It’s More Than Okay to Love and Hate Pregnancy

While pop culture may advertise pregnancy as a pure blissful experience—for many mothers, it's more like a rollercoaster.
Discover the beauty and challenges of pregnancy through the eyes of a mother - the conflicting emotions and deep love on this transformative journey.

I can still vividly recall the moment when I discovered I was pregnant. It was a mix of shock, fear and exhilaration all rolled into one. The two little lines on the pregnancy test were like a portal to an alternate universe, one filled with immense potential and unwavering uncertainty. In that instant, I was confronted with the complexity of loving and not loving pregnancy, a paradox that would accompany me throughout the entire journey.

Pregnancy is often portrayed as a euphoric state, a time when a woman should be radiantly glowing with joy and anticipation. But the reality is far more intricate, a swirling whirlwind of emotions and experiences that can’t be neatly categorized into love or hate. I quickly learned that it’s entirely acceptable to hold a mix of these emotions and that it’s this duality that makes the journey truly compelling.

The initial moments of realizing I was pregnant were a chaos of emotions. There was that undeniable surge of love, a profound sense of connection with this tiny life growing within me.

At the same time, there was fear, doubt and a profound sense of being unprepared. It’s this exact blend of emotions that embodies the complexity of loving—and not loving—pregnancy. I had always known that I wanted to be a mother one day, but the reality of pregnancy was an entirely different beast. 

The early weeks were filled with the excitement of knowing that I was growing a human, an indescribable sense of love and wonder that permeated every inch of my being. I cherished the tender moments when I would gently cradle my belly, whispering words of love and encouragement to the tiny life growing inside.

As the pregnancy progressed, I felt a love for my changing body, standing in complete awe at its ability to nurture and sustain a new life. The kicks and movements of the baby were like secret messages, reaffirming the profound bond that was forming between us. I found myself talking to my growing belly, sharing stories and dreams with the little one, and eagerly anticipating the day when we would finally meet.

But alongside this love and anticipation, there were moments of profound discomfort and, at times, even outright dislike. 

Morning sickness—a misnomer if ever there was one—brought with it a heavy storm of 24/7 nausea  that left me feeling utterly miserable. While some friends spoke of feeling their best and most confident in their ever-changing bodies, I often felt bloated, puffy and (dare I say) fat. 

My relationship with my changing body became complicated as I grappled with the weight gain, (unimaginably) swollen feet and ankles, and teenage-level acne. These were not aspects of pregnancy that I loved… at all. In all honesty, I sort of hated them. 

As my pregnancy progressed, I discovered that my emotions continued to evolve too. The second trimester brought a welcome respite from the morning sickness, and I found myself reveling in the newfound energy and sense of self again. I also got to experience the magical sensation of my baby’s first movements, and I eagerly anticipated my next prenatal or ultrasound appointment, where I could hear baby’s heartbeat or catch a glimpse of our little one on the ultrasound screen.

But while I was truly feeling better in my second trimester, the physical changes and discomforts started to escalate. I found myself developing a love-hate relationship with my ever-expanding bump (and thighs). There were moments when I was in awe of the life growing within me, and how amazing I looked in a tight dress or tank top; and then there were other moments when I just wished I could see my own toes again—or shave my legs. It was a dance of emotions, a continuous back-and-forth between love and dislike.

The third trimester brought a new mix of excitement and trepidations. The love I felt for my baby was undeniable, but the impending labor and delivery loomed large on my conscious. And then there were the discomforts from the relentless back pain, lightning crotch, swollen feet, balloon ankles and sleepless nights. There were moments when I longed for the days when I had full control of my body, and I mourned for that sip of red wine after a hard day at work.

At the same time, I was filled with a love that was beyond measure. The thought of holding my baby in my arms for the first time was in near sight, of witnessing their first smile and of bringing them home—to what would now be “our” home. These thoughts filled me with indescribable joy. I was ready to embrace the challenges of labor, to go through the pain and uncertainty, because, at the end of the day, it was all a part of the journey toward meeting my child.

Pregnancy, I realized, was not a one-way experience of either loving or hating it. It was a complex, multifaceted journey filled with moments of intense love, doubt, discomfort and anticipation. It was about learning to embrace the intricacies of the experience, to allow yourself to feel what you feel—and feel without judgment.

In the final weeks of my pregnancy, I often found myself contemplating the immense power of love. The unique love I felt for my unborn child was unwavering, and it was this love that carried me through the moments of dislike. It was a reminder that love can coexist with discomfort as well as doubt and that it can transcend the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy.

It was not until a bit later in my pregnancy that I discovered I wasn’t alone in my mixed feelings. Social media, of all places (or so I thought at the time), initially introduced me to a world of other women who had experienced similar feelings of love and dislike for various aspects of their own journey. 

One of these new “friends” described the immense love that she felt during the first trimester when she was filled with the enchantment of becoming a mother; yet, she confessed that as her pregnancy progressed, she grew to despise the constant fatigue, out-of-whack hormones, and backaches that came with it. I completely related to this. 

And then another “friend” opened up about her pregnancy experience, reminiscing about the deep connection that she felt with her unborn child; but also the undeniable fears and anxieties that continued to build each day until her baby was born. I sadly related to this deeply as well.

These shared experiences of love and not loving pregnancy helped me realize that I wasn’t alone in having such a complex relationship with this transformative time in my life. 

It led me to launch rumbly: – a pregnancy lifestyle and gifting brand that supports and celebrates both the woman you are and the mom you’re becoming—and to acknowledge that the beauty of pregnancy lies in its intricate tapestry of emotions, where love and dislike coexist, each weaving a unique story that is entirely your own. 

In the midst of these mixed feelings, I also found solace in knowing that I had found a support system to lean on. A digital community of women that offered unwavering support and understanding, allowing me to express both my adoration and frustration without judgment. 

They reminded me that I wasn't alone in this wild, crazy, and deep emotional journey.

As I entered the delivery room, I was filled with a love so profound that it eliminated any feelings of discomfort or fear. The pain of labor was real, but it was a pain that I welcomed because it was a path to bringing my child into the world, and I knew that I was lucky to be experiencing it. When I held my baby in my arms for the first time, all the complexities of pregnancy faded into the background. I cried. And then I cried some more. The love that had grown within me over the past nine months was now tangible, a living, breathing miracle in my arms.

Looking back on my pregnancy journey, I realize that the complexity of loving and not loving pregnancy is in part what makes it so compelling. It became a journey of self-discovery, a reminder that love can coexist with discomfort and doubt. It was a testament to the strength of a mother’s unique love, one that transcends the challenges and complexities of pregnancy.

I can no longer hold my baby in my arms (he’s 8 years old next month and already as big as me), but I continue to be filled with a love that knows no bounds. I look at my changing body, with its flabby skin, floppy breasts, and stretch marks, and I’m grateful for all that it endured to bring this precious life into the world. My pregnancy was a testament to my strength as a woman and as a human; and I wouldn’t trade a moment of it for anything else in the world.


  • Marnie Madras

    Marnie Madras is the CEO and founder of Rumbly, a pregnancy subscription and luxe new-mom company. She is passionate about providing women the support they need during this pivotal and life-altering transitions. 

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