I remember being pregnant for the first time… The anticipation, the joy… the hemorrhoids… Just kidding. Or am I. But even if I had had hemorrhoids, hypothetically speaking, they would not be as annoying as all the weirdass attention you get as a pregnant lady. I liked it at first, up until about twenty eight weeks, and then I thought it was amusing in that really annoying way, and then around thirty three weeks, I had just had enough. Somewhere between twenty eight and thirty three, I decided I just had to document the dumb things people used to say to me, because after dealing with it for weeks upon weeks, my patience AND my temper were becoming inversely proportional to my belly, and I decided my experience had to be carried on into infinity on the internet.
Let’s start with the basics, shall we. We’ll start with the plain old, “when are you due?” It’s harmless by itself. But try answering that same question 10 times a day! July 6th. July 6th. July 6th. Then, I started trying to change it up: A few weeks. Pretty soon. Not soon enough. Ha Ha. Then I tried to ignore the question altogether, but they’d usually repeat it, and I can’t be rude, so I start over. July 6th. July 6th. I should have just had a Tshirt or a plaque made and wear it! Then, I could have just pointed to it, like for any questions, refer here.
“When are you due” is okay, I can handle it. But sometimes, after it, comes some other brilliant comment. Usually, it’s “Oh, my god! That’s soon!” or “Wow, that’s coming up!”
This is when I’d cock my head like a cat and look at the person blankly. Like, really?! Really?? Is it??? Is it soon?! I haven’t REALIZED! That bowling ball in my pelvis (ok, it was candlepin, but still) has really given me no clue that the due date IS COMING UP! I usually chuckled politely and rolled my eyes after the person turned around in my usual passive aggressive manner. If I was feeling really irritable, I’d stick my tongue out.
That’s the most standard conversation.
But here are some others:
“Do you know what you’re having?” (again, should have had a t shirt made)
“Do you have a name?” Not yet! “How about…. (insert suggestions here)” Like, thanks! I haven’t been able to pick one, but YOURS are immediately AWESOME! (I’m adding “name” or “lack of name” to the things I’m going to put on the t-shirt I’m ordering made on Etsy later)
(looking me up and down) “It’s gonna be soon. You’ve got the look.” The thing you’re thinking is “the look” is actually MY “look” of death I’m giving you for talking to me right now.
“How are you feeling?” this is a normal question, and I appreciated it, and I stupidly usually answered honestly, “Gosh, I’m real tired.” Explain, why do people feel compelled to answer with things like: “OH, you think you’re tired now, just wait!” OR! “You’ll eventually be saying, it was easier to take care of this baby when he was inside, at least he was quiet!” Why is that helpful?!
Okay, those are still pretty standard.
How about this:
dude in the elevator: “Woah, SOMEONE’s having a baby!”
patient: ” Follow up in 6 months? You won’t be here though, you’re having a baby, you’re not gonna work after cause who’s gonna stay with the baby?” (welcome to the 1980s, dude)
nurse: “WOOOA, you really blossomed!” or “WOOOOA, you look ready to pop!” (What? I’ve got “the look” again, don’t I. Tsk, I knew it, that darn “look.” And may I just add that “popping” conjures up all sorts of unpleasant imagery, not the lease of which is the John Hurt scene from Alien)
attending: “That is NOT a maternity shirt. That is just a fat shirt that doesn’t fit you.” It’s dress, actually. When I was not pregnant, I wore this as a dress, and now it’s a shirt, and nothing else fits, and it’s yellow, and I’m a beach ball, so why don’t we go ahead and leave me alone!
another attending: “where are you going?” To pee. “Oh. I guess, as you’re an expecting mum, we’ll allow it.” >stunned silence< Thank you? I think I may have said, “Well, I could just urinate on your shoes. Or maybe you’d like to Foley catheterize me?” But I think I may have said that in my head. Or I hope I did, otherwise, it’s a wonder I ever got a job after graduating that place.
Bob the scope washer just plain made huffing Lamaze noises at me as I was walking down the hall once. I mean, seriously!? Really?? Huffing noises? I got the look that time for sure, and if my look of death was even a little bit effective, Bob would have been dead three times over. He must have felt it, too, because he immediately blubbered, “You must be so excited.”
Which is another great one. “You must be SO excited!” No. I’m actually pretty pissed. Like, wtf? “Is your husband excited?” No, he’s disappointed. Like I would tell you, stranger in elevator, if my husband wasn’t excited. What is this, therapy?!
(looking at my bosom) “Do you plan to breastfeed?”
(looking at it again)
This is when I’d say, “What, have you seen my boobs? Of course I plan to breastfeed! Look at’em, they’re huge! Look! They better be good for something!”
Then, people get uncomfortable. Serves them right. Ask a dumb question, you might get either a dumb answer or a really smartass answer, if you’re dealing with the likes of me.
Another thing I’m putting on that t-shirt: YES, I will breast feed, please take a look at these breasts, they were made for breastfeeding. Thanks for asking.
So, one time, I was complaining about all this to a friend, and he told me to chill. He said that people can’t help their comments. Because I’m a walking advertisement for pregnancy.
Which, I think, is just a more flattering way of saying I’m a Show Cow. And you know me, I love attention, I am a Libra after all, but here’s a situation where I felt like everyone was looking at me, and I wished they would stop… Thank god for white coats… Anyway, if I was a walking advertisement, I was not a very good one, because I had pretty sour look on my face those days, I’m pretty sure, if you could even get past the sheen of sweat I had covering my skin most of the time.
Unfortunately, after I delivered, to my great chagrin, it turned out that it doesn’t stop with pregnant women; it also extends to women with babies.
Here is just a small example.
Just a few weeks post partum, I was relaxing with Munchkin by the pool. A lady comes over. I don’t know this lady, I’ve never spoken to this lady, I don’t even know which unit she lives in. She starts out innocently enough, “I just had to come over and see your baby! Oh he is so precious.”
“Thank you, I think so too.”
Then she goes right for the money: “Did you have a C section?” Which, you know, is already a little odd. I suppose it’s a question like any other. But for some raeson, did you have a gallbladder surgery? That doesn’t sound like prying. Did you have a c section? That really kind of does. Why is that ok to ask? Would anyone ever think of asking, “Did you have a vaginal birth?” I think people would cringe. But asking about c-section is coolio, apparently.
Her: “Did you have a C section?”
Me: (stunned) yes…
Her: I knew it! His head is so nice and perfect. C section babies always have nice heads.
Me: But not a very nice experience for mommy.
Her: Yeah, but you know… Think of all the trauma of getting pushed out through the birth canal…
(here I’m thinking, she’s going to start discussing the integrity of my vagina, and I can’t believe it’s gonna come out of this middle aged lady’s mouth, but instead she says…)
Her: Their heads get all mushed. There’s gotta be some effect on the brain.
Her: That’s why I think C section babies are SMARTER than REGULAR babies.
Her: (walking away) And remember: Your baby is smarter than other babies.
Did you get that? Regular normal vaginal births cause you to be dumb, or at least not as smart as being whacked out of mom with a scalpel. So, sorry, most of the population born through normal vaginal delivery. I have a baby genius here because his brain wasn’t damaged during my major surgery. You’re all just going to have to deal with it.
The saddest thing, though, I don’t think she actually thought that. I think what she actually thought is that I was a failure as a mother for taking the easy way out, and she was trying to make me feel better about said failure. She probably actually believes that the only true way to have a baby is in a pool with a dolphin and a lotus flower. And I was a failure for not attaining that goal. That’s what I think. It might be conjecture.
Anyway, it only continues, pregnant ladies. Beware.