don’t say a word…

April 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm (pieces of me)

“You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.”

- Dave Barry

I’m a pretty easy-going kind of  girl. I don’t generally get irate, I tend to be fairly patient. I try to treat others with respect and kindness. . .

But I’m also pregnant. Very, pregnant. One day until my due-date pregnant. Almost as pregnant as I can possibly be. As such, I can’t help but feel that I have a right to be just a little bit grumpy. . .because I’ve been dealing smilingly with people and their moronic comments for over 9 months now without a cross word. I’ve been a real grin-and-bear-it trooper.  And I’m done. Totally and completely done with being nice through gritted teeth while fending off comments that are stupid, inappropriate, or just plain rude. So here comes a major rant. Consider it belated self-defense. . . or better yet, consider it a public service announcement:

What NOT to say to a pregnant woman if you value your life.

“You haven’t popped yet??!”

No. I have not ‘popped,’ and as a matter of fact, I do not intend to. The word ‘pop,’ to most people, implies a violent explosion of sorts. A bursting. Real horror-show stuff. . . childbirth is painful enough without anything remotely resembling popping, can’t I just give birth the way everyone else does?

“Are you SURE you aren’t having twins?!”
“Wow! You’re HUGE!”

Why is it that people think its okay to make personal comments on the size of a woman ONLY when she’s pregnant? Thanks for the ego-boost, people.  I know I’m big. Believe me, I get it. I’ve been carrying a full-term baby around in my midsection. My clothes don’t fit, I waddle when I walk. . . I’m not happy about it. I wasn’t a supermodel before I got pregnant, and I won’t be one after I deliver. Just be glad you aren’t walking in my shoes. With swollen ankles.

“Make sure you have the baby on X day, *insert random reason here*!”
“DON’T have the baby on X day, *insert random reason here*!”

I’ll put a request in for you, but I can’t make any guarantees, and just so you know, if she decides to come on X day, I have absolutely NO intention of trying to stop her just because you said so!

“Just wait until the baby gets here, you have no idea whats about to hit you!”
“Get your sleep while you can!”

Umm. . . I am the proud owner of a toddler, I have done this before! Additionally, I run a daycare. I am only too aware of what is about to hit me, and believe me – it’ll be easier than my day job! Oh, and just for the record, newborns sleep in longer stretches than my bladder fills now, so things are actually looking up for my night-life.

“You’re going to have a 10 pound baby.”

Yeah. Again. I get it. . . I’m not exactly tiny. But if it makes you feel any better, my midwife has 30 some odd years of experience at labor and delivery, and says that it is very difficult to guess the size of a baby, even with the help of an ultrasound. So what makes you so sure? Do you have a medical degree squirreled away somewhere that I don’t know about?! Her opinion is that this one will be pretty much the same size as the one before her, which is to say NOWHERE NEAR 10 POUNDS! But thanks for your ongoing concern. . .

“Haven’t you figured out what causes that (pregnancy) yet?!”
“You’re pregnant AGAIN?!”

Eating watermelon seeds, right? Oh wait! It was cabbages!! NO! You hafta catch a stork. . .or something. . .Damn. I forgot. You tell me. I obviously don’t know. How are babies made?
These two, and the first in particular, I can’t even wrap my brain around. Rude is an understatement, and I can’t even begin to think about how to answer that question. I also get confused, because it always seems to me as if the implication is that I have, like, 12 kids each 9 months apart. But I only have one, and she’ll be 3 years old in 2 months. Still, regardless of the implication, it’s just flat-out inappropriate and rude.

“When I went into labor . . . *insert horror story here*”

Please! Stop! Tell me the happy parts, the parts about how wonderful it is to finally get to hold your new baby, the part about how happy you were when you saw her face. . . the good bits are what I need to hear. At this point there is no turning back, so I’m begging you – stop trying to scare me! I’m nervous enough about getting this baby out without hearing about how awful labor and delivery can be!

“You’re still here?”

(this is generally a workplace question)
No. I am but a figment of your imagination floating by on wings of gossamer. OF COURSE I’M HERE YOU MORON – did you not just ask me a question?!

T is going to be soooooooo jealous!”
“She’s not going to like sharing her mom!”

She might be jealous. And she might not. But I don’t intend to ignore my number one girl, and you shouldn’t go around assuming that she’s mean-spirited. It isn’t nice, and it makes me sad. T is a super-sweet little girl, and in case you’ve totally forgotten, she’s used to it. We’ve actually had FOUR new babies since her first birthday. Yeah, they go home every evening, and yeah, I know its different, but I still think T deserves some small shred of been-there done-that credit.

“You’re still pregnant?!”

No. I am no longer pregnant. I had the baby months ago, but liked the look so much that I’ve been downing milkshakes and chocolate cake at every meal just to keep the roundness going. Oh! And I even had this special brace made so I can carry around a watermelon under my shirt, to REALLY make it look convincing! Oh? The baby. . . I gave her away. Who wants one of those?!! Anyway, we haven’t even quite made it to my due date yet! Whats your rush?!!

“It’s a boy, I can tell because. . .”
“It’s a girl, I can tell because. . .”

Please stop guessing. I don’t care WHAT your brother’s sister’s wife or your second-cousin Franny said. As a matter of fact, it does not matter if the baby is high or low, or where the extra weight accumulates. It doesn’t matter what the heartbeat was – during ANY of my exams, or if I look radiant as opposed to terrible, or if my abdomen looks like a watermelon or a basketball. If I crave sour or sweet or salty (or all of the above), what color my pee is, what a needle or wedding ring does when suspended from a piece of hair either over my belly or my hand, I don’t care and it doesn’t matter! You will always have a 50% chance of guessing the gender correctly or not – regardless of Great aunt Nancy’s proven method. . .

“You don’t even look pregnant!”

On the flip-side of all the hugeness comments we find this. I know that this is meant as a compliment, and I’m sorry, but yes – I take it the wrong way. If I don’t look pregnant, do I just look fat? Or like I have some kind of horrible cancer growing in my stomach? Why can’t anyone just say “You look GOOD!??” THAT would make my heart feel super-happy!

“You must be/you look MISERABLE!

Really? I do? I was cheerful and smiling until you came along with that comment. I don’t FEEL miserable. SHOULD I feel miserable? Is something wrong with me because I DON’T feel miserable enough? Should I call my midwife. . .?

“Are you dilated yet?”

Really? Did you just ASK me that?! Is nothing sacred?!! First of all, you’re taking the phrase ‘personal question’ to the next level. You’re asking me a question about my CERVIX. MY CERVIX!!! I certainly can’t imagine what it has to do with you, anyway. Oh! And while we’re on the subject, how’s your vagina feeling today?

“T’s such a good girl, you’re in trouble with this one, she’s gonna be BAD!

Why would you say something like that?! Babies are babies! T is good about some things, and she’s bad about others. She’s a normal toddler, and she was a normal infant – just like any other person that I have ever met. Please don’t apply your bizarre negative ideals onto my as-of-yet unborn child! It isn’t very nice, and it makes me feel sad.

ANOTHER girl?!”
“Too bad you didn’t get your boy!”

Why do people just assume that I will be somehow less happy with one gender over the other. It’s a terrible and mean way to think, and it just isn’t true. I will be equally as happy with a boy as I will with a girl, to suggest otherwise is pretty rude, and I think its mean-spirited.

“You’re almost as wide as you are tall!

*sigh* I am not. I suspect that to be a physical impossibility.

“You should name her X, instead.”
“I don’t like that name.”
“That name would be okay for a boy/girl but not for a girl/boy.”

When you squeeze something the size of a watermelon out of your whoo-hole, you can feel free to name it whatever you damn-well please and I won’t have a word to say about it – unless you actually asked me for my opinion. Until then, get over it.

“ARE YOU IN LABOR????!”

This one is driving me crazy! If I dare to pick up my phone and make a call, this is the very first thing that the person on the other end says. And they don’t just say it, they shout it. Desperately. . . Alternatively, if someone calls me at a time when I am unable to answer the phone, pure panic ensues. I suppose they think that I’ve just had the baby here in my living room, all alone aside from the brigade of infants and toddlers that surround my every waking moment, and just didn’t have the presence of mind to call and let anyone know. They then proceed to call right back. Several times. While leaving increasingly frantic messages on my answering machine. . . If I still don’t answer my phone, they start calling my husband at work. *bangs head on wall* People, calm down. Being pregnant in no way has caused me to forget how to use a telephone. If I need you I will call you, for now maybe you should assume that I’m changing a diaper or fixing lunch for my current miniature minions!

. . .WHILE I’M RANTING. . .

I’d like to add just a couple more things, if you don’t mind. . .

KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THE BELLY!

Unless you put the baby in there, are going to help me get her out, or spent 9 months of your life living inside of it, you don’t need to be touching me! I really think it odd that people feel it to be their God-given right to paw all over my abdomen just because I’m pregnant. . . The very least you could do is ask.

LOOK INTO MY EYES!

I think its pretty creepy that people look at my stomach when they talk to me these days. It’s worse than when I hit puberty and the boys had entire conversations with my boobs. . . Of course, this time around its nearly all women who are looking at the wrong places. And yes, when I am asked if I plan to breastfeed, they do it while staring at my boobs. Weird. . . the eyes are STILL up HERE, people!

DISCLAIMER:
Everything posted above is true, and based on my actual experience as a pregnant person. I do feel, however, that I should acknowledge the fact that most of the above comments were not meant by the speaker to be abrasive or rude. Quite the opposite, in fact. The vast majority of people whom I have come into contact with have been nothing but supportive, they just have a very funny way of showing it sometimes. Many thanks to all of you who have kept me laughing (and rolling my eyes) throughout this grand adventure. I know how impatient you all are to meet this new babe, and believe me – I can’t wait to get the attention off of my stomach and onto the child where it belongs!
A huge thank-you to Cathy Thorne, the writer and artist behind Everyday People comics, for permission to use her oh-so-perfect drawings on my blog! Go check her stuff out at
EverydayPeopleCartoons.com

21 Comments

  1. Kendall said,

    LOL!! Having just had a baby myself 4 months ago, I can relate to most of these. Granted, I don’t work outside the house and most of the time people keep their hands off of me(do I look mean or something?), but some of these ring true! What’s funniest is that most of the women that say these things have had kids themselves and should KNOW BETTER! :D

  2. maygan said,

    hehe, I know it’s terrible to giggle but they’re all SO true. We’re currently expecting #3 and the one that absolutely makes me want to slap people are the comments along the lines of “we have to get you a tv!” or “haven’t you figured out what causes that yet?”. I told the husband that I’m on the verge of blurting some terribly and horribly inappropriate comment about the size of his package and my libido just to get people to stop with those jokes.

    Regardless, I’m sure you look more wonderful than you’re feeling and that your baby will come as soon as she’s ready. T is such a sweetheart and so intelligent I’m sure you’ll all be fine. *hugs*

    • Me said,

      MAYGAN!!! I didn’t know – CONGRATULATIONS!!! *ish super excited*

      I’m glad that you both can relate to this and don’t think I’m just being mean ;) I sometimes wonder if its just the hormones talking, but when I sat down and compiled all the crap that people say regularly. . . *shakes head* I just don’t understand why that line of tact is lifted away from pregnant women!

  3. Missy said,

    Due today with #4..just got this one yesterday..”When WERE YOU DUE??” Yes, I know he is measuring 43 weeks, will likely be almost ten pounds and YES, I know I am enormous, but do not make me cry by assuming I am overdue when I had a whold DAY to go!
    I love this post!

    • Me said,

      Oh goodness! That’s a good one! *shakes head* Congrats on number 4! I’m due today with my number 2. . .

      I guess that since you’re expecting a boy you haven’t gotten this one:
      OH! YOU’RE DUE ON TAX DAY! You should name her IRIS! (IRS)
      *groan*

      • GABE said,

        hahahahahah that’s brilliant Jess… you SHOULD name it Iris… HAHAHAHAHAH why didn’t I think of that??? Or Christa??? She should have thought of that

  4. Sarah Benedict said,

    OH MY WORD! Boy did you nail those! LOL Granted its been a little while, but I totally remember all those comments. It always floored me that a complete stranger was ok with asking some of those questions!

    MAYGAN! CONGRATULATIONS!

  5. Ki said,

    Go ‘head, lady!! You are RIGHT…! This is the culmination of 9 months of everything…! You reap what you sow, people – and you are going to reap it all for just ONE day (or, well, however long R sees fit).

    And to make you feel okay about this: it was wonderfully put, you came by it honestly, and your disclaimer was sweet alleviation. Nobody should feel bad. You are a kind person. If they haven’t realized that before, they will now. Error-of-their-ways kind of thing.

    And you are TOO CUTE even when people don’t deserve it – being apologetic for your own pregnancy rant, awww…!!!

    I LOVE you!

  6. Ki said,

    P.s. And I totally laughed through multiple passages of this entry…!

  7. Sharon said,

    ROFLOL

    Well to help you out I’d like to reiterate that labor isn’t so bad at all and is not remotely the part that made me uncomfy. After all, what can be bad that ends in you holding your new miniature…well…you? And pregnant chicks are cute like ducks or bunnies. Although I know you are so done with it. Just tell people that it’s not like Ro can over cook in there so back off. I just look forward to living vicariously through you :) I don’t want a newborn of my own but I want to hold and snuggle yours :)

    I saw a picture of a tag once that someone had on their baby carrier thingy (the car seat that pops out) asking for people not to touch the baby. You need one for you now and Ro later. *nods with great approval* Somehow people think your body isn’t yours just because your incubating a mini you. If you need me to I’ll kick people for you.

    In the meantime know that you look great! And myself, J and ‘baby’ A send hugs and lovins’ your way. :)

  8. Kathleen Scott said,

    Woohoo, you tell ‘em! My sister said most of those things too.

    Loved the Dave Barry quote. I’m pretty sure I know how he came to say it…the same way I learned that lesson…when the checkout lady spat out, “I had my baby three years ago!”

    I didn’t know you also run a daycare. That promotes you to Goddess level in my eyes. Anyone who can keep five infants/toddlers happy has superpowers.

    Hoping for a fast, healthy, uneventful delivery for you and your new little one.

    • Sharon said,

      She’s also the best day car provider EVER! Of course I may be biased since she’s taken care of my munchki-moo better then I could have since she was 9 weeks old. So yeah I think your Goddess assertion is spot on. :)

  9. FooFoo said,

    You made me laugh so hard I was crying!!! Oh my word you are hilarious! That’s an understatement, really you are one of the funniest people I know hands down. How in the world you can write a post like this gem is something I’m envying really bad at the moment. I want to write and talk like you. Thank you for giving me the first laugh I’ve had in days. It was awesome.

  10. Amber said,

    This is so true.

    People always asked if I was having twins when I was pregnant with Natalie. I was mildly insulted.

  11. ChristinesLilSprouts said,

    Very funny stuff! And all so VERY true!!! I especially love the little bit about the phone ringing and everyone thinking the worst when you don’t pick up!!! I had this very thing happen to me and it drove me NUTS!! Only my DH was just as bad as the rest of ‘em. Made me feel like I had better answer that gosh darn phone no matter WHAT I was doing at the moment! I used to hate the sound of disappointment when I would tell people “nothing is going on yet.” LOL. Anyways, hang in there, and goodluck. One thing is for sure, NOONE has ever been pregnant forever!! :) You will miss it eventually!

  12. deb said,

    As the popper outer (gag) of five little ones, I can so relate to all of this rant.

    the jealousy one gets me. I also ran a daycare for years. My kids lived sharing and waiting. And the fifth didn’t get ripped off. She got and gets more attention sometimes.

    better stop.

    don’t do vent well…. this could go on and on.

    I’d hug you if I could, looking into your eyes and telling you that pretty soon, you get to love a baby, and the baby gets to love you . What else matters.

  13. Tori said,

    HAHA! I love you! Your so great! That was the most perfect rant I ever heard and it’s definitely not too bitchy! I can’t wait for Ro to get here!

  14. Kelli said,

    I have heard most if not all of these comments/questions!! Yes it can be nerve wracking!!! Praying for ya!!!

  15. GABE said,

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH and I KNOW that I’m guilty of like 8 of those.

    Not too sorry… it comes with the territory.

    But seriously… who the h@#l had the nerve to say that you are as wide as you are tall? That is simply not true and straight up IGN’ANT!

  16. wecki77 said,

    Hopefully I didn’t make anyone of those when I’ve seen you. I should certainly know better (as I am hearing most of those right now…less than 5 weeks to go…so they say). I LOVED your thoughts on their comments. I really think you ought to start saying them outloud.

    My response when my students started asking if I was pregnant? I’m not just getting fat. I do have to say they were a little taken aback. They weren’t quite sure what to say to that. My co-teacher at one point even asked them what they would say/feel if I had said no. Now they are asking if I should really be working? Shouldn’t I be at home resting? I wish, but no such luck.

    Too much. Adults really should know better.

  17. Kari said,

    I am so happy for you both she is absolutley beautiful.Mike and I are so happy for you both and look forward to seeing that beautiful girl.We wish you all the best

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