When I was pregnant with my third child I was whinging to my best mate one day about my various aches, pains and general pregnancy grumbles, when she suddenly stopped me in my tracks.
"It wasn't like this with my other two," I had just wailed, evidently succumbing to that most weird pregnancy symptom - the complete capacity to forget all the bad bits once you're on the other side.
"What?" she cried, entirely taken aback. "You HATED being pregnant both those times!"
Now, I still think her words were way too strong - I certainly don't think I hated being pregnant but I understood what she meant. I wasn't one of those pregnant women who relished every symptom with delight and glowed with the gift of new life. That doesn't mean I was a moaner throughout, either, but my friend gently reminded me that I found pregnancy pretty hard-going, and I apparently wasn't afraid to vocalise that.
So I felt a certain empathy for Kim Kardashian when she hit the headlines this week for writing a candid blog about how she really feels about being pregnant.
The Huffington Post reports:
"I'm gonna keep it real: For me, pregnancy is the worst experience of my life. I don't enjoy one moment of it and I don't understand people who enjoy it," she wrote."Maybe it's the swelling, the backaches or just the complete mindf**k of how your body expands and nothing fits."
"I just always feel like I'm not in my own skin."
Kim did also add:
"So for all my complaining, it's 100% worth it and more."
I can understand those who felt Kim's candour was a little ill-considered. And even in the grip of the grimmest imaginable encounter with acute morning sickness - we're talking the kind where you have to be hospitalised - I don't think I ever thought of pregnancy as the worst experience of my life. Challenging? Yes. Confusing? Hell, yeah. Sometimes woefully uncomfortable and incredibly painful at various points, but I think even in the grip of my moaniest moments I was able to appreciate that I was fortunate to be fertile, and blessed to be having a baby. And I think Kim probably is, too.
So I hear where Kim's coming from, and part of me congratulates her for saying what many women feel they can't. It might just help someone who's really struggling with pregnancy to hear that it's not all sitting around knitting bootees and glowing for nine months. But I don't think we should belittle or dismiss the feelings of women who find pregnancy tough-going, as if there's no validity to that.
I also understand that pregnancy isn't about enjoyment, but for today let's hear it for the expectant mums who just need somewhere safe to wail about their woes. Whether it's varicose veins in your lady bits (yes, it's a thing, don't ask me how I know), puking until you can stand no more or just a general feeling that, like Kim, that you no longer fit in your own skin, it's ok to say that you're not exactly loving the baby-on-board bit.
Butlet me just assure you that you're pretty likely to completely forget all that once your baby's here. After all, I apparently did - enough to do it three times!
Let's not make this a mum war, ladies, but come and share your perspectives on pregnancy over on our Facebook page. Do you wish you could be pregnant forever, or is it a part of the motherhood process that you'd happily bypass, if you could?
TOPICS: Parenting Tips