After bringing three babies into the world, I can confidently proclaim that people lose their filters when they're around pregnant women. In my experience, people say rude, sexist, and super gross things, without even giving it a second thought, at the mere sight of a gestating woman. From my conversations with other moms, I've learned I'm, sadly, not alone. In fact, when I asked moms to share the grossest thing people said to them during their pregnancies, some of the responses were so disgusting I could barely stomach them. And that's saying a lot, because I'm a mom and immune to pretty much all things nasty.
I don't know if it's because people find pregnancy super interesting and want to make conversation, or if it's because people tend to objectify pregnant (and female) bodies in general. Either way, and regardless of any potential reason, the fact that pregnant women have to essentially brace themselves for gross comments is disturbing. As a pregnant woman I was asked super personal questions about my boobs (yes, they were bigger), belly (yes, there's only one baby in there), and even my vagina (no, I am not worried about it. Why are you?). I was also catcalled and even propositioned.
But like I said, I'm not alone. So with that in mind, here are a few of the grossest things people thought were OK to say to other people when they were pregnant. Fair warning, though: you might not want to read on if you're easily grossed out and/or prone to burning the world down, because damn, these are disgusting and enraging on so many levels.
"I was shopping at Home Depot when a female employee touched my belly without permission, and asked if it was my first baby because I looked so young. I was 21 at the time and people often thought I was a teenager. She said I would have to start doing 'tightening exercises' so my (then) husband would still be happy after I gave birth. All I could do was produce nervous laughter and try to ignore her until my transaction was complete and I could waddle away. Who tells a f*cking stranger that they need to tighten their vagina?"
"At an ultrasound appointment, with the probe in my f*cking vagina, the doctor asked if I wanted 'my husband' to be in the room. I said I wasn't married. She said, 'Oh, your boyfriend then?' I informed her that I was queer and single. She gestured at my actual uterus on the ultrasound screen, and said, 'How'd that happen then?' I said something like, 'Well, when a woman and a turkey baster love each other very much....' and the doctor said, 'You know, you really shouldn't get pregnant without supervision.'
I was getting an ultrasound to confirm fetal death during one of my miscarriages. My miscarriages have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I got knocked up using artificial insemination at home, alone in my bathroom except for my dog."
"Two words: daddy stitches. Disgusting."
"When I was 19 and about seven months pregnant with my oldest, I was in a poker league and played regularly. During a break, I was talking with some friends about how my pregnancy was going. Then, some random woman came up and said, 'Oh, you're pregnant? I thought you were just a big girl.'"
"As a lesbian mom, I got asked at least 50 times who the 'father' was. Hint: there is no father. Another common question: 'If it's not weird to ask, how did you get pregnant?' Well, it is weird, and sperm met an egg just like in any other pregnancy. These were people at my job, in public places, and in my family. In a few situations I answered honestly, but in most situations I gave the whole 'sperm and egg' story. I never have and never will allow anyone to say either of my children have a father, however."
"At my work, I had one customer who would always jokingly insinuate that it was his child I was carrying.
'Hey, honey, how’s our kid doing?'
'Um... you mean my child that I conceived with my husband, who grew up with your children, you disgusting, womanizing bastard?'"
"A former department head told me his wife lost their baby because she exercised too much and it 'fell out of her.' He told me not to exercise and to always sit with my legs tightly closed. Then he looked at my crotch to make sure I was doing it at that moment."
"'Well, surely you aren’t going to breastfeed the boy?' When I said I would be breastfeeding my boy/girl twins."
"When I was about 38 weeks along I got a Facebook message from a random stranger asking me if I wanted to get a drink with him and if I was pregnant, because he was 'into that.' Still makes me want to puke."
"A woman at the ice cream shop looked at me and said, 'Don't worry. I looked like you when I was pregnant, too.'"
"When I was pregnant with my first son, my father-in-law kept commenting on my breasts. Had they filled in yet? How much had they grown? How much were they going to grow? Evaluating them, discussing them. Finally, I said, 'Next time you discuss my body parts, I'm going to do the same to you.' He looked embarrassed and didn't talk about my boobs again."
"A coworker of my husband’s told him that he needed to massage my cervix to prepare it for labor. I think she meant my perineum, but seriously: WTF lady?"
"Someone told me that putting spam on your vagina before delivery will help prevent tearing. She saw this on a pregnancy app forum and took it seriously."
"My husband had someone ask him, 'Is she wetter?'"
"Someone told me to poke holes in garlic and stick it up my vagina to 'cure' a Group B Strep positive result."
"From a friend of my husband's: make sure they put in an extra stitch for your husband when they fix you up after birth."
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