Friday, November 26, 2010

Verbal Diarrhoea

I’m 22 weeks pregnant. I’m within a normal BMI and I haven’t put on any weight during this pregnancy. I’m showing a little more these last few weeks, but generally I don’t appear overtly pregnant. If you met me for the first time today you would probably not realise I was pregnant, or you might think I’m in the first trimester. I guess I say this just to put my experience into some kind of context.

I’ve known a few women who’ve been pregnant, although to be honest, not that many. While several of my friends have children, only one was pregnant during our friendship, the others had children when I met them. Likewise a couple of women I’ve worked with have been pregnant; however I wasn’t particularly close to any of them. So honestly I didn’t put a lot of stock in the stories I heard about inappropriate comments, intrusive behaviour, and unwarranted touching. Surely they’re exaggerated. People aren’t that insensitive.

Boy was I wrong. It seems ‘baby brain’, a phenomenon where a pregnant person becomes forgetful or absent minded can also occur by proxy. Just merely being in the presence of somebody who’s pregnant can induce verbal diarrhoea. Here are a few gems I’ve experienced so far:

Are you fat or do you have an announcement to make?
I would like to ‘announce’ that you are a tactless idiot. It’s never ok to comment on a person’s appearance, never, ever. If that someone is a woman who appears to have gained weight or lost weight, it’s even more important to shut the fuck up. It’s none of your business. You’d have to live under a rock, on another planet, not to be aware of this.

I’m coming to your first ultrasound.
Um no, you’re not. This was said to me by a colleague at work who is little more than an acquaintance. I really had to be firm with her too. She’d rearranged her schedule and had her car keys in her hand. Talk about intrusive, not even my mother or my best friend would have requested an invite to that event.

I know you’re not telling people the sex, so just tell me while no-one’s around.
I hear this constantly, by friends, colleagues and strangers alike. Four people know: me, my partner, the ultrasound technician and my doctor. I don’t have an issue with people asking what the sex is, it’s when they continue to ask despite being told that we’re not saying the sex or when they go on to say things like “yeah my cousin didn’t tell anyone either. She’s such a bitch like that.” Um, did you just call me a bitch?

Do you think having a baby is really such a good idea?
I’m starting to think it wasn’t for your parents. Seriously, what am I supposed to do with this? If having a baby isn’t such a good idea, it’s too fucking late now. What would you have me do about it? Wait, don't answer that. I don't want to know.

I don’t mean to scare you but (insert horror story)…
This one really gets my back up. For fucks sake, STOP and think about what you’re saying. It’s a scary period. Shit goes wrong all the time. I’m aware. I don’t need you painting me a picture. I don’t need you planting seeds of worry in my head about rare and unlikely devastations. I have enough to worry about. Just smile, say congratulations and if you really feel the need to add something, talk about how cute your 2 year old nephew is when he tries to pat the family Axolotl.

You’re boobs are huge. Are they hard? (Proceed to feel me up)
No, they’re boobs. Why would they be hard? And why would you think it’s appropriate to grab me on the boob? This has happened to me more often than the unwanted belly touching. The belly thing I expected, but people wanting to grab me on the boob never entered my mind.

Oops. Don’t fret; my first child was a mistake too.
I’m not ‘fretting’ and please don’t refer to my unborn child as a mistake. The only mistake here is your foot in mouth disease.

How long were you trying for?
None of your business. Next question.

How often did you have to do the deed before you conceived?
I think I preferred your last question. Are you seriously asking me how often my partner and I have sex???

So due in April, then you must have conceived in…?
Seriously, stop thinking about my partner and I in bed.

Was your partner upset when you told him?
Yes, he was furious because he realised I’m a conniving whore trying to trap him into making a commitment by purposely getting pregnant. It’s probably not even his! This question really pisses me off. The assumption that my partner would be anything but thrilled and the implication that I purposely did this really makes my blood boil.

Don’t you think you should stop wearing jeans now that you’re pregnant?
This one just amuses me. Likewise I got told that I should rethink my choice of nail polish colour (Purple at the time) now that I’m pregnant. I really don’t understand what one has to do with the other. I highly doubt that the baby gives a shit what I'm wearing.

Will you be getting married before the baby comes?
No, it's not 1950 anymore.

I imagine that as I get further along in the pregnancy, the stupidity will increase in regularity. Something to look forward to!

Stay tuned.



  1. Oh my gosh!!! That's awful!!! People officially suck!
    I'm scared of what will happen when the hubby and I go down that road!!
    I am slightly overweight at the moment, not working (long story) and my inlaws are getting REALLY bad about hinting at things...if they think I'm pregnant I will shoot myself...
    If they're like this when I'm not pregnant, imagine them when I am one day!!

    Maybe I should show them your blog post :P

    Hope everyone stops fondling you and talking about your 'mistake/accident'. Jerks!!

  2. I like to think it's because they're so filled with joy at the prospect of my little one that their sanity takes a temporary leave of absence. Sadly, I think it's probably more in line with what you said, people are jerks. My advice: Start thinking of the witty comebacks now!

  3. I would just flat out point out people's foolishness to them. How else will they learn? Stop the madness. How about these:

    - "Your comment is really hurtful."
    - "You're violating my personal space."
    - "It's NOT ok to grab me."
    - "Why would you say something like that?"


  4. I am telling you there are NO boundaries any more...

    Can I feel your boobs???????????????????

    Assuming the pregnancy is a MISTAKE???????????

    Here's an anomaly for you though. You would think a pregnant woman would know better. I went to college with this woman, and she ended up alienating the whole damn classroom by the time she had finished. She used to say things like 'Raising children is like raising puppies' (she bred spaniels - but this was her first child), or 'Some people shouldn't breed' (to which I was tempted to reply "it's a bit late for that now sweetheart").

    Clearly the world is filled with completely screwed up adults who have never matured beyond the mental age of six.

  5. @Brightside I started out pointing out peoples foolishness to them and then quickly found that they dismissed any offence I had taken to hormones, which I honestly found more offensive than anything.

    @Rubydoo Totally agree with you. There are some really dopey people walking around out there. If only we could match your pregnant lady with the fools I was surrounded by. They could say stupid things to each other and leave the rest of us alone.