Sorry Drew Barrymore, I Complain About Pregnancy All The Time So I Guess That Makes Me Crazy

shutterstock_162312095I enjoy Drew Barrymore as much as the next person.  I loved her when she talked about the cute little red goatee she grew during her first pregnancy because I am a huge proponent of telling the truth about all the bizarre things that happen to our bodies during pregnancy.  Although I thought she was shining it on a little when she called it wonderful, I let it slide.  It just seemed like a word she would use to describe anything.  But then last night in a red carpet interview at the Golden Globes she put herself in a pregnancy camp that I could never sleep in.

“Pregnancy is such a miracle, anyone who complains about it is…just…crazy,” she said to Ryan Seacrest of her second foray into creating people.

Ok, pregnancy is a miracle.  As someone who struggled with infertility for two years before my first and got pregnant by accident in like a millisecond with my next child, I can vouch for the inexplicable, uncontrollable phenomenon that is sperm-meeting-egg, egg-implanting-in-uterus and everything else going according to nature’s plan.  It’s a miracle.  But that does NOT mean I won’t complain about it.  And if that makes me crazy, so be it.


Today I’m not going to go for the easy targets: the sickness, the pains or the weight gain.  I’m so far in the “I have plenty to complain about this miracle of pregnancy” that I’m reaching into the depths for these three gripes.

1.  The crazy-ass dreams and excessive drool.

During the first trimester while you can actually still sleep (when you’re not peeing), it becomes a whole new experience.  One that is filled with the most vivid intense dreams you’ve ever had.  And I’m not talking about once in awhile.  These wild dreams hit you every night and every catnap at your desk like you were kissing Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream.  Which, consequently, it will feel like you are swimming in with the puddle of drool you produced while you were navigating those insane dreams.

2.  The awkwardness of the PERSON who has taken up residence in your BODY.

All expectant mothers look forward to that first flutter in your abdomen, the one that makes you stop and exclaim, “I just felt the baby!”  It’s a turning point in every pregnancy when things get really real.  But then you still have roughly 27 months of pregnancy left and that butterfly kiss flutter grows into rapid succession of kicks to the ribs.  And who can forget the first time you see the head or a knee sail by protruding from the mound that is your midsection, stretching your already thin skin like a flesh-colored rubberband.

3.  The lie that is your due date.


I’m sorry, my kids are going to be 5 and 3 soon and I won’t stop complaining about this.  Where else is it acceptable for a professional at work allowed to tell you they’ll show up for work somewhere between 36-43 weeks?  Can you imagine if I said to my boss, Hey Eve Vawter, I know this post is supposed to run at 8am, but what if it’s sometime during the hours of 8am and 7pm?  Does that work?  Um, no it doesn’t work.  Or if one of my deals at work is scheduled to close on January 13 but I throw out there — how about sometime before March?  Unacceptable.  But doctors?  That’s fine.  I know nature is on it’s own timetable and blah, blah, blah.  But you know what?  I can complain about that crap.  Sorry, Drew, I’m gonna do it.

(photo: Helga Esteb /

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  • kelly

    I sincerely hope Drew Barrymore has a pregnancy just like mine was someday.

    That way she can realize how moronic her statement is and feel like an ass.

    • maxfab

      Right? I love her, but this is just rubbish. Clearly she has never endured hyperemesis or GD or pre-eclampsia or weeks and weeks of bed rest like so many of us have!

    • Polyamorous Mom

      or cholestasis! the itching, my god the itching. you literally scratch your own flesh off and beg, BEG the doctor to just fucking induce you. when my 37 week amnio came back that baby wasn’t read I called my OB in the middle of the night in tears while vigorously scratching my legs. still have the scars from it. oy. (how I decided to have a third is beyond me)

    • Gangle

      Stop saying these things!! You are freaking me out!

    • Polyamorous Mom

      don’t worry, cholestasis is VERY rare. its like 1 in 1000 pregnancies. I was just lucky. lol

    • Gangle

      If by lucky you mean wanting to skin yourself! I am hoping I am one of those 999 pregnancies, because that sounds horrid.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      it is, and im sure you will be in the 999!! Ive only ever known one person with it.

    • Gangle

      Yeouch! All I can say is poor you! So far I am very much disliking pregnancy, even though I wouldn’t change being pregnant for anything (short of just someone handing over the baby instead) I haven’t felt so sick and run-down in my life. I’m sure I am nowhere near as bad as some women have had it, but many of my very evil and twisted friends have taken great joy in telling me their pregnancy horror stories of what I have to look forward to.

  • fssgirl

    I would gladly put up with all of the above for the ability to conceive and carry a baby. You think it`s acceptable to complain because your baby moves and kicks, or a doctor can`t pinpoint a date and time for your baby`s arrival? I’m surprised you have the time for a baby, when you clearly prefer to nurse your own ego. You’re not crazy… just immature and self-absorbed.

    • Carinn Jade

      I’m so sorry for your struggles. I, too, faced infertility for two years before I first conceived. Wishing you hope and success towards motherhood.

    • Rachel Sea

      Having something doesn’t mean you can’t sometimes complain about it. It’s a regular topic on infertility message boards, the conflict that infertiles feel about talking about any negative aspect of pregnancy, birth or parenting once they achieve those milestones. As though attaining the goal of baby means you can never complain again.

      While I personally can appreciate very strongly how indescribably painful it is to be infertile, I think your response is short-sighted, and mean. If you have children (and I hope that it happens for you) you will have the right to have a winge about the whole process too.

    • Kelly

      I nearly died, so did my baby. I also endured agonizing pain that left me with PTSD and I have panic attacks if my period is so much as a day late because I am so terrified of experience major surgery with no pain meds again.

      Tell me, was I allowed to complain?

    • Tara

      Nope. Complaining about the sucky things that happen during pregnancy has 0% to do with how incredibly grateful I am to have my children. I love them more than life and would do anything for each of them, but that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about how freaking awful pretty much every second of my pregnancies were.

    • Kay_Sue

      If I could have the kids without the pregnancy, I’d have a million of these suckers. Well, maybe. Definitely if we could also skip to the age where they are capable of wiping their own asses.

    • Aimee Beff

      I’m sorry you’re going through this – it’s an incredibly miserable thing to go through. When I was dealing with infertility I had people telling me not to be such a downer and that everything would certainly work out fine, I shouldn’t stress about it. I didn’t appreciate then being told how to feel and I don’t think it’s fair to tell women who are pregnant how they’re allowed to feel either.

    • jsing014

      My sister-in-law had HG, was on an IV for weeks, and still lost her baby – can she complain yet? Or what about those people who conceive and carry a baby only to have the child die from SIDS – can they complain? Seriously, pain is not a zero-sum game. No one here is complaining that their pain is the worst pain on the planet except YOU

    • Gangle

      I am so sorry about your struggles with infertility. The pain and anguish and isolation that goes with infertility is indescribable. ((hugs))

    • Imalia

      This is the only comment here that makes any sense to me. Much more what the OP needed than a gang bang of STFU. I’m pretty sure the article was meant tongue-in-cheek, or at least that’s the tone I read it in. But seriously, what the actual fuck? Is that what we do here? Tear apart someone who is CLEARLY struggling and dares to disagree with the main consensus?

    • Gangle

      I guess, for me, I remember the time during my infertility story when I felt angry and bitter and lonely and like a complete failure. The guilt and anguish that goes with infertility is terrible and it can take over your whole life and even destroy your sense of self, and it takes some time to work through that and come to a better place. I am glad that years ago I let go of my anger and bitterness over my infertility. That isn’t an easy place to arrive at, and I will always have compassion for anyone who struggles with it.

    • thebadlydrawnfox

      If people seem defensive, it’s because “I’m surprised you have the time for a baby, when you clearly prefer to nurse your own ego. You’re not crazy… just immature and self-absorbed.” is an attack.

      I can sympathise with fssgirl’s anger — loss and pain offen lead to anger — and I am truly sorry that she is struggling and wish her the best. However, I do agree with those saying that it is unfair to paint all women who are having a hard time with their pregnancy as “immature and self-absorbed” if they admit it.

    • Gangle

      I don’t sympathise, I empathise with fssgirl, even if I disagree with her view. It would be nice if when facing infertility we could all be so philosophical and Zen about it. Primary infertility, especially when you are first hit with the reality of it, can turn you into a bitter, angry, lonely, self-loathing and jealous shadow of yourself – and that in itself can be a hard thing to deal with. It can take some time to dig your way out of that pit of grief. While I do not agree at all with fssgirls view, I empathise with the dark place she is in, and I understand why she feels this way right now. It is so easy to judge when you are sitting in a sunnier place.

    • thebadlydrawnfox

      Oh, I am absolutely not judging fssgirl for what she said, I say sympathise because I have never been through anything as tough as infertility, but I absolutely don’t expect anyone to be all Zen about it. It is a very human response to attack others when we are hurting.

      I was just saying that I understand why others are reacting to defend themselves.

    • MoD

      It is not immature or self-absorbed to say pregnancy can be uncomfortable. I did not like being pregnant. I much prefer having my baby on the outside of me. It is, however, immature and self-absorbed to try and shame people for daring to say pregnancy is uncomfortable because of your own struggles.

    • fssgirl

      I want to clarify that I don’t have a problem with people complaining about issues during their pregnancy, it’s just that the ‘problems’ brought forth in this article seem very shallow and petty. I agree that women put their bodies through hell to have children, and that they deserve to be able to vent. That said, I find your comparison between your due date and closing a deal on time (as if your doctor has any control over your due date) to be ridiculous. Complaining about something that nobody (including yourself) has any control over is useless, and blaming your doctor is just ludicrous. I understand that you wrote this article in an attempt to justify – although unnecessarily – the right for pregnant women to complain, but the examples you use make you sound like a spoiled child, and in my opinion, (just mine, I don’t claim to speak for all women), do nothing to support the point you were trying to make.

    • thebadlydrawnfox

      Thank you, sincerely, for clarifying your position. I agree that some of the points in the original article seemed a bit silly – I think they were meant tongue-in-cheek – and I can completely understand why that would have been more hurtful for you.

      I, and I am guessing some others, read the ‘you’ in your original comment as being directed at pregnant women in general who complain. Of course, I read the above article with good humour and think that was the way it was intended, but I absolutely respect that it was infinitely easier for me to do so.

      I am truly sorry for what you are going through and am wishing you well for your future.

    • fssgirl

      Thank you! I’m new to commenting online, and didn’t realize that people would think I was directing my words to anybody but the author. I will definitely be more mindful of that fact in the future. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and well wishes, and the same to you!

    • Dr. Apothecary

      I’m currently overdue and will be induced on Friday if the kid decides to not come out before then. Meanwhile, I have had pre-labor contractions on and off for almost a month, and they were so bad, I had to stop work early over three weeks ago, leaving my co-workers in a lurch. I am in almost constant pain and often can’t sleep. I am lucky that everything is so far healthy, even though I don’t feel healthy, as I can’t walk around a store for a half hour without feeling utterly exhausted. So you better believe I’m pissed that my due date is really a due month. The waiting and not knowing is frustrating, especially when you have contractions that don’t go anywhere again and again and again. I know my doctor is doing the best for me and my future baby, but I have been known to get irrationally annoyed at him for not just inducing me earlier. Spending almost a month in pain and not being able to do much of anything majorly sucks.

  • Bethany Ramos

    Due dates make me very ragey. Son #1 was 8 DAYS LATE, and son #2 was born on his due date. So, I felt justice was served.

  • Kay_Sue

    I second this entirely. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, in that weird way that I also love Thanksgiving dinner even though I know I eat too much and feel like I’m going to explode. But I still reserved (and still reserve) the right to complain about it, because sometimes, it sucks, and making it into this magical romantic awe-inspiring experience just leaves women who look at the swollen ankles, incessant vomiting and crazy bodily and wonder “What the actual fuck?” completely unprepared for the experience.

    • Carinn Jade

      Exactly THIS.

    • Gangle

      All of this, times 100!

  • ted3553

    I struggled with infertility for a couple years as well. I also feel that I can be honest about how it felt to be pregnant. I did not enjoy 4 months of nausea where I actually wished I could throw up because I wanted to feel better. I did not enjoy my hips hurting when I spent a long time on my feet. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy to be pregnant-it just means there were some parts that were not enjoyable.

    • Rebecca R

      I agree. It has taken 4 years and 2 miscarriages for me to finally be pregnant with (hopefully!) our first child, and while I could not be more excited, the nausea, random back pains and frequent gas are things I could do without.

    • Gangle

      It took 51/2 years of fertility treatments for me to get pregnant. I am super happy to be knocked up and I can’t wait for the baby to be here, but I do not like being pregnant. The constant vomiting, searing back pains, indigestion, gas, metallic-tasting mouth, inability to stay awake and border-line psychotic mood-swings are not things I am going to pretend are wonderful.

    • Rebecca R


    • Gangle

      Thanks :)

  • Aimee Beff

    We can be crazy together, then, I guess. Can I add the itchy stomach to the list of complaints? SKIN WAS NOT MEANT TO STRETCH LIKE THIS. Also, cankles. I was heartbroken the day my taper-cut maternity jeans stopped fitting, and not just because it left me with only one remaining pair of pants not made of flannel or stretch material.

    • Carinn Jade

      Oh the itchy stomach! My third trimester was during the winter and it was the worst.

  • Polyamorous Mom

    I applaud everyone who went past 38 weeks, due to complications I was induced before 38 all three times. and by 38, I was just dying to get that kid out of their. bless the souls of everyone who went beyond

  • SusannahJoy

    Pregnancy was a 9 month long hangover that I didn’t even get to get drunk for.

  • brebay

    I loved being pregnant, but I love steak too, and neither is a miracle. You can’t just re-define words people; This isn’t Fox News. A miracle is something that is inexplicable given the laws of nature. Pregnancy is the essence of the law of nature. And just because some people are infertile doesn’t make it any less completely ordinary. And we can complain about the downsides of ordinary events as much as we like. Drew’s normally pretty level-headed, this judgy moment is out of character for her, must be the smog…

    • candyvines

      The steak my husband makes is kind of a miracle.

  • Nicole

    I’ve always loved Drew Barrymore but I agree; I’ll be camping elsewhere. I’m just on 6months pregnant with our first and I really, REALLY dislike being pregnant. Like, realllly. From growing a beard (dark hair down my neck), horrible nightmares, vomiting & nausea (dear god, the vomiting), this isn’t fun or miraculous. It’s nature and sometimes, it’s pretty gross. I love feeling my baby move and seeing her on the ultrasound but this shit is getting old and if couldn’t complain, I would cry.

  • Kelly

    I think people are taking her comment A little bit too much to heart. I read it as a lighthearted comment.

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