I can’t be pregnant. I mean, I know both pregnancy tests said I was, but that’s impossible. My doctor could be mistaken – right? I know that he said I was pregnant, but what if it’s gone now? What if I go into my next appointment and suddenly it’s not there anymore? What if I just stop being pregnant and I don’t even know it? What if I’ve been wrong this whole time?
These thoughts and more like them have been reeling through my brain since before taking my first set of pregnancy tests. Mind you, I pretty much knew I was pregnant before taking that first test. I could feel it in my body, something was up. As I’ve stated in a previous post, before becoming pregnant I thought there was a good chance that I was infertile simply due to never having a pregnancy scare. Of course this is ridiculous considering I was on the pill, but the mind sometimes thinks what it wants. After taking the tests and seeing the positive result I was flooded with emotions, some good and some not so good. Since that time, I’ve had a difficult time believing that I’m pregnant. Thoughts similar to the ones above would flood my mind before appointments and make me feel like maybe I was just crazy. Perhaps it’s the lack of morning sickness, or the ease of my first trimester that made me feel like maybe I was pretending. Perhaps it’s the anxiety I sometimes feel when thinking about becoming a mother. And perhaps it’s something that is a little more common than I thought, which definitely makes me feel a little bit better about the whole thing.
Pregnancy Imposter Syndrome is a real thing, and as crazy as it sounds it’s fairly common among new moms-to-be. The feeling of playing pretend isn’t something that’s exclusive to pregnancy either. In fact, according to studies done in the 1980s it’s very common among high achievers and even famous people. The feeling of being caught in the act of pretending or being exposed as a fraud is something many people regularly deal with in many different scenarios, pregnancy just being one of them. Personally, I have experienced these thoughts professionally, but I would have never thought that something like this could apply to pregnancy. How could something so physical and so obvious feel like it was fake? Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s very possible and here’s why I think so: Number one – not all women experience pregnancy the same way. Some feel very sick, some feel very tired, some feel pains and aches and some feel a combination of some of these symptoms or all at once. Lucky women, like me, experience almost none of these things. For me, it was concerning to read through every set of symptoms each week but to not feel hardly any of them. Number two – the emotions of pregnancy are like nothing I’ve ever felt before, and they can be very random and sporadic. Some days I feel completely normal and other days I feel like an entirely different person. On the normal days, I find that imposter feeling creeping in more often. Number three – being pregnant is kind of scary! I know it isn’t just me that has experienced some anxiety over becoming a mom. Whether you have a decent support system or not, whether you’ve always wanted children or not, or anything else, I think you’d be crazy to not experience at least a little bit of nerves over this life changing experience. Lastly, the belly bump – not everyone gets their bumps at the same time, and now that I’m 3 months pregnant it feels weird to look down and know there’s a baby in there but that there’s nothing to show for it (okay, except maybe my now giant boobs). Baby bumps can happen so late for first time moms, but they can also come early depending on your build and depending on your pregnancy – again EVERYONE is different. This for me is weird, but it’s also totally fine because I can still wear my favorite jeans.
All this being said, I am happy to be able to talk to friends who are mothers who say that I’m not entirely insane for feeling this way. It’s even more reassuring to look online and see that women I don’t know have also experienced this strange phenomenon. I will also say that I had my first real glimmer of excitement yesterday during our second ultrasound. I was able to see baby’s profile, hands, feet and limbs and even got to see them jumping around like a little jumping bean. Seeing this put my mind at rest a bit, at least for now, and made me believe that there really is something happening in my body, even if I can’t see or feel it just yet.