You Might Feel Fine

What if what you expect while you’re expecting doesn’t line up with what you’ve been anticipating? What if you *gasp* feel fine when you're pregnant?
Ask any random person to list the first few things that come to mind when they think of pregnancy, and you’re likely to get some sort of combination of relatively common, and mostly uncomfortable, symptoms.

  • Nausea
  • Sore boobs
  • Exhaustion
  • Weird food cravings
  • All. The. Crying.
  • Lethal, room-clearing farts

I get it. It’s how pregnancy is portrayed in books, movies, commercials, and Internet memes, and a lot of the time, rightfully so. I had two pretty standard pregnancies that checked all of those boxes, right around the time my What to Expect When You’re Expecting book said I might be feeling them.

It was reassuring, even if it meant I was barfing into a toilet at work while my coworkers placed bets on if I was pregnant, or suffering the repercussions of going on an uncharacteristic weekday bender.

But pregnancy is a funny thing, and even though the mechanics are theoretically predictable, it doesn’t mean it’s experienced the same by every person. In fact, even in the same person, the experience can be hugely varied between pregnancies.

So, what if what you expect while you’re expecting doesn’t line up with what you’ve been anticipating?


What if you *gasp* feel fine?

This may sound strange to someone who is bloated, crying, and struggling to understand their new obsession with cupcakes dipped in lukewarm tomatillo salsa, but not feeling “pregnant” in the expected sense, can be seriously unnerving.

Whether or not it’s wrong, we have a tendency to use pregnancy symptoms as a marker for a “normal” pregnancy. Nausea, although shitty, is physical proof that something otherwise undetectable is actually happening. Giant, achy, swollen boobs, reassure us that our body is doing everything it should to take care of the baby it is busy growing. Exhaustion makes sense when you consider you are building a human out of scratch. The comically outrageous gas we pass is the delightful side effect of all the progesterone and relaxin flowing through your body, loosening up your bits and pieces so you can squeeze a watermelon out of a bagel (sorry for the visual), proving once again that things are actually happening.


Feeling shitty has inaccurately become synonymous with what a normal pregnancy looks like.

Yes, you might feel absolutely terrible for an obscenely long duration of time while you grow your kid. Or, you might feel completely, unremarkably fine. You may even fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, or I don’t know, sprout wings and turn into a majestic golden centaur (you should probably call your doctor if this happens though). Pregnancy is weird, man!

Regardless of what you’re feeling (or not feeling), try not to stress about it. “Normal” looks different on everybody.

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  • Thanks for this! It felt so eerie to me, knowing I was pregnant but not feeling any symptoms and not showing at all until week 22… I would catch myself sometimes wondering if I actually *was* pregnant, haha! But I think it’s just one more aspect of pregnancy/motherhood where practically everything you read, or everything people say, is all about the negatives. I felt fine my whole pregnancy… I even jogged until week 39!… and I don’t think we hear about these types of experiences enough. Same with motherhood, I was terrified for my baby to come out because people peppered me non-stop with tales of how I would never sleep again, or never leave the house to do anything fun again, or how my relationship with my husband would change for the worse, etc… and none of that came to fruition. Sure, life is different but in a good way 🙂

  • I too felt completely fine during my pregnancy , I worked right up to and delivered on my due date. The epidural worked like magic, my labor and delivery were both pain free.
    It was the recovery however I wasn’t prepared for since I had not heard any stories of various postpartum issues (except for the usual depression). My episiotomy stitches developed an infection and this made the 3 weeks pp an absolute nightmare.
    Considering the easy pregnancy I had, I am still thankful for the 9 mos of relative normalcy.

  • Thank you for this article! I was sobbing at my first ultrasound because I felt so fine that I was convinced this couldn’t be a viable pregnancy. Didn’t all women throw up at work and feel nauseated all the time? Because I didn’t and I thought that was wrong. My ob commented “some women think the absence of suffering is a bad thing…” which immediately made me stop crying and start laughing at how worked up I had gotten myself over nothing!

  • This was great to read. I’ve been lucky enough to have a hassle free pregnancy so far and, bar the feeling of permanently having eaten too much and about to pop but also being hungry, I feel fine. I realise this could change at any time, but I have found it hard to know how to answer those very caring ‘how are you doing? Hanging on in there? You must be glad the first trimester is over’ Type questions. I also feel a bit guilty when around friends who have had nightmare pregnancies. It would be lovely if pregnancy had better PR. Yes it’s really good to be realistic but sometimes maybe we can persuade ourselves into feeling rubbish too?

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