Things get weird when people start having conversations with your pregnant belly. Sometimes people will have whole interactions with your belly and forget to even greet you, like you as a person, and not as a carrier-of-child like a character in The Handmaid's Tale. Worst off, the simple act of sporting a bump seems to ignite a burning desire in people to say some stunningly crazy things. In fact, the creepy things people feel fine saying to pregnancy bellies are things I would love, and I mean love, to forget.
When this happened to me during my two pregnancies, I was forced into playing the part of "seer," like Whoopi Goldberg in the movie Ghost. Which meant that for every part of the conversation where the baby was expected to be talking back, I found myself speaking on behalf of my baby or in my baby's "voice" just so that the other person wouldn't think that my baby was being rude. "He's feeling a bit shy today," I'd say, by way of explanation as to why my fetus son wasn't saying hello.
Other times I had entire conversations where I remained a silent observer, but my "baby" had plenty of things to say about how he had slept the night before, how much he enjoyed kicking his mom that morning, and how he smiled for the camera at his mom's doctor's appointment. This is how far I will go to please people. Even strangers. Inside, however, I am slowly dying. The people talking to my belly, on the other hand, had no idea how I was feeling because they kept right on saying creepy things to my belly, including the following:
"Ooh, I Want To Touch It!"
If by "it" you mean this actual part of my body, then ew. Please don't. There is just no way the saying you want to touch me doesn't make me think of the neighborhood child molester asking if he can play with my hair. So please don't say that to me or my belly, which is still part of me FYI. I am not a sideshow act here for your amusement, either. Keep your hands at your sides, or maybe rephrase that into a question so you can get my consent first?
Don't get me wrong, I understand the appeal. When I see a protruding pregnant belly it's like there are a dozen neon signs pointing at it that say "touch!" and "feel!" and "warm!" A pregnant belly holds the ultimate treasure inside, but it also belongs to a human being.
"Why Hello In There!"
So, um, my baby can't hear you. OK maybe they can, but at this point in time it's all a bunch of weird muffled sounds and ambient noise to them. They certainly aren't processing your hearty greeting (or stank morning coffee breath) and if you're waiting for a "hello" back, I'm sorry to tell you that it's going to be a while. Most likely way over a year from now.
Oh hell no. Did you actually just treat my pregnant belly like a door that you're hoping to open? You do remember where many babies come out of, don't you? (If not, let me tell you, you should knock a little lower. Lower still. Like real lower.) This is so creepy, Random Person On Line at the ATM.
"Don't You Come Out Yet! You Need To Wait Until You're Fully Cooked!"
Where do I begin with this one? There is just so much that is wrong with this to unpack. OK, let's start with you ordering around the child in my pregnant belly. Unless you're their other parent I don't think you have any right to tell them what to do.
Also, I know people are wild about that "bun in the oven" expression, but you've taken the metaphor a bit too far. I don't want my baby to be "cooked," because that image gives me nightmares and I am having trouble sleeping as it is. I want my baby to be healthy, or at least able to thrive on their own outside of the womb. It may seem like I am asking a lot of the world right now when it comes to how they approach me and talk to me (and my belly for that matter) but I'm pretty emotional what with this surge of hormones and having been up all night from getting kicked in my bladder.
"Come & Play With Us! We Want To Meet You!"
What are you, the twins from The Shining?
People used to say this to my pregnant belly as my baby were some shy puppy just home from the pound, hiding in his little doggy crate. My belly is not a crate. My baby is not a dog.
Here, I will break it down for you: I am a human being and inside of me is another soon-to-be human being who requires a very specific amount of time in order to be able to face life outside of my uterus. He is not being coy and I am not going to whisper to him encouraging words to get out of my belly and that it's OK to go play with the creepy twins in the headbands who want him to be with them forever, and ever, and ever. So. Creepy.
"You Must Be A [Insert Offensive Size Comment Here] Baby!"
No matter what specific word a person landed on to describe the size of the baby inside my belly, I always overthought it. If a person said that my baby must be "big!" because my belly was big, then I just walked around all day thinking the words, "Big, big, I'm so big, I'm a big pregnant girl."
If someone told my belly that it was carrying a small baby inside of it (because of course size is completely subjective), I would walk around worried that something must be wrong with my baby and it's growth. As with any discussion of people's bodies and their sizes, you cannot win. It never felt good when people made comments about my baby's (and, by proxy, my belly's) size.
"Can You Give Me A Little Kick?"
(Cackles to self). "I'm sure that can be arranged."