Feature image from ELLEAPPAREL
When I tell people I don’t like the feeling of the baby kicking inside me, it’s as if I have broken a fundamental human law. They look at me like I have punched them in the face!
They explain to me how beautiful it is as if I had not fully understood what was happening. Like I am a moron. They tilt their head in a worried stare and ask me how I am feeling about having the baby, with a nod of genuine concern about my mental health. I say I’m fine, but when the baby moves, I hate it.
They tell me I’ll get used to it, or I might not be feeling kicks after all – no one tells me that that is perfectly normal and that not all women like the feeling of being constantly kicked and giggled and spun around from the inside out. Mostly, they tell me not to tell others, because I will sound crazy. One woman even asked me if I even want this baby!!
Why is it that you are not allowed to talk about the parts of pregnancy you don’t enjoy? Any mention of discomfort or disinterest during pregnancy is seen as a sign that you do not want the child. That you are not willing to sacrifice your own life for your baby and therefore, won’t be a good mother. I wonder how many other women have not enjoyed their pregnancy but have been too afraid to speak up.
When my baby moves inside me I feel claustrophobic. I feel like there are bugs living under my skin, it is unnerving. When the baby kicks it feels like my stomach is being punched. There is no warning, I don’t see these kicks coming, I just get beaten.
I find it hard to explain what it feels like, these ‘kicks’ as they are called. It feels like a muscle twitch or a spasm, it feels like something gone wrong not something going right. It feels like having a baby inside your hard punching the back of your eye. It feels like I’ve done something wrong to my muscles like my stomach is so heavy it will tear my skin open. It feels like a slow-growing monster is hatching within me and I will eventually crack apart in little pieces like an egg as it springs forth.
Having a human living under my skin brings a restlessness and constant movement within me that makes it hard to sit still. I feel like I cannot be alone, or sit still anymore. The calm has gone.
After our wedding, I felt a deep crash of disappointment. I had not enjoyed my wedding. It was stressful and full of pressure and I was constantly stared at the whole day, my face analysed and my choices judged. I don’t like being watched, and I felt watched.
I thought there was something wrong with me until, I googled, “did not like my wedding day”. What I found was a secret community of women who were too scared to admit to their friends they had not liked their wedding day. They posted secretly in online forums about how their wedding had not been the happiest day of their lives. That they did not know who to turn to or how to talk about it without being chastised and appearing ungrateful.
That is how I feel about being pregnant. I feel like I am meant to be so grateful that I can even get pregnant, that any sort of discomfort or negative emotions of mine are to be disregarded.
I wanted to write this in case you also felt the same way. I didn’t want you to think there was something wrong with you, or that you were the only one. I am struggling with it too.
How did you find your pregnancy? Was it everything you thought it would be?