Pregnancy Journal: For the Love of Pregnancy

From 5 Minutes for Parenting

By Kelly

I was talking on the phone to my sister last weekend, lamenting my falling-apart-disease and my advanced maternal age and my weariness with being pregnant in winter. And while she felt for me, she also let loose a deep sigh, and she said, “I would give anything to trade places with you right now. I love being pregnant. I love being in labor. I love having babies. I just love it all.”

I laughed, because I know it’s true. Emily has wanted to have kids since she was in grade school. She is extremely bossy maternal, and she has an infectious love for all things children. Even now, when she has two of her own, she salivates at the idea of adding more to her brood.

I, on the other hand, came late to the mothering game. I was 28 before I even thought I might want to entertain the idea of starting a family someday. (And even that was mostly the result of friends plying me with stories of the miraculous epidural.) I turned 30 just a few months after Natalie was born. And while it’s true that I astonished everyone – including myself – by falling head over heels with parenting, to the point that I had two (almost three) more children in the next eight years, I have never – and I mean never – opined that I love being pregnant.

Pregnancy to me is a mystical means to an end. I’m fascinated by the uniqueness of it. I marvel at the creativity it showcases.

But I also freely admit it’s bizarre and uncomfortable and sometimes flat-out exhausting.

Later that same night, after my conversation with Emily, I said to my husband that I wish gestating a baby were more like wearing a backpack. What a relief it would be to be able to take off the precious sack for even two hours and hand it to my husband so I might go get a cup of coffee without huffing and puffing and feeling the baby roll into my bladder and kick against my ribs.

But that’s not how the process is designed. Women are the bearers, the creation vessel. We get the glorious with the grinding, the magnificent with the mundane.

Still. I can’t say I love it.

How about you? Do you love being pregnant? Or would you be happy to let someone else do the gestating for you if you could still have the baby at the end?

Kelly is 26 weeks pregnant with her fourth child, a baby boy who is sadly nameless. She blogs about her daily life at Love Well.

30 Responses to Pregnancy Journal: For the Love of Pregnancy
  1. Babs
    February 10, 2010 | 10:10 am

    There are a lot of things about pregnancy that I hate- insomnia, acne, frequent trips to the bathroom, shots in my stomach, trips to the doctor…I could go on.

    But every morning, about 20 minutes after I drink my OJ, I start feeling my baby girl moving and kicking and it is ALL WORTH IT. I know there are so many women that would love to have the problems I am having these days if the result was a healthy baby, so I try hard not to complain.

  2. Jen
    February 10, 2010 | 12:59 pm

    I’m pretty much with you. I had relatively easy pregnancies and normal births, and I loved being able to feel the baby inside me, loved the knowledge that I was growing this new person. And yet…EVERYBODY gets tired of being pregnant sometimes.

  3. Carrie
    February 10, 2010 | 3:32 pm

    I love being pregnant, generally, but I HATE HATE HATE being overdue. And my 2nd pregnancy, that just ended 7 weeks ago, was much harder than my first, since I was chasing a toddler around during it. 🙂 I, however, could do without this newborn stage…and I want a lot of children, but I’m wondering how many more times I want to go the biological route… 🙂

  4. Krista
    February 10, 2010 | 3:39 pm

    I do love being pregnant. I desperately want to experience it again and grow our family. I hope and pray and wait.

  5. jenna
    February 10, 2010 | 4:46 pm

    I totally agree with you. It’s fun being pregnant and all the attention you get from people wanting you to “take it easy”, but I do wish I could let my hubby be pregnant for a day or two sometimes. (PS – I’m not currently pregnant and I’m still saying this!)

  6. edj
    February 10, 2010 | 5:40 pm

    Do you have “easy” pregnancies and your sister “difficult” ones? I put those words in quotes because my doctor (male) was always telling me what an easy pg I was having. And so I formed my theory. Women who are puking nonstop into the 8th month and having a really hard time LOVE it. Women who are enduring it but compared to many having a relatively easy time usually don’t. I know, generalization, but there you have it.
    However, now that it’s all just a misty memory, I must admit there were parts of being pg that I liked. Not the weight, not the swollen ankles, not the weird horrible rash I had with the twins. But the connectedness, the child’s movements inside me, that part of it. And so I’m glad I was able to do my own gestating.
    Also, I know I’m weird, but I do like childbirth.

  7. Adventures In Babywearing
    February 10, 2010 | 6:09 pm

    Ok, so, I DO love being pregnant and I MISS IT! I usually love everything about it. I did have awful morning sickness with Ivy and some of the others, but it’s like after that passes, I could be pregnant forever and be so happy. I am fortunate to never have heartburn or any other issues other than sometimes wicket sciatica, but sigh. I think I’m done! And I’ll miss it.


  8. Adventures In Babywearing
    February 10, 2010 | 6:09 pm

    Oh, and yeah- also- I love giving birth, too! I’ve had 4 good experiences and it’s strange, but I love that feeling (in a way) too!


  9. Petula
    February 10, 2010 | 6:11 pm

    I don’t know if I really “enjoyed” each pregnancy. The first one and the third one were very good. The second and forth were preemies. The second had me in labor starting at four to five months and arrived six weeks early. I don’t want to be pregnant anymore, but if I were younger (41 now) I would probably want more. I am out of energy now. 🙂 Mine are 2, 5, 6 and 18.

  10. Erin
    February 10, 2010 | 6:12 pm

    I’m like Steph. I love being pregnant and giving birth so much that I really would like to be a pregnancy surrogate someday!

  11. nicole
    February 10, 2010 | 6:18 pm

    I mostly love being pregnant. I’m blessed with very easy pregnancies. The only “symptoms” I really experience are the tiredness at the beginning and end (and obviously weight gain). I don’t get sick, I don’t get heartburn, I have had no complications (expecting my 6th in May!) with pregnancy or delivery (relatively speaking, I do have c-sections).


    This time around, I am not enjoying it as much. Perhaps it is keeping up with five other kids, three of them in school. I know my belly is bigger than usual (thankfully no major weight gain anywhere else, because I am vain). I feel a little more uncomfortable (I’m 30). I was in the best shape of my life before this surprise pregnancy, and I think I miss that person a little bit.

    Still, I’ll keep on doing this as long as my body cooperates and we are prayerfully led to do so.

  12. Kirsten Branch
    February 10, 2010 | 6:30 pm

    I have to say that I wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows everyday, but overall, I have loved each pregnancy and birth. But of course, it been pretty easy for me…my body seems to really hum on all cylinders when I’m pregnant and birthing if I am respectful and mindful with it.

  13. Daneen
    February 10, 2010 | 10:10 pm

    I was never blessed to be pregnant, despite years of medical interventions, but have experienced pregnancy through my friends. It seems you either love it or hate it! But all that I know do love the end-result ;o)

    I was, however, blessed to be in the room for the birth of my 2nd daughter (I was her birthmom’s coach). And I can now say, quite honestly, that I AM happy to have let two someone else-s “do the gestating” for me. I got the best end of the deal in my two beautiful daughters.

  14. Hannah
    February 10, 2010 | 11:03 pm

    I could never understand people who said they LOVE being pregnant. Really? Is it just the romantic notion of bonding with a human being who lives inside of you, or do they just not experience any nausea, painful joints, sciatica, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, etc.? Ambivalence, I totally get. Rapture, not so much.

  15. Happy Geek
    February 10, 2010 | 11:06 pm

    I puked for nine months. (both times)
    I had sciatia. (both times)
    I had B-H non-stop for three months with my first.
    I got carpel tunnel.
    And the first time 5’1″ me carried a 9 lbs breech baby.
    People who love being pregnant truly mystify me.
    However, I am VERY, VERY grateful that I had two pregnanacies after my first miscarriage, so grateful that my babies were healthy and delilghted that I never have to do that again.

  16. Melissa
    February 10, 2010 | 11:20 pm

    Oh, heavens!! I’m in the “not-much-fun” camp. My sis-in-law is in the “I’m-a-hot-mama” camp. I always felt inferior around her because she’s all “ooh, I’m SO sexy when I’m pregnant” and “I feel AWESOME when I’m pregnant.”
    I ache, I puke, I have fibroids that make me feel like aliens have invaded my womb, I have sciatica, I hate food, I’m anemic.
    I don’t feel sexy or awesome.
    I am incredibly thankful that God has chosen me to be a mother to these two little girls, but these 40 weeks KICK. MY. BUTT.

  17. Anita Jo
    February 10, 2010 | 11:26 pm

    I loved just about every minute of my first pregnancy. With my second, I would have gladly had the baby at 30 weeks (maybe sooner) if that would have been okay for the baby. I was that ready to be done being pregnant! This time, I’m kind of in the middle. Despite my aged body and more aches and pains (I think I also may have your “falling-apart-disease”), I think I’m enjoying it more because I know it’s probably my last. Of course, I’m due on Saturday, so maybe I can say that because I know the end is near!

  18. Shiree
    February 11, 2010 | 12:36 am

    I enjoyed being pregnant. I LOVE giving birth. Nursing…eh…I do it because it’s good for the baby.

    I, too, have thought about being a surrogate because I enjoy having babies. But my hubby isn’t comfortable with that yet. I am looking forward to the next one though.

  19. Mary
    February 11, 2010 | 9:19 am

    I loved being pregnant. Didn’t love being tired and nauseated *all* the time (although by the end I learned to manage that). Didn’t love the comments made by others or being kicked awake (but I loved the kicking!)

    Because I was told that I might not (probably would not) carry to term, I savoured every day. I hadn’t expected to have the experience of being pregnant at all so I tried to treat each day as a gift, trying not to focus on the end of a journey that might not be taking me somewhere I wanted to go.

    I’m hoping I get to do it again sometime, but I think I’ve made peace with knowing this is out of my control.

  20. Louise
    February 11, 2010 | 10:54 am

    I hated being pregnant. Both times. I hated labor. My doctors and midwives told me I had perfect pregnancies, textbook labors, etc., and all I could think was that if this was easy, I never wanted to see a hard one.

    And then I felt guilty, because I know so many women who DO have hard pregnancies, and have to struggle just to carry a baby full term, and who is healthy me to complain?

    Guilty or not, though, nothing changed the fact that the minute the babies were put in my arms, my first thought was not “my baby!” but “yes! I’m not pregnant anymore!”

  21. Anitra
    February 11, 2010 | 6:56 pm

    I’m with you. Only had one so far; it was a textbook pregnancy, and I _HATED_ it. Even the “good” parts were just mediocre for me. I puked, I was tired, I was sore, I couldn’t do any of my favorite activities. I felt blasé about nursing.

    I didn’t even get to have an epidural!

    But I love my daughter dearly, and we’re starting to consider #2 now.

  22. Michelle Burrill
    February 12, 2010 | 2:25 am

    I generally loved it, loved the idea of dreaming about the baby, dreaming about all the possiblities of who this little person might actually be. Loved the round belly, big boobs for once in my life, and the baby movements. Loved the excuse to eat and eat and eat. Loved having an excuse for, well, EVERYTHING!! Sometimes I did want to take it off like backback or saddle, though, so that I could take a hot bath or sleep comfortably. AND the 4th and final was very uncomfortable. I enjoyed it, but am so, so, so, so, happy to be done with it, forever and ever, amen.

  23. Kristen
    February 12, 2010 | 10:48 am

    I have LOVED pregnancy. The first time (unplanned birth control baby) was a perfect pregnancy, I gained 26 lbs, never had a nasty symptom or a bad day. A week of bedrest for high blood pressure at 36 wks. Even a planned c-sec for my 8.5 lb breech boy.
    There was alot of relationship drama going on, so I am a firm believer of “God only gives you what you can handle” Because my life was a mess. Dad was NOT prepared to have a baby, we had never talked about starting a family and shoot we had been dating 4 yrs.
    This time around, married, planned pregnancy, morning sickness, chasing a toddler, heartburn from everything I put in my mouth, aches and pains all over, I really wouldnt change a thing. I still love the whole process of growing this miracle inside me, cherishing every movement, and kick (usually to the bladder). This will be another c-sec (My Doc doesnt recommend v-bac) and I am completely OK with that. Labor TERRIFIES me, you women who have done it are AWESOME.
    And I look forward to after, I loved to nurse, and I love everyday I have with my sweet boy, and I cant wait to meet the one I am cooking now.

  24. Minnesotamom
    February 12, 2010 | 4:02 pm

    Hate it. I cannot name one thing I like about it other than the result. 🙂

  25. Erin
    February 13, 2010 | 7:35 pm

    I haven’t had the opportunity to be pregnant yet (we have been trying for over a year) but I agree with everyone else – it seems like you either LOVE it or it’s a means to an end. We adopted our daughter from state foster care and that’s similar to a pregnancy in the wait, but it’s usually a lot longer!!!

  26. Krista
    February 14, 2010 | 4:08 am

    I’m not a huge fan of being pregnant either. This time around we have so much going on (hello, buying a house over Christmas while being out of state and then moving!) that it almost seems surreal that I am pregnant. However, I relate to that falling apart disease when I get to my son’s nap time and literally can’t do anything more than take a nap too.
    That and the fact that my pants won’t stay up, my hips/pelvis pop disturbingly loud every time I get up in the night, and yes, I’m waddling obnoxiously. Nope, not a huge fan of being pregnant.

  27. Julie in Law
    February 14, 2010 | 11:23 pm

    Glad I’m done! Next issue, breastfeeding. Glad I’m done with that too. Now just enjoying the kids.

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