10 Things Never To Say To A Pregnant Woman
(Or, more accurately, 10 things to never say to me when I’m pregnant. I'm sure most pregnant women have a better sense of humor than I do. Currently.)
Maybe this time you'll finally get a boy.
I have two daughters. I really like my two daughters. It wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that I am incredibly fond of my two daughters. If I had ten more like them, I’d need to buy Prozac - and tampons - in the handy-dandy economy barrel, but I’d be happy to have ten more daughters. Girls are fantastic. None of that annoying peeing on toilet seats or knocking-up teenage cheerleaders that so many moms of boys have to put up with. However, if I am blessed with a son, I will consider myself, well…blessed. I won’t be thinking, “Finally! Someone who won’t throw like a girl or take the last tampon!” I will think “Oh how blessed I am! A baby! Welcome to the world, little Jennifer!” Because my husband and I stink at coming up with boy names.
Are You Pregnant?!
I don’t know why, but even now that I am obviously with calf, this question just brings out the snark in me. And I never use the word “snark”. But to have a little fun, I always look aghast and first answer, “What do you mean, pregnant?!” I love to see the blood drain from a person’s face. Why should I be the only one feeling faint all the time?
Are You Going To Breastfeed?
This is even worse when someone well-meaningly (but I doubt it) phrases the question as a non-question: “I hope you’re going to breastfeed.”
Did you know that when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was attending the wake of a dearly departed relative, and some Uncle Vinny from New Jersey (who I had never met before, by the way) cornered me near the mint tray and asked point blank what my milk production and delivery intentions were? “So, you gonna breastfeed this kid, or what? Cuz if you don’t breastfeed, he’ll resent ya ferevah.” There’s just no good answer to this question that doesn’t follow-up with an approving nod or a disapproving shoulder-tightening. And I’m not even talking about the lectures that follow if you say you aren‘t going to breastfeed. Oy. The lectures. From both sides. How to breastfeed, how not to breastfeed, how often to breastfeed, how long to breastfed. If you plan to breastfeed and the person asking is a mom who didn’t breastfeed, you possibly risk stirring-up the non-breastfeeding mom’s (erroneous, I say) feelings of feminine inadequacy, or her anger over her husband's not wanting her to breastfeed so that he could have his twin-fatty-deposit playground back sooner, or her frustration with the La Leche friend who gift-wrapped a stack of nursing pads with "Formula is for Losers" pamphlets, and then the poor woman feels the need to explain herself, and sister, I swear, however you feed your child, it’s all good to me. By a year old, they are all eating Pez and drinking Kool-aid, so what’s the difference. Go worry about, I don’t know…Bin Laden. Where is that guy, anyway?
Yeah, yeah, and I know the differences between breastfeeding and bottle feeding and formula feeding and putting rice cereal in the bottle, etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum. It’s just not worth screwing with someone’s head. That’s what pregnancy books are for.
So don’t ask me about breastfeeding. If my boobs and milk production were up for discussion, believe me, I’d rent a billboard over I-83 with a picture of me wearing nothing but my black-and-white spotted cowhide underwear. (That’s good for another 1,000 Google hits.)
By the way, I told Uncle Vinny that I was only going to breastfeed if it was a boy, because I was raisin’ me a tit man. He seemed satisfied with that.
No really, are you going to breastfeed?
Really. Shut up.
Wow! You’re really showing now!
Not technically a question, but okay…what is my response to that? And did you think about just how many times a day someone says this to a pregnant woman? It’s like at the bookstore when a book doesn’t scan on the register after the first, second, third swipe, and Mr. Don Rickles thinks it’s a real original gas to say, “Hey! I guess it’s free! Wink, wink, can I get a Ba-dum-bum, thank you, I’ll be here all week."
I’ve heard it. And all I can do is smile and nod and say, “Gee whiz. That’s a gas.” Because saying anything else will get me fired and/or stricken from my mother’s will. So yeah, I know, I’m really showing now. However, there’s more to me than my expanding uterus. Say? How about that Bin Laden guy?
Can I Touch Your Stomach?
a) my first or second daughter
b) my fetus
c) my midwife
d) my husband
e) George Clooney
f) none of the above
If you’ve answered f), then no, you probably can’t touch my stomach. I mean, you can, but you may not. But thanks for asking.
Truthfully, I will often let someone other than George Clooney touch my stomach if he or she promises not to ask every time they see me. Or if they promise to give me their plate of chocolate cheesecake.
But an absolute stranger or anyone who continually adjusts their crotch?
But again, thanks for asking. I mean it.
Whoa! You look a lot bigger than just five months!
What exact data are you basing this upon? Are you basing it on the fact that pre-pregnancy I weighed about as much as a wet, anxiety-prone greyhound (and not the bus type) and so putting even an 8 ounce body plus a helping of amniotic fluid inside my gut means that my intestines and other digestive organs have nowhere else to go but up and out? Did you know that I moseyed up and down the pregnancy hill twice before and currently have no abdominal muscles to speak of, nor did I have the money for Angeline Jolie’s personal trainer in the interim? Are you looking for a slap?
Then why is your butt so big?
Okay…touché, mon ami. And right back attchya.
You’re STILL pregnant?
Really. Shut up.
What are you going to name the baby?
Atticus Finch if it’s a girl. Che if it’s a boy.