Why Kim Kardashian West's candid comment on pregnancy is a relief

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30:  Recording artist Kanye West (L) and tv personality Kim Kardashian attend the 2015 MTV ...

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Recording artist Kanye West (L) and tv personality Kim Kardashian attend the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) Photo: Frazer Harrison

Finally. Kim Kardashian West and I share something in common. We're both agreed that pregnancy sucks.

"For me, pregnancy is the worst experience of my life!" Kardashian West wrote on her blog about motherhood and her second pregnancy.

"Maybe it's the swelling, the backaches, or just the complete mindf--k of how your body expands and nothing fits. I just always feel like I'm not in my own skin… I feel insecure and most of the time I just feel gross."

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07:  Kim Kardashian and North West is seen coming out of "Mike Studio" on September 7, 2015 in ...

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Kim Kardashian and North West is seen coming out of "Mike Studio" on September 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images) Photo: Getty

It's not everyday you hear a woman speak so frankly about how much she hates pregnancy. There's a whole industry devoted to propagating the view that pregnancy is just one big yoga retreat with the occasional sidetrip to Baby Ikea to select the perfect MINIJÖRN with matching BRUMBJÖRN.


But even Kim Kardashian West, who's made a career out of shocking people, had to temper her honesty by adding 'LOL' to the end of her confession.

The mythology surrounding the glowing, joyous and profoundly spiritual experience of pregnancy is so strong that any woman who's not blissed out on happy hormones and pastel-coloured paint fumes from her Instagram-able nursery is considered perverse. She's a bad mother — even before she's a mother.

Expectant mothers work out pretty quickly that when they're asked how they're feeling, there are only two socially acceptable responses:

1. Wonderful

2. A little bit tired

The truth, however, for many women is closer to the following: "I haven't slept in weeks and I feel like a whale. When I'm not bleeding from my butt from haemorrhoids, I'm peeing my pants. And I can't leave the house without someone scrutinising my body, my eating habits, that one sneaky glass of wine I had, my birthplan (or lack thereof), and my maternity leave. Oh, and by the way, the smell of your deodorant makes me want to chuck. How do you think I'm freaking feeling?!"

Part of the taboo around pregnancy probably has something to do with the risk of sounding ungrateful. When I was going through IVF women who complained about their pregnancies enraged me. Didn't they know how lucky they were, or how much I would give to swap places with them?

But as I later discovered, it is possible to be utterly thrilled to be growing a baby and still hate every minute of it. And then go back and do it again.

For me, the worst part of pregnancy was the clash between the reality of what a pregnant body does and expectations of what it should do — particularly when it comes to appetite and weight gain.

I had so little control over what I ate; sometimes I would vomit if I ate certain foods, but mostly I would vomit if I didn't eat certain foods.

I wanted to 'do the right thing' and only eat that extra half a sandwich a day that pregnancy books and government-supported busybodies advise is all you need. But I couldn't.

I had cravings so strong that it was not a question of willpower or using pregnancy as an 'excuse to eat for two'. I couldn't not eat.

I knew that with a few million years of evolution under her belt, I should listen my body over the latest 'expert' advice. But there's so much pressure to do pregnancy right, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was failing at it. And it wasn't just myself I was letting down, it was my baby too.

And as Kim Kardashian West's first pregnancy taught us, there are plenty of people lining up to tell you exactly how badly you're failing.

'From Portion Control to Pigging Out,' squealed In Touch magazine. And then, clearly with Kim and her unborn child's best interests at heart: "KATE (MIDDLETON) IS HALF KIM'S SIZE!"

My experience isn't every woman's experience. I have friends who have worked, exercised and socialised all the way up to the last days of pregnancy. They've had a dream run and their experience sounds a lot more fun.

But as for the rest of us, Kim Kardashian West's confession is a relief.

Kasey Edwards is a writer and best-selling author. www.kaseyedwards.com