You know what? I'm a smokin' hot mama.
I'm seven months pregnant and exceptionally round, but even now I usually don't lack in the self-confidence department. That is, until the man at the Redbox jokes about how miserable I look. Or the pity glances from other shoppers come my way. Or I get asked if I'm having twins. At least for those moments, I cringe a little inside. While it doesn't keep me down long, I am still consistently blown away at just how many rude comments I collect in a day when I'm out and about town. Total strangers feel like they can come up to me and say whatever they want - just because I'm pregnant. My grace is starting to run low, and it's running lower every month I'm pregnant.
This time around, the comments started at 4 months. Milo is my second, so I'm all stretched out and ready to grow this little person. When others feel the need to comment (which is frequent), I usually just smile, politely answer their questions, then try to laugh off their supposed sympathy. But it's starting to wear me down. No, I take that back - it's starting to rile me up. I'm becoming what my husband likes to refer to as "the firecracker." In that moment, I would rather just tell them off. I'm confrontational by nature and even though I'm well-practiced in reigning it in, I don't really want to anymore - for my sake, for the sake of the other pregnant woman they will inadvertently and ignorantly hurt, and for their own sake (because more than likely they really don't want to hurt others).
This is an area I was clueless about until I was pregnant with Alice, but once I experienced these thoughtless conversation-starters firsthand, it was eye-opening and now that I'm undergoing it all again with Milo, I'm ready to tell you - these are the 3 most insensitive things that you should never say to a pregnant woman...
1. "Are you sure there aren't twins in there?"
Uh, yeah. Pretty sure I checked that out. Did you know they make machines now that let you see through the walls of your uterus so you can discover big, important things like how many heartbeats are happening in there? So yeah. I checked. Just one.
Also - it is so obvious that this is just plain not a nice thing to say. Funny? Only for you. Translated, what you're essentially saying is: "You're so huge, there have to be two people inside that ginormous belly of yours!" Thanks, funny person.
(Disclaimer: I am not a sarcastic or even remotely snarky person, but this topic really pushes my buttons. Like, really hard.)
This time around, I got asked at 19 weeks (that's almost halfway done - 4.5 months - for those of you who don't speak Pregnancy) if I was having twins. By a relative. Gah!
2. "You look miserable."
I was feeling great until you showed up. Again, so obviously not a nice thing to say! Yes, my hips ache constantly. There are 20 extra pounds in one spot on my front that my back is working overtime to support and my toddler thinks this new development is a great shelf for her cute little bum. The human inside of me is slowly taking up real estate where my lungs and other major organs were and every time I sneeze/cough/laugh I worry about peeing a little. Uncomfortable? You bet. Miserable? Only I get to determine that, so don't even think about letting that word past your lips.
3. "Any day now, huh?"
Nope, person who asked me that at 5 months. I still had 4 months to go. One Hundred and Twenty days of getting bigger. And bigger. And bigger. You just told me I looked big enough to deliver a baby right then. Now I'm 7 months and hear this comment on a weekly basis. Yes, my belly is huge and I waddle. Somedays I wish I could have Milo right this second, but that's for me to say - not you.
Maybe they're trying to be nice. Maybe they're trying to reach out and empathize in the best way they know how. I really want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I can't keep doling out fake smiles when I'm given insults. I know I'm toting a ginormous belly, but don't let my size be the butt of your joke. No need to remind me of how big I look and feel.
Instead of whatever brilliant comment comes to your mind, please just hold the door for me and my toddler and tell me I'm beautiful.
That's really the only thing you need to say to a pregnant woman.