! Yet, I somehow have stretchmarks all over my legs from growing up so….I think I’d rather they be on my stomach!
I didn’t get stretch marks either and was so pleased, until I noticed what pregnancy did to my butt. I would have preferred stretch marks.
Heather, I know what you’re saying and it’s totally awesome to give yourself permission to be ready to be done being pregnant. I have 4 children and 4 step children, and 9 1/2 grandchildren. I only half jokingly tell them all, that the last month is LONGER by a whole lot than the rest of the pregnancy put together. You can also make yourself feel better by pretending you really just want it over with so you can finally meet the little miracle you’re waiting for. It is true. It’s just not the ONLY reason. We can keep it a secret if you want. I won’t tell. By the way, I usually just lurk because I’m really pretty boring, but I want you to know that I abso-freaking-lutely LOVE your blog. Your family. You. Annie’s pics and videos. Maddie’s pics and videos. I guess that covers is by saying your family, right? Seriously though, best of luck to you and can’t wait to see new pics of the new baby!
“Tenderize my innards” made me laugh. My last pregnancy was 22 years ago, but I read those words and thought “yup! That’s exactly what it feels like!” You’re allowed to feel exactly what you feel, considering what your pregnant body puts you through! Hang in there…the good part is coming!
Thank you for this post. I am 24 weeks pregnant with my first and I had the realization last night that I hate being pregnant. Of course, when I voiced the words, I immediately felt guilty and worried that I won’t love my little guy when he arrives. It’s nice to know someone else feels the same way. And of course we’ll love our babies when they arrive! We went through an awful process to get them here!
Tam @ Nearly Not Quite says:
Some people just suck at being pregnant – I am one of those people. I felt *so much* guilt with my last pregnancy – it was my body that attacked our second child and ended her life, there was so much danger and risk in being pregnant again three months after losing Ariana and all of that was just overwhelming. Not to mention the high risk shenanigans. Realising that I was allowed to feel that way was an incredibly freeing moment. And I adore my kids, all three. I just HATE being pregnant.
Like you, I hated pretty much every minute of my second (and last) pregnancy. I had hyperemesis, followed by pre-eclampsia and toxaemia. There was a brief window between 27 and 32 weeks when I felt….okay.
But as soon as my son was born….I not only fell in love with this amazing little creature (a boy when I expected another girl: amazing), I felt like myself again. I had myself back, AND a beautiful healthy baby. What’s not to like about that? So hate away, Heather, and don’t feel bad. Pregnancy is just a delivery system.
Yeah, hard to blame you there. I hated my pregnancies too and they were not nearly so miserable as yours. Eventually I came to grips w the fact that you can be ecstatic about having a baby but hate the vehicle to get him here.
Heather–long-time reader, but it’s my first time commenting. I felt that I just had to today after reading your post! I had severe hyperemesis with two of my three full-term pregnancies(and twice with miscarriages, too) It took me a LONG time to get over the guilt that I felt about not loving being pregnant. I had to try to hard to get pregnant, then work so hard to stay that way and get a baby here safely…that it seemed really ungrateful. But, like a wedding does not a marriage make, pregnancy does not make your worth as a mom any greater or less. I think that we all, as parents, have those things that we love about parenting and those things we maybe don’t love so much about it–my struggles while being pregnant turned me into a patient mom of newborns. Good luck with these last days–one day, these emotions will not feel so raw and you too will be able to say “Let me tell you about how I got my three kids here–I don’t have to apologize to anyone about anything to do with my pregnancies or deliveries.”
No one gets pregnant for the joys of pregnancy.
I spend most of my time worried that something is wrong/will go wrong because it took us so long to actually get pregnant.
I think, or at least I hope, this is a perfectly natural thing for pregnant women to feel.
“Hate the pregnancy, love the child ” has been my motto from day 1 of this pregnancy, and half of the past one. I’m also the one saying that the only way we’re having a third is if the husband carries it… And I haven’t had to deal with half the grief this pregnancy gave you!
There may be women who love being pregnant, but I certainly don’t meet many. It’s s pretty exhausting physical and psychological process!
Not everyone enjoys pregnancy – so don’t sweat it! If I had better pregnancies I would have tried for one more, but it just wasn’t meant to be. This will all be behind you soon, and you will be enjoying your new little person!
Christina Bathan says:
J E A L O U S !!!!!! what no road map of Los Angeles across your Belly????? Long thick beautiful hair????? Girlie, the worst part is almost over. I always hear them say pregnant women glow, and I’m like um sure yeah ok….. but I noticed it yesterday, you may feel like garbage’, and yeah it shows in your eyes too, but you look beautiful, and the pictures of you and Annie together, priceless.
I joke that no stretch marks are my one “thing.” I think most people would have the stretch marks if it meant avoiding the shots, puking, etc! Ha/
I really appreciate this post because, like you, I’ve had two live births and then experienced a m/c during the 3rd pregnancy and now contemplating getting pregnant again soon (as my cycle has finally returned) and I wonder and worry about how I’m going to feel this next time. I certainly don’t have the issues you do while pregnant, so it will be “easier” for me to “enjoy” it, but I worry about how guarded I’m going to be and feel after having experienced that m/c loss. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to be over the moon happy during pregnancy; I will be over the moon happy holding a 3rd child … when I get there.
I was so guarded with Annabel’s pregnancy, and I really thought it would be easier this time but it wasn’t – if anything, I was even MORE guarded, and I’m sure the M/C had a lot to do with that. I guess it’s just what we have to do to get through it, but it’s nice to know there are other guarded people out there – it makes me feel like it’s okay.
“I don’t need to enjoy pregnancy to love my baby.” This. I’ve had two terrible pregnancies and have two amazing babies! Worth it? Yes! Doing it ever again? Nope! Feel guilty about that? Double Nope!
Just because pregnancy is SUPER hard for you does not mean you love your babies any less. It is SO much harder to be pregnant when you have other kiddos to take care of also. Comparing this pregnancy to Annie’s and how you acted during each is like comparing apples to oranges. You just can’t do it.
I know MANY Mamas who HATE pregnancy, have terrible sickness/depression while they are pregnant. But the moment they give birth, it is all gone and they immediately bond with the baby.
I haven’t been sick, I love being pregnant, but I don’t feel that I’ve bonded with this baby much at all yet. I am so busy with everyone else that there hasn’t been time. I am trying, but I know as soon as he is born, it will all be rectified. Cut yourself some slack and know you are doing the best you can do.
You’re a damn cute pregnant mama, too. PS I have an email coming your way with food tips. BOO to the BEETUS!
Are you still dealing with HG Heather? Or is it just all the other rough stuff?
The HG is much better than it was during the first 24 weeks of my pregnancy. I don’t need IV hydration anymore and I am able to keep down most of my nutrition. I’m still nauseous 24/7, and the last ten days I’ve thrown up a bit more than usual, but compared to how things were at the beginning, this is cake.
Ha! I could not agree more with this and so glad you are so honest about it! I honestly hated being pregnant with my 3rd daughter. I was over the stress, the worry, the constant…omgomgomgomg what was that ping? that pang? that tightening?…, the pain of it all, the gestational diabetes’s diet. I will say that as soon as I had her, like right away, it all was forgotten. Every single last little dread was taken away by her sweet little face. I look at her today (at almost 2 years old!) and she is so beautiful and carefree but man I never want to be pregnant again! I will say too that my recovery time was really fast with her, I think it’s because I was over it months before it ever ended!! Hang in there Heather, we’re all rooting for you on the sidelines
I hated being pregnant…I puked from week 40 until delivery thanks to hyperemesis (like you). An alien had invaded my body and I just didn’t feel well. I didn’t glow…It wasn’t fun. But I LOVE my daughter more than anything…ANYTHING. So while it was totally worth it I will never be doing it again.
cindy w says:
I was the same way during my pregnancy with Lucy for totally different reasons (marriage-falling-apart stuff). I wasn’t excited, I was just stressed out and a ball of anxiety about all of it. The day after she was born, the doctor walked in & asked me how I was feeling. I pumped my fists in the air and yelled, “I’m not pregnant anymore!!”
So, yeah. Peace out, pregnancy, indeed.
I plan on stealing your fist=pumping move, fo sho.
Do not feel guilty about wanting your pregnancy over. I never experienced half the pregnancy issues you had and I still disliked being pregnant. It was a means to a beautiful end. I’m glad I was pregnant, but I can definitely write it off as something I don’t ever want to do again!
I had two fairly easy pregnancies and could not understand why anyone thought being pregnant was a beautiful thing. Blah. I’m very happy for you that this will soon be over. It will all have been worth it but that doesn’t mean you should be liking it.
My first child was born very early. Needless to say the second pregnancy was full of anxiety. I was able to carry him to term and have a c-section since I’d had an emergency one the first time. My husband had a vasectomy a month before I was due because then if that was painful (it wasn’t) we both weren’t tired and in pain after my delivery. I knew there was no way I’d be pregnant again. It is unfortunate that for some of us pregnancy is not enjoyable like for so many others. Hang in there!
See I’m just the opposite. I really loved being pregnant BUT! …While I loved my child I just did not like the baby stage one single bit. I got up a billion times at night to change diapers, snuggle, feed, etc. . .But all I could think about was….When will this kid sleep all night long.
I almost think I’d be great at surrogacy.
Oh, I like the baby stage but I still wonder about the sleep thing! So I feel you there.
Pregnancy is a means to an end — a baby. There are some good things about it (feeling the baby move inside you, etc.), but there are an awful lot of bad, and you suffered through pretty much all of them. So, rather than feel guilt, I think you should feel pride in yourself. You knew what a Herculean (is that how you spell that?) task being pregnant would be, but you did it anyway so you can get that brass ring of a baby boy at the end. And you are almost there, so you just need to hang in a little longer.
Your tummy is perfect! Good luck on the last little bit of your pregnancy!
Aww sweetheart, you’re totally right. Think about your pregnancy with Maddie that was so full of stress and then how much you obviously adored her, the acrobat will be exactly the same. So little time to go until you get to cuddle him now. Hang in there mama, he’s guaranteed to be worth every second x
I felt similar with my third baby, but more so because he was a surprise that we weren’t prepared for. We thought we were done at 2, and taking precautions. I would say a sence of dread was at the pit of my stomach most of my pregnancy, worrying if we could handle another baby. Money, and work, and daycare, and on. But all that instantly fades the minute you see your beautiful baby. He is now 6 months old and the sweetest best baby ever. He is our surprise blessing, and I thank god for him everyday.
You are truly amazing…an inspiration. I’m glad you can make peace with the fact that it’s okay to not like being pregnant but still be grateful. You seem like one of the most gracious, grateful people around. For all you’ve been through….you are one strong person. I know this is just some stranger through the blogasphere but, for what’s it’s worth, I’m thankful to have been able to read your life’s ups and downs. I keep checking…thinking maybe today’s the day!
Thank you so much, that means a lot to me.
Pregnancy is difficult (understatement of the year!) under the best of circumstances. It’s actually so refreshing to hear someone say that they hate being pregnant. Why is that such a terrible thing to say?!? I don’t know, but I know when I was pregnant and hating life I felt like I couldn’t say anything like that. So much guilt when we’re just supposed to be HAPPY! And GLOWING! And yes, there are some truly amazing moments during pregnancy that I wouldn’t trade for the world, but damn if there aren’t some truly rough moments (and by “moments” I mean “months”)!
So happy that you are finally nearing the end of this journey. I can’t wait to read about the moment when the Acrobat is placed safely in your arms:)
I never felt guilty about saying that I hated being pregnant. Everyone around me knew that I hated it. I did nothing but complain through all my pregnancies. Everyone knew how much I loved kids, so they knew that wasn’t the reason. I did not make it a secret at all that I hated it. It was no big deal to me, because I didn’t care what anyone thought of it.
*Raising my hand and joining the I hate pregnancy club!*
I love love love my kids, adore them to pieces, but HATED being pregnant each time. Both of my sisters are those people who love pregnancy. I spent the whole time feeling sick, puking, dealing with premature labor and simultaneously wanting the pregnancy to go as long as possible for a healthy baby, but wanting it to be OVER at the same time.
No need to feel guilty about not loving pregnancy. Just get through this last couple of weeks, and then when you see his face it will all be worth it (which you already know!)
I also have to add, during my last pregnancy, I felt completely detached. I felt almost no feelings for the actual baby that was on it’s way. I REALLY wanted to, but I was so terrified something was going to go wrong (before him I’d had a very sick preemie, and a late 2nd-trimester loss)and I think my brain was just trying to keep my heart protected from being traumatized again. I was seriously worried because while I was excited about the idea of his birth, and meeting him, and seeing what he looked like, I was keeping a secret that to me, he still didn’t seem like a reality. I really felt more certain that something was going to go wrong so I just couldn’t feel attached. Even in the delivery room I felt that way. When he was out and being cleaned up and weighed I kept asking, in shock, “He’s REALLY okay!? Are you SURE!? Like, he’s breathing and everything!?” I was so certain something was going to go wrong.
Then, I actually heard his first cry and snuggled him and my heart MELTED and I’ve been head over heels in love with this little dude ever since.
I laughed out loud with a tear in my eyes at the last sentence. You have every right to feel the way you do, it’s been a rough journey but you are such awesome parents. They say you forget the pain of childbirth, and I also think you’ll forget all the troubles The Acrobat gave you the minute you see him. Soon he’ll be in your arms, I can’t wait to see pictures.
I just went back to the picture of Annabel in your belly and realized you gave birth to her just two days later. Maybe that’s a sign it’s just days away. Here’s hoping everything goes well. And the Acrobat is healthy and gets a name soon.
I was one of those crazy women who loved being pregnant. But never did I go through what you have my dear. You are a very brave and amazing mom. I cannot wait to see you with both babies all cuddled in.
Jill Ricardo says:
HG pregnancy x 5 (28 months in bed)+ 8 hospitalizations for dehydration/malnutrition + 3 miscarriages = pregnancy sucks for me too!! Still, I’m madly in love with this 11 week old son and you will be with your little boy too!
I hated being pregnant. But then again, I’m odd. I loved giving birth and didn’t have any pain killers with my kids because I even liked labor pains and pushing the babies out. I would push out 100 kids with no epidurals if someone else carried them. Different strokes for different folks. Nothing to feel guilty about if you don’t like being pregnant.
I felt the exact same way pregnant. I totally took for granted my first, uneventful pregnancy (although I was sick day 1 until the end…). I hated being sick but took home a very healthy, what seemed to be a 3 month old, 10 pound baby girl. I do believe I left some of my innards there at the hospital but that’s not the point. 4 years later and 6 loses pregnancy was never fun. Every little eep or twing caused fear. Being on IV’s for months and on bed rest from day 1 and giving birth to a somewhat healthy preemie was scary until I held her and the attachment was instant. Despite the horrible pregnancy. So much love overshadowed the horrible pregnancy that crazy me wanted more. Lost another and then had our third little girl. Spent the whole pregnancy on my back, shots 2x a day, pump, mag etc. and months of me in the hospital. We didn’t even name her because I was so scared. When she was born it all was worth it. Although I wish my “hostile uterus” would have held her in for at least 8-10 more weeks and that she would have been born “perfect” in the doctors eyes and had no health issues…the bond was instant…again!!!! My pregnancies sucked….all 10 of them but my three girls ROCK!!!! Now they are 17, 13 and 11 and I feel like our bond is stronger than anyones I might be biased but I worked damn hard for them to get here and even though I hated and was terrified throughout the entire process I would give nothing for those 6 big eyes that greet me with tons of love every morning! Now the looking for college process sucks…I don’t want to let go…ever!!!!
Pregnancy may not agree with you but you have the best belly I have ever seen. I know that doesn’t even come close to making up for everything that you have endured during this pregnancy but that is one beautiful belly. And you are one beautiful mama. I can’t even begin to imagine what you have all went through. You are truly amazing. I really hope you know that. Even on the days you don’t feel amazing. So you go right ahead and continue to hate to pregnancy!!! You so deserve that. That little boy is going to melt your heart. I can’t wait to hear all about him:)
Expat Mom says:
I also detest pregnancy. I always felt like I should be enjoying it, but really, I just wanted the baby OUT. I actually think it’s meant to be that way at the end so women don’t completely freak out about delivering the baby. You’re so done with having him inside that you WELCOME the pain and recovery just to be done with it.
As for bonding, don’t worry, you will. I had 3 miscarriages before giving birth to my first son and I was very guarded throughout the pregnancy, especially since I had complication after complication, ending in pre-eclampsia and induction 3 weeks after his due date. He was born with a birth defect that required surgery in another hospital and I couldn’t even get there until the third day of his life . . . but it was love at first sight and we most definitely bonded. You and your baby are designed to bond, so don’t worry!
I wanted to you to know how much hope you are giving me. I suffered a miscarriage last week…we were crushed. It seems like forever (or never) that Ill be expecting a baby. To see your beautiful belly is so joyous. It makes me happy to think of where I could hope to be in a year. Thank you for sharing your stories. They matter so much to me.
I’m very sorry for your loss. <>
Oh Emily, I am SO SORRY to hear this. Be kind to yourself, these are really hard and emotional days, not to mention physically difficult. I really hope that you are where I am in a year – or sooner! Lots of love to you. xoxo
Thank you so much, Heather. I just wanted you to know that I am reassured by your words and pictures from the last year (although I’ve been a fan of yours for quite a while longer!)
Oh Emily! I’m so very sorry for your loss! Be gentle with you & make sure you are surrounded with tender, loving, kindness.
Holy crap your tummy is AMAZING.
And fuck joy. Joy will come of its own accord.
You just get through those days, gorgeous lady xxx
1) That is the nicest pregnant belly I’ve ever seen! No racing stripe (those who get the dark hairy line know exactly what I’m talking about), no stretch marks, no varicose veins, WOW! Jealous party of 1. 2) I had two pregnancies and I hated every minute. I didn’t glow, I sweat. I didn’t get morning sickness and kept my weight down, I ate everything under the sun and gained 90 lbs. (In my defense, I couldn’t help it.) I didn’t just have to remove my rings due to some swelling, I took swollen cankles to a whole new level.
I love my babies but I did not love the cooking part. Doesn’t matter anyway; that was the short part of the kid process.
I Hated pregnancy. And let me tell you, I wasn’t nearly as graceful about it as you are. Still, I like to think it made me awesome at having a newborn. People complain about that but I was just on a “I’m not pregnant anymore! Nothing is bad!” high.
Your belly is amazing. Truly! And so similar to the “Binky” belly. I guess I thought you might carry differently since it’s a boy this time, but it’s almost exactly the same! And so, so cute/ scary big. How do you not tip over when you stand up??
Sending you lots of love and positive thoughts! And you are TOTALLY allowed to complain and hate being pregnant. We all know that you don’t take any of it for granted just because you are so ready to be done being pregnant. What you have been through in your pregnancies is unbelievable- I don’t know anyone else who would have handled it with such grace. I had two fairly easy pregnancies and I was still a big baby who complained about every little thing. You are truly an inspiration and SUCH a devoted and amazing mommy. I’m honored to “know” you.
I’m kind of hating my pregnancy, too. As it’s my first, I thought it would be easy and I’d sail through it. Not the case. I’m old(er) and it’s just been one problem after another. First some wonky genetic test results, then placenta previa, high blood pressure, failed my glucose test, and the baby is not as big as they would like… so, yeah, I’m right there with you. I almost wish we didn’t have so much testing nowadays, and maybe it would have been a lot less stressful. But I’m at 30 weeks and just hoping to see some good growth and then be done with this pregnancy nonsense already!
I’ve loved being a bit behind you on this journey, I keep telling myself I can handle it if you can.
Hah! I felt the EXACT same way with both of my terribly painful pregnances and miscarriage and now that I’m a year out I am wistful. My husband says I’m nuts, that clearly I’ve got amnesia because how could I not remember crying with pain every day and taking Oxycodone?! I dunno. But you just wait. What a miracle you have got going on. It’s too bad pregnancies are so stressful, even for “normal” ones – the end is always scary. A present that you don’t know when or how it will arrive… You’re almost on the other side, breathe…and trust your body. It’s amazing.
I lost my uterus two years ago in July after the birth of my daughter. It was a fitting close after years and years of miscarriages, ectopics, birth defects, etc…
“Peace Out, Pregnancy…I will not miss you.”
Love it. I know about the “I’m not enjoying this enough” guilt.
“Enough” for what? It’s harrowing and horrifying. Let’s face it, sister. The Baby Books offer about ONE PAGE to complications.
Thank you for this. I’ve had a really emotionally and physically difficult first trimester with my first pregnancy and I have felt SO guilty about not enjoying it. I feel the need to constantly justify feeling sad and detached. It’s to the point where other people being excited makes me nervous. I absolutely want this baby, but I’ve found pregnancy totally miserable. It’s really nice to know I’m not the only one.
Leslie K says:
What??? You mean to tell us that you haven’t found total joy in the last 35 weeks of constant sickness, hospital stays, daily injections and constant fear of loss or prematurity? That just makes no sense at all.
I remember the day that I realized after 6 years of secondary infertility and 6 miscarriages that I NEVER, EVER would receive another phone call from a nurse or doctor telling me (in a very sad voice) that my hcg levels were dropping and I was losing another baby. THAT was joy! That along with the two incredible boys who call me Mom.
No guilt! Someone might have to have you committed if you managed to be joyous right now!
Oh sweetie! You have had an incredibly rough pregnancy! And even if you hadn’t, it’s ok to love kids / your babies, and not love pregnancy! Just like some moms hate breast feeding, or some aren’t fond of infancy…or prefer older ages…
It doesn’t detract from or take away from the love you have for your sweet Acrobat!
Ta Ta Pregnancy! Hello Baby!!!
I understand! I had a miscarriage right before I got pregnant with my daughter, and I kind of hardened my heart towards my pregnancy with her. I decided to not anticipate a baby at the end, because anything I wanted as badly as I wanted a baby, I wasn’t going to get. Yeah, that’s healthy. I started every appointment with asking if she was still alive. Around 38 weeks, I had a freakout when I realized that I was most likely bringing home a baby, and maybe I should get ready for that?