I’ve been pregnant once so far in my life, and contrary to popular opinion, I much preferred the latter parts of pregnancy when the end was in sight and when I could feel the baby kicking and hiccuping on a regular basis. I also liked it better since I was squarely fitting into maternity clothes, and not having to figure out some sort of in-between option like I’d needed during the early parts of my pregnancy when neither my regular nor my maternity clothes were fitting properly.
That said, not everything about the third trimester is awesome. It’s a pain in the ass to not be able to bend over, or walk more than a few steps without getting winded, or need to use the bathroom every thirty minutes. But my least favorite part? It was definitely the way that being visibly pregnant invited commentary from pretty much everyone around me. It was like wearing a sign advertising exactly what I was thinking about at all times, inviting anyone and everyone to tell me what they felt about my own personal business and to ask about my medical choices. For these reasons, unless she is one of my nearest and dearest friends with whom I can talk about anything, I typically let any pregnant ladies steer the conversation, so I don’t let one of the following accidentally slip. Because nobody needs to hear any of these things, ever.
"Are You Scared?"
OK, maybe other women are more tolerant of this question, but I felt like it was often asked of me during conversations that should have stayed in the safe, small-talk zone. In other words, it didn’t come up at times when I felt like I could grab the other person’s arm and say, in confidence, “YES OMG I AM TERRIFIED.” Rather, I had to smile and keep things polite and say something to make them feel comfortable, like “Yes, but millions of women have babies every year, right? I’m hoping for the best.” But deep down I wanted to shout, “WHY DID YOU BRING THIS UP?”
"You’d Think Modern Medicine Would Be More Advanced, But I Know Someone Who Almost Died During Labor…"
True story, I actually heard this one during my eighth month of pregnancy. No matter what the circumstances, it’s not necessary to go there. I can’t think of any reason why this type of thing needs to come up during what’s otherwise polite conversation.
"You Better Sleep Now — While You Can!"
Anyone who ever says this to a very pregnant woman either has never been pregnant, or has had some sort of memory loss about what the realities of the third trimester are like.
"You Look Ready To Pop!"
What is it about pregnancy that invites strangers to comment on your body? Are there any other circumstances that invite such random observations?
"Whoa — Are You Having Twins??"
"Breastfeeding Can Be So Hard. Get Ready For That."
You know what else is hard? Being polite when people say invasive, doom-and-gloom things to me.
Anything That Implies Assumptions About Our Medical Choices
I happen to think that my partner and I are making the best decisions for our child, but I’m so glad to know you care about it too, random stranger.
Images: NBC; Giphy(7)