As my journey as a first time pregnant lady is quickly coming to a close, I thought it would be only appropriate to dedicate this post to the inappropriate things people have said to me throughout my pregnancy. Truth be told, I was forewarned by many mommy friends about what people might say or do along the way so I really have been able to take it all with a grain of salt. And the fact that I have had an extremely healthy and easy pregnancy keeps the extra weight gain and the interesting comments along the way easy to endure because what really matters is that I have put the baby's health first. So, if you are someone who has said any of these things to me along the way, not to worry – I am not damaged by it and in fact thank you for giving me the inspiration to write a post about it.
But for the many women out there who have had your feelings hurt or felt like you were the only ones to experience embarrassment, shame or anything uncomfortable or unpleasant from what someone has said to you while your hormones are raging and your belly is growing, I am hoping this might give you a little chuckle and help you realize that you definitely weren't the only one to experience it.
And for those of you who didn't know there are things that shouldn't be said to pregnant women, now you know!
Fellow mommies and mommies-to-be, please add your stories and quotes, too, so we can all have a good laugh and educate those that didn't know they were being inappropriate when they said them!
"How much weight have you gained?"
This is definitely one of the most common questions I was asked throughout my pregnancy. What is especially amazing is that some of the people who have asked me are MEN!!!! Now guys and gals, would you ever ask someone who isn't pregnant how much weight they have gained? What makes you think someone who is pregnant wants to answer that question any more than someone who is not? We may be growing babies but we are also acutely aware that other things are growing as well and get the constant reminder every time we stand on the scale at the doctors. I'll just say it isn't my most favorit time of the day to find out just how much more weight I have to get back off after the baby comes and I definitely prefer not to broadcast it around. And Moms, you should know better, too! Coming from ex-pregnant people just makes it feel like you are asking competitively, as if you are judging me on how well I controlled my potato chip and ice cream cravings. So bottom line no matter who you are…DON'T ASK!
"Are you sure you aren't having twins?"
This one is an oldie but goodie that I have heard women complain about time and time again. Not only do we have the pleasure of feeling unusually large, by asking this you are pointing out to us that we LOOK unusually large. Believe me, the doctor checks to see if there are twins. We know. DON'T ASK!
"Wow! You must be due any day now!"
I love how so many people seem to be such experts on judging when a woman is due based on the way she looks. I have had this said to me more than once as early as two or three months ago. If you didn't know this already people, now you do…women carry all different ways and in many different sizes! There is no way to know when someone is due just by looking at them!
"Oh from the way your face looks, you must be having a girl".
What I gathered this grocery checkout woman meant by this is…"Oh because your face is looking puffy, you must be having a girl". Nope. It's a boy. But thanks so much for pointing out that my face has become even more rounded than it already is.
Others in the same vein…
"Oh you have more pimples than usual, you must be having a girl".
"Oh wow. You used to just have a little belly. Now you've filled out EVERYWHERE!"
"I can't believe you still fit in your old pants…oh, but they are spandex after all!"
"You are already so big…you're gonna get HUGE!"
"Can I touch your belly?"
The only people who asked me this one were people I knew well so I didn't have a problem with it (and had no problem with the belly touching) but apparently many women get asked by strangers and it is a problem. It's an awkward question because it puts women on the spot if they are uncomfortable with you touching their belly. Unless you know her really well, I would say DON'T ASK!
"Are your twins IVF babies?"
This one I can't take credit for but can't believe people have asked my dear friend who has all natural, identical twin boys, if they are IVF babies. It is really nobody's business how someone gets pregnant and someone who has had to have help medically to produce most likely is sensitive about it already. They do NOT want to share with the world that they struggled. DON'T ASK! If they want to share that information, they will!
"Are you done after this one? How many children will you have?"
Though this question doesn't particularly bother me, especially because many times it's just someone making small talk, the truth is some people don't know or aren't ready to talk about it publicly. That and they may give you a very different answer at week 38 of pregnancy than well after the baby has arrived so you may as well just wait and see.
"How long were you guys trying?" I have no problem answering this question because it didn't take us long at all but there are so many women out there struggling to get pregnant and this may not be something they want to share – nor should they be expected to! Just be happy for them that they got pregnant…and leave it at that!
"Was this pregnancy planned?" Again, I don't mind this question because we did plan when we wanted kids, but there are plenty of people who do not plan it and it really isn't anyone's business about whether or not it was planned. They will tell you if they want you to know that the baby was a happy surprise.
Do your best to hold your opinions about the baby names to yourself! I can see why more and more people are keeping the name a secret because along with selecting one or having a short list comes a whole lot of opinions! (I may be guilty of this one myself so I apologize to those of you to whom I have put in my unwanted two cents!)
Try to keep your pregnancy and birth horror stories to yourself. Though I know you are just trying to relate in some way, no pregnant woman wants to hear about all of the potentially horrible things that can happen along the way. If we are really interested, that's what the World Wide Web is for and we can find plenty of terrible things to freak us out just by a little Google search. Thank you for relating, but maybe save that story for AFTER the baby is born.
Oh and one very important and final note: Most women look about six months pregnant AFTER they give birth. The celebrities you see in magazines post baby either had a quick tummy tuck, hide out while they work ridiculously hard with a team of help to lose the baby weight before stepping out in public again, or had some great Photoshop work done to their magazine spreads post baby. That isn't most of our reality. Unless you are 1000% sure you are looking at a woman who is currently pregnant, DO NOT ask her about her pregnancy. If she just had her child and is already doing her best to get the weight off AND be the best mommy she can be, this question will not be taken well.
May your pregnancies be healthy, easy and embarrassment free.
And may we all be mindful of what we say to mothers-to-be as what we are doing to bring children into this world is a LONG, not always comfortable, sometimes quite challenging journey that changes our bodies and minds more than you can imagine.