“Wow, you are getting HUGE!”
“Oh, are you sure you’re not having twins?”
“You’re only 24 weeks pregnant? How much bigger can you get?”
“For someone who pretty much only eats salad you sure are gaining a lot of weight”
“You look like you’re about to pop any minute!” …no… I still have about 15 weeks to go…
These are some of the comments I get on a daily basis at work… from +/- 80 staff members… every…single…day. My husband doesn’t get why it upsets me so much, you’re pregnant, right?
Maybe he’s right, maybe it’s the hormones.. but it’s the words that are used and the intention behind them that bothers me. Am I the only one having this problem?
I am very aware of how pregnant I am, and I am not stupid… I know I’m getting fat. I was also not the skinniest person going into this pregnancy, but you already have to deal with stretch marks, being uncomfortable, itchy skin, swollen boobs, pimples and not knowing what to wear not to mention growing a human being for crying out loud.
I guess I am mostly angry because I’ve been feeling so good.. My first pregnancy was a NIGHTMARE. You know that beautiful, glowing woman on the cover of a magazine looking lovingly at her perfectly tanned, perfectly round baby bump? That was not me. At all.
This time around, however, I feel really good. Or at least I did. I am much bigger than when I was pregnant with my daughter and in the past 24 weeks I have gained about 10 kg’s. I also have a massive amount of water retention in my legs which makes them look like tree stumps and my hair and skin is an absolute mess.
Am I being used as some totem of self-hatred, are they fascinated with my weight gain as a way of feeling better or worse about themselves? Is this what society has become?
When women transform into the bloated, beautiful beasts we become during pregnancy, we are all of a sudden open to public comments — and everyone is a critic. Although we realize that we are selflessly giving our bodies for the creation of a new life and all that, it seems that the general public does not remember that there’s still a real woman in there, behind the baby – a real woman with real feelings about her body.
At 24 weeks pregnant with my second child I would like to believe I’ve finally gained some perspective and a thicker skin about the surprising and insensitive things that people say to woman in one of her most fragile times.
In my bid to educate society and hopefully prevent even just one other mamma-to-be feel the way I was feeling, here is 10 things you should NEVER do or say to a pregnant woman:
1.”Was it planned?”
(Translation:Do you have sex regularly? Were you using birth control? Do you have a basic understanding of the human reproductive system? Or were you just being irresponsible?)
Does it really matter whether someone was taking ovulation tests, having sexy time with their husband and then elevating their pelvis or whether they got drunk & screwed their boyfriend in the bathroom of a dodgy club? It really doesn’t at this point, and it’s none of your business.
2. “Are you sure there is just one baby in there?”
(Translation: You are fat)
I am sure that my gynecologist who has been a specialist in her field for the past 15 years can read an ultrasound properly, you idiot.
3. “Wow, you are getting HUGE.”
(Translation: You are really fat)
Thank you, I didn’t notice. I thought I was just pregnant.
4. “You are having your second baby? But you are so young…”
(Translation: You child, you don’t know what you are doing)
And you are so old.
5. “You are calling him/her what? I don’t that name, I think you should call him/her…”
(Translation: You have bad taste)
Oh okay, then I won’t name it that. Nobody cares that a girl named Angela took your chocolate chip cookie in grade two so don’t lift up the tarp covering your mental baggage. No-one asked you… please keep your opinion to yourself. Even if you are asked, lie.
(Translation: I want to make you cry.)
Don’t even think about it in my presence.
7. Unauthorized belly rubs!
(Translation: I do not care about your personal space)
When did this become okay?? Hands off the belly!
8. “Should you really be eating that? “
(Translation: You obviously do not have your child’s best interest at heart)
You are very…very brave…
9. “Why are you having a C-section? You will miss out on the beautiful bonding experience of natural birth.”
(Translation: You are going to be a bad mother)
First of all, not all of us have a choice. My first baby was delivered via emergency C-section and therefore my doctor has decided that the safest way forward will be to deliver my second by C-section as well. Secondly, who are you to judge? There are multiple benefits to both C-sections as well as Natural birth…and once again, it has absolutely nothing to do with you whether I am going to have a stretched vagina or an ugly scar. Please mind your own business.
10. “Sleep now because you won’t get any when the baby gets here.”
(Translation: Your life is over.)
What the hell does this mean anyway? It’s not like you can bank sleep. It’s like saying “Don’t eat this year because an all-you-can-eat-buffet is opening up next March”. Plus, who says that the woman you’re saying this to is sleeping now? She may be a congested ball of heartburn, hemorrhoids and back pain so this kind of thing just adds insult to injury.
The next time you see a pregnant woman, unless you are going to tell her how beautiful she looks, just keep your mouth shut. She doesn’t need to hear what you think about her size, her looks, her baby’s name, etc. You may think you’re witty but I can guarantee she does not.