Pregnant women seem to be treated like their personal lives and bodies are open for scrutiny, comments, and even touching. *shudders* Unfortunately, I was just reminded how that trend continues after you give birth, which is also a pretty vulnerable and special time in which you deserve more than a little freaking privacy to enjoy. Like it or not, there are infuriating questions your family will ask you after you give birth that feel like they're directly or indirectly shaming your choices or violating your privacy.
This time around, we didn't get a lot of visitors at the hospital, which made recovery and meeting our newborn a whole lot more enjoyable, but I did however, field a lot of questions about his birth and our choices. Things like:
"Did you have a natural birth?" Could that question just die in a fire? "
Did you tear?" WTAF? Did you just ask me about the state of my vagina?
"Why did you pick that name?" Questions like that are exactly why we didn't share his name before it was on the birth certificate. "
Are you breastfeeding?" None of your business.
Let me give you a piece of unsolicited advice: next time a family member gives birth, consider not asking them any questions at all. The first days after birth are freaking hard, emotionally charged, and personal. And to all you mamas-to-be: it's entirely OK to repeat the phrase, "I am really tired right now. I just birthed a human. Go away." You don't owe them any answers, especially not about your breasts or vagina.
"Can I Visit You At The Hospital?"
Umm, can you wait until after I am able to put on some clothes and clean myself up? Also, only if you've had all of your vaccinations and agree to respect my personal space and the tiny human I just birthed.
"Did You Have A 'Natural' Child Birth?"
OMFG All births are "natural." This question is so insulting. As if there is a "right" way to give birth. All births that end with a healthy baby and mama are done well, but since you asked, my epidural was fan-freaking-tastic.
"Did You Poop During Delivery?"
This was the only question my stepson asked me after delivery. The answer is no, I didn't poop on the table, but with the amount of constipation I had after delivery left me kinda wishing I had.
It turned out he didn't really want to know the answer.
"Can I Hold The Baby?"
You mean my tiny newborn who I just met outside of my body, who has no immune system? Maybe, but after we've had a chance to snuggle, you provide your vaccination status and you wash your hands, and if I ask for him back don't make me ask twice.
"Do You Plan To Breastfeed?"
None of your freaking business. That's super creepy.
"Can You Put Your Breasts Away?"
No, but you can leave.
"Why Did You Name The Baby That?"
Umm, because we liked it? Because it has significance to us as a family. I don't have to explain it to you and your question implies that you disapprove. Seriously, you just insulted my baby's name. Rude.
"Did You Tear?"
Did you seriously just ask me that? Seriously? A question about my vagina and vulva? Do you want to know if I got stitches, too? How about I call you the first time we have postpartum sex? FFS.
"Why Do You Still Look Pregnant?"
Another question from my children and stepchildren.
It's good they learn this now, because the undeniable fact that you might still look pregnant days after birth isn't all that "well known" to many people (thanks to unrealistic representations of postpartum life in the media). If and/or when their partners decide to have children, at least I know my kids won't be surprised by a postpartum body.
"When Are You Having Another Baby?"
OMG. Are you serious? We just had this one. Give us a second.
And never. The answer is never.
"Are You Done Having Kids, Yet?"
What a loaded question. Yes, we have five kids. No, I don't plan on being pregnant again. Seriously, stop. Our family size or family planning are so not up for discussion.