I don’t like pregnancy, particularly during those first few months. For some, being pregnant may signal a celebratory time where everyone is excited about the future. I don’t recognise that fully though. For me, it’s a period riddled with worry, stress and what ifs. Don’t get me wrong, I know we’re lucky to be pregnant and I’m thankful that we are, but you don’t have to like the process (pregnancy) to get to the end result (a baby).
I hope that that doesn’t come across as insensitive or unappreciative – that’s not my intention. I just think that there’s a tendency to focus on how amazing pregnancy is, with very little said about some of the negatives. I can say with certainty that the missus hasn’t particularly enjoyed either pregnancy, but I know my mum loved being pregnant. Like with most things, there’s not a right or a wrong, just different interpretations and experiences. So, with that in mind, I thought I’d share a few thoughts about why I dislike pregnancy in general, with particular emphasis on those early stages.
I think the thing I’ve struggled with the most is uncertainty. It’s not until you’re expecting that you realise just how fragile the whole process is. The usual rhetoric is that pregnancy equals a baby, but you soon realise that this isn’t the case. We’ve been lucky to have never had a miscarriage, but a scare in both pregnancies has given us a glimpse into what that would feel like – and it’s not good.
I’m hardly a pessimist, but when it comes to pregnancy, it’s like I’m expecting something bad to happen until baby arrives. When you’re at Week 9, haven’t told anyone and know that 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and that 85% happen in the first trimester, I find it hard to be optimistic. Then you have things like having to wait until Week 20 and the scan to know whether everything is actually OK with the baby – how can you plan for the future and get excited if there could be issues?
I’ve found that this whole uncertainty thing gets easier as you progress, but even at the time of writing (Week 37), I’m well aware that there could be complications with our second baby. Obviously I’ve got everything crossed that it’ll be fine, but the not knowing can mess with your head. In fact, I spend most of my time counting down the days and breathing a sigh of relief when another one passes successfully.
Another reason why I dislike pregnancy is that it brings with it a lot of monotony – or ‘pregmin’ as I’ve just labelled it. Particularly during the first few months, life seems to consist of paperwork, sitting in waiting rooms and answering the same questions over and over. I’m very grateful for the NHS and everyone involved in helping us, but it astounds me that in 2018, everything is so slow and laborious.
Surely there’s a better way to figure out the due date than some paper wheel invented in the 1800’s which the midwife can’t see properly because she’s forgotten her glasses? Do we really need to fill in the same form at three different places – why isn’t this centralised on a computer? Why do we have to chase and chase and chase the midwife for a form that she should have already delivered? Why do we have to spend hours on end sitting in a hot hospital waiting room to see someone – even more criminal, there’s never any chuffing phone signal.
I may also dislike pregnancy because I’m the partner. I don’t wish to detract from the mums to-be because they’re doing all of the hard work, but it’s not easy for dads – “boo hoo” I hear you cry as you push a human out of your foof. As the partner, you can find yourself quite detached from the process. Yes, it’s your kid, but you aren’t connected, involved or affected in the same way – the baby isn’t growing in you. There’s a certain amount of powerlessness that comes with this – you can’t really do anything to actually help if your wife is in pain or something’s not quite right with the baby. That’s an uncomfortable feeling.
At times, you can also feel like you’re a bit of a passenger. You go along to the appointments to support and be involved, but are rarely acknowledged. This isn’t about wanting praise for being there, but more about wanting to be treated as an equal parent. I remember times when a midwife has barely looked at me, let alone spoke to the missus and I as equals. Maybe I’ve been unlucky? Maybe I’m just a bit sensitive? Either way, it doesn’t really help with the feeling of belonging.
Finally – and my tongue is firmly in my cheek when I say this – pregnancy creates more jobs that tend to fall for me to do. Although I’m pleased that they’re done, I would have been more than happy to not have had to single-handedly decorate the spare room to turn it into L’s new bedroom and redo her old room which is now the nursery. Similarly, my ageing back does not like the fact that I’ve been up to the attic hundreds of times as we’ve been sorting out baby stuff. Again, tongue firmly in cheek.
So those are a few of the reasons why I dislike pregnancy – particularly the early stages. Does this sound familiar or do you love pregnancy? Let me know your thoughts!