Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
Whitney Port is getting very real with us about the less-than-perfect experience of her very first pregnancy, which she announced on Instagram last month. The former reality star is documenting the bumpy journey in a series of short, informal videos filmed by her husband, TV producer Tim Rosenman. (The couple met on the set of The City and tied the knot in 2015.) The awesomely frank title of the series? Whitney Port: "I Love My Baby, But I Hate My Pregnancy."
Port's caption does a great job of explaining why, exactly, her openness about the less enjoyable aspects of her pregnancy — the anxiety, the morning sickness, the physical discomfort — is commendable and essential. "Please do not get alarmed by the title! I know 'hate' is a strong word but I think in that very moment, that was how I was feeling and so we stuck with it!" she explains under the YouTube video. "As the pregnancy progresses and my symptoms subside, I hope that's not how I will feel anymore! I already love our baby to pieces but feeling yucky all the time is a 'hate-able' thing!"
We tend to put pressure on women to cherish every single blessed moment of their pregnancy — mixed feelings, bouts of puking, erratic hormones and all. Plus, mothers-to-be who aware of the fact that other women struggle with infertility can feel guilty for complaining about their pregnancy. A woman as popular as Port being open about the shitty parts of her experience contributes to the much-needed destigmatization of women freely expressing these feelings.
In the second video of the series, for example, Port reveals that she wasn't actually that excited when she first found out she was pregnant. She took a test just as a precaution before getting an MRI for recurrent headaches she was having. "I was definitely freaked out, and not sure if I was fully ready. Like, my initial reaction felt different from how I feel a lot of women feel when they find out," she says. "You weren't really as pumped as you thought you might've been," Rothman adds. Port goes on to explain how her feelings evolved into excitement.
Port is taking a cue from another famous woman who's been 100% honest about not loving being pregnant: Kim Kardashian. While pregnant with Saint in 2015, she said, "I've heard stories forever about how amazing pregnancy is from my mom and Kourtney and that's just not the case for me and I'm not going to sit here and lie and act like it's the most blissful experience. It's awful."
The more women like Kardashian and Port encourage real talk about the ups and downs of carrying a baby, the better off we'll all be.