Pregnancy is hard, and if you hate being pregnant, you are not alone! Here are 20 reasons why I did not enjoy being pregnant and why it’s okay.

I know pregnancy is supposed to be this magical time period where women walk around with this beautiful glow and exude love for the unborn child. I have friends who embrace pregnancy and claim that once the baby comes, they will miss being pregnant. Not me. I am one of those people who hate being pregnant.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know being able to conceive is by itself a blessing, and I do feel very lucky that I am, in my husband’s words, “very fertile.” However, being pregnant made me miserable and if I could just wave my hands and abracadabra a baby instead of going through months of pregnancy, I would. There are many things I hate about being pregnant, but I managed to narrow the list down to 20.

1. Cravings

Imagine a busy day where you skipped breakfast and lunch and you are just starving for sustenance. Then imagine walking by a freshly baked pizza just coming out of the oven. The desire to sink your teeth into that cheesy pizza is exactly what craving feels like, except for a pregnant woman, you feel that desire all the time.

And no, I didn’t crave pizza, ice cream, or any of the easily accessible foods – I craved for authentic Taiwanese food that I could not get unless I drove to Chinatown in New York City. So, I spent the majority of my pregnancy daydreaming about noodle soups and oyster omelets.

2. Morning Sickness

I don’t remember the last time I vomited before I got pregnant. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I experienced really bad morning sickness to the point where I could not keep any food down for more than 5 minutes.

What made it worse was the cravings – I would finally get my hands on something I had been craving for weeks, then after enjoying it, I would see it all come back up in reverse in the toilet.

And guess what? Morning sickness does not go away after the 3 months mark. LIES! ALL LIES! I don’t think I was completely rid of morning sickness until about 5 months in, and even after that I still had bad food aversion until the end of the pregnancy.

3. Heartburn

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I did not have morning sickness (whew). However, I had really bad heartburn, to the point that I could only eat a couple of bites at a time. What made it worse was my love for spicy food – I would put sriracha on everything if I could. But every time I ate spicy food I felt like someone shot a big, burning ball of fire at my chest. And as my belly got bigger, I kept throwing up in my mouth. Yuck.

4. Gas

Argh. I really try my best to not pass gas in front of anyone – not even the silent but deadly types. However, my daughter must have loved the cushiness my intestines provided so she settled right in there during the 3rd trimester. I felt like every time my butt cheeks moved I was tooting like the lead in a marching band. Oh well…can’t really do too much about it! Hope everyone enjoyed the music.

Related: 10 Surprising Things to Expect After Giving Birth

5. Fatigue

I swear Sleeping Beauty was not cursed. She probably just got pregnant accidentally and wasn’t strong enough to handle the fatigue that came with the pregnancy and made up the whole curse just so that she could sleep. I know I would. I have stayed up 7 nights in a row studying for a final in college, and let me assure you that pregnancy fatigue is not even a close comparison, pregnancy definitely wins.

6. Workout constraints

If you ask me what my passion is in life (besides being a good mother and wife), I would say fitness. And I love pushing myself until I can barely breathe and my muscles are shaking when I work out. Well, that was not really an option when I was pregnant. So, I fought the temptation to go all out and held myself back at the gym throughout my pregnancies. It’s like telling my dog that she can’t sprint after a ball, but needs to walk slowly to fetch it instead – it takes the fun out of the game.

7. Urge to pee

You are supposed to drink 10 cups of water per day when you are pregnant. Problem is, your growing belly is squishing your bladder and even when you don’t need to pee, you feel the urge to pee constantly. So, going anywhere without a bathroom close by – forget about it.

8. Stretch marks

I felt like I just won the lottery when I came out of Alex’s pregnancy without any stretch marks whatsoever. Well, my luck ran out with my daughter, and no matter how much oil and cream I applied to my belly every day, I got my tiger stripes during my second pregnancy. The worst is not even the appearance of the stretch marks, but the feeling of getting ripped apart during their formation. I know, I am supposed to view them as badges of honor won during my battle with pregnancy, but it doesn’t mean I have to love them.

9. Itchy skin

Along with the stretched-out skin came unbearable itchiness. I tried different remedies but nothing relieved my itchy belly. Now I know the truth behind why pregnant ladies like to rub their bellies – they are not rubbing, they are scratching.

10. Sleeplessness

Life must be playing a cruel joke on pregnant women – they are cast with extreme fatigue, but cursed with the inability to sleep to regain some energy. Whether it was because I couldn’t find a good position in which to fall asleep even with a full body pillow, or because the baby always decided to party around bedtime in my belly, I found myself awake at night but passing out during the daytime.

11. Leg cramps

I got the worst leg cramps during both pregnancies, and they loved to attack in the middle of the night. Just when I finally was able to drift to sleep, my calves would decide to cramp up and I would wake up in so much pain that I could barely catch my breath. And I tried everything, including drinking an insane amount of water and eating banana after banana. Nothing worked.

12. Can’t eat this and can’t eat that

Everyone knows that pregnant women shouldn’t eat raw meat, drink alcohol, or eat unpasteurized cheese, and fish with high mercury levels should be avoided. However, did you know that pregnant women shouldn’t eat raw bean sprouts like alfalfa? Or eat certain herbs in large amounts?

With the large list of food that may be problematic for pregnancy, I felt like if I didn’t consult Dr. Google before eating anything, I was somehow putting my baby at risk. The worst? When you crave something you can’t eat, like sushi!

13. Picking up things on the floor

Stuff a large balloon in your shirt and try and bend down and touch the floor. Impossible, right? When I was pregnant I felt like my arms were as useless as the ones on a T-rex, dangling in the air, unable to reach the ground. So instead of bending over, I just ended up doing lots of squats to reach anything that dropped on the floor. Now, try doing a squat with the balloon in your shirt. It’s doable. It’s not graceful.

14. Limited visibility

To my feet and lady parts: Hello from the other side. I hope that you are well. I miss you and will see you again in a few months.

15. Sciatica

With my daughter sitting low on my pelvis, I had serious sciatica when I was pregnant with her. What’s sciatica? Imagine walking but with sharp, lightning-like pain shooting up one leg. It wasn’t all the time, but the pain would come without warning and several times I almost fell over from the surprise. I did get a massage from an experienced masseuse that really helped, thankfully.

16. Waddling

When penguins waddle, it’s cute. When pregnant women waddle, it’s not a pretty sight. I tried my best to walk normally even at the end of the third trimester, but when you basically have the baby’s head about to fall out between your legs, waddling is the only way to walk.

17. Compromised immune system

I think I might have gotten sick once the 3 years prior to getting pregnant. I was actually not too bad for my first pregnancy, but trouble started after I gave birth. I started getting food poisoning all over the place, to the point where I think I should just avoid meat altogether.

Then during my second pregnancy, the streak of food poisoning continued, and I caught a cold just by walking past a sick person. What made it worse was that I couldn’t take any medicine (I am very anti-drug, especially when pregnant and breastfeeding), so I just had to suffer through runny noses, coughs, and aches.

18. Shortness of breath

I remember that every day I had to walk up 3 flights of stairs to get to my office. Every day, I had to mentally prepare myself at the bottom of the steps to muster enough lung power to conquer the stairs. Even just a few steps made me feel like I just ran a marathon. And remember how I like to work out? Argh.

19. Baby kicks

People like feeling baby kicks. I would say they are reassuring because they let you know that your baby is still healthy and alive inside you, but other than that I did not enjoy getting kicked on the inside. And of course, my babies liked to kick my bladder, making me want to pee more than I already did. If not my bladder, my babies aimed for my ribs. It felt like I was in a mini boxing match in which I couldn’t defend myself.

20. Lightning crotch

Baby hiccups last forever, and they love to hiccup when you are trying to get a good night’s rest. The hiccups are tolerable during the second trimester, but as you get closer to the delivery date and the baby’s head descends toward your cervix, you get what is appropriately named “lightning crotch.”

Basically, every time the baby hiccups and throws his/her head back, his/her head hits a nerve and you feel like someone is stabbing you in the lady parts with a knife. Imagine trying to walk with lightning crotch and sciatica, all the while not able to catch your breath. Woohoo.

It’s Okay.

Being pregnant is hard. Your body goes through so many changes and especially if you already have a kid to take care of, pregnancy can certainly throw you off your game. However, all the difficult things you experience during pregnancy makes you appreciate your baby that much more. Hating being pregnant doesn’t mean that you are a bad person or a horrible mom – what happens after you deliver the baby is what really matters.

Did you enjoy pregnancy? What was your least favorite part about being pregnant?