It’s Okay to NOT be Happy About Your Pregnancy!

Shubhreet

I’m 6 months pregnant with our second baby and I recently finally announced my pregnancy to majority of my friends and on my social media. Prior to that, only our parents and very few friends knew about it. With my first pregnancy, we started telling people after the first trimester was over but this time, I just didn’t feel like it.

Why you ask? I didn’t want to listen to “Congratulations” and “Wow! You must be so excited!“… Because I wasn’t excited! In fact, for the first few months, I didn’t want to discuss it with anyone at all. I didn’t feel like it was a cause for celebration. I didn’t feel happy about it. On top of that, I felt guilty for not feeling happy about it.

If you’re pregnant and feeling the same way, here’s what you need to know – It’s perfectly normal!

My Pregnancy Woes

Both my first and second pregnancy were planned ones. I remember when I found out the first time, I started crying. They weren’t tears of joy or unhappiness. It was simply the surprise of finding out that overwhelmed me. I’m not someone who’s very naturally maternal so I didn’t get happy tears during my ultrasounds but I was overall happy during my first pregnancy despite constant chest burn and throwing-up all 9 months. I went to work, styled my pregnancy outfits, went out with friends and fulfilled my food cravings despite the aches, pains and mood swings that come with being pregnant.

But the second time was very different emotionally. I got pregnant on our first try and when I suddenly started throwing up 3 times a day, I kept telling myself that it’s food poisoning. My husband Karan remarked that maybe I’m pregnant but I kept insisting it can’t be this fast. When I finally missed by period date by 2-3 days, he bought a home pregnancy test and as it turns out, he was right! I was pregnant!

My heart just sank into the ground when I saw those two ticks! I can’t explain it! One would think I’d be happy I got pregnant so quickly. People try for so long sometimes, especially in our mid thirties. But I just couldn’t get myself to feel happy or excited. I thought it’ll get okay in a few days but it only got worse. I was in denial and now finally, 6 months into my pregnancy, it’s finally getting better.

This is a story of a lot of mothers-to-be. Unfortunately, even in this day and age, many can’t openly talk about it. But the truth is, it’s actually common enough for women to not be excited about being pregnant, even in cases of planned pregnancies. It doesn’t make you a bad mother-to-be and it certainly doesn’t mean you will not love your baby. Please read on and don’t let the guilt take over you.

Why you might be unhappy about your pregnancy?

1. You Were Not Ready!

This is true for planned and unplanned pregnancies. Let’s face it – None of us are ever 100% ready for it! Most of us take that decision while being semi-sure. But when it actually happens, the unready side takes over. I wasn’t ready the first time either but overall, I was fine. I didn’t feel overly maternal during my first pregnancy but the ferocity of love that hit me when I had my daughter was fierce. So I knew from experience that it will be okay. But despite knowing all that, I still couldn’t pull myself together during the first 3-4 months of my second pregnancy. I just couldn’t handle everything pregnancy would bring.

2. Pregnancy Is Hard!

That brings me to my second point. Pregnancy can be a bitch and it’s one of the hardest things a woman’s body goes through. There are hormonal imbalances, nausea, chest-burn, vomiting, aches and pains, weight gain and the list goes on. It’s easy to say that all of this is temporary but it’s also easier said that done! Being constantly physically uncomfortable can take a bigger toll on your mental health than one assumes. Allow yourself to acknowledge that it’s not easy and give yourself credit for going through it, happily or unhappily. Whatever works!

3. Feeling Left Out

From the day you find out you’re pregnant, there are things you can’t do or eat or drink. Again, it’s easy for people to say – Oh it’s just for a few months! Well, those few months are actually 40 whole weeks and for quite a long time after delivery too. You feel left out at gatherings, parties or dinners. The smell of someone else’s food might make you nauseous. Seeing another person drink or smoke or eat something that you can’t might make you crave it. On paper, it’s a small sacrifice and moms-to-be do it. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy!

4. Work/Career Slowdown

Everyone has a different pregnancy. Most women do face severe exhaustion in the first trimester. It’s actually one of the first signs of being pregnant. I remember I would pass out by 730 PM every night and wake up the next morning during the first trimester of my first pregnancy. During my second too, I just felt so tired! That meant I couldn’t finish as much work as I wanted to and had to give up assignments or opportunities. I had already taken a break before and restarted a whole new career after my first baby. I was finally at a stage where it had built up to a stable level and I could grow my portfolio even more. But physically, I just did not have the energy and I knew this slowdown will continue for a bit. It’s not fair to expect women to be happy or even okay with the hit their career takes or the compromises they have to make because they’re pregnant.

5. Feeling Ugly

Before you bombard me for using a superficial word like ugly and tell me how all pregnant women look super cute, let me explain that feeling ugly during pregnancy has to do with a lot more than just weight gain. We are quite prepared for the weight gain to be honest. But most women will experience at least few of the following symptoms during their pregnancy – nausea, vomiting, bloating, leg cramps, bleeding gums, nose bleeds, acne or pigmentation, varicose veins, lower back or hip aches, exhaustion and so on. That combined with the weight gain does lead to some fall in your self-image regardless of how fashionable a mom-to-be you might be. In fact, I’m one of those who gains weight mostly only on my belly & I love styling my clothes too. But most days, I feel so yucky in my body because I’m still throwing up once or twice a day, have pressure on my sciatica nerve that makes my legs & hips hurt and the burning sensation in my chest is non-stop.

6. What Lies Ahead…

Many of us second time moms-to-be also already know what’s gonna happen during delivery and the first 3-6 months thereafter. Be it a natural or a C-section delivery, going through either is difficult. The recovery post that is difficult. Whether you breastfeed or formula feed or mix; the sleepless nights, colic stage, baby blues etc are difficult. The struggle of getting your body back is tedious. Those 1-2 years from pregnancy to baby’s first year is physically and mentally draining. Even the stress of check-ups and hoping everything is okay during pregnancy is difficult. There’s always that fear and worry about something going wrong. You want to stop overthinking, yet you can’t!

7. Unsolicited Advice

It’s one thing to ask for help and advice. But unfortunately, being pregnant means you will get constant and over-bearing advice and hints from everyone. Families honestly are the worst sometimes. I got so much of it along with indirect hints and comments on what I should and should not do during and after pregnancy. When I found out about my second pregnancy, those memories came flooding back. As a second time pregnant mom-to-be, it’s easier for me to tell people to back off when needed. But that might not be the case for first time moms. Take your stand in whatever way you can. And to everyone shelling out advice without being asked, please leave the pregnant woman alone. She has her doctor. She has online resources. If she needs your help, she will ask for it.

8. Pre-Natal Or Ante-Natal Depression

It’s not as commonly talked about as post-natal depression but it is actually equally common. Many women get pre-natal depression and those who get it are at a higher risk of post-natal depression too. It is also not your fault! Your body is going through a million physical, hormonal and emotional changes. If you are feeling very sad or depressed during pregnancy, please read up on pre-natal depression or speak to your doctor about it. Get help in whichever form works for you.

What to do about depression during pregnancy?

1. Read Up

After feeling like shit for weeks, I finally opened Google and searched – not happy about my pregnancy. I can’t even count the number of articles and chat threads that popped up. Stories and stories by other moms who felt exactly how I was feeling. This included unplanned and planned pregnancies, moms who got pregnant after a lot of difficulty but still felt unhappy, moms who had multiple miscarriages before they got pregnant but still weren’t excited about the prospect of having baby… It was endless! My body felt lighter instantly because I realised I’m not alone. It’s not just me! Even though I didn’t know these women personally, reading their stories made me feel like I had a support structure.

2. Speak to a friend

Everyone needs a different type of outlet and sometimes, just having a space to freely share your feelings without any judgements helps more than actual solutions. Like I mentioned before, I didn’t even feel like talking about my pregnancy to anyone. And I definitely didn’t wanna hear “Oh it’ll be all fine later!“. I’ve been through this before and I already know it’ll be fine later. But I was going through it now! So I reached out to a couple of friends who I knew will lend an ear and happily let me bitch about how this pregnancy felt like I’m giving up too much of myself. They understood, they agreed and they didn’t judge me. That validation helped! That’s what I needed. Try to figure out what will help you and speak to a friend or family member about it.

3. Get Professional Help

If your depression during pregnancy is severe, please don’t ignore it and tell your doctor or speak to a therapist. Pre-natal depression is no joke and can get worse over time. There is no shame in it! We all need help and there is courage in seeking that help. Even if you don’t think your sad or irritated mood is at the level of being called depression, I still recommend letting your doctor know what you’re feeling. I did that and those tiny chats and considerations with her helped.

4. Whatever Works!

Let yourself feel what you’re feeling. If you feel like crying, do it! A good cry is extremely healing. Explain to your partner what you’re going through and tell them that sometimes you’re gonna need them to be understanding when you just lash out because you’re overwhelmed. Give them material to read so they understand how to help you get through this. Bottling it up won’t help!

It's Okay to Not be Happy About Your Pregnancy! | Raising KarmaIt will get easier…

This blogpost turned out to be a lot longer than I had planned but I wanted to be as honest as possible and if it helps even a single pregnant woman out there struggling with her feelings during a supposed joyous time, then I will consider penning this down worth it. I am finally doing better now… much better than before.

Physically, both my pregnancies are very similar but emotionally, the second one took me by surprise. It’s taken me a few months to get out of that dark shadow but I can feel myself getting better and happier. If you know anyone who’s pregnant but seems to be struggling, reach out to them and say – Hang in there! You are not alone. You don’t deserve any shame or blame. I’m here to help.

Wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy!


 

32 Comments

  • Posting years late, but came across your blog after googling ‘not happy to be pregnant’. My husband and I tried for 5 months before deciding we felt happy without kids and to begin preventing/delaying pregnancy for the next couple of years. Naturally, this is when I got pregnant. Days after the discussion of us not wanting a baby right now.

    I feel awful that I’m not overjoyed, and simultaneously also stressed that something will go wrong with the pregnancy – I’m just a mess of emotions all around and I’m not close with my family to lean on them. Thank you so much for posting this. ❤️

  • Thankyou so much for writing this! I am a working woman staying alone with my spouse working in another city. It’s been hell that’s all i can say.. it is a planned one and yet, I feel like this. Every word you’ve written.. Gosh! Your friends must be so lucky.. Lots of love to you.

  • This is my second, I’m 7months in and I’ve hated it every second. I can’t wait for it to be over and sometimes just wish it was. No one understands though my husband really tries. Everyone around is like “oh it’s so exciting, oh it’s a blessing”. No, no it’s not. This was unplanned, I’m having so many difficulties with my eldest, he has some learning challenges and we don’t have money for the resources he needs, now I’m bringing in a second. All I feel is dread and hopelessness. Doesn’t help that I’ve had the full list of bad reactions (except high BP) I now have gestational diabetes so can’t even eat what I’m used to. 10+ weeks left. This isn’t fun and I just can’t bring myself to have any positive feeling. I don’t know how to get through it. I can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t be happy. How will I get through the next 2+ months. 🙁

  • I’m on the fence about kids. I’m unexpectedly pregnant.

    My husband said he doesn’t mind if we do or don’t have kids so it’s entirely my decision.

    I have had dread and disbelief since I found out and fear and anxiety are ruling at the moment.

    How do you know whether children and being a parent is something you really want? I just can’t figure out what I want and I’m so confused and feel like a selfish so-and-so for thinking children may or be something I want.

  • I am pregnant for the first time that is 6th week. I am not ready for all this. I feel I have done something wrong with the new life n myself. This is not good for my baby n me too. I really don’t understand what should I do…. I want to cry out but I can’t as I living in a joint fmly. My hubby is very happy but I don’t think I am.

  • OMG, I am almost afraid to post this at all, but I, too, had very strong negative feelings about being pregnant (twice) and ended up having abortions both times. I am so very confused because had I known it was “normal” I may have reconsidered, especially the 2nd time when I was in my mid-thirties. I Googled this after a friend told me she felt sad about finding out she was pregnant with her first child even though she was actively trying. I also have questions about why nature (be it hormones or other factors) would have us feel this way for the survival of our species. Now that women have a choice, birth rates may even potentially drop because of this phenomenon. You’d think, in a perfect world, that we would be happy to find out we were pregnant if it were for the greatest and highest good. Are women getting this signal instinctively because of overpopulation? Is it not a calling for everyone and do those negative feelings serve a purpose? Is it our heart’s desire to have a child but we were just afraid, or does it not resonate with us on a deeper level? Sorry to ask such hard questions here, but it is indeed devastating to think that something so beautiful is sometimes wrought with painful beginnings.

  • Just when I needed this the most. I would say I felt happy when I realised I was pregnant. This is my first pregnancy. But as I go through it I find it increasingly anxious.
    Majorly because of the reasons you’ve stated in your blog & its kinda like validation to what I feel.
    Most likely I feel this way because I imagined my life to be something else and now it’s all totally changed.

  • I’m pregnant but don’t know why I’m fully scared and always thinking pregnency is a bad idea… i already have 6 years daughter so my husband want second kid so that my 6 years daughter will have sibbling and she don’t feel lonely so before my second pregnancy I too expected i should become pregnant but after i become pregnant don’t know why all bad thoughts like i may die in this pregnancy, or i may not carry this baby 9 months, how baby stays in stomach,something bad happens to me,this baby is unwanted because I already have daughter, carrying baby 9 month’s is a big hardest task (though i already carried my daughter during first pregnancy), I may get covid ,I may die etc so all this stupid things making me panic and I’m suffering a lot god please help me..

    • Hey, first of all, I just wanna say that every single thing you’re feeling is normal. Absolutely normal! I was convinced something will go wrong Wirth my second pregnancy… so convinced it was an absolute surety for me. But my baby is a toddler now and growing up really well. Post pregnancy wasn’t as difficult as I thought either. Pregnancy is not easy… I personally feel its way more difficult than new born days. Hence, it is gonna take an emotional toll and everything you’re feeling is justified. You’re not a bad mom for feeling like this. Let those feelings come, cry it out, speak to a close friend or if your partner is supportive, tell him you need to vent this out regularly and that you’re not looking for solutions but just support. Having said that, I could totally relate to your comment and everything you said and I promise you, it gets better and easier!

    • I’m 10 weeks pregnant with my third child. My son is 16, my daughter 7. My partner and I planned this baby. I wanted to get pregnant.
      I’m so scared and sad. I can’t stop crying. I also feel like I’m going to die somehow and what’s worse, I kinda like that thought. I’m not going to hurt myself I just am not afraid of dying. I think I’m more afraid of how hard I know the next three years will be.
      Both my partner and I have autism and ADHD, so do my children, this comes with some extra challenges. Neither of my children ever slept well and still don’t. Naps didn’t happen.
      I have googled abortion services even though we really want this baby. I haven’t told anyone that doesn’t need to know. I’m not excited about my scan in two weeks. I don’t feel like celebrating. I’m mostly pretending it’s not happening in between the bouts of morning sickness.
      I was like this with both of my children, I actually had an abortion booked for my son but changed my mind and didn’t go. I don’t regret having my children, so I know it’ll be ok in a few years. A few years is a long time. I miss my brain being how it was, I miss my clothes fitting, I know I’ll miss my friends, my sleep, pretty bras, my figure, my freedom, my breasts not being sore. It’s fear of all the things we already know are going to happen.

      New mums are scared because they don’t know what will happen. Experienced mums are scared because we know exactly what’s going to happen.
      It makes sense to be scared. This is really scary. Even if everything goes well, loving another person that much is scary. The worries about their health, about accidents, everything. It’s a lot of work.
      So don’t be hard on yourself. You have chosen to do this knowing how scary it will be, how hard it is. That’s either really brave or really stupid. I’m going to go with brave, since if babies weren’t born people wouldn’t exist anymore.

  • I read this with tears in my eyes because this is such a honest blog and everything that you said is exactly how I’ve been feeling, I hate myself for not feeling happy or excited and so guilty but I can’t bring myself to feel one inch of happiness, I’m only a few weeks and already family members are pressuring me with who tk tell, am I breast feeding? What names? What do I want? I find the whole thing so overwhelming to the point I just cry my eyes out! I feel like the 1st trimester is the hardest because nobody knows so trying to act normal when I want to throw up at parties is proving to be very hard, without family constantly trying to interfere, I’m a shy and very reserved person who hates the attention on themselves so I’m really finding this stage so hard, but after reading this blog I can’t tell you how much better it has made me feel. I’m so glad you are feeling so much better and you’ve given me hope that I will too! Thank you for your honesty xx

  • Thank you for this wonderful post. I’m 6 weeks pregnant and though it was planned we got pregnant at the first try. I’m not sad but not really happy or excited either. Which is strange for me, because I’ve always loved babies and always wanted to be a mother. But once I’ve conceived, I can’t explain why I’m not excited. Maybe because it caught me by surprise and I’m exhausted and nauseous all the time!
    This read gives me strength to not feel guilty

  • I know all the women reading this blogpost are feeling the same, but I just want to say thanks for sharing. I know it’s normal yet feel like a sociopath. My husband is very supportive, but I just feel guilty for not wanting to be pregnant (it wasn’t planned and I feel stupid about it!) This is my second and all I can think about is how hard the first was. I love my first born! Just so many emotions and hormones right now I don’t know what to think anymore. Anyway I’m going to try sleep it off for you! Tomorrow is a new day 🙂 thanks again! You rock!

  • I’m happy to have this read, it sucks feeling so alone and my boyfriend is on his team mommy of why I’m not reacting like a “normal” mom to be. I wanted a child one day but now is awful timing but here we are. I’m even more depressed to find out the gender which has only added to my depression. I haven’t told anyone in my family only a couple friends… but boyfriend had told his whole family and thinks I’m selfish for not wanting ppl to know. I’ve honestly just given up and told him to tell whomever he wants bc I feel so defeated to have little to no support. I’m at a point of just saying the heck with it… once kid is born just give over custody and be done with all of it. I’m truly in a miserable place and no one around me understands. Everyone can just say it’s ok, I’ve got your back… ohhh but I’m still so happy for you, which is obviously not what I want to hear…I just want someone to not talk and simply listen. I get off work and cry everyday in the car before going in and much the same activity when heading in to work…i don’t deal well with change and this definitely isn’t a welcomed change on top of an already rocky relationship spanning 10 years but i guess in the end it’s my fault… hopefully things will get better.

    • Wow! I feel heard and seen in this post. I have one child from my first marriage and I just got recently married again. Due to some medical history my husband and I were told it would take quite some time for us to get pregnant and we would probably have to use IVF. I ended up getting pregnant on my wedding night on our very first try. Everyone including him is so happy and can’t believe it but I’m having such a hard time being happy about it. I’m currently 16 weeks and feel like I’m just struggling. The pregnancy in itself is beyond hard. I have ALL the terrible pregnancy symptoms. And I feel like trying to cope with all of that and a brand new husband and a new house and all the other changes is just so overwhelming. Reading this post is probably the first thing that has made me feel normal. My husband sometimes makes me feel like a terrible person for the brutally honest things I express during this pregnancy and although he is insanely supportive he just doesn’t get how I am feeling. Thank you for this blog and letting me know I am normal and what I’m feeling is normal!

  • Thank you so much for this post, this is EVERYTHING and EXACTLY all I’m feeling. Its my 3rd pregnancy but this one was not really planned, I’ve just been feeling so sad every time i think about it, i actually try to block it from my mind. Can’t share my husband’s excitement, or my mom’s and I feel judged when I tell them I’d rather not talk alot it…. I thought i would feel different after my first check up and I’m even more sad that that was not the case. 😭

  • I can’t thank you enough for this! I thought I’m crazy and my partner just told me today to get a grip. I started telling him I feel ugly, heavy and fat even though I’m only in the beginning and you can barely tell I’m pregnant.
    I’m scared of what it will do to my career and what I feel bad about the fact that I never wanted to be a mom on the first place.
    Everyone around me is so happy and excited and I feel like it’s sucking my energy, I’m drained.
    Reading this blog entry made me feel like I’m not alone and made me feel better and less ashamed and guilty for feeling what I feel, so thank you so much for this!

  • I have not been happy since the moment I found out I was pregnant. I am simply trying to do my best and take every day one day at a time. Today has been the hardest by far; I have been very nauseous & emotional today. The full hormonal works, anger, guilt, sadness, & crying. This helped me soooooo much. Thank you.

  • Thank you for being so honest and open about this. I truly felt like I was the only woman in the world feeling so down about such an Exciting moment in my life. I thought I would be overwhelmed with joy and excitement like my husband was when I told him about the pregnancy but every day I have doubts and sometimes wish it wasn’t true..at least not yet. And after that I feel like I’m the worst human in the world. I’m nervous to tell my family and friends because I know they will be so excited for us and I’m afraid that they’ll judge me for not sharing the excitement. I’m just relieved to know I’m not the only one feeling this way. Again thank you for sharing your story!

    • I am feeling the same. I am just about 7 weeks and really feel like what did I do?!
      The bigger question is does it get better? Do these feelings suddenly turn into equal happiness as your partner? It’s all so scary, but I’m glad to know I am not alone.

    • Olga, this article was helpful for me to read, but also thank you for your comment. That’s EXACTLY how I’ve been feeling in regards to telling friends and family. When I read your comment I just started crying. Everyone (who I’ve told) keeps saying how amazing it is and in my head I’m like “shut up!” Lol. I feel terrible but also know deep down I’m allowed to feel how I feel right now. Anyway, thanks again. Hope you start feeling good very soon.

  • I’m only 24 and about 5 weeks pregnant. Although this was semi-planned once I found out I was pregnant I can say the anxiety and worry kicked in. I’m finding myself not excited to be pregnant but reading this post has helped me feel not so alone. I thank you so much for this.

  • Hi… I am pregnant with second and I feel desperate.. it is just like your story- 1st one full of joy, checking baby’s development twice a week, I wear my bump as a queen. But now? I am 10w and have never felt positive emotion. I don’t want to talk about it with anyone. My husband is very happy and dob’t really understand my feelings. And at the highest guilt I take it as a sacrifice for my firstborn (my love)so she won’t be raised as a single child. Am I normal? What the hell is wrong with me? 😢

  • Very well written, more so very informative and of help to many first time or repeat performance mothers who probably could not express themselves and felt the guilt. Such write ups play an important role in removing that guilt.👍👍

  • I can so very well relate to this, it was same with me during first pregnancy! I was neither happy nor sad, but had a feeling of some void. Though, later in the term it got happier.
    For second baby’s plan, I get paranoid thinking of how tough it was the first time. And especially when you don’t have a solid support system at home.
    But, nevertheless it’s a happy news and a brand new sardaar/sardarni coming up very soon. I am super delighted for you my friend.

    • Thanks so so much Dips! Honestly, I’ve been lucky in terms of having friends like you are open and loving. I’m also feeling much lighter now after sharing my feelings and looking forward to whats ahead! Big hugs! 🙂

  • You have given words to my feelings.. this is my second pregnancy and I am feeling exactly the same.. thank you for writing this blog you helped in a bigger way.

    • I’m so grateful to hear that it helped you! My main reason for writing this was that so many moms go through it but its not talked about as often. And just knowing one is not alone provides support. I hope you feel better soon! Please take care of yourself and if you ever just wanna talk about it, please buzz me. Getting it out of our system is important. Lots of love and hugs! 🙂

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