For some reason, I think being pregnant makes people feel like they have free license to do or say whatever they want. It’s rather fascinating to be honest. I experienced it to a certain degree while we were trying to conceive or being open about our trials and tribulations. But there is something about a tiny alien life form taking over your midsection that makes people say “Hey, it’s the Wild West out here now. Let it rip!”
So, I thought I’d make a list of things people have said or done to me, or to some of my close friends, that are just weird, strange, off-putting, unique, or just plain rude. But, mostly funny.
- How Are You Feeeeeeeeling?
- This one is actually not a weird question. It totally makes sense that people would ask how you are feeling. The funny part to me is that this is the ONLY question you get. As soon as I announced I was expecting, this replaced any other pleasantry-type question I would normally get. And now it was only this one. It just struck me funny. Especially because most people don’t actually want to know. It’s just the pregnant version of How Are You? Your close people might want to know the real answer, but most just want you to say “Pretty good, thanks for asking.” They don’t typically want you to describe your constipation, weird sleeping habits or the fact that you can’t bend over or move your ankles anymore due to swelling. But, sometimes I tell them anyway. My standard answer for this has been “Hot and swollen, but overall pretty good!” Which is half honest, half polite, and a smidge sassy.
2. What are you having?
- Welp. I’d say it is likely a baby! There are many variations of this. Are you finding out what you’re having? Do you know what you’re having? You AREN’T finding out what you’re HAVING! How? The funny part to me is not the question per se, it’s the assumption from most that you obviously would find out of the sex of the baby in advance and they couldn’t comprehend why or how you wouldn’t. My typical joking answer has really been “Yes! A Baby.” But that’s only when I’m in the mood to be a twit, because I clearly know what they mean. The best is when the question is asked “Are you finding out the gender?” and I say “No we aren’t finding out the sex of the baby.” (Because biological sex and gender aren’t the same thing). And then they say “Wow. I don’t know how you can do that, you’re such a planner!” And, not trying to be a jerk here, I get it. The science is there, why not use it. I understand why people would want to find out and be curious if we are too. If you are someone who would want to theme out a nursery specifically based on the sex or have a mostly pink or blue wardrobe, then yes it would actually effect your planning. But, that’s just not our vibe. We’d go grey, white and mint with a splash of chevron and elephants regardless anyway (I know SO CUTE, right? lol) So how does it change the plan? And, to be honest, if you want to get me a tutu or a pair of suspenders, go for it! I’ll totally put them to use! Luckily I know about 5 other couples expecting right now who also aren’t finding out so we have a little posse of outliers.
3. I KNOW what you’re having.
- Basically the opposite of the previous one. Because you don’t know, other people think they do know. I actually quite enjoy it because the various reasons are so funny. You’re carrying low. Your skin is nice. I had a dream. I had a premonition. It’s just a vibe I have. Your butt is or is not poking out (but why you looking my butt tho?). Our friends and family are weighing very heavily in one direction, for different reasons, which I do find interesting. But, the odds are pretty high it is one of two major options. So, I’d take those odds.
4. I know what you’re having based on your current ugliness level.
- This is the one that throws me for a loop more than the rest. Why would you comment on a pregnant person’s beauty (or WORSE lack thereof)? We already feel like big swollen cows, even if we are THRILLED to be pregnant. Luckily, I guess, the version of this I have gotten is something like “I think you’re having a boy because you still look pretty” or as blunt as “You’re having a boy because you aren’t ugly”. Yes…I heard this in real life. But all I am thinking when I get these is what would you say to me if you thought I was having a girl? Which means you think that IS making me ugly? Well, I happen to know the answer because someone said the statement to my mom when she was pregnant with me: “You must be having a girl because she is stealing all your beauty.” WHO SAYS THAT HONESTLY. And I am 2 weeks shy of 36 and my mom remembers this vividly. Also, some of my already beautiful friends were equally as beautiful while carrying girls so potench that theory is flawed? So, maybe give the person your biological sex guess if you feel inclined, but perhaps leave out how that is related to how ugly or how beautiful you think they are at the moment. That would be cool.
5. WOW. You look like you’re about to POP!
- Let me tell you about how many people like to hear this statement…0. Approximately 0 people want to hear this. Whether or not you think it. Whether or not it is true. No one wants to hear that. The translation in a pregnant woman’s head when she hears this is “LAWD JESUS YOU ARE HUMONGOUS. That baby must be falling out of you any damn second now”. This is another one that is just, why? What compels you to say this out loud to someone? I know this happens because it happened to me last week, while I was 30 weeks. So, needless to say my response was snarky…”Nope. About 10 weeks left, but thanks.” Because I have decided I am not just going to hold onto the discomfort your comments make me feel, I’m going to send just a little bit back to you. It’s not open season on body commentary.
6. Can I rub your belly? (Or worse, not asking).
- Can you imagine, in 2018, walking up to a woman who you do not know or think is pregnant and just rubbing her? Or asking to rub her? Hopefully your answer is no of course not that would be CRAZY, So, what the EFF. For some reason, when you are growing a tiny human, the rules just don’t apply? There is exactly one person at work who I let rub my belly, and she knows who she is and that doesn’t bother me at all. But, in general, just go ahead and don’t do that. It’s so weird. People told me that would happen and I kind of didn’t believe them. I am also not a big “random touch” fan in general. I like hugging people I am actually close with but not randos. If we are actually tight, and the baby is moving, and I ask you if you want to feel it, that is a totally different story. That is an invitation, and a rare one at that. I’m just referencing the random compulsion or even entitlement people seem to feel to have free range body touching because you’re pregnant. It’s weird AF, cut it out.
7. You are glowing.
- You might wonder, what is wrong with this? It’s a compliment, right? Yes. Definitely. You have an energy, aura, or whatever about you as a pregnant person that people can sense or feel. To me, glowing feels like someone is saying you look Shiny and Round. LOL. Because that is how I actually feel. It’s the summer and I am currently 31 weeks pregnant so I am literally shiny from sweat most of the time. And I feel like a ginormous swollen orb. It is very nice for people to compliment you and mean that your skin is nice, which, is sometimes a pleasant side effect of the pregnancy hormones and/or vitamins. But I think it is one of those funny things that is almost always only said to pregnant people. Like, does anyone else ever have a glow to them? I’m just wondering.
8. Just one piece of unsolicited advice…
- The way it is phrased, you know the people saying it already know it is kind of annoying. LOL. Like, I know you didn’t ask but I am just going to tell you this one thing. Don’t get me wrong, there have been a few gems in there that I’ve stored for later use. But most things are very specific to that family or that child and I’ve learned to just smile and nod. I’m sure I will reach out to some specific people with specific questions at one time or another. But it’s as if once someone thinks or knows you are pregnant, they feel compelled to tell you some piece of advice. Something that worked for them. Anything. There’s like a word vomit thing that happens that I find very intriguing.
These are just a few I’ve thought of or collected over the past almost 8 months. This is not a hater post, either. I have done or said some of these things myself. It’s habit, or culture, or societal norms in some cases. And I know most of it comes from either a good place or a place of not knowing what to say and people just fill the void with something weird. But next time you come across a pregnant lady, just consider, would I say or do this to someone who wasn’t pregnant? And if the answer is no, you should probz just skip it…