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When most women talk about what does it feel like to be pregnant they focus on the early physical symptoms. Nausea, the cramps, the tiredness, the heavy, hefty feeling of putting on so much weight so quickly.
Can you feel pregnant before you get obvious physical cues?
How does it feel internally for pregnant women?
What about emotionally and psychologically?
That’s the real question many women want to know about.
And so to answer you…
Pregnancy is a complete game-changer. You will experience emotions that you may never have truly felt before.
And not just one emotion at a time, but many emotions all mixed together in some kind of beautiful and intense jumble.
Beyond the physical symptoms, there are millions of positive, unfamiliar and uncertain vibes that accompany your first pregnancy.
How Does it Feel to be Pregnant?
You may feel pregnant before a test can confirm you are. There’s an indescribable sense of a subtle change in your internal state that only the most intuitive seem to pick up.
A knowing. Acceptance of an almost imperceptible difference.
- If you were trying to become pregnant and the test confirms your wishes, there’s a huge sense of relief and accomplishment.
- If your pregnancy is unexpected, there may be tears of doubt.
Both scenarios are (very normally) coupled with a feeling of fear.
No matter how happy you may be, for the first time in your life, you’ve never quite been here before.
There’s pride. Pride in yourself for creating an environment in which your little one will grow. And pride in yourself for doing so.
- Your heart will swell to epic proportions when you think about how clever you are and how clever your body is to have made such a precious human being.
- Pride in yourself for following that handy ovulation calendar so carefully and insisting to your husband that it was go-time when you did.
- Pride in your partner for delivering.
There’s gratefulness. A bliss sprinkled thankfulness in realizing you’ve been entrusted with the care of someone so incredibly special.
- Gratefulness that you’re going to have this experience.
There’s anxiety. Fear of labor. Fear of birth complications. Fear of the impending blood work, even.
- Fear of turning into your mother. <<< That’s a biggy!
- Fear of all the big decisions you now have to make.
Excitement. For many women, becoming a mom is the home run.
- How will you paint the nursery?
- Oh, the holidays and outings you’ll have together as a family.
- You can almost already see the thrill on his or her little face on Christmas morning, but first, there is!
Wonder. Wonder if it’s a boy or a girl. Could your pregnancy result in twins? Triplets?
- What will your little one look like? Who will he or she (or they!) resemble more?
- How will you raise your child(ren) in this world?
- What are you so used to in your everyday life, that now you may have to?
Sacrifice. Pregnancy is one huge sacrifice. The sacrifice of your favorite foods that are suddenly no longer an option because of their harmful ingredients.
- The sacrifice of catching drinks with friends next weekend.
- The sacrifice of your body. The sacrifice of putting yourself first ever again.
With all these realizations comes…
Enlightenment. Here, you’ve been eating lunch meat your entire life without knowing of the listeria risk it carries for unborn children.
- How could you have been so ignorant to what’s now such a crucial piece of information any time before in your life?!
Which leads to…
Doubt. Even when it’s everything you’ve ever wanted, are you really ready to be here?
- Did you make a mistake?
- Are you sure this was a good idea?
Otherwise known as…
Vulnerability. As noted, you’ve never been here before.
- You probably had life pretty much figured out before you got here, and, before, you only had to report to yourself.
Suddenly, you’re being thrust towards becoming a mother and all you can foresee is…
Sudden, ultimate responsibility.
Selflessness. You’re no longer the only one who matters to yourself.
- Every decision you make, every crumb you take in, every physical effort you exert impacts your little one on some level.
- You replace short-term goals, like ensuring you make it out to the next “girls night” or making reservations at that new Italian restaurant, with long-term goals like saving for college and making career shifts that could benefit your family.
Though you see a teammate in your partner, you’re suddenly increasingly aware of your…
Independence. Even if you’re using your partner as a crutch emotionally throughout your pregnancy, or maybe even physically in order to get you and your big belly to the bathroom sometimes, there’s a part of you that realizes you’re “it”.
- You’re “mom”.
- You’re the one providing your baby with nutrients, oxygen, and a safe place to sleep.
- You’re the one who needs to decide between getting an epidural or delivering without medication.
Your partner may be a victim to your mood swings, but it’s really the least he or she can do for you because you’re probably too busy being immersed in…
Worry. You start to worry about things maybe you’ve only read about in the news up until now.
- Whether or not your partner has life insurance, should something happen to him or her?
You try to laugh off this new need of having to worry about the more serious side of life and find yourself with a deeper sense of…
Understanding. You find yourself thinking about your parents.
There’s suddenly a sense of realization for just how much they must love you. Knowing fully just wasn’t within your grasp before.
Or, maybe you begin to realize that your parents could have loved you better.
- You consider your parents, their marriage, their marriages (plural!), their imperfections. You have a greater grasp of the challenges they endured.
- You no longer see them as just your parents but as adults who once made the decision to have you.
You compare your ability to accommodate your situation with how they once handled theirs, which often grants you with…
Empowerment. Because if your parents could do it, no matter how awful or fantastic they may be, so can you.
If you never had enough faith in yourself before, just wait until you deliver your little one, because whether you deliver with the help of an epidural to ease the pain, unmedicated, or via C-section for whatever the reason may be, you will become Superwoman.
Once you deliver your child, you’ll be able to feel like you can do absolutely anything, even if you did so through…
Nervousness. You’ve seen the Pinterest-themed parties and abusive day-care worker news stories circulating on social media.
- You start to wonder how you’ll navigate motherhood and all the responsibilities it entails.
- You’re not sure you can handle an epidural (how big is the needle again and WHERE do they put it?!).
- You’ve heard the C-section horror stories.
You spend your days venturing down these paths of potential problems until you’re completely overcome with…
Fatigue. Just when you think you’ve begun to figure out how you’re going to handle everything, you can’t sleep anyway because the baby inside of you begins to push on your bladder and you’re visiting the bathroom seven times a night.
- No matter the feelings we experience throughout pregnancy, trust me when I say that they subside on delivery day, but instead of going away for good, they merely change to fit your new lifestyle.
- Fatigue is at an all-time high since your little one wakes every hour on the hour to be fed.
- Nervousness and worry translate to fears regarding swaddles, safe sleeping practices, and being able to successfully breastfeed.
- Empowerment is functioning on no sleep as your lady parts continue to heal—it’s popping Motrin and enduring another day of being stuck at home with a needy newborn while your partner goes into work.
Sacrifice turns into recognizing the need for a reliable babysitter in order for you to have just one date night with your spouse again, and so on and so forth…
Here’s a short video for those who are under anxiety and depression from this experience:
What does it feel like to be pregnant is summary? Being pregnant feels hard, wonderful, exciting, challenging, intense, and nerve-wracking, all at the same time.
And yet, no matter your level of self-doubt, you’re 100% equipped to handle it.
In fact, you were born for it.