We’ve been giving birth for centuries. Despite that, I am in awe every time I see a pregnant woman. I also think to myself how happy I am that it’s not me and that all of that is behind me.
I did not love being pregnant. Not one minute of it. It was hard. I was miserable. Part of that had to do with being in the public eye on television every day. Sure, it’s good for ratings because people like to see you grow. (To this day, people will see me in public and ask how my babies are. I tell them: All grown up.) But I hated my changing body. My skin got darker. I was sick all of the time. I got so fat that I could not tell the front from the back of my underwear.
One time, when I worked in Louisville, Kentucky, a police officer made this comment about my yellow maternity dress — you look like a yield sign, he said. I think I looked more like Big Bird. Either way, that was not nice.
When you are pregnant, people comment on your size, touch your stomach without asking and are just generally nosy. I am guilty of all of that, too. When you are on the receiving end, thought, it’s hard to come up with a comeback.
Things have come a long way since I had my children in the ’90s. Maternity clothes are better — women are wearing fewer tent dresses and more form-fitting maternity fashion. Breast feeding in public is acceptable. Men can take paternity leave.
But probably the most helpful change is the technology, including the internet. You can take birthing classes online. You can look up anything you want to know. The ultra sound pictures are better. You can more easily record the birth with your phone, and you can share baby pictures with friends and family right away through social media. And, for the parents and other family members who can’t be there, you can FaceTime.
The truth is we all get through pregnancy in our own way. Just make sure you take care of your mental health — children will make you crazy, we moms can joke — because pregnancy and children raising are hard work. And while I hated the experience of being pregnant, I did love the results.