Resenting Pregnancy

Guest Post
It has recently come to my attention that there are very few resources for women who are pregnant and resent their pregnancy. Not all women are gloriously thrilled to discover they are pregnant, and many feel incredibly alone. I am far from an expert on the topic of resenting pregnancy, so I asked my mother for insight to share here. After having given birth to 11 children, this woman knows a thing or two about what it is like to be pregnant and unhappy about it!

This post should be useful for the typical woman who is pregnant and knows that she will be keeping the baby, but really resents it. If you are in a more desperate situation, please seek assistance from a professional.

Are you dealing with a pregnancy which you resent? In a world where it seems that every pregnancy is either the center of the universe or else aborted, you may feel more alone than you ever have before. You are not alone. Many women have shared this experience, though few will admit it publicly. Your exact situation is unique, but the feeling of wishing that you had never gotten pregnant, or at the least could blissfully enjoy pregnancy, is quite common.

If you are pregnant and resenting it, please consider this:

It is normal to take time to adjust to an unexpected pregnancy. Between the hormonal upheaval of the first trimester and the daunting reality of this new child, it would be unusual to not have times where you are unhappy about being pregnant. Even women who planned their pregnancy for years find themselves with mixed emotions once they are actually pregnant.

Pregnancy will get better with time. Expecting a baby may feel like the end of the world when you first find out, but it will get better. You might think that things could only get worse once you have the physical discomfort of the third trimester, but most women will find that they have already bonded with their baby by the time they are reduced to waddling around, and there is actually great joy in the midst of the pain.

Do not do anything crazy while you are still upset from finding out that you are pregnant. It is perfectly alright to cry and scream and eat a pint of chocolate ice cream while you come to terms with your pregnancy. But it is also important to not make any desperate decisions that you will regret later. Instead of hurting yourself, your baby, or the man who got you here, do something enjoyable to take your mind off of the pregnancy.

pregnantThere is no correlation between loving pregnancy and being happy as a mother. There have been times when it was very difficult to bond with a baby who was both wanted and planned. But I found another baby simply irresistible, even though I had spent the pregnancy wishing that she did not exist! Some women simply adore pregnancy and then find themselves with a very difficult child. Other women despise every moment of their pregnancies but are very happy with their wonderful children once they are actually born. You may be unhappy now, but your angel baby could change all that.

You may have good reason to resent your pregnancy.
Resenting pregnancy does not make you a bad mother. Whether you are stressed from dealing with a toddler (or three!) or simply suffering through hot weather with no air conditioner, sometimes pregnancy is the last thing any woman would want to deal with. Do not berate yourself for your unhappiness, focus on what you can do to make yourself feel better!

Pamper yourself. Whether it is a long bubble bath with candles, a leisurely walk by the lake, or simply taking time to find a new purse, it is important that you take care of yourself. During pregnancy aromatherapy can be especially wonderful. Experiment with tried and true scents such as lemon, lavender, rose, or branch out with some cedar wood or basil!

Talk to a trusted friend. It is of utmost importance that you find someone you can trust to encourage you to be positive during this difficult time, even if the friend is not the first person you normally run to. You partner may be equally upset, your mother too thrilled at being a grandmother to think of you, your best friend unhappy because of her struggle with infertility. You need to share your thoughts with someone who can let you talk without becoming stressed themselves or, even worse, judging you for your feelings.

Do you have a story to share of resenting pregnancy? Please feel free to post advice you found helpful.

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13 thoughts on “Resenting Pregnancy

  1. Erin

    I really appreciated this article. A good friend of mine and her husband just got pregnant with the first – and she is not overjoyed. They aren’t in a good place with money/jobs/fighting – so though they were trying and she’s wanted a baby, she’s having a hard time getting excited. I don’t know how to be there for her as a friend. It had never occurred to me that I could normalize her feelings of resentment. Thanks for the great post.

  2. Harriet

    Thank you so much for this site. This is my first pregnancy and although i am happy i’m pregnant (ive always been broody), it feels completely the wrong time for me to start a family. Everyone i’ve told is so excited but i’m dreading it, especially as i’m in the middle of university. But this article made me feel like i’m not alone and there are ways of enjoying myself again. Thank you so much

  3. nina hicks

    I am 33 weeks along with my 2nd pregnancy and I was a week away from tying my tubes when I found out I was expecting. Needless to say I was not thrilled then nor has the past 33 weeks brought any enlightment to the situation. Everyone says it will change when the baby gets here??? But I truely wonder. I am not a maternal person. Bonding doesn’t come natural to me. I am in a constant state of panic. There is little information on this topic which makes me feel even more freakish for having these feelings.

  4. Jim Thomas

    This is a wonderful article. As a father of 4, I know that I have often gotten so wrapped up the excitement, I haven’t always taken the time to find out how my wife was feeling. A husband’s vocation is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, therefore it is imperative that he be willing to put his own concerns, wants, and needs aside to supports his wife during all stages pregnancy.

  5. Anonymous

    This was a very timely article for me. We have 12 children, and over the years, I’ve been generally excited with each one. A few times, when the oldest half were small, it was less than thrilling that I couldn’t make it to the baby’s 1st birthday without conceiving again. However, we both wanted a nice, even dozen. (We’d both read and enjoyed Frank Gilbreth Jr.’s Cheaper by the Dozen.)

    I’m in fairly good shape for having so many children, and people often exclaim over how small I still am. However, we were hoping to avoid any more pregnancies, since I am now 40 and tired and having trouble keeping up with chores, home school, and all that life with 12 kids has to throw at me. Plus, it really IS a myth about them being cheaper by dozen! So when my husband and I, in frustration at trying to stay away from each other during my fertile times each month, decided to leave all in God’s hands, I guess we should have expected He would want to add more to our brood.

    Still, it made me sad and angry, both at God and my husband. I only just found out a few days ago, so we haven’t even told our children. At my husband’s suggestion, I called a good friend who is also struggling with the same feelings having just found out she’s expecting her 7th, with her oldest being only 9. She TOTALLY understood and we both commiserated, agreeing that one day we will both be so happy to have this little child in our lives and intending to keep in touch throughout our pregnancies.

    I’m just glad to see someone expressing understanding over this. I often feel that something is wrong with me, that I’m a bad Catholic mother, since I should be welcoming any and all children that our marriage brings. Sigh.

  6. MyFeminineMind

    I think that sometimes the suffering of women is not treated as a truly human suffering, or that it’s experience can be negated because “women have been going through this since the beginning of humanity.” But when you’re pregnant, and you are the one suffering, it doesn’t really matter how many other people went through this too. It’s still suffering! It’s still sucks to feel like you have the flu for 2 1/2 months, and all the other changes that are occurring in your body. All this was easier to deal with for later pregnancies, but for my first, I made sure that my husband understood that I was suffering! And it wasn’t easy and didn’t fill me with some kind of womanly joy to be going through all this.

  7. Nony

    You forgot that a major possible reason is lack of money. The fact that having a second child ruins the opportunities that were lined up for the first. We wanted the first one and purposefully didn’t have another one because of the cost. I am hating this child because it is going to ruin the life we had and no amount of positive thinking (certainly I won’t be doing any purse shopping – I can’t even afford pregnancy clothes!) is going to change our financial situation. Sorry for the rant, but I am in a huge panic. I’m still in the first trimester and wondering if I should have an abortion (my husband would kill me and divorce me though).

  8. camille

    wow, great site. Felt like I was just a bad person. Now 7weeks pregnant with my seventh child at 34 years of age. And starting to hate my husband and feeling ashamed and lost that I am pregnant yet again. Not sure entirely why and it’s scary. All I want is to be happy but I feel I’m letting down my other children by having more and afraid how cruel people can be when you have a large family. Everyones so quick to judge but yet I’m judging myself. I have no one to talk too. And deep down not sure if I’m pushing away my husband due to hormones or because he just gets on my last nerve. He smothers me doesn’t want me to do anything and that was before the baby. Now I’m worried it’ll be worse. Losing myself. Not sure how to cope with this pregnancy or how to get happy about it at all.. :(

  9. Jordan

    I SO appreciated this article! That is exactly how I felt with my son (now 8 months). I wasn’t ecstatic at all, and I felt embarrassed, like I had to pretend I was totally ok with it happening at any time. Also, I love my son to pieces and everyone says he’s particularly adorable, but I hated taking care of a newborn, and I wasn’t awesome at breastfeeding (yeah yeah yeah, it gets easy if you work hard enough, blah blah blah). You hit the nail on the head with the “when every pregnancy is either the center of the universe or aborted” comment.

  10. Anon

    Thank you for this article. It has really helped. I am only 6 weeks and it’s my first pregnancy. I have always wanted children and this baby was planned. However, I don’t feel excited AT ALL! Firstly, it still does not seem real and secondly, I feel so totally and utterly rubbish that I am think back wistfully to my pregnancy free days. If you could get it in the first trimester, I’ve got it – sickness, headaches, dizziness, exhaustion, heartburn, constipation, etc. I’m a full time Primary teacher and have already had to take a week off work. If I was not happily married, I don’t think I could go on with this. It does not help that my husband is not 100% understanding and accused me of ‘moping’ the other day! I read everything I can about pregnancy and what to expect, which he does not, so I know that my symptoms are normal. Normal, but annoying. He then casts doubt over whether I really am THAT tired and whether there might be something wrong with me.

    I know there are still tough times ahead – third trimester, birth, sleepless nights, so I am really struggling to feel enthusiastic about the life growing inside me. I actually feel quite resentful to it for making me feel this bad.

  11. K

    Wow, I scrolled and scrolled the net. This is the only article (and a sound minded one at that), about this topic. This is my third child and there’s a very large gap between the second and this one with a new husband. I have always wanted another child but was just starting to think I was older than I feel comfortable becoming a new one again when I got pregnant. I was thrilled at first but when all the terrible symptoms of pregnancy started my elation instantly started to deflate. I’m thirteen weeks now and not any different, plus historically I vomit and am nauseous the entire pregnancy. I’m a bit worried if this happens with this one, I won’t get a chance for any joyous expectation to set in before it’s arrival. I am grateful a miracle a lot of people beg to have, is happening inside my body but it’s 20 years of commitment that I have yet to feel ecstatic over. My husband is over the moon and clear with me that if I don’t want this child he is out of here. *Note to self: No pressure. Being a great mother has been my entire gratifying existence, there must be a good reason I’m not thrilled about this one.

  12. Lysta Neil

    This article is a great resource I hope more are written like it. I am 7 months pregnant in the heat of summer with a very unexpected pregnancy. In the beginning I was a little excited but no I am beginning to really resent this baby.Frequent braxton hicks and long ignored back problems are starting to severely play a toll as well as very swollen feet and constant headaches. I’m really resenting this pregnancy as well as that impeding sense of having to “start over” with a second child. I have no family support and have moved 3000 miles from friends and my husband is less than happy about this baby. Adoption isn’t an option because I know we both want this baby, its just very hard to get through these few months with a pregnancy. Heat and an energetic toddler.

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