This is an article for future moms who struggle with their pregnancy. I wanted to open up about a topic that is both close to my heart, and at the same time seems to be a taboo for pregnant women to talk openly about it. Although I don’t know about your experience, but when I was going through mine, many people “allowed” just one experience of pregnancy – the experience of joy. Every time I went off this script, I could see it in their faces – worry. Looking at me with the thought in their mind: “Will you be a loving mother?” or they try to advise me on how to help myself become a happy pregnant lady. No, I wasn’t imagining my feelings, and my hormones also didn’t trick me to feel something that was not there. Many people start to feel uncomfortable when you describe your pregnancy as unpleasant, having doubts, having no feelings towards your baby, etc.
My pregnancy wasn’t planned, and I was experiencing a state of shock and a lot of deeply negative emotions deeply into 5 months of being pregnant. Some of them could be connected with my really bad physical state until the 19th week, but not all of them. I dealt with life struggles the same as I advised my clients. I talked about how I feel. Consequently, I was getting different responses from people around me, but only a few had a sympathetic ear.
Even if you were planning to have a baby, you still can be shocked when you find out. Being pregnant can be something that is hard to comprehend at times. A lot of pregnancies are unplanned, or women feel society’s pressure to have a baby. However, even if you planned it, you can still experience negative emotions while pregnant. And you have every right to feel this way.
There is a range of feelings that can occur here, and I will write about a few of them: Doubting if you will manage to handle it, doubting if you will love your baby, not wanting to have your baby, not feeling connected, being deeply disappointed about the gender of your baby, feeling sad about becoming a mother, hating your pregnancy, hating body changes, worrying that your life will end, worrying that you will have no freedom, etc. Also, some of your dormant traumatic memories can awake while pregnant or postpartum. It is not uncommon that we remember our childhood trauma while becoming a parent.
All the feelings that you are experiencing while pregnant don’t tell how you will feel as a mother. For example: you can be looking forward to your baby but once it’s born, you can feel resentment or have trouble to connecting with it or . It can happen that you will have intrusive thoughts about you or your baby. What kind of thoughts? Killing you baby, hitting it, throwing it. You can find a little bit more about different pre/postnatal mental states HERE.
The medical environment can brush off these things too easily. In my experience nobody asked me if this pregnancy is planned and how I feel about being pregnant and becoming a mom. Probably they assume that all is well because of my age. Furthermore, so many doctors shared with me that this is really happy occasion. I believe we should be more careful in the medical field about how we approached someone. It is safer to ask a person about their feelings then just assuming happiness.
My belief is that it is important to talk with people who aloud you to feel how you feel and/or to seek safe therapy space were you can discuss your feelings no matter how “negative” they are. I am not here to give you advice or to have therapeutic goal to put you “on the right path” so that you would feel joy about this time of your life. I am here to listen, to hold your emotions and to create a nonjudgmental, safe place for them in case you decide you want to deal with your emotions in psychotherapy.
Do you want additional support for upcoming childbirth? I prepared an ONLINE WORKSHOP for pregnant soon to be moms, that want to emotionally prepare for upcoming childbirth in the safety of their own home.
When I was pregnant, I used my psychotherapy knowledge to prepare myself emotionally for the birth. Finding the lack of resources out there to not just technically but also emotionally prepare me for childbirth gave me the boost, to create this workshop for other women as well.