Rebecca Eckler: I Suffer from Post-traumatic Pregnancy Memories

I had an easy pregnancy. I didn't feel overly tired. I didn't throw up. There were no medical issues. And, yet still, I hated being pregnant


 

I am not recovered from being pregnant, not mentally anyway.

I didn’t know this until I ran into sweet Jessica Mulroney (wife of Ben Mulroney and the mother of their twin boys.) We ran into each other at a restaurant and had a nice chat about children. She stood up and that’s when I noticed her baby bump. “Yes, I’m pregnant. I’m giving birth in a month,” she said. I told her the truth. “You look fantastic!” (Which she did.)

But then I added, “It’s really hard to look at you, because I really hated being pregnant.”

I loved the fact that I was having a baby, but I did not like being pregnant. She admitted that, for her too, being pregnant was not her most favorite time, even though she is super excited to meet her little girl. It is strange, but true, that whenever I see a pregnant woman, my first thought is, “Great! Congratulations! Mazel Tov!” My second thought is, “I am SO glad I’m not you right now.”

What pregnant woman has not heard from pretty much everyone, “Enjoy being pregnant because once the baby is out you will never have a quiet moment to yourself again! At least in your stomach they are quiet!” This is true.

Once the baby is out is when the sleepless nights begin, the loss of your brain cells is obvious when you can’t remember what day of the week it is, and you constantly are changing diapers and feeding. And if you have a colicky baby, well, I really do feel for you. Once the baby is out, you are lucky to get a five-minute shower. I even had an easy pregnancy. I didn’t feel overly tired. I didn’t throw up. There were no medical issues. And, yet still, I hated being pregnant.

I actually get a physically reaction when I see pregnant women nowadays.

It’s been nearly a year since my son, Holt, was born. But when I see pregnant woman I DO kind of want to throw up, just thinking back to when I was pregnant. I even break out in a sweat. Most of my reaction is a result of the memory of carrying around that extra 57 pounds that I had gained and pretty much wearing the same leggings and extra-extra large t-shirts every single day. (I threw them out immediately after giving birth!)

Some women love being pregnant and these are the women I really wonder about and envy. Don’t get me wrong. I was over the moon to be pregnant, but I hated being pregnant. And, yes, once the baby is out, you are exhausted, you worry constantly about your newborn, and there is the never-ending diaper changing and feeding. But all said and done, personally, I rather have the baby out, then in.

So if I run into you, and you are pregnant, and I can’t look at you, it’s not because I’m not thrilled for you. I truly am. It’s just because I suffer from post-traumatic pregnancy memories, which I hope will fade in time.

Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most well-known journalists. She has been a columnist with the National Post, Canada's national newspaper, for five years, including a stint as a New York-based columnist and feature writer. She is the best-selling author of Knocked UpWiped!Toddlers Gone Wild, How to Raise a Boyfriend and The Lucky Sperm Club. Rebecca lives in Toronto with her fiancé and family. 

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