If you’ve ever been pregnant, or better yet, if you are pregnant, you already know that your body and the small person growing inside of it, are often the topics of conversation–not only with friends and family but often with well-meaning strangers you may encounter at the grocery store or the post office. I just recently had my third baby–so the many innocent but annoying things that both family, friends and strangers alike tend to say to are still fresh in my mind. Here are few:
1) “Can I touch your belly?” This is something that many people asked me when I first started to show. While I am the first to admit, that there is nothing quite as adorable as the perfect roundness of a pregnant woman’s belly, I wasn’t always in the mood to be touched–especially when I was feeling like throwing up or when the person was a stranger in the grocery store.
2) If you see a pregnant woman who already has two little boys do not say “I bet you’re really hoping this one is a girl!” or “I hope you have a girl!” because it might be a third boy (or a third girl) and no mother wants to hear that her third boy or girl might be considered a disappointment for failing to be the opposite sex of his or her other siblings. I was a pregnant woman with two little girls and so many people asked if we had been trying for a boy or if we were hoping for a boy. I always insisted that we had been trying for a healthy baby and that we would be happy with either a boy or a girl.
3) “Are you having twins?” Even if you see someone who might actually be having twins, do not ask this question. I have a small frame and tended to show early. My stomach got big quickly and it felt like I was carrying a baby elephant under my maternity shirt. But I was not pregnant with twins. Asking a pregnant woman if she is having twins is like saying “You look HUGE.” Anyone who is looking huge does not need or want to be reminded of it.
4) And lastly, if a very pregnant looking woman tells you she is due in two months, you should never reply “Really? Because you look like you’re due tomorrow.” Gee, thanks. Once the third trimester has started, time slows down for the very pregnant. You have three full months of hugeness to waddle through–enduring the gawks of amazement from those who have little experience with pregnancy and childbirth. No one likes being stared at like a side-show freak but especially tired, sore, and slightly hormonal expectant mothers.
In writing this, I’ve realized something:
I may have made myself look like I was a very overly-sensitive pregnant woman with no sense of humor. Not true. I fully appreciated the comic proportions of my body and even proudly displayed my belly under a sheer shirt at a Christmas party last year that required guests to dress in “Tackiest Holiday Attire.”