I’ve been asked on many, many occasions to write a post about the most offensive things people have said to me during this pregnancy. Considering I’m officially halfway through it, now seems like a good time to oblige. Keep in mind, this is meant to be funny; if these awesome second trimester hormones have done anything for me, they have allowed me to see this all with a sense of humor more than annoyance. Which is good, because we all know how easily I get annoyed under normal circumstances.
So, here we go. Top 5 most offensive things people have said to me about this pregnancy.
Was it planned?
To be fair, this was the first question I asked my best friend when I found out she was pregnant almost three years ago, so I do understand it is a question that people are curious about. However, I’m letting myself off the hook for that one for a few reasons: 1) She’s my best friend. She might as well be my sister. 2) The news of her pregnancy caught me a bit off guard because she didn’t tell me she was trying (she was), and I thought she would have told me since we’re so close. But, you know, that stuff’s private, so I get it. 3) She was the first person in my close circle of friends to get pregnant, and I was still thinking that pregnancy was something that happened mostly by accident.
However, I’m not letting the people who ask me this off the hook. Mostly because they are people I barely know. People I’ve spoken to maybe five times in my entire life ask me if we were planning this pregnancy. I don’t know if it’s because I used to be so vocal about not wanting children (Which I wasn’t, really, if you read closely. I just wanted people to back off asking me “WHEN” as if it were a given. We knew we wanted kids. We also knew we wanted to wait until we were ready.) or if it’s because, in an age where we know so many people undergoing infertility treatments and trying desperately to get pregnant to no avail, people are genuinely curious if our child was conceived naturally or through other means. Either way, I’m not open to discussing my sex life with acquaintances.
Notice how I still haven’t answered the question. Nor am I going to. Because it’s inappropriate.
Are you sure it’s not twins? OR You don’t even look pregnant!
Yes. I’m sure I’m pregnant, and yes, I’m sure it’s only one. Three ultrasounds later, I think the doctor would have found an empty womb or a second fetus. I’m showing plenty for my body type and this stage of my pregnancy, but I’m not huge. Stop commenting on the size of my body, even if you think it’s a compliment. It’s just creepy. Being surprised that I have a bump every time I walk past a mirror or that my pants won’t button when I reflexively try to button them is hard enough without your commentary. My body rocks and I’m super cute. The end.
[Insert something about girl babies here]
“Tim better get his shotgun ready to chase away the boys.”
“At least the clothes are cuter.”
“Are you ready for the hormones once she’s a teenager?”
“Girls are easier until they grow up.”
I had to lump these all into one, because they’re all equally ridiculous, and they’re all really about the same thing. People honestly don’t know what to say to you when you say you’re having a girl. (I know someone who had a boy and, when she told someone this, they said, “Oh good. You really dodged a bullet there!” You can’t make this stuff up.) Our society prefers boys. We think having a boy is somehow easier, better, more fun.
Let’s be clear: I wanted a girl. Tim wanted a girl. Raising a girl in this political and social climate is not only an awesome responsibility, it’s exciting to think that she will have even more options than I did. Also, Tim and I make a living teaching adolescents. Some of those adolescents are girls. The hormonal adjustments aren’t as bad as you think they were when you lived through them. Also, my Fearless Females are my absolute favorite, so I’m excited about raising an awesome teenager. And, make no mistake about it, she will be awesome.
As for the shotguns, this bothers me for a number of reasons. 1) Guns bother me. 2) It’s not funny. 3) Let’s not sexualize my daughter while she is STILL A FETUS. OR AS AN INFANT. OR AS A CHILD. (And when we talk about dating, make no mistake about it; you are sexualizing my daughter.) 4) We have this strange notion that our daughters should not be allowed to have healthy relationships with partners of their choosing while they are still young enough to learn what makes a good partner. 5) Why are we assuming she’ll be straight?
There are 4 rules for dating our daughter, whenever she is ready to date. They are as follows:
Should you be eating that?
Yes, I should.
That is all.
Unsolicited advice, stories, comments, and touching
(Images via Pinterest – the actual sources are forever lost)
It’s every pregnant woman and new mom’s worst nightmare. Everyone tells you it’ll happen, but no one can prepare you for the onslaught. Or the inanity. Or the stupidity. Or the ignorance.
The worst part is, everyone tells you you’ll get advice, comments, stories, and touching, but they usually tell you right before they, themselves, indulge in the very thing they were just warning you against.
Take the following scene for example:
(Woman touches belly of my pregnant friend without permission.)
Touchy Woman: Oh, isn’t it so annoying that everyone wants to touch you? But you’re so cute!
Again, you can’t make this stuff up.
I have to say, the unsolicited belly-touching (of which I’ve only had two so far, and they were from people whom I love dearly, so it wasn’t that weird) is not as bad as the unsolicited bear-hugging (I’m sore in places I didn’t even know could get sore; please don’t squeeze me. Also, I can smell everything, including the BO you don’t think you have, so please stay away.), arm-rubbing (I’m not a lucky token; rubbing my arm will not rub off some magic fertility luck-dust.), and hair-stroking (I get that it’s fuller and shinier because of the hormones, but I spent a lot of time doing my hair because it is the only part of my body that I have any control over anymore, so please leave it alone. Also, I am not a doll.) that seems to be ubiquitous any time I’m near anyone.
I also have to say the unsolicited touching is much worse for me than the unsolicited advice and stories. I’m a high school teacher. I hear inappropriate and annoying things all day that don’t even phase me anymore, but come anywhere near me and I see flashing red warning signs. I can’t help it. That said, as soon as someone starts giving me the horror-story play-by-play of their birthing experience, I have to cut them off. No one wants to hear that, least of all a terrified first-time mom who has to face the prospect of delivering a baby without any previous comparable experience (because there is no comparable experience). It’s scary enough; don’t make it scarier.
So there you have it – the top 5 eye-roll-inducing things people have said and done over the past 20 weeks. I’m sure the next 20 weeks will bring many, many more (and the 20 years after that will bring even more).
But – and this is a big but – I have been blown away by the generosity, love, and positivity 99.9% of people have shown towards our growing family. The help, support, and great sense of humor you all have provided for us has gone a long way towards making me feel like I’ve been enveloped into an exclusive mommy club that I never knew I wanted to be a part of, but now understand I definitely do. So, before I get too sappy and start crying all over my keyboard (it’s the hormones, I SWEAR!), know that I thank and love each and every one of you (because, if you are reading this, you are probably not one of the culprits of this incredible behavior) for helping me through this in every way.