Nine months of pregnancy can evoke one of two emotions: overwhelming happiness or absolute misery. Regardless of which you fall under (I experienced absolute misery), there are some comments and questions every pregnant woman absolutely dreads hearing, but will probably continue to hear throughout her 40 (more or less) week pregnancy. As one can imagine, it gets real old real fast. While there's no specific way any woman should feel about her pregnancy, it's the inquisition from those around us that become the most exhausting.
During my first pregnancy I received the usual barrage of questions, mostly because, as first time parents, everyone around us was so curious to know the answers. It was only during the second pregnancy that I realized how sick and tired I was of being asked the same questions over and over again. I realize people mean well and perhaps the comments or questions might come out in a way that they might not mean, but when you're pregnant, you really don't care. I blame the hormones (and honestly, you should, too). If I'd never been asked these things, or heard the comments about looking like I'm "about to pop" only three months into my pregnancy, I might not be so cynical now. But, I digress.
Nine months is a long time to hear everyone's thoughts and unsolicited opinions (not to mention unnecessary and often less-than-helpful advice) about your pregnancy. Here are just a few examples of the questions pregnant women absolutely dread, that we'd all collectively feel fine never hearing every again.
"When Are You Due?"
When is the due date? Why? Do I look way "too pregnant" or "not pregnant enough" to you? Also, because I've answered this exact inquiry dozens of times within a day (however well-meaning the intent), this becomes one of the bigger annoyances of life, not because I'm not excited to shout it from the rooftops but likely because I'm miserable and that damn date feels like eons away.
"Is It A Boy Or A Girl?"
Not that it matters but if you're going to ask this, I'd have told you the guess is 50/50. As long as I delivered a healthy baby, the gender makes no difference in any conversation outside of ones I have with my partner. So, can we please talk about something more interesting (like no-bake cookie recipes)?
"Are You Sure You're Not Having Twins?"
If asking if I'm having twins is a question to imply I've gained more weight than you believe one pregnant woman should, you should withdraw it immediately. Better yet, bite your damn tongue. Unless I've said I'm having said twins it's never, ever, OK to ask this particular question (especially after delivery when I still look pregnant).
"Was It Planned?"
When people asked if the pregnancy was planned, I assumed no one taught them any manners because, as I think of how to answer at seven months along, it's a moot point. Planned or not, still not your beeswax.
"Can I Touch Your Belly?"
No, you can't and before you phrase it differently, no again.
"How Soon Will You Return To Work After Delivery?"
Maybe I don't plan on returning back to work. Maybe my partner and I decided I'd take an extended leave. Maybe my career isn't as important of caring for myself and my newborn for the first six, or so, weeks, so when I return is between my employer and myself. Thanks.
"Are You And The Father Still Together?"
Because my first pregnancy happened before I was married, I did get this questions a time or two and no matter what the intention, I considered it (and still do) to be extremely rude.
If we are together, your question will seem out of context. If we're not, well, thanks for reminding me I'll be doing this pregnancy thing alone. So really, just don't.
"This Is Your Last One, Right?"
Who determines how many children I'm supposed to have anyway? I thought it was between my partner and me. I love and take good care of my children and they're pretty rad so if I'm pregnant again for the 3rd or 4th time, what do you care?
"How Old Are You, Anyway?"
While I'm not in my twenties anymore, the answer to this is also none of your damn business.
"Are You Exercising?"
Are you? Be honest. When I was pregnant, exercise was dangerous because my blood pressure was too high. Just being on my feet nearly killed me (and my baby). So, in case you're asking how ripped I am at eight months, I'm not.
"Have You Picked A Name?"
I get that this is something people are interested in. Maybe it's out of curiosity or living vicariously, and I'm sure I've asked the same question to those I know during their pregnancies.
I get annoyed by this particular question though, and especially when I have to answer this a million times a day and/or explain or defend the name I reveal. It's not up for debate, so if I tell you and you're not less than thrilled, fake it.
"How Will You Manage?"
If you're asking a pregnant woman how she'll manage to continue being awesome after she rocks labor and delivery, it's easy. She'll just continue doing everything she has been. It doesn't matter if it's the first child or ninth because we figure it out and adjust accordingly.
There's lots of thoughts and questions that come to mind when you see a pregnant woman but I promise you — we dread hearing each and every one. I've been on both sides of it. However, before you ask one of the above, ask yourself it's going to make this woman's day better or worse in your asking. If it's the latter, rethink this decision or prepare to suffer the inevitable side-eye.