Wednesday, April 07, 2010

What NOT to say to a pregnant woman

Are you still pregnant? This question is almost always asked WHILE staring right at my very large belly. To which I want to say, "Well, no, I had the baby last week, but in some cruel twist of fate, I get to keep the belly for a while." 

Have you had that baby yet? This is especially annoying coming from family and friends, as if I would just forget to tell you that I passed something the size of a large melon through a hole the size of a lemon. Trust me, you'll know when the baby arrives ... unless you ask me this one more time, at which point you will be off my contact list and blocked from my Facebook page.

How are you feeling? Well, I have a 6 to 9 pound baby grinding into all my internal organs, I haven't slept well in months, I spend an obscene amount of time in the bathroom (seriously, I'm thinking a pair of Depends is not a bad idea at this point), I'm still puking in my 9th month (really), it's over 90 degrees in APRIL and I'm carrying around an extra 20 pounds, plus taking care of two toddlers. I feel fan-dam-tastic, thank you very much.

You're having a girl/boy. Oh, sure, I'm going to take your word for it, old guy in the check out line at Kroger. Aside from having no credible experience in this area, it's rather creepy that you are making that assessment after staring at my body. Ewwww. My midwife, who's delivered more than 700 babies in 32 years, doesn't make predictions and neither should you, mister.

Are you having twins? I've been asked this at least once with all my pregnancies. Again, not only is it creepy that you're looking at and judging my body, you have basically just told me that I look fat. Thanks.
But you don't look pregnant.  I got this a lot just as my belly was beginning to show. It's bad enough enduring the first trimester indignities of morning sickness, extreme exhaustion and stares in the grocery store while gagging my way through the meat department. People must have just thought I had a bad hangover for three months. Now people just think I'm packing on the pounds instead of growing a whole new human being. A little respect and recognition would be nice, people.

You're pregnant again? I got this last night from an otherwise very nice male acquaintance. What I wanted to say? "Yes, I'm pregnant again. My husband and I have no idea where babies come from, could you help us out, oh wise one? Thanks."

My labor was horrible ... why would one woman tell another this? Thankfully, I didn't get this as much with my first pregnancy. I guess there's still some decorum left among women. And it's companion ...

Oh, I just couldn't do natural childbirth. Okay, so this is just something that you shouldn't say to me. It's a particular pet peeve of mine. Yes, you could, if you had to, and it wasn't long ago that all women did. But, really, these days, if you think you can, you can; if you think you can't, you won't. It's the lack of confidence in the magnificence of the female body and it's ability to birth children that really bugs me. We're stronger and more capable than we've been lead to believe.

I'm tired. Until you're growing a new baby in your belly who is seriously impeding your lung function and taking care of two small children on three hours of sleep or less, you have no clue what tired is. Tell someone else your woes.

The only words a pregnant woman wants to hear are "You look great," even if she's gained 50 pounds, has a splotchy face and is waddling like a duck. And, really, those are the only words anyone without a uterus is ever allowed to say to a pregnant woman (especially if they're responsible for her condition).

Somehow these little gems are not included in the perennial pregnancy favorite "What to expect when you're expecting." They really should be.

I'd love to hear some of the inane comments that you've heard while pregnant. Hit me ...

No comments: