I'm currently 21 weeks pregnant with my second, which means it takes about .234 seconds to realize that I am growing another human being inside my body. While the obviousness of my pregnancy has some perks — most notably, people are more inclined to give up their seats during my morning and afternoon commutes — there are also some drawbacks. Mainly, the creepy things people say to my baby bump... and while they completely ignore me.
Hello?! People?! Did I somehow find myself in the possession of Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility, and unknowingly put it on save for my stomach area?! I am a human being still! Choosing to get pregnant and grow a fetus inside my body doesn't mean I'm somehow less than a full, autonomous person who deserves respect and, at the very least, acknowledgment.
Still, people act weird when they're around pregnant people, and even weirder when those pregnant people are obviously "with child." Something about the size of my stomach seems to strip certain individuals of their sense of social decency, and instead of talking to me they direct their questions and comments to my stomach and, sometimes, the fetus growing inside of it.
Well, that doesn't fly with me. And in my experience, the first step in eradicating a problem is highlighting it. So with that in mind, here are some of the horrendously creepy things people have said not to me, but to my baby bump:
"Wow You're Getting Big"
Clearly this is a slight against my entire body, but this particular individual knew that telling a pregnant woman she's slowly turning into a house isn't in keeping with common decency and social etiquette. Apparently, however, directing the comment to a pregnant woman's specific body part is A-OK.
"Don't Be So Hard On Your Mama!"
I don't know about you, but talking to my baby bump as if it's an actual baby — like, a newborn already breathing oxygen and breastfeeding and crying in the middle of the night — is creepy to me. That's a stomach you're talking to, sir. Get your act together.
"You Sure There's Not Two Of You In There?"
Again, if you want to tell me that I look so huge I must be gestating twins, just say it to my face. What are you expecting? Two little imprints of fetus hands pushing against the skin of my stomach to show you that, my goodness, you are, in fact, correct?! Get out of here with that nonsense and direct your inquiries and unnecessary comments to me... an actual person.
"You Should Stop Growing Now!"
One, that's not how this works. You can't will your body to stop doing a thing during pregnancy. Trust me, I've tried.
Two, I want my body to keep growing. If it stops that means something is very, very wrong.
Three, is my taking up space somehow offending you? Is the size of my body impeding you in any way, or making your life exponentially more difficult? Women, including pregnant women, are allowed to take up space, Darla.
"Well, Aren't You Just The Cutest"
Not me, mind you. Just my belly bump. The rest of me is, well, I don't even want to know. This is a person talking to my stomach, so I have a feeling their take on the rest of me isn't going to be all that pleasant.
"You Probably Need Some Lotion, Huh?"
Here we go again, with the passive aggressive comments aimed at a part of my body. Look, dude bro man, if you want to know if I have stretch marks just ask. Or, better yet, keep that question to yourself as it is absolutely none of your business.
"Better Stay Covered Up!"
No one is saying this because they're afraid a certain part of my body is going to get cold. Oh no, this is because the flesh of my protruding stomach is, to them, unsightly.
Yeah, keep that to yourself, dude. And, again, if you have any issue with my stomach or the fetus I'm growing inside of it, just talk to me. The person. The actual living, breathing human being. Because pregnancy doesn't negate the fact that I'm still an individual who is more than capable of holding a conversation with other individuals... even if that conversation is me urging the other party to kick rocks in flip flops.