So you are pregnant: congratulations! Aside from the sickness, the tiredness and the inability to paint your toenails, being pregnant is a very special time. I personally love it – apart, of course – from all the thinly veiled insults which apparently must be directed at me or my bump.
Naturally when we hear the following – multiple times – we smile, nod and laugh – because WE are polite. But really, what is this need to ply us with nonsense advice and fat comments? Can they not just back off and leave us to our swollen ankles and excitement?
I’m not saying a bit of pregnancy related fuss isn’t nice at times, so long as it’s the right kind. For example – telling me I glow while fixing me a hot drink is welcome, saying any of the following however – not so much.
1. Labour really hurts you know.
Err yes I was vaguely aware, thanks. It’s kind of common knowledge that the delivery of a whole human from my vagina or stomach is going to smart a bit. And unsurprisingly, I’m already slightly apprehensive at the thought of what’s ahead: what kind of hand Mother Nature will deal me, how long it will all take and if the hospital holds enough drugs, so I really don’t need to hear any extra details from you. Be it tearing, massive heads, agonising contractions – just stop it – please. Oh, and the reason I’ve refrained from rudely covering my ears and singing ‘la la la la la’ as you prattle on is because I’m distracted by the mental image of punching you in the face.
2. Are you sure there’s just one in there?
Oh that’s funny, that’s really so funny. Are you free for wedding speeches, too? You really are a blast, and SO original with it. Yes I’m big, I’m HAVING A BABY! Just one, but I’ll be sure to mention your expert concerns next time I see my midwife. And FYI, no it isn’t all cake, yes I do happen to like biscuits and no I’m not eating for two – just for me thanks. Now pass me the crisps and scram before I squash you.
3. Should you be eating / drinking that?
No – consuming this is without doubt going to cause the end of the whole world, cheers! Thanks for the concern but I’m not a total loser, I’ve checked what I can eat and drink and yes I include water, vegetables and meat in my diet, but also NEED a full fat Pepsi to get through my day and happen to enjoy the occasional Mcdonalds. This is OK… we’re OK… I’m OK. You however – are interfering. So unless you see a pregnant woman tucking into an actual mooing cow, it’s a pretty safe bet she knows what she’s doing and does not require your dietary guidance.
4. Your bump is tiny compared to the average.
Average what? Cabbage… Pumpkin? And how the hell would you know, unless you’re at me with a tape measure? This is just as offensive, if not more so as telling me how enormous I am, being both patronising (yes I am eating enough) and possibly anxiety-inducing (is my baby too small? Are things OK?). If in doubt on what to say about a pregnant woman’s appearance – just something nice will do it, or nothing – it really isn’t that hard.
5. Will you be breastfeeding?
If I say yes do I get a shiny badge? And after we’ve finished discussing my boobs, can we talk about yours? Besides the fact that this potentially judgmental question is nobody else’s business, even if someone plans to breastfeed they can never actually say for sure until the baby is here and they are doing it. And if they’ve decided not to, they have no obligation to discuss it with anyone. So noses out and away please, strangers.
6. Have you had that baby yet?
Yep, I had him last week, didn’t I mention it? I appreciate you getting in touch as I sit wallowing in my chocolate stained leisurewear, I really do. But I need distraction, not a reminder that I STILL haven’t given birth. I promise we won’t keep the baby a secret, just give me a chance to deliver and maybe get stitched up and I’ll be right on it, I swear.
7. Are you sure you should be out?
Look, I know I appear to be an actual whale, and that I can barely waddle let alone walk, but it’s a free country and I could really do without being chained to my bed reading the above ‘any news yet?’ texts. So I’m hauling my big ass and achey bump out and about and if you carry on making a fuss I’ll freak you right out by pretending to go into labour – I might even wee on the floor for good measure.
8. You’re not ill – you’re pregnant.
Well you don’t say, thanks for that, Doc. (Note, I am not talking about Doctors who say this – I assume they don’t – I hope they don’t!). Firstly, right now I am a bit ill, actually, would you like me to sneeze on you? Anyway, pregnancy completely alters your body, muscles and organs and there are too many pregnancy related conditions to even list. But if I have severe pelvic or hip pain, or a painful water infection, or complications which require rest and monitoring – then I am ill AND pregnant. So do have a bit of empathy and stop pissing me off.
9. Do you want a boy or a girl?
Err, I can’t choose you know. And why would you ask – could you help me out with my potential preference? Imagine I told you I was desperate for a boy but we were having a girl? Awkward! We chose to have a child, not a boy or a girl and it’s trotted out all the time because it’s true and people KEEP ASKING THE SAME, STUPID QUESTION, but here it is again: we just want it to be healthy. Oh and while we’re at it, ‘one of each’ isn’t ‘the best,’ and the position of my bump or the moon bears zero relevance to the sex of my baby. (Yes Mum, I’m talking to you, but I’ll let you off… for now.)
10. Anything about things being ‘Harder in your day’
You know what, I am very sure it was, and yes I have lots of help, information and equipment that wasn’t available 40 years ago. I realise you gave birth down the coal mine, didn’t have a car, walked for miles to just see another face and as there was no formula you had to literally milk a cow – I get it. But the thing is – it’s not your day now – it’s mine and I thankfully have no use for a lactating animal so I guess I’ll just stick to Asda if needs be, thanks.
If this makes me sound rude and grumpy then I apologise – can I blame being pregnant? 😉
Are there any questions or comments you found annoying during pregnancy? Leave a comment below or feel free to join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram