Pregnancy: So beautiful. On other people.

For some reason I’ve found myself surrounded by pregnant women recently. Not young nubile first-timers either, but women my age. Give or take a few white lies.

There’s the mom of two who’s sheepishly asking me if I’d ever consider a third, the telltale sign–if I’ve ever heard it–that she’s already carrying one of them there fertilized eggs around with her. There’s the mom with the size 0 body and the teeny baby bump who keeps complaining about howwww faaaat she is. And there’s the friend who’s stuck on bedrest so I bring over the kids and some chocolate once a week and we order in dinner.

What I’ve come to realize in recent weeks is that I do not miss being pregnant one single bit. Not a smidge. Not even a teeny little fraction of a microbe of an iota, if there is such a thing.

Spending time with these women, these beautiful, glowing paeans to fertility, it reminds me of those things about pregnancy I do not miss – little hairs that cropped up in mysterious places, the nipples the size of pancakes, the inability to order spicy tuna rolls. I forgot about how the humidity seemed to affect my ankles more than my hair (which is saying something). I forgot that I was supposed to feel guilty every time I ate brie. I forgot about the sleepless nights, the hormonal fluctuations that lead to the Random Bursts of Crying. I forgot that abject look of horror on my face the first time I spotted myself in our lobby’s full-length mirror and realized that my ass was sticking out even further than my belly.

I was definitely not a good pregnant person. And oh, bless you women who are because I know there are more of your kind than there are of mine. Bless you bless you.

Of course I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there were lovely, lovely aspects of those 40 weeks that I wouldn’t have traded for all the Twix bars in the world – the generous smiles from strangers on the street, the first fluttery baby kicks, the joy of never having to suck in your stomach at a party. But while some women just wear their pregnancy like a bespoke red carpet ensemble from Milan, me, I mostly felt like a big, fat, teetotaling incubator.

But today, the further I get from those days, the fuzzier it all seems. Like some evil hazing ritual I had to endure to get to the joy on the other side.

(And by joy I mean joy plus being kicked in the head all night by a crazy non-sleeping two year-old. )

I can safely say that the ovaries have waved the white flag and the fallopian tubes are well into enjoying their retirement, despite depleted 401(k)s and the iffy June weather. You could waterboard my uterus and it would still refuse to go back to its intended biological use. Mostly I think it’s just happy to hang out and support my bladder. Maybe catch up on reality TV.

There are twinges you feel when you get to a certain age (ahem) and realize that soon, it won’t be your own choice to have another child; it will be up to your body.

It’s nice being okay with that.


66 thoughts on “Pregnancy: So beautiful. On other people.”

  1. A to the men! I always say I'm excellent at giving birth at babies and horrible at carrying them. I HATED being pregnant, and still can't believe it when women say how much they loved it!

  2. I am not to that point yet. I know I am not done. God I hope I'm not done. Anyway, I think it's good to know that you are. Better than questioning it back and forth all the time.

    Although the heartburn, I know I could do without that ever again.

  3. Yeah, I sucked at being pregnant. I don't miss it one bit, and seeing myself pregnant in a picture recently freaked me out (I wrote about it). And yet, part of me still wants to do it all over again.

    Maybe your uterus can knock some sense into mine?

  4. Oh my gosh, ME TOO. Four of my close friends are either pregnant or home with newborns, and I'm 40! I must admit to loving and missing pregnancy, but I am totally over the whole BABY thing. It's just starting to get good around here now that my kids are 8 and 10!

  5. Awesome that you are in a happy and resolved place with it! Unfortunately for me, I was one of those annoying cruise-through-pregnancy-happily-morning-sicknessfree-swam-laps-to-42(yes 42)-weeks pregnant people.

    I'd like to have another kiddo but the universe appears to have other plans – and I'm working on being OK with that because it probably is a sign that if I *did* get preggers it would be nothing like the first time and I'd be screwed! 🙂


  6. A woman with tied tubes and whose husband had a vasectomy came into the store the other day and told me that she was pregnant. Complete flukey-fluke.

    I almost fainted.

    Love my children. I was actually good at being pregnant. I adore other pregnant women and can't get enough of their pregnancy talk.

    But later that evening, I lit a smudge stick and waved it between my legs, chanting “this house is clean, this house is clean” like the lady from Poltergeist.

  7. Thank you for that tip Jozet. I'm going to add “sage brush” to the list of contraceptive options.

  8. Hallelujah, sister. I've actually got it on my “blog to-do list” to do a post about this same thing, but now you've kind of covered it so maybe I won't, I'll just go back to bitching about my crazy preggo friends, my son's preschool, and the clothes at American Apparel. Oh, and not cooking.

    I actually LOVED being pregnant that one time (at band camp) and I even loved my maternity clothes (which were so cute they are on round 3 of hand me downs to others), but the second time, I've noticed, is not so wonderful. No daydreaming, no watching marathons of “Baby Story,” no thing, just absorbing the pregnancy into your regular mom-of-a-preschooler routine. No one cuts you slack, least of all your current kid. It looks bogus to me. Phooey.

    Except, ouch, those new babies my friends are popping out are making my oooovaries hurrrrrt.

  9. Yeah … I know a person who experienced one of those fluke-y flukes Jozet described. Said “The vasectomy grew back, whoknew?”
    Now she's 50 with a four-year-old.

  10. I was not good at being pregnant, and I am still considering another one! The Random Bursts of Crying. Oh, man. Am I really ready for that? Is my husband???

  11. We are not done yet. I was HORRIBLE at being pregnant. Bedrested at 30 weeks and early birth of Baby DIVA. Yes we are on crack to want to try again. But hey I love the motherhood and pregnancy is the wya to get there.

    Hubbs-to-be however said he will be renting him and Baby DIVA an apartment of their own while I am preggo again!!

  12. Haha! A few weeks ago, a friend asked me at a party, “Don't you miss being pregnant now?” I blinked. “No.” Someone commented, “There was no hesitation at all in that answer, no sirree!” No sirree, none at all. I'm glad I was pregnant because it made my daughter possible, but miss it? Nope, none, nada.

  13. I am a huge hypochondriac, but when I was pregnant, I was perfectly healthy.

    Although had I known about the chocolate, I definitely would have tried bedrest.

  14. ohhhhhh I love being pregnant but I am so done having babies…. my solution….I became a surrogate mother. I am going to have an embryo transfer in august for my 4th surrogacy. I know…I am weird LOL

  15. I'm okay with it too. I didn't hate my last pregnancy, but as soon as the baby was born I said that was it, never again. At my postpartum appointment I told my doc “I need something 100% effective”. She laughed. I was like, no, I'm serious – this cannot happen again.

  16. haha -I actually wrote about this topic on my blog yesterday! I am certainly in the minority on these comments bceause i did enjoy being pregnant. Expecially the first two times. The third time there was quite a bit more discomfort as things surrendered to the stretching in a way they hadn't previously. And while I can't say I miss the last three months, when you are just so huge and cumbersome that everything is miserable, I do miss being special and everyone telling you how great you look even when you are a hot mess. Which of course is probably why I'm considering having more even though that will put me close to insane levels of children

  17. As someone who is currently pregnant, I can tell you I, too, don't “do” this pregnancy thing very well. I had pre-eclampsia the first time, now I run the risk of having a 10 pound baby (and it's not even due to gestational).

    But since I found I'm having another boy, I might be willing to try one more time for that daughter I always wanted. You know, depending if I my nether regions can ever recover from birthing the Monster Baby.

  18. I wasn't a fan of pregnancy either, except for the fact that no one ever questioned me if I ate the whole tub of ice cream in one sitting.

  19. I am not a fan of being pregnant — and I say this at 38 weeks and counting until Monday when I get to end this third and final pregnancy.

    And it is most definitely my last pregnancy… I made an appointment just yesterday for my husband with our GP to discuss getting the big snip. heh heh

  20. I was not a “good” pregnant person either despite having the easiest pregnancy imaginable. I feel guilty when I say that to friends who LOVED every swollen minute of it or to friends who had difficult pregnancies. I suppose I shouldn't feel bad about it–it's only the truth!

    By the way, you made my year when you commented on my blog. You are my blog idol!

    If you're EVER in the Austin area, lemme know. I'll introduce you to the Tap Room–my treat–as long as you promise to refrain from making ridiculous statements about not being skinny enough or blonde enough. You're good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you!

    Ok, I'm done. Carry on. 🙂

  21. I suck at being pregnant. I hate being pregnant. My body hates me being pregnant.

    The stick turns pink and I turn diabetic. I lose weight pregnant because I practically become a bulemic (not willingly)

    I plan on doing it once more, but then bring on the sodering iron or whatever it is they do to take the ovaries out of business…and the vans deferens too, while we're at it.

  22. Great post. I never doubted for a second that I was done after my son was born, but my husband had other ideas. After a miscarriage that left me feeling more relieved than devistated (no flame mail for that please) I knew for sure I was done. Totally done. Really very totally done.

    And then I turned 40 and thought, I am done, right? Right. I wouldn't/couldn't go back to pregnancy and babies at this point of my life, but you make a point about your body telling you that it IS in fact the boss of you and the choice has already been made.

    And don't give me any of that “plenty of women your age…” BS–my ovaries are right next to yours sharing those white flags. Metaphorically of course. Literally would be totally gross.

  23. Ha! I was that pregnant lady as well (with both kids). Swollen everywhere (especially ankles and that awful pregnancy fat face–I think my nose doubled in size)..
    Maybe if I had these “perfect” pregnancies that some talk about I'd have five more. Maybe it's natures way of controlling the population.
    Love the “nipples the size of pancakes” analogy 🙂

  24. I hear you, sister! I had my one and only at 42 and, although I would love for him to have a sibling, I don't want to be pregnant again. I actually had a great pregnancy, but the birth experience was HORRID! (A combination of my body's inability to follow-through and a doctor who really let me down.)I agonize about whether to adopt or be satisfied with our “party of three”. My husband just helped me make the final decision this past weekend – we are complete. I'm OK with that, even if seeing newborns makes my ovaries hurt too!

  25. You know, I really don't believe there actually are more women who are good at being pregnant than those who aren't. I think most of the women I knew were really not that gloriously happy or glowing or lovely. Happy to be having a baby, but not happy to be preggo, ya know? And I was definitely DEFINITELY a walking birth control ad when I was pregnant! 🙂

  26. i have been battling baby lust for over a year now. my youngest is nearly two. it gets easier, right?? i would LOVE to have another baby (and pregnancy wasn't *too* bad, though i do NOT miss constipation) but three is enough for us. really. so, i'm just waiting for the baby lust to wear off…

  27. I loved being pregnant until I got REALLY pregnant. And the thought of that last trimester, together with my AGE and the fact that I am blissfully happy with the two I have, make me glad I won't be pregnant again.

  28. It was fun reading this while I'm pregnant! HA! The nipple thing totally cracked me up. But this post also reminded me to cherish what is MOST likely my last pregnancy and thanks for that…

  29. I love love LOVE babies, especially newborns. However, I am a TERRIBLE pregnant person. My body HATES me being pregnant and has reminded me of that with four miscarriages, along with 2 extremely difficult pregnancies. If I could just snap my fingers and make a baby appear on my doorstep, I'd probably have six. Oh, wait, maybe not, since my husband would have run for the hills. BUt truly, I will admit to feeling more than a litte annoyed and yes, bitter, towards the ladies that sail through pregnancy without a problem.
    I am ALMOST to the place where I can say that I'm done with having babies, and actually mean it. BUt I have long been at the place where I can say that being pregnant sucks.

  30. I'm one of those that loved being pregnant (except when I hated it), and I'm hoping for a third. A fourth, even. But, at the same time, if it was just my two boys, I'd be okay with that too.

  31. I'm so done with pregnancy. Happy with two and feeling no need to go back for another round of nausea and watermelon cravings.

    Even if the cute baby toes are getting bigger around here.

  32. It's very nice indeed. I would have liked more than one, but it didn't happen. And I'm OK with that now.

    I enjoyed small moments of being pregnant…like those first kicks…but not so much the foot in my ribcage, and the indigestion, and the braxton hicks when I was trying to walk for health…

    When I was 16, I worked at the local Mr. Steak, and the boss's wife was the lead hostess, and she was pregnant, and she made it look GLORIOUS. She was beautiful to begin with, but pregnant? She glowed. She beamed. She was an amazing force of female nature.

    I honestly don't know how we didn't all end up pregnant, just watching her.

  33. I was so bad at being pregnant that my mom actually apologized to my husband. I believe the exact quote went something like…”I'm sorry my daughter is such a b****, when she is pregnant.” Apparently I snap out of it as soon as it's over. I guess that's why I think about a third.

  34. I am “Oone of you”. I did NOT enjoy pregnancy. I had an easy one but boy oh boy was I ready to be done!

  35. Okay, then… in this group I am officially crazy.

    I didn't mind so much being pregnant. It was great to have a non-critical audience when I sang out loud to the car radio.

    Once they come out… that doesn't happen so much. (My kids are the dreaded outspoken/honest combo. Killer reviews every time!)

    😉 – Julia at Midwest Moms

  36. Moi aussi…though I was told that I was “so pretty when pregnant that I should be that way all the time”. Um…yeah. I'd rather invest some money in some good makeup so I can have a “faux glow”, thanks.

  37. I loved being pregnant both times. I have not loved the past 10 months of sleepless nights (this must end soon, right?). Despite the joy I feel at being done with some of the hard things of babyhood, there is still a little, irrational part of me planning for just one more.

  38. Oh gawd thank you for this…I love my children but the whole pregnancy thing (for me) is for the birds…I mean, it's not like I didn't just love have cankles so large that there was no visible sign of foot or ankle bones and the skin was stretched so tight that the folds at the ankle hurt and all. Or that I was pregnant in the summer where wearing flip-flops was necessary and I'm sure I scared a few people with who thought I was a long lost relative of the elephant man. No, that was great and all…really. Bless the women who have the glow and love the experience…more power to them but after having 3 pregnancies and 2 kidlets over the course of a 4 year period of basically being some form of pregnant the whole time, let's just say, I.AM.DONE.

  39. Nope, couldn't pay me either. Not for all the Taco Bell and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the world. Because with me, all those tasty treats came right back up eventually, if you catch my meaning.

  40. Yes! I'm still planning on having another someday, but can't believe how most moms tend to gloss over the bad and focus on the “it's so worth it.” Well yes, it is obviously worth it, but we shouldn't downplay misery that we've endured! If our husbands had birthed the babies we'd hear about it ad nauseam.

  41. I didn't mind being pregnant, but I'm not so into the baby thing. Give me someone else's newborn to cuddle and 15 minutes later I'm happy to give him back.

    I can't wait until BOTH of my kids are in preschool/elementary school!

  42. I am definitely done having kids. But every once in awhile, I get that twinge – I want another baby. Even though I don't.

    And I'm the crankiest pregnant lady you've ever seen.

  43. I can totally relate to the unexpected glimpse in the full length mirror! I have a little rule at my house: during pregnancy, all mirrors must only reflect my image from Boobs and Up, to borrow the phrase from my sister. (It's the instruction she gives to her husband whenever he takes her picture. “Boobs and Up, honey! There you go.”)

  44. I think pregnancy is like everything else: some like it, others don't.

    I really expected to HATE pregnancy. My mother and all of my aunts and cousins all despised pregnancy, so I just thought everyone hated it. Imagine my surprise to find out that I love it, adore it, would probably have two dozen kids if my husband didn't put an end to the madness lol. Okay, not two dozen, but you know what I mean.

    That said, my body sucks donkey balls at digesting properly. So I guess it evens out. Some people can digest brie and do not like pregnancy. Other people love pregnancy but know that brie would make their intestines strike and lobby Congress.

  45. I'm in what I call the waffling phase. I turn 40 in a few months and wonder if I could just squeeze in one more pregnancy before the big M comes. But I am really happy with my two kids, have had two miscarriages and don't want to go there again, and am really wondering whether I want to rock the [very comfortable] boat. Like, could I really do sleepless nights again??? Not to mention months 6-9 of pregnancy at my tired old age? I guess mostly I just really resent that it will stop being my choice soon. Sigh.

  46. I love this. Thank you! I did not even think that I could get pregnant with my health problems and yet he is now 6. I too remember the good and the bad. The bed rest, the itching and heartburn. The thing following me and yet attached one could rest a tray on. I will never do it again and yet I look at the boy I created and think “Wow, I did that, really?”
    If I ever win the lottery, I would like to adopt a little girl and move in a nanny too because they really are too cute (when they are not whining and talking back).

  47. I used to want three kids, but my DH convinced me of only having two. I had a wonderfully indulgent first pregnancy and this second one is going well, too. But I have to say it is HARD being pregnant and looking after a toddler. I don't want to do it again…ever. So, I am thrilled with my decision to only go for two kids and that this will be my last pregnancy. Meanwhile I have a friend about to give birth to her fourth and she's SO sad it will be her last time. I don't know how she does it.

  48. If there was a way to remove that uterus of mine without surgeries or hormonal repercussions, I would be ALL over that. Because I am DONE. Done done done. Never again, thanks. Once was more than enough.

  49. We went to a farm the other day and saw a huge pig in labor. The way she was breathing and just lying there convinced me that, without a doubt, I would NEVER EVER want to go through labor again. Oh, I was so happy that I was not that pig.

  50. You know what I think is amazing? How quickly I really, truly forgot what it felt like to be pregnant. I mean, I remember that I puked for days and days and nights and nights on end. I remember the cervix tromp. And the rib pain and the heartburn…but I can't quite put my finger on what they all felt like.

    I think there's some kind of evolutionary/god-given amnesia about this stuff. No big news here, but just interesting to recall. Because despite the fact that I was a pretty sicko preggo, and have no intentions of doing it again…I kinda want to remember what it really felt like. Because it couldn't have been *that* bad. Heh.

  51. I'm one of the weirdos that loved being pregnant. My last pregnancy was harder though, but I knew it was my last and I still loved the experience (though I did complain more).

    We are done, hubby had the V, although I see that's not such a sure thing. Not sure how I feel about that possibility.

  52. Amen, sister. I was the WORST pregnant woman in the world; hated every second and felt very skeptical (but secretly very envious) of those who said they didn't!

    I still keep thinking about a third…LOATHE the idea of pregnancy, but trying to decide if I can take it anyway, in pursuit of the larger goal. Some days yes, some days no…

    I'm kinda begging my body to go through The Change already and spare me the fucking angst!

  53. I love my baby, but did not enjoy carrying her for 9 months. After two children – I couldn't do it again. It took such a toll on my body, I can't even begin to explain. However, I would consider adding a new addition to my family if I could be in this mom's shoes:
    My best friend e-mailed this to me earlier today. Quality mom humor!

  54. I needed to read this post today! Im almost 11 weeks into my 3rd pregnancy (miscarried a few months before this at 11 weeks) and I am just really not good at being pregnant. I dont change anything about food or exercise- I even manage to throw up AT LEAST once a day- but yet my butt and things look like they are each carrying twins. And I am surrounded by pregnant women who have no problems. None. Only belly, no All Day Sickness, no tears- nothing. And then there is me who is laying on the floor shaking from being so sick so many times today and its great to lay here trying not to move and hearing that at least someone else out there is also miserable when knocked up.
    One of these Women Who Cruise Thrugh Pregnancy even told em its just that “some women are made for pregnancy.” Even here the judgement and *you must be doing something wrong* is present? Sheesh.

  55. I HATED being pregnant. I was so nauseous the first sixteen weeks that the only thing I could eat were “preggy pops” (whoever came up with that name needs shooting), I lost 16lbs or so those first weeks. I was signed off work I was so ill and then started bleeding so had to have an early scan. Then after the nausea settled I pulled a ligament in my lover abdomen so was in and out of hopital for that, then I had a b12 deficiency that required bi-daily injections, THAT REALLY HURT, over the course of two weeks. I had the heartburn to end all heartburn, doing middle of the night runs down to the 24hr supermarket for yet more antacids. It was the hottest summer for about 10 years so I was fat and HOT. I had itchy, itchy stretch marks and was using lotion like it was going out of fashion.
    To top it off he was breech. So breech that he couldn't be turned.
    So breech that he had to be an elective section. During that I kept passing out on the table. Then he was all blue and had to have oxygen and I wasn't the first person to hold him. I was so whacked out on painrelief that I remember very little of the birth and that makes me very sad. would I change my Son? No, never in a million years. Would I do it again. I'm still not ready to go there and my son will be four in October. He wants a sister. 🙁

  56. Aside from the first trimester, I kinda liked being pregnant. When you consider that I lost weight with each pregnancy, that made me like it even more.

    But once they're out and I have to deal with them as newborns? That part I don't like as much.

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