Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Things You Don't Say to Pregnant Women

I've decided to compile a list of all the things people have said to me about pregnancy and motherhood in the past few weeks that have ticked me off:

  1. "Wow! You're huge!" (Or any variation of the sort... "Your belly is huge," or "You definitely look pregnant now!" or "You're filling out" or "Your stomach has gotten so big!") -- Really? I didn't notice. I thought I've actually lost 20 pounds over the past few months. Dang... Seriously though, no pregnant woman wants to be told that she looks big or is gaining weight. We're self conscious enough as it is about our flabby butts and added water weight. Please don't remind us!  There's enough pressure from society for us to stay skinny, we don't need it from our friends and family too.
  2. "You're so tiny!" -- Any comment about size in general is really on the edge. Women don't want to feel like they're too small because that brings on worries of an under-developed baby. You're better off just not commenting on size at all. Stick to the classic, "You look great!" or "You're glowing." Those are always safe.
  3. "Are you having twins?" -- No explanation necessary. If the woman is having twins, she will tell you. Don't make her feel like a whale. And when women tell you no, DO NOT ASK IF THEY'RE SURE! You've already made her feel extra fat, don't rub salt in the wound.
  4. "Is your stomach supposed to look like that?" -- No two baby bellies look the same. Some are pointy, lop-sided, stretch-mark covered, stretch-markless, etc... Don't tell a pregnant lady that her belly doesn't look normal.
  5. "Who is the father?" -- If you don't know, don't ask! In my situation, I got that a lot at school. Most people don't expect a college freshman/sophomore to be married, but still... Not a question you should ask.
  6. "Aren't you a little young/old to be having a baby?" -- So what if we are!? Modern technology has come a long way to help a complicated pregnancy to go smoothly. And if it's motherhood that you're concerned about the woman undertaking, don't. Women will rise to the challenge. If they don't, their family will let them know. It's not your job to judge them!
  7. (Military related) "Won't your husband miss like everything?" --Do you honestly think that I don't think about this every single day? Yes, he's going to miss a lot. Yes, it sucks. Yes, we know it and are trying to make the best of it. That does not mean it's okay to remind me... It's a sensitive subject that is just bound to ruin the pregnant Army wife's day... Just don't mention it.
  8. (Military related) "Didn't he just get back from a deployment? How are you pregnant already?" -- Well, when a man and a woman love each other very much.... Come on, I don't need to explain that when a spouse is gone for months at a time, things get a little heated. PLUS, I know a lot of couples who chose to try for a baby post-deployment because the father will have more of a chance to be there for the birth.
  9. "Was it a planned pregnancy?" -- If it wasn't, it's none of your business. Why does it matter? The pregnancy is happening... Let it happen!
  10. "Have you considered any different names?" -- If the woman is telling people the name, they've probably already decided. Don't make her doubt her decision...
  11. "Is that good for the baby?" -- A pregnant woman does not want to be lectured about what is good and isn't good for the baby. Obviously, please say something if she's drinking or doing drugs, or bungee jumping... But if she's drinking her first glass of Coke in two months, let it happen.
  12. "Are your boobs real?" -- Yes. That's what happens when you're pregnant.
  13. "Should you be doing that still?" -- We know our limits. If we can still bend over and paint our toes, let us. If we can still mow the lawn, let us. Our doctors will tell us when we need to cool it and just chill. Unless you're a medical professional, don't try to limit us. We know what we can do and gosh darn it, we'll do it!
  14. "How do your old clothes still fit? Maybe it's time to invest in maternity clothes..." -- They stretch? Or I'm not as fat as you think... When we get uncomfortable in our normal clothes, we will buy maternity ones. Until then, let us enjoy it.
  15. "Did you see how fast so-and-so got their body back after having her baby?" -- We just don't need that kind of pressure. Sure, if it's been a few years since the woman has had the baby and she still looks pregnant, maybe push her to hit the gym a little. However, do not harass her about loosing the baby weight before she's even had the baby!
  16. "You shouldn't get an epidural... They really aren't necessary." -- Every delivery is different because every body is different. Just because one woman (or millions of women) was able to give birth without an epidural does not mean that the woman you're talking to should. Let her make the decision.
  17. "Just wait until the baby gets here... You won't ever get to sleep." -- We know! We don't sleep now, we won't sleep then. Please, don't remind us.
  18. "Oh look! You have (insert symptom of pregnancy such as swollen ankles, greasy hair, varicose veins, stretch marks, etc.)" -- And your point is? She's pregnant! It's to be expected!
  19. "Have you got hemroids yet?" -- Nobody, let me repeat, nobody wants to talk about that. Ever. (Thank God I haven't yet, just to clear the air) Just because a woman is pregnant does not mean that her body is an open book for all to hear.
  20. "Why won't the baby kick me when I put my hands on your belly?" -- Because the baby doesn't like you. I don't know! Maybe she's sleeping, or maybe she actually doesn't like you. I can't shove my hand up there and move her leg or arm so you can feel her move. And no, I'm not going to jump up and down like a maniac until she does kick you, sorry.
  21. "You should get your tubes tied after this one. You don't need anymore." -- Who on earth are you to decide that? Unless you are the woman's spouse, do not ever say this. Even if you are the spouse, don't word it like that. I was sitting in the waiting room yesterday and heard a woman literally say (to a 21 year old, I should add), "This is your second child. You get your boy and your girl. You're getting your tubes tied right? Two is plenty. Nobody needs more than two kids. I definitely think it would be in your best interest." This woman didn't even know the other lady. I was offended for her. Don't try to limit people's family size until it gets obnoxious. Then again who is to be the judge of that...
  22. "I was over my morning sickness and heartburn by now... It sucks to be you." -- Really? I thought everyone enjoyed throwing up and constantly feeling nauseous. Just because you were lucky doesn't mean you can rub it in everyone else's face.
  23. "Your ultrasound looks like an alien baby." -- Gee, thanks... Just want I always wanted to hear.
That concludes my list for now. Not all of these are things that people have said directly to me, but things that I've heard people be asked. If you've got any to add to the list feel free to comment.

God Bless ♥ Vi