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.
There 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.