Saturday, February 11, 2012

What NOT to say to a pregnant woman

I find some of the things people say to pregnant women and new moms to be funny and disturbing.  It's mostly funny because people seem to have no clue how rude they're being.  Here are some interesting comments I've heard:

First trimester:

"Wow, you're already starting to show."
"Wow, you guys are just cranking them out!"
"You better go to the doctor, you might lose it." (that was from extended family, and no, we didn't lose the baby, nor come close)

Second trimester:
"Wow, you're due any day now, aren't you?"
"You look like you're about ready to pop!"
"Are the doctors SURE you're not due until then?"

Third trimester:
"You're still pregnant?"
"Are you having twins?"
"Have you had an ultrasound to find out how many babies you're having?"
"I'd be surprised if that baby cam out less than 10 pounds!"  (He came out just over 10 pounds, so I felt a little better)
"'re BIG!"
"You're husband should be carrying your two year old!" But my two year old wanted mommy, and I like holding him!

"Do you have another one on the way?" 

And I'm sure I'll get with this one:
"Wow, you're going to be really pregnant all through the hottest months of the year...and in TEXAS!"  So glad to know that others know their seasons and geography.

I am not due until October 2nd (according the the ultrasound I had this week) but I have already gotten the "You're already starting to show!" comment.  The ones that have really worn on me in the past are twins, still pregnant, BIG, ready to pop, and being "sure" about the due date.  And people say then so often!  In my third pregnancy I heard all of those comments at least twice a week.  At one point I had had enough and when a large man at church asked me if I was sure I wasn't having twins I asked him how many babies he was having.  He just laughed and another man nearby said he was going to have a three year old!  It's a good thing that babies are so cute that these comments are quickly forgotten.
I think the most disturbing comment I've heard was at the doctor's office, that even though babies are cute, the difficult deliveries I've had "Just aren't worth it" to have more.  I though that was kind of presumptuous, obviously I thought it was worth it or I wouldn't be pregnant again.  If anyone knew the value of that pain and misery, it would be me, right?  It's sad that so many in the world see having babies as too difficult and inconvenient that the joy of having children is quickly forgotten.  By the way, it's still magical even after several children.
So next time you talk to a pregnant woman, keep in mind that she's probably tired of whatever comment you might be about to make, except maybe congratulations and babies are wonderful kind of comments!

UPDATED 2/14/2012  The day after I posted this I got another comment that I couldn't believe.  I was talking to a lady that I barely knew during my third pregnancy (from church) and she had brought up the subject of pregnancy and how hard it would be "at [her] age."  I will not endeavor to guess what that is, lest I become a hypocrite. But then she turned to me and said
"Yea, and you break out really bad during your pregnancies too." 
I asked her to repeat that because I must have heard that wrong, nobody is that insensitive, right? Wrong.  She then went on to say "What is it that causes that for you?  Someone was telling my what makes that happen to you and I can't remember what it is." 
Wait a minute, my husband wouldn't be talking like that, and I know it wasn't me, so not only are you noticing this skin imperfection, but you're talking to other people about it? Not only that but since it's just acne that no doctor has been able to cure since puberty, all you're doing is speculating.
After some other people tried to interject with hormones causing women to break out in pregnancy  and the first woman talking more about how it (pregnancy) just messes your body up (trying not to take that personally too) my husband interjected and changed the subject completely, talking long enough that people's minds moved on.  My hero.  He said he had been trying to think of something sarcastic to point out how rude that comment was, but the only things he could think of were likely too subtle.  Then my three year old came in and asked me to help him go potty.  Who would have though it'd be so relieving to put someone else on the toilet?

I do wonder about people who make comments like this.  What other comments are they making, and to whom?  Do they go up to overweight teens on their birthday and say things like "Another year, another chin!"  Or do they go around nursing homes with a box of raisins so they can do comparisons?  I hope not, but you never know what people will say!

I try not to take these things personally, but they do make me uncomfortable. It is what it is I guess.

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