Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pregnancy conversations

People always are asking me, "How are you feeling?" This question usually is accompanied by a silly grin and a head tilt. Sometimes a belly rub or pat -- on their body, not mine, thankfully -- is added for emphasis. Just in case I've forgotten I'm pregnant, I suppose.

I never know how to answer this question. I think people expect me to complain a little -- Oh! the nausea -- or maybe just gush a little about baby kicks. But really, I'm a boring pregnant lady. My complaints are slight, a little bit of nausea early on and touch of heartburn now, or fall into the category of too much information. Coworkers don't need to hear about my pelvis starting to stretch out. As for gushing, again, I feel that's too much information. Do people really need to know The Lad karate chops my intestines? So, I usually just smile and say, "Good, great," and get skeptical looks in response, as if I couldn't possibly be telling the truth.

Everyone is an expert about pregnancy except the woman who's pregnant.

One of the things I both love and hate about pregnancy is the extra attention it brings. People are so nice to you, and that's lovely. A baby bump makes everyone chivalrous. People open doors and offer to carry things and ask how you are, and that is just pleasant. Kids and baby bellies are instant conversation starters, and I've had many pleasant chats with complete strangers about kids and parenthood. But people also ask intrusive questions and offer information and advice you don't want.

Every week at the grocery store, the cashier asks me how far along I am. That's nice. But last week, she proceeded to tell me her entire history of infertility. That was just awkward.

When I was pregnant with The Boy, coworkers found me a little basket to prop my feet up on under my desk. That was kind. But one morning, when I was drinking half a cup of coffee, the business editor gave me a 10-minute lecture about the evils of caffeine for fetuses. That was unnecessary -- and nearly resulted in a beating.

And don't even get me started on the belly-patting and weight-gain questions.

What's the weirdest question, advice or comment you've gotten while pregnant?


Michelle said...

I had an older gentleman tell me (when I was days away from giving birth) that he thought I had an easy pregnancy. I smiled and nodded but what I really wanted to say was "Dude, I threw up almost daily for 7 months. I was so sick the doctor kept asking me if I thought I was having twins. I asked God to take me one night. Does that seem easy to you?"

k said...

I think the rudest was "I can tell you're pregnant--it's definitely showing in your face." wtf, mate? I wanted to kick her in the neck.

It is a double-edged sword of genuine happiness combined with subtle, invasive questions.

If you're not expecting a pat answer of "I feel great, thanks!" then don't be suprised if I tell you that the iron in my prenatal vitamin makes my poo a black and that my interest in sex is starting to wane.

So there. Nyah!

Gerbicks said...

sleep now before the baby comes. (you know, stock up on sleep, like that's possible.)

or telling me how to not vomit by what to eat or drink or what supplement to take to stop the nausea. as if i was making myself vomit & nauseous on purpose.

i also hated the attention pregnancy brought to me & my personal space. good luck over the next few months, the bigger the belly the more attention & unsolicited advice?

Amanda Strong said...

My favorites are, "Ooh, you're getting big!" To which I reply, "OH MY GOSH..NO...REALLY!?"

My second to this is, "How far along are you?" I respond and then get, "'re tiny!" Which kind of feels the same as what I think "Oh, it must be twins!" feels like... I'm sorry I'm 7 months and not as big as you think I should be. Pregnancy growing. You're doing it wrong.

Kate said...

I haven't gotten anything too horrible - in fact a lot of other moms have gone out of their way to tell me how much weight they gained when they find out I've gained 40 lbs. I find that really nice - a lot of the time some totally skinny woman will say "phsh, I gained 80! you're fine!" which in my fragile emotional state is kind of nice to hear.

However one complete stranger at the playground looked at my (nearly) 2 year old son, then looked at my belly, and said, with a relatively judgmental tone, "well - you and your husband didn't waste any time, did you?" And that seemed kind of ... none of her business.

Also I still find the assumption that I am married to be presumptuous - it seems like no one out here even considers the possibility that a woman would be unmarried and pregnant (the horror!). Just seems weird and insensitive. I haven't worn my ring since the first trimester so it's not like they KNOW I'm married.

Anyway - if that's the worst I get then I'm pretty happy. If someone criticized what I was eating or made the coffee comment I'd totally be with you on the beat-down impulse.