Whatever’s happening in your life during this time might make you feel worried or uncomfortable, but that’s due to the sheer amount of change you’re going through. And while pregnancy can often be depicted as a time of unadulterated joy, we understand that the reality can in fact be much more complicated.
Guilt at seeming ‘ungrateful’
‘I was such a mixed bag of emotions during pregnancy, my husband commented that he never knew what “version” of me was going to come home from work,’ says Leila, mum to Dee, 2. ‘I didn’t realise it at the time, but looking back I can see it was because I was so worried about how I was feeling, but didn’t want to admit it. We had wanted to get pregnant for so long, that complaining that I wasn’t enjoying it, and worrying about how I would cope with my life changing so significantly, felt ungrateful.’
During pregnancy your body is undergoing a lot of stress while your mind may be racing with ‘what ifs’ about the future - any concerns you have are valid, completely understandable and nothing to feel guilty about.
First versus second pregnancy
‘I have never felt so miserable as I did during my second pregnancy,’ says Thea, mum to Rudy, 4 and Elsie, 1. ‘I was exhausted, felt sick all day and just seemed to be missing out on everything, like two of my best friends’ hen dos. And all of this made me feel guilty as I loved being pregnant the first time around and I also worried that, if I was finding pregnancy this hard, how would I cope with having two kids?’
The same person can have two (or more) very different pregnancies and this can come as a surprise. But remember that how you experience pregnancy has no bearing on how you will be as a parent.
Ultimately, there’s no pregnancy rule book - no ‘right’ way to feel or ‘normal’ way to act. Everyone’s experience will be different, from one baby to the next, so be kind to yourself, recognise that you’re going through a huge life change and remember - you’re going to make a wonderful parent.