Am I Supposed To Feel Beautiful When I'm Pregnant?

With all the buzz over Kim Kardashian's dislike of being pregnant, are we supposed to love being pregnant?

Was I supposed to feel a certain way in pregnancy? Was I supposed to look or feel or even act a certain way? If I was, no one told me.

But then again, I was pregnant with my first in 2008. Facebook was still in its infancy for people in my age group. I don’t remember being inundated with blogs and articles and pictures that tried to show me how to “do” pregnancy. I had nothing to compare it to, beyond my own social group.

Fast forward to today. It’s 2015 and everything Kim and her fellow Kardashian’s say or do makes its way to front page news. Why? I have no clue. But here we are. Kim Kardashian, 34 weeks pregnant, tells the world pregnancy kinda sucks and people everywhere flipped out over her honesty.

Meanwhile, my initial thought was, “Don’t most people feel that way?”

I certainly didn’t have that pregnancy glow. It’s really hard to have a glow when you’re managing heart burn so bad you’re convinced your chest will literally catch on fire at any minute, all the while you’re hanging your head over a toilet multiple times a day. Sexy, pregnancy is not.

Apparently this is shocking news in the age of Facebook. It seems that Kardashian has basically outed our little secret and the internet is blowing up.

Let’s be clear, Kim really, really, really is not enjoying pregnancy. According to her website, she feels like a beached whale all the time. “For me, pregnancy is the worst experience of my life! LOL,” Kim said. “I don’t enjoy one moment of it and I don’t understand people who enjoy it…”

I do get it, though. Not everyone has heartburn and nausea. Not everyone is up all night trying to get comfortable and spends all day trying to gauge the risk of each food product’s likelihood of inducing vomiting. (In my case, milk meant heart burn. So did water. But, I digress…)

I got lucky with my first pregnancy. No real morning sickness to speak of. My worst symptom was heartburn I would have said was severe had I not experienced what I experienced with my second pregnancy, which was characterized by severe heartburn and daily illness. That said, I still didn’t feel like I was “glowing” at any point ever, even in my “easy” first pregnancy.

Dr. Shoshana Bennett spoke to the Toronto Sun about Kardashian’s huge revelation and said the problem isn’t that few women actually get this mythical glow. It’s that people expect to have it.

“The difficulty comes with the expectation that it is supposed to be this way,” she said.  “That’s a set-up and we can end up feeling angry, disappointed and ripped off when our actual pregnancy experience doesn’t measure up to the expectation.”

With my pregnancy days now 4.5 years behind me, I’d be lying if I said I knew what it was like to be pregnant in this current social media, three ring circus we enjoy—where celebs rock pregnancy and we lay-people either post no pictures or just the really good ones. Would that you could see me in the throws of pregnancy hell with my second, you would find me unrecognizable in the few pictures I was willing to share in my social media sphere. And that’s not because I wanted to keep up some façade. It’s because no one wants to see a picture of a person with their head hung over a toilet.

I don’t know that women really go into pregnancy expecting to feel like a million bucks and are blown away by the realization that that’s not the norm. Even in the face of social media and the Kardashians and the Gwenyth Paltrows, I think the vast majority of us go into pregnancy expecting to be whales who suffer from morning sickness and are grateful and surprised if we’re one of the lucky ones who don’t.

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