During my pregnancy, it became pretty (and rather quickly) apparent that people really like seeing pregnant ladies going about their days. Like, to the point that people will stare and unapologetically comment on things that, well, they have no business commenting on. Honestly, there are things people say to pregnant women that they don't say to anyone else and while I get that people and it's almost endearing it's also, like, just no.
Please trust me when I say that while you might be struck by a pregnant woman's beauty (and I get it) she is probably not feeling that way and asking her a bunch of intrusive questions or throwing somewhat (or downright) inappropriate comments her way will not, contrary to popular believe, change that. Like, thank you for your kind words and smiles and for telling me how great it is to have a tiny person around, but I’m seriously just uncomfortably standing here while my partner and I wait for a table and I just want all the food I, don’t want to be rude, but this is the third time I’ve had this conversation this week.
Anyway, for whatever reason, people lose their filter when they see a pregnant lady for better or for worse. I can't say that every pregnant woman doesn't like hearing how pregnant she is, every now and then, but I can say that people say things to pregnant women that they most certainly wouldn't say to anyone else. It's kind of annoying and sort of cute and, well, it's up for every pregnant woman to decide whether or not it's welcomed or shunned.
Okay, okay, I know there is lots of support out there for the pregnancy glow, but I never really knew how to respond. A simple, "thank you" always felt incomplete, and letting the kind stranger or well-intentioned family member know that the "glow" was really just sweat from my nausea, seemed to be too much information.
"Let Me Get That For You"
Well, if you insist.
"Here, Take My Spot In This Horribly Long Line For The Ladies' Room"
I mean, I wasn't about to ask, but if someone were to offer? Yes. Yes, I would absolutely like to have that spot. I would like to have that spot more than I've ever wanted anything ever, including more hard drive space for every Chris Pratt gif known to man.
"Take My Extra Slice Of Pizza"
Perhaps I just roll with a super-generous crowd, but when I was expecting, there was no shortage of food sharing happening. Thanks, guys.
"Would You Like Some Brie Cheese Or Wine Or Sushi?"
Speaking of generosity of the people around me, unfortunately their offerings were not always on the "safe" list for pregnancy. Not that this was anyone's fault, but it was sort of a bummer.
"Care To Join Us For A Day Of Thrill Rides And Sky Diving?"
True story: the only time I've been invited to a theme park in the last three years was, when I was newly pregnant (like really newly pregnant, five weeks to be exact) and unable to share the news yet. And since I've not been pregnant? No theme park invites, which, is sadder than you might expect for a grown woman. My theory is that they only go to pregnant ladies.
"You Look Huge"
The reason I look huge is because I am huge. That's the nature of pregnancy. If there was a way to maintain a healthy pregnancy and still be a "normal" size (which, you know, isn't a real thing because every size is normal so honestly just stop with your distorted view of the the human body) then I would surely be doing it (but probably not because, again, why? I like taking up space so you can just stop.).
"I Bet You Have To Pee All The Time"
I bet you're right.
"How Is The Heartburn? Swollen Ankles? Gas?"
Tried as I might, I never got used to strangers asking me about various physical symptoms with no lead in. Like, it would have been one thing for them to casual inquire about side effects, but it's a whole other deal when they get right to it without even so much as a warm up. I mean, would you ask anyone else about their medical history? That's not necessarily dinner conversation, now is it?
"Get Ready To Never Sleep Again"
My polite laughter to this particular comment was so practiced and rehearsed that, by the end of my pregnancy, I had it down more than I (now) have the choreography to Justin Bieber's "Sorry" video down. Like, it was routine, guys. I got this one a lot.
"Let Me Issue Some Kind Of Warning To You About The Next 18 Years Of Your Life"
Seriously, there is no need to discuss however many hundreds of thousands of dollars kids apparently cost these days. I know that there is plenty of math to be done around the subject, but working it out with strangers just wasn't appealing to me. This is not meant to be a statement about girls and math, as I'm perfectly capable with numbers (thanks for asking), it's more about just not wanting to go there as a veil for small talk because, you know, finances are stressful and why can't you just let me enjoy my pregnancy without thinking too far into the future? Thanks.
"Were You Trying?"
Is there any other circumstance when it's anyone's business what my intentions were when I slept with my partner? I don't meant to sound snarky, but, like, I'm genuinely curious. Maybe couple's therapy? Casual grocery store conversation?
"Do You Have Hemorrhoids?"
Um, do you have hemorrhoids?
"Can I Touch Your Belly?"
Only if I can touch your belly while maintaining steady and intense eye contact. While we're at it, why don't we play some adult contemporary love songs from the eighties and dim the lights?
"What's The Plan For Your Breasts?"
To be fair, this question usually came in the form of, "Are you planning to breastfeed?" Sure, breastfeeding is often on the mind of many pregnant women but, you know, that's still a personal question and you really don't need to know what plans I have for my breasts. I preferred to only discuss my breastfeeding plans with close friends, when it didn't weird me out to picture them nursing, or to picture them picturing me nursing. With anyone else, it just felt weird.
"Let’s Talk About Your Medical Choices And The Political Opinions They Imply"
Hugs to everyone who's loud and proud about their political beliefs. However, I'm just not there. Discussing hospital vs. home birth or medicated vs. unmedicated labors always made me feel like I needed to justify or even revisit my choices, and unless you're a doctor, there's really no reason to put a pregnant lady through that.