****Warning, this is a serious rant. And the man child toddler asleep in his crib and these braxton hicks that I am having while writing this gives me the right to say all of these things. If you don’t like it, I really don’t care.***
During both of my pregnancies I heard the same comments. First, they would ask how far along I was or when I was due. In the beginning I told the truth. Their eyes would get really round and that moment that separates smart people from assholes would come. Would they comment? Had God blessed them with a filter? About 85% of the time they would usually say, “Wow, you are so big!” or my personal favorite “My daughters due in June and she’s still barely showing!” How I would have liked to respond. “Wow, you’re really big too, what’s your excuse?!” or “That’s great that your daughter is skinny, but does she understand the social niceties as well as you do?” I don’t know, I guess I never said anything because everything I could think of was stupid. I almost responded to a “You’re going to have a big baby!” with “Actually, no I’m not, my baby is measuring right on schedule. My size that you are referring to comes from pregnancy constipation, which is pretty common, and causes you to build up gas and bloat, but thanks for noticing!”
Why do people lose all common sense around pregnant women? It’s suddenly OK to comment on our size, or touch us? I don’t think so! Let me provide you with the:
Top 10 list of things that you absolutely should not do or say when talking to a pregnant woman you don’t know and possibly some that you do…..
I would say use your judgement, but most people who think these things are OK, might be seriously lacking in that department. (Please anonymously forward this to those people)
- HER SIZE – Just because we are pregnant does not mean that we are OK with being fat. Do not comment on our stomachs, our ankles, anything at all! Unless it is to say how beautiful we look. Keep in mind that the reverse is just as bad too. If someone says “Wow, I can barely tell you are pregnant,” that woman might be dying to show off a little baby bump and they have managed to offend her too. And no most of the time we are not having twins, or triplets, and we don’t find it funny. And yes we are sure!
- DO NOT TOUCH HER – Under no circumstance, even if you do know her, should you touch her stomach. Seriously, wait for an invitation. And if you don’t get one it’s because she doesn’t want to be touched. Sometimes you can ask, but that’s still a tough call. At least you are giving her a warning though. And ladies, just because you didn’t mind when you were pregnant, assuming they can still even remember being pregnant, does not mean that everyone else is alright with it too.
- DO NOT GIVE UNSOLICITED ADVICE – This is even a tough one for me. I love to help people and I’m sure I might even cross this line every now and then, but I am usually very careful. And if I do give advice, I try not to be too graphic. Pregnant women do not want to hear about your cracked nipples, and 82 hour labors, and how the epidural ruined your life and you have never been the same since.
- NO SCARY STORIES – Seriously!! During my first pregnancy I had a woman sitting next to me at my OB’s office tell me a story about her friend who went for her last check up before her baby was due and they found that it was dead, the umbilical cord was wrapped around it’s neck. I was 32 weeks pregnant. These stories help no one, people need to keep them to themselves. We already lay awake at night worrying about all the things that might happen to our babies, we don’t need any help with that.
- NO MEDICAL ADVICE – I don’t even care if they are a doctor. If they are not my doctor, I don’t want to hear it. I’ve even had doctors, yes they were men, say some really stupid things that I won’t repeat.
- SUGGEST SHE GET EXTRA SLEEP – Why in the hell do people say this?? Can you bank sleep? Assuming I could get any sleep at all when it took a freakin’ crane to turn me over at night, not to mention the hot flashes and the little Olympic gymnast that was practicing in my belly, was it really going to make any difference if I got a few extra hours here and there? I don’t know about you, but I much preferred the 2 1/2 hours of awesome, check if she’s still breathing – because she looks like she’s dead, sleep that I got in between feedings after Noah was born. I know overall I was much more exhausted, but I HATED the crappy sleep I got towards the end of my pregnancy. For much more on this check out this great post by Baby Rabies- Sleep: Not Just For The Selfish
- SUGGEST THAT HER LIFE IS OVER – I seriously think some people just like to be mean to pregnant women. I don’t know if it’s jealousy or what, but why once a person is so obviously committed to something would someone say things like this? “Enjoy going out to eat while you still can” or “Guess we’ll see you in a couple years.” Really?? My honest to goodness advice to pregnant women is that having children will only change your life as much as you want it to. It’s all about priorities people, if you truly want to do something you will make it happen. If you love going out to brunch on Saturdays and walking around an arts market, then you can do this after having a baby. If you like to go to dinner and a movie on Friday nights with your hubby, then you still can, get a sitter. The only thing I would suggest against is the binge drinking and all day hangovers, really that’s no good for anyone and if you are still hanging on to that maybe you need to grow up.
- IT’S NOT ALWAYS HORMONES – This is mostly for dads and maybe really stupid co-workers. Do not ever blame anything a pregnant woman does on her hormones. That said, she does reserve the right to blame any and all things on her hormones if she so chooses.
- ASSUME THAT SHE CAN”T HAVE (insert awesome food/drink) – OK, there is a line here. Obviously don’t offer her hard liquor or pass the bong or anything like that. But! Don’t assume that she can’t have coffee, coke, wine, sushi, deli sandwiches etc. It is completely up to her and her doctor what she can and cannot have. I remember being at a Junior League meeting during my first pregnancy and after making my way through the food line I walked up to the drinks girl and she frowned and said “Oh, sorry, all we have for you is water.” I gazed longingly at the 2-liter of Coke right in front of me and silently accepted the lemon water she offered. Instead of having that mini jolt of caffeine that I seriously needed, I ended up with severe heart burn from the f-ing lemon water. Thanks Lady, Thanks a lot!
- DO NOT COMMENT ON HER CHOICE OF NAMES!!! – This might be a pet peeve, so bear with me. DO NOT say anything bad about a name they are considering. If they do happen to decide on that name, despite your best efforts, you will always be the person who they know hates it. And honestly, to those people who actually needs to be told this, I doubt they hold your opinion in much regard anyway, so it’s very likely they could. It’s like trashing someone’s ex, you better make sure they don’t get back together, otherwise that will make for a pretty awkward friendship.
Now, it is important to say that some of these things are said with the best of intentions, but that still doesn’t make it OK. It is important to respect each other and remember that while the golden rule, “Do unto others, blah blah blah,” is great in theory. We are all different and what might not have bothered you, could truly offend someone else and ruin their day. Now, with that being said, to those of you who read this and think, “Some people are just too sensitive,” and you know who you are, and I know who you are too. Have you ever thought that maybe the entire rest of the world isn’t too sensitive and maybe you could stand to be a little less insensitive??? And I am not just saying that because I am pregnant and have an abundance of hormones! LOL 🙂
So, here’s what I really want to know! What’s the craziest most insensitive thing that happened to you, or someone you know, while pregnant?? Come on, dish!
-Tracy (Noah is 17 months, and I am 24 weeks pregnant and feel so much better having said all that!) 🙂