I had a feeling my daughter was going to be big. In addition to having gestational diabetes (so much fun), I was "measuring big" at all my appointments. I was just shy of 10 pounds when I was born, so there was clearly something to be said for genetics. So I was prepared, and when my little girl was born two weeks early she did not disappoint: nine pounds, two ounces, and just perfect. Then came the comments — things no one should say to a mom who gave birth to a big baby.
I have thick skin. In fact, it's very hard to hurt my feelings and, if I'm being 100 percent honest, no one did. So my feelings were spared because of my thick skin (if I think you're a jerk I can write off your words as completely meaningless, because you don't know what you're talking about and/or your opinion doesn't matter to me). But when people I loved were being a bit uncouth, I had a good enough relationship with most of them to be able to know what they actually meant.
And that's the thing: I don't think most people want to be hurtful or rude and they don't see their comments as being that way. But a lot of the things I heard, mostly from people who had no intention of being hurtful, could easily upset other people, and not unreasonably. Things like, for example, the following:
"C-Section Or Natural?"
How about... it's none of your business and if we want to talk about it we'll tell you?
Look, can you get away with this with minimal emotional damage or offense? Probably. But it can be a touchy topic for new moms, so why risk it? And seriously, why do you need to know? You're asking someone to reveal intimate details about their body and it can feel unnecessarily invasive. And does it matter at all whether the baby left through the gift shop or went through the emergency exit? It makes no difference so what does it matter whether or not you know?
"Did You Tear?"
This is really what someone is getting at when they ask "C-section or natural?" They want to know if your vagina got busted up, which is a creepy thing to ask.
Again, if we want you to know we will tell you. Otherwise just resign yourself to the fact that our giving birth has not entitled you to intimate knowledge about our bodies. You probably didn't know anything about our vaginas before we gave birth, so it's going to be OK if you don't know anything afterwards.
Literally any version of birth is ouch. Like, yeah, delivering a 10-pound baby is going to hurt. You know what else hurts? Delivering a 3-pound baby. Come on now.
"Oh You Poor Thing!"
I'm going to assume that most people saying this are just trying to be sympathetic. But here's the thing with sympathy: the "sym" part of "sympathy" means "together" or "with." In other words, unless you know how the other person feels about their delivery, you cannot be sympathetic. If they haven't told you it was a crappy experience, then "oh you poor thing" is projecting. And, speaking from my own experience, people projecting a bad experience onto what was actually a great experience is sort of depressing. Because it takes away from my excitement and puts me in a position to feel like I have to convince the other person that it was, in fact, genuinely wonderful.
So if someone says, "Oh yeah, I had a 10-pound baby via vaginal delivery and it was a really difficult birth that left me in a lot of pain!" then, "Oh, you poor thing!" is a fine response. But wait for your cue.
"Your Poor Partner"
Ummm... excuse me, what? And if anyone ever says this to you, I urge you say exactly that: "Excuse me, what?" Because then they will have to confront the fact, in front of you, that what they meant was that they think that not only is your vagina somehow ruined now but that the main issue that comes from that assumed "damage" is that your partner will be less sexually satisfied and OMG WHAT?!
"What Did You Eat?!"
Like, OK, whatever, you're trying to be cute and funny or whatever, but implying that mom somehow did something extraordinarily weird to make this big baby is one of those potentially touchy subjects. Especially when you're dealing with a hormonal, postpartum person who maybe had a rough birth.
"You Should Have Eaten Healthier"
This is like, "What did you eat?" plus the addition of unmistakable (probably misplaced) judgment.
Dude. Some babies are just big. It's not a question of healthy or not healthy or anything that mom did or didn't do. I ate super healthy during my pregnancy, only gained about 15 pounds, and still popped out a 9+ pounder.
And OK, let's play the game where my baby was huge because I was pounding down milkshakes with every meal: it's done. What does it matter at this point? And would the milkshakes have been OK by you if the baby had been 7-pounds? Like, slow your roll and shut up.
"Did You Have Gestational Diabetes?"
Guys. What do I have to do to make you get it? A complicated cheer routine?
*claps and stomps*
*shakes pom-poms enthusiastically*
(Seriously. None of your business. Stop.)
Compare Babies In A Weird/Smug Way
"Oh wow! My baby was 7-pounds, 2-ounces. The doctor told me that was literally the perfect weight. I only ate kale, beans, and wheatberries during my pregnancy, so that's probably it."
"Don't Worry, They'll Thin Out"
I'm not worried and I honestly don't give a f*ck whether or not they "thin out." Why should I? They have the body they have and I'll take care of that body and give it good things to eat and it will do what it does and what it looks like doesn't matter in the slightest. This is an infant and you're already involving them in toxic weight-loss culture. That's creepy AF. Stop it.
That this even needs to be said is sad as hell, but here we are. So seriously, don't get weird about the baby's size. It's a baby. Let the baby live its little baby life without a creepy cloud of concern-trolling hanging over them. Just enjoy the fact that there's more of them to snuggle.