People will say all kinds of confoundingly rude things to a pregnant woman. It’s weird. I’m not sure why opening up your uterus for habitation for ten months also seems to bring down people’s verbal filters, but it does.
Here’s a list of ten things I or my friends heard when we were pregnant, and that we really shouldn’t have.
1. “Really? I had no problems at all!” I hated being frikkin’ pregnant (which I’ve mentioned in previous articles for this site), not least because a complication meant I was on limited activity for almost the whole damn thing. And I was miserable.
If I share this with you, why would you take that opportunity to inform me that your gestational experience was totally awesome and problem free? What are you hoping to accomplish here, other than making me feel more miserable and unfairly targeted by fate, which obviously hates me? Jerk.
2. “Wow! You’re huge!” I KNOW. I have, like, three items of clothing that fit, and that includes all my maternity wear. My feet are swollen. And, yes, I ate an entire chocolate cake yesterday, and six pieces of toast with both butter and Nutella. And a burger. And fries. Shut. Up. Just shut up. Do you have anything to eat?
(Also: “Ha! You have a double chin!” from someone who is not going to win any popularity contests anytime soon.)
3. “You shouldn’t be drinking/eating that.” OK, nobody said this, but they might as well have. The worst was New Year’s Eve, when I, then seven months pregnant, poured a small glass of wine for myself at midnight. A friend stared at me, then put her hands up and said, “OK! I’m not saying anything!”
YOU COW. There’s actually tons of evidence that small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy are harmless (disclaimer: don’t use my writing that as an excuse to drink anything at all during pregnancy. Do your own research and make your own informed decision) but thanks for ruining my New Year’s glass of wine.
4. “I woman I know had a stillborn baby.” Wow. Do you walk up to women having mammograms and tell them all about the person you know who died of breast cancer too? I bet you’d be a hit in the palliative care ward. You should totally look into something like that as a hobby.
5. “Why are you having a c-section?” There are myriad medical and/or life threatening conditions that might indicate the need for a c-section, but whether or not I have one of those conditions is actually none of your business. Especially since I can tell by the way you’re asking that you actually think I shouldn’t have one. Maybe I just want one. You’ll never know.
6. “Get all the sleep you can now!” Yeah, yeah, because I’ll never sleep again. And I’ll never have any time for myself again and never have sex again and life as I know it is basically over. The level of glee with which people delivered these pronouncements was positively creepy. They were SO PLEASED WITH THEMSELVES whenever they got the chance to tell me how rotten being a parent would be – but also the best thing in the world! But the worst! You’re going to hate it! Well, my life is not nearly as bad as you all were hoping it would be, you freaking sociopaths.
7. “You might never get your body back.” Said gently with an empathetic smile. Because what someone needs to hear when she feels like a beached whale is that she might feel that way forever. Have you ever thought of being a motivational speaker?
8. “Pregnant?! How is that possible? You must be at least 45!” No. No, I’m not 45. But I now feel at least ten years older than I did before you opened your big fat mouth. Is that your face or did your neck throw up?
9. “You’re only having one? You have to have two! It’s cruel to have just one.” Bizarre, right? How do you know it didn’t take years of effort, heartbreak and bank account draining laboratory science to achieve just one successful pregnancy? Maybe one is all her body can handle. Or maybe she’s an only child herself and thinks she turned out just fine and that you should keep your weird, rude theories to yourself.
10. “Really? That’s the name you’re going with?” Yes. That’s the name I’m going with. I told you the name because you asked, not because I was soliciting your opinion, which is stupid, by the way. Your opinion is stupid. And my baby’s name is so awesome it virtually guarantees it a future level of success, fame and fortune that have obviously passed you by. So there.
So, the next time you meet a pregnant woman, choose from the following:
2. “You look beautiful!”
3.”Would you like a cookie?”
Trust me. You can’t go wrong.
Image: © Arcady – Fotolia.com