This post is in partnership with Hancock Regional Hospital as part of their empowering women and children site. All thoughts, experiences, and opinions are my own. Be sure to check out their site for additional resources and support.
A few years ago during Thanksgiving week I was in the grocery store with my future step-mother-in-law (SMIL for short here on out) when I received a text that a friend had just delivered her baby. I told my SMIL I was happy for my friend, then jokingly said, “Ugh I can't imagine being pregnant. I'm going to make an awful pregnant woman.” She stopped dead in her tracks, did a complete 180, and while wagging her finger in my face scolded me as if I was throwing an irrational temper tantrum in the store. She said, “Stop that right now, you need to chill out.”
Later that night she went to my future husband saying she was concerned about me becoming pregnant and my ability to handle it. It felt like such a sucker punch. I, like most women, have fears about being pregnant. Some of these fears are bigger than others, but as someone living with anxiety, they can feel like mountains at times. My husband has known about my fears for years. They're something we talked about before we got engaged and he has heard them a million times over.
But this exchange made me think, “how many other woman have these fears but feel guilted or shamed by others to stay quiet about them?” I wholeheartedly believe that every time we share a fear or struggle, its grip on us loosens a little bit. The weight of it disperses across others, making it a little less heavy on our soul, and becomes a little easier to cope with. Which is why today I want to share with you all my fears about being pregnant.Each time we share our fears, the weight of it is shared.Click To Tweet
I also want to preface the fears that will follow by saying: I know the ultimate goal of pregnancy is to have a happy and healthy baby. That is the most important thing. I know some of these fears may seem trivial or even selfish to some. But I think they are fears that a lot of us have and don't feel safe enough to talk about. Which is why I am writing this post. It's not easy and I hope I don't ruffle any feathers by seeming ungrateful or vapid. I know many woman who cannot get pregnant and would die to have these fears as part of their reality. So I guess we will start there…
9 Fears About Pregnancy:
I'm afraid I won't be able to get pregnant.
You see, I have no idea if I can or can't get pregnant because we haven't started to try. The following fears may seem inconsequential to me in the future, but today they are my reality. And while yes, I'm scared of all the things that pregnancy brings, I am also terrified of not being able to get pregnant. I want to bring kids into this world – and do believe that all the other fears I'm about to list are worth leaning into to hopefully bring a little piece of my husband and I into this world. My heart would break if I couldn't have kids. I've seen the pain that my friends have endured with IVF or not being able to get pregnant at all and my heart breaks for them… but I'm also inspired by their strength and courage as they've tried (and all have ultimately been blessed with beautiful families).
I'm afraid of morning sickness.
I'm prone to tossing my biscuits a little more often than the average person, maybe TMI? Sorry! Which leads me to being absolutely terrified of morning sickness. Whenever I have a bad spell, it wipes me out for the entire day. I have no energy, I'm groggy, and basically can't do much except take a bath, nap, and watch tv. I can't imagine having frequent days like that while trying to work (especially when I work from home and I'm sure my bed will look extra inviting!).
I'm afraid of not getting a good nights sleep.
I'm a back sleeper, which I know isn't recommended during pregnancy. When I sleep on my side, it gives me hip and shoulder issues and is generally uncomfortable for me. I'm nervous that I'll be constantly exhausted and also completely unable to sleep. Or that I will sleep, but it will be that irritable, cranky sleep.
I'm afraid of fainting.
I am also super prone to fainting! Fun stuff, right? For as long as I can remember my blood pressure has been on the lower side, which has led to a lot of dizziness and fainting episodes over the years. It's actually pretty common for woman's blood pressure to lower during pregnancy. Most women don't even notice a difference in how they feel when their BP lowers, but for me, I get nervous because of my history which is something I plan to learn more about how to handle if/when I get pregnant.
I'm afraid of feeling out of control.
Okay, I know I can't control all the things in life – but over the years, I've always felt comfort in having some sort of control over my body. The ability to take care of it, nourish it, and set boundaries around it has given me peace of mind. But when you're pregnant, the pregnancy controls your body. Everything from your emotions, to mental fogginess, to physical pain. That's going to be an adjustment for me.
I'm afraid of looking like a house.
Okay, I know the priority is a happy, healthy, baby at the end of the day – and I'm beyond excited to eat for two – but when my mother got pregnant with me, she was a puffy giant mess. I'm not just saying that, she was actually huge – like she gained way more than 60 lbs. For reference, a woman of average weight should gain about 30 lbs during pregnancy – a woman who is underweight should gain about 40. Which leads me to…
I'm afraid of what will happen to my career.
Again I know the ultimate goal is a happy healthy baby – but with the knowledge that I am probably genetically predisposed to put on more weight and puff up more than the average woman, I'm scared to think about what that means for the future of my business. It's part of my job to share photos of my life and create beautiful imagery for brands and more often than not, I'm in those photos.
I see all these cute pregnant woman who look like they just have a ball under their shirt and kind of know that's not going to be my reality. Is this a totally selfish and shallow fear? Possibly. But it's a real one for me and I'm sure other women too.
If we take a step back and think about gaining 60 lbs and going into an office where people start to judge you or think less of you because you're gaining weight and then ultimately because they find out your pregnant, we realize it's not that irrational of a fear. Many women go through it and it does impact our work and how others perceive us in the workplace, both during pregnancy and after. Whether we are in the social media lime light, or at a desk job in corporate America, which is a shame.
I'm afraid for my mental health and the havoc hormones will create.
At 17 years old I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. I spent the better part of the last decade on medication, however went off it a few years ago. In the last few years, there have been times where I should've gone back on medication. However chose not to because titrating off was so difficult for me in the past and didn't want to go through that right before trying to get pregnant. I know how difficult it has been to cope at times during these few years, but I've done a good job learning to cope with my anxiety and depression without medication. However add unruly hormones into the mix? Well that's a pretty scary unknown for me. I'm afraid I won't have the strength to engage in the things I normally do to pull me back.
What if something goes wrong.
This is honestly my biggest fear. The rest is surface stuff that's easier to talk about. I know I'll conquer the other fears. But what if something goes wrong with the pregnancy? I've had a lot of failures in my life and try to always think of failure as a good thing – but I can't help but think what if something goes wrong – will I be the biggest failure? Would I feel like my body betrayed me? Would I feel like I wasn't destined to have kids and give up altogether?
I know these are all just anxious thoughts. And thoughts can change, evolve and grow. But they are thoughts I think plague us as women. I know that no matter what happens I'll find strength to overcome those thoughts, because I'm strong, and I've watched other women overcome them too. But they still linger so I am putting them down on the page so they can't gain strength in the echo-chambers of my mind.
Here's the thing:
Despite these fears, I know I want to walk through them. I know that I want to become a mother some day. Pregnancy is a temporary state, for the ultimate gift of life. I know these thoughts aren't rooted in reality and I could love the feeling of pregnancy! I won't know the truth until I go through this next stage of life.
If you're dealing with these same fears talk with someone about them, because you aren't alone and should never feel ashamed. I believe when we talk about our fears we lessen the grip they hold on us. I believe that it's important to check out sites like Hancock Regional Hospital's, and learn about what the experience will be like and to get support as we go through these changes. If your fears or anxiety persist, I encourage you to seek support groups or talk with your doctors or a counselor. Know that it's normal to lean on others for support.
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55 thoughts on “9 Fears About Pregnancy + Why It’s Okay”
I loooovelovelove this post Rachel and thank you so much for being so raw, honest, and vulnerable. I think a lot of women will be able to relate and connect with these fears. I’m probably the wrong person to be leaving a comment on this because I’ve already decided I don’t want to have kids but I think a big part of not wanting kids are a lot of these fears that you’ve listed. I don’t feel strong or brave enough to fight through these fears and to be quite honest, my mental health is what really concerns me. My mom and dad both have a lot of the same mental illnesses that I struggle with and they weren’t able to manage it and raise us and I just don’t want to do what my parents did to me and my siblings to someone else, you know? Not saying that we are our parents and I also don’t blame my parents and I’m working hard to forgive them… but mental illnesses are diseases and it’s an unknown kind of scary which has made me afraid to have kids.
I totally hear that! I actually have a follow up post in the works about fear of actually having a kid and a lot of it has to do with family and mental health and breaking the cycle! I can totally relate to so many of your fears. Just remember to make whatever decision because it’s right for you and not out of fear <3 Keep taking care of yourself and learning about everything, that's what will make you strong and different from your parents <3 <3 sending you lots of love!
I LOVE this post! Your honestly is amazing and something so many women need to hear. You are so brave for sharing this and I am so glad you did! XO
Awe thank you so much <3
You totally surfaced the fears I also have in being pregnant – coming from someone who suffers from anxiety as well. And it really doesn’t help that we look into social media and “see” friends, or people we barely know, portray as if pregnancy “ain’t no thang” – that it’s seemingly perfect, and adaptable, and some that they wish they were always pregnant. When ultimately, it’s not for others – especially when I have friends (who don’t turn to SM during their pregnancy at all) and say that it literally sucked the life out of them. And that scares me beyond belief – the “unknown”, so to speak. More and more each day it’s like my mind tries to overcome my fear by telling me, “there are other ways…”, which is so true, if I feel I MUST avoid the whole being pregnant thing. But really, THANK YOU for lifting some of the weight I have on my shoulders for having this fear.
Awe thank you so much for your comment Carissa! I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the SM game and, like you, for most of my friends pregnancy was not a walk in the park. Trust that you are not alone and I think whatever decision you make in terms of pregnancy or something else, it’ll be the right one for you and that’s what is important!
Thank you for being so honest! I’m also scared of the things that might go wrong, what a pregnancy will do to my career. And I’m definitely afraid of feeling out of control and not being able to get pregnant. I sometimes have a not so subtle way of saying things, but I feel like I should be able to expres my fears. In any way. Because they are mine. But I do feel hesitant sometimes, because I know there are people out there who will judge me. And it’s exactly what you say: despite all these fears, I would definitely face them if that means bringing a beautiful child into my life!
Yes! the career thing really makes me nervous! And i have a not so subtle way of saying things too, which makes me super nervous of who I will alienate or snap at during a hormonal swing!
THIS. I know pregnancy is supposed to be this amazing experience, but honestly it freaks me out! What if I’m miserable for nine months? What if I make my husband miserable too? I think you really hit the nail on the head though with this: “Pregnancy is a temporary state, for the ultimate gift of life.” Great post!
Girl, i hear you about being freaked out! there was originally a line in this post that went something like, “pregnant women have always freaked me out, its like they’re growing an alien inside of them!” but decided to take that out lol
OMG YES. Like I’m sure it’s amazing and everything, but you’re GROWING A HUMAN INSIDE YOUR BODY. So crazy!
I can imagine that pregnancy can cause a lot of fears, but your advice to share these fears with others is good. No reason to be alone with your feelings.
Thank you for such a vulnerable post, Rachel. I can resonate with your first point the most – I struggle with being scared that I won’t be able to have kids and it deeply pains me to my core. My heart literally aches when I let my mind wander there. We’re not trying yet – soon, though. I’m just believing and remembering what God has promised me, which brings me so much comfort and peace when my mind starts to run the worry road. That doesn’t mean my mind still doesn’t wander, but I’m grateful for that peace. Again, thank you for opening up, Rachel. So many can resonate!
These are legitimate fears! And I think it’s completely normal to fear the unknown. I was scared to death of being pregnant and during my first pregnancy I felt like I was always walking on eggshells. But you are right when you said “On the other side of fear is something good.” So true! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Wow, this post is awesome. I have all these fears plus some! I usually feel guilty for even having fears about becoming pregnant, because I want kids in the future. But I get worried the universe won’t allow me to have kids when I’m actually ready! Like that my birth control will mess up my system too much and won’t allow me to have kids… even though that’s all in my head. This post is so relatable, and it’s awesome that you just lay it all out there. It’s hard to be a girl sometimes and be like, well yes I want kids… but not right now. Can’t I have these fears and sort them out as I go along until the time to have kids presents itself? Without people judging or thinking something is wrong? Thanks for this Rachel, it definitely hits home!
I totally get the guilt! I have it too! And i have that fear too!! I actually just went off birth control and have been having terrible cramps and have been learning about that experience too!
I’m on my 3rd pregnancy and I still have fears! Walking through them is so important and not letting them consume me.
I have learned from pregnant friends (we’re not having children) that these are all real and valid feelings. You’re baking a human! I think it’s totally okay to be scared.
Oh yes! This is so true! Being pregnant can be so scary since it comes with so many new things. I always overthink and thinking about the worst case scenario is what I do. It was great to read this post!
Oh my gosh I can so relate to this!! I’ve never had the desire to be a biological mother due to many of these things, haha. I’ve always thought for me personally that adoption or fostering will be the best route. I suppose it will depend once I meet my future husband someday- but I’ve just never wanted biological children. Becoming a mother is such a personal decision, and everyone’s choice should be respected!
This post means the world to me, with the addition of a few added fears for me personally. I can’t express how much I worry about ALL these things that come with pregnancy. I really appreciate you being so honest about all these different things that tie in with a HUGE life change. I’m sure there are MANY people who feel the same way, and they are just simply worried about expressing those emotions.
Thank you so much for your comment Kiara! It means the world! If you’re comfortable, Id love to hear what others fears you’re holding onto? If not, I totally understand! I am sending you lots of love and positive vibes <3
I feel the EXACT same way. It’s so scary. I know it’s worth it but there are just so many unknowns. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. You hit the nail on the head.
These are definitely some concerns I have myself and while it may seem selfish to some, they’re totally legit.
This is such a great post. I have these same fears! I feel like more and more friends are getting pregnant, and I am faced with these same questions. Thank you for sharing your fears publicly! it’s great to hear others have the same worries as me, and we can get through them together one day!
Girl you are so awesome for being so honest!!! I am so scared too. Im a diabetic so getting pregnant tend to be tough and a lot more painful on you.
Thanks for sharing this Rach. I feel them SO MUCH. I am terrified of being pregnant even though I know I want to be someday.
This is a great post. Thanks for sharing. I’ve had many of these fears myself. I’m also still struggling with the idea of even having kids ever. I’m not really sure what I want, but a lot of these fears come up when I think about the issue. It’s great to have supportive people in your life who understand and don’t rush you. That’s what luckily keeps me sane!
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