It’s Okay To Not Love Pregnancy & Childbirth
Updated: May 8, 2020
Social media and movies alike depict pregnancy and childbirth as this life changing, elating and amazing experience, when in reality for many of us, it just isn’t. In our culture loving the journey of being pregnant feels mandatory and it would be ungrateful to say otherwise. While in the Indian culture it’s taboo for most women to even talk about such things.
I had absolutely no idea what I was in for when I found out I was pregnant, as I was fearful of the entire process. Simply because social media and movies painted it as a spiritual and moving experience to cherish. How could such a traumatic looking experience be enjoyable! Birthing classes weren’t much better, explaining the science and process behind pregnancy. It didn’t calm my fears but only created more!
Don‘t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that I take being able to have a child for granted. As there are so many women who have had their choice to be able to carry a child taken away from them. I know how much of a blessing being able to carry a child is, and it is not something I take for granted.
Childbirth is both a miracle and a blessing. However it doesn’t mean that I have to love it, nor should it mean that I, or any woman be shamed over our experience or opinion. As we all have different reasons for feeling this way, that usually don’t come lightly. So stop and think about it next time you say something like, ‘you don’t know how lucky you are’ to a pregnant woman.
Scrolling through social media these days all I seem to see are posts of newborn babies, or pregnant women. All of which have had positive life changing experiences to share with their followers. Now I commend all women who are able to have such a positive experience. Though what about the rest of us who are ashamed that we didn’t have a similar experience and therefore don’t tell anyone. It’s important to talk about our experiences and to do so honestly. Particularly when it comes to social media since this is where many draw inspiration and life comparisons from.
For those who follow my blog you’ll most likely know I sought fertility treatments in India. So it already was a tough start to the journey of childbirth. The oral medication made me exceptionally ill; it felt like I was on my death bed as I constantly vomited up my insides. Once this passed I had severe morning sickness for the entire pregnancy. Now being in India meant all the weird and wonderful aromas and cuisines made me very ill. I ended up living in my bedroom for the rest of my trip.
Returning to Australia without my husband wasn’t any better, constantly vomiting, suffering from severe stomach pains due to acid reflux, being so lethargic that doing normal tasks was challenging, having aches and pains all over my body, and being on regular medication meant frequent hospital trips to name just a few. After nine months of running on no sleep, frequent doctors trips due to a myriad of different symptoms, all while trying to look after myself while my husband was in India. It was enough to make anyone never want children again.
Now these are all the usual symptoms most women experience during pregnancy. Some suffer one or two, or are fortunate to only have mild symptoms. However with my existing medical conditions the severity of these symptoms were at the higher end of the scale, and were constant throughout the entirety of my pregnancy. Who knew acid reflux could feel like a heart attack!?
Giving birth without my husband was a nightmare also. So to the women who have given birth during this pandemic, I praise you. That’s what my experience was like. I was just lucky enough that my cousin was there for support. After my water broke I went straight into hospital expecting to return home to wait it out. Obviously the nurses assumed that also, as when they checked my contractions they were miles apart. As a result they were getting ready to send me home.
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Meanwhile my contractions suddenly became more frequent and more intense. In the space of ten minutes they had gone from miles apart to just a few minutes apart. Under five minutes apart I believe is when they admit you into hospital. Though the nurses didn’t seem to believe my cousin when she told them my contractions were now only minutes apart.
That changed when minutes later my screams could be heard bellowing down the hall, at which point it was too late for any pain relief other than laughing gas. After seven hours of labour and an hour of pushing without any real pain relief, our little miracle was in my arms. All while the nurse was stitching up my borderline third degree tears.
As much as I tried, that feeling of elation from being so overwhelmed with love as you look into your baby’s eyes, just wasn’t there. To say that even feels taboo. But sheer exhaustion was all I felt in that moment, and how thankful I was that it was over. Given my speedy labour leaving me with minor complications and our son being born with two teeth, jaundice, swallowing birth fluids and suffering from lack of oxygen for a moment during birth, we were in hospital for a week. The entire process was torture and all I kept thinking during labour was when will it be over. I don’t doubt that this is most likely the reality for most women. Albeit it may not be an experience shared lightly.
Not loving pregnancy and childbirth hasn‘t prevented me from bonding with my son. Nor does it mean I lack in motherly intuition. Its also not a case of suffering from post partum depression. It’s simply just a matter of not loving pregnancy nor childbirth. Although I wish it had been an experience that was enjoyable. The use of a surrogate like Kim Kardashian doesn’t sound that crazy after all, despite her receiving much criticism. Just the fact that I can’t naturally conceive is enough for me to consider surrogacy second time around if it was feasible.
Related Post: What To Expect Visiting A Doctor In Punjab
Now surely all these Instagram posts of women having a spiritual and life changing pregnancy journey can’t be the norm? That’s wonderful if that truly happens to be the case. But for those of you who don’t or didn’t enjoy pregnancy or childbirth, the last thing you should be doing is comparing your experience to others on social media. And set reasonable expectations of yourself otherwise it will only exacerbate your experience. Remember it’s okay to feel this way and you don’t need to apologise for it. We all have different reasons for not loving these life experiences and as women we should be uplifting one another and being honest.
So I’d love to hear from you all. Did you have a positive or negative experience?