What You Have To Deal With When You Start Showing

Thanks to the oversized clothing trend and the help of strategically placed bags, it is easy to hide a bump until you're really ready to reveal it (and your news). However, once there's no denying that pregnant belly and you can't hide it under a big button-down shirt, it's time for your body to make an announcement (even if you're not quite ready to make a verbal one). And who is to blame you for your hesitancy? There are a ton of infuriating questions people will ask after you start showing, and a lot of these questions will invade your privacy, feel more than intimate, and sometimes make your skin crawl.

I remember feeling relieved to finally be able to show my bump with my first pregnancy, because prior to having a "real" bump I felt like I looked like I was just carrying around a deflated tire in my middle. Not cute. As soon as the bump was there, I started dressing in form-fitting shirts that basically acted as neon signs that flashed the word "Pregnant" around my belly. However, and soon after, my relief was overshadowed by annoyance, because of all the questions people started throwing my way. My bump announced to the world that I was a conversation piece, open for any and all discussion about the intimate details of my pregnancy, my growing fetus, my future birth and breastfeeding plans, you name it.

Honestly, the intimate questions and unsolicited inquiries made me wish I could have walked around in a tent, Then again, that would probably have drawn even more attention, so (as "they" like to say), "It is what it is, my friends." At least we can all commiserate together, right?

"Wow! How Did This Happen?"

So, here's how it usually goes down: you walk into one of your usual places, like the dog run or your favorite coffee shop, and at this point in your pregnancy there is no hiding that bump anymore. It is very much there, and that morning you've decided to stop hiding it underneath oversize shirts and cleverly placed layers. But a part of you was like, "I'm sure people kind of know already, right?" Yeah, they didn't know.

Suddenly your friend with the Cockapoo or your favorite barista is all, "Whoa! How did that happen?" pointing to your belly. You'll probably want to be like, "Really? Do I need to give you a birds-and-the-bees talk right now?"

"How Long Have You Known?"

This is not NASA-style top secret stuff we're talking about. It is not like it took a team of scientists to unearth "the truth" about your pregnancy. In fact, you had been taking a pregnancy test since the second day of your kind-of-scheduled period, and that's when you knew. The question really being asked here (and it usually comes from third-tier friends trying to gage where they stand in the friendship hierarchy) is how long you have known without telling them. Hey, way to make it about you, Buddy.

"Were You Planning On Keeping It A Secret Longer?"

When someone asked me this question, I read it as them wanting to know that if they hadn't seen me that day, and if I hadn't been "caught" with my bump on show, would I have told them my big news? Again, this seems to be a "gotcha" moment for some people looking to test the friendship barometer. They're trying to see if you would have told them on your own terms that you are expecting, or if the only reason they now know you're pregnant is because they saw you with your bump out. Would a good old-fashioned "I'm so happy for you" be so damn hard?

"So When Are You Going To Find Out Gender?"

For both of my pregnancies, my husband and I chose to wait until our babies were born to find out their genders. This was torture for me, but it meant a lot to my husband that we wait, so I gave him his wish because I'm a saint like that.

Still, everyone from my building's super, to the wonderful lady who makes my fried egg sandwich at the deli downstairs, to the guy at the pet store where we buy our dog food, was itching to know if and when we were going to find out the sex of our baby.Each time I had to have this long conversation about how we were not going to find out, and how I wanted to find out, but my husband didn't and then I would have to listen to everyone's opinions on that situation. Really, I just should have said, "This is what we are doing, isn't that special, see you later bye!"

"Have You Started To Think About A Birth Plan?"

Any time someone asked me this, I would have liked to have responded, "Yes, I have given it a ton of thought and I absolutely plan to give birth to a baby." Ah, hindsight.

"Do You Think You're Going To Breastfeed?"

It was so delightful when people with whom I had previously never had conversations more intimate than, "Ugh. That's some storm out there," in my building's elevator suddenly wanted to engage in a discussion about my possible future lactating breasts. Why do people think that this is OK? It is not OK!

"Is It Hard Finding Cute Things To Wear?"

Sometimes I would meet up with a friend who had never been pregnant before, and she would go all wide-eyed and squeal over my new belly and say something about how weird it is seeing me as a pregnant person. Honestly, I get that, because it was weird for me to see me as a pregnant person too.

That morning, I would have gotten dressed thinking that the tight, curve-hugging blouse I had chosen to swath my bump in had been a maternity fashion "do." But my friend would at one point during our hangout look at me in something resembling pity and say, "Is it hard finding cute things to wear?" which I couldn't help but feel a sting after, because it sounded like the subtext was, "What you are wearing is definitely not cute, IMO."

"Does It Feel Weird Being Pregnant?"

No, not at all. I feel perfectly normal about the fact that I feel like I have to puke every half hour and when I go to vomit nothing comes up but bile. It is easy as pie to feel my hips stretching the entire night as if being pulled apart from an outside force, except it is coming from inside my body. Business as usual. Nothing to see here!

"Did You Buy That Thing?"

Then there's that well-meaning friend without a kid, or relative who had kids like 30 years ago, who wants to know if you bought that thing she heard about on QVC, or read about in US Weekly. She wants to know if you heard or read about this "must have baby item," too, and, if you have, whether you are going to order it immediately because she also heard that Kim Kardashian uses it and swears by it for her babies. If it is good enough for her kids, it must be something you need to get for your baby. It must be.

Let's ignore the fact that you're still months away from actually having this baby, considering the fact that you only just started showing, and have a long road ahead before you start racing to buy crap you don't need for the baby that isn't here yet.