These past weeks I have spoken to several pregnant women (friends, colleagues etc.) about comments they have received while pregnant. Turns out that all this time I may have been offending people with my comments so this is a plea for your forgiveness on behalf of all of us ignorami (as well as a bit of a vent, so please don’t hate me).
Let me start off by saying having been pregnant twice and having been the size of a small planet while I was pregnant with twins I have heard it all. Here are but a few examples:
- “Oh you must be due any day now” (heard at least once a day). “No, I am only FIVE months pregnant”.
- “Are you going to give birth in my line-up” asked by a cashier.
- “You are pregnant with twins. What are you doing working? You should be on bed rest!”
- “Oh, you must be having twins” (when I was only pregnant with one)
- “You look like you are about to tip over!”
- Twins? Oh yeah, I can see the rash on your face.”
So, believe me when I say that I know about silly comments (you should hear some of the ones I got after the twins were born).
But you know what?
Most of the time I just laughed.
Let’s face it, when you are walking around with a beachball under your shirt you can expect to get a few comments. In my case, I actually enjoyed it! I relished every minute of attention. Partly because I am an attention whore. and when else in your life are you going to get all that positive attention? And partly because getting pregnant for me was such a miracle that I could care less about what anyone else thought or said, I was finally pregnant! I guess I am in the minority, but in my mind, it was a give and take. You can’t want everyone to ignore your belly except when you expect them to give up a seat for you on the bus, it just doesn’t work that way.
So imagine my surprise after discovering that apparently I have also been offending people with my comments! Things I have said, that I have read upset people include:
- guessing the baby’s gender
- phrasing it as this is my first pregnancy rather than saying pregnant with my first child
- asking when they are due
- asking if it’s their first
- asking if they picked out a name yet
So, to all you women out there who I may have offended over the years I do apologize for my ignorance and for the ignorance of those around me.
Please just let me explain.
From our perspective being pregnant is a wonderous and magical thing, that gets us excited and interested. We never intend to hurt anyone’s feelings. We just ask that you please give us the benefit of the doubt before you roll your eyes.
Please remember that you, yourself, may have made hurtful comments. I can’t tell you the number of fellow mothers that have asked me if my twins are “natural”. That just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. No, my children are unnatural! Imagine going up to a woman pregnant with one baby and asking her if her child was natural. It doesn’t work then so why should it be okay because you are pregnant with two.
What they really mean to ask is are they “spontaneous” (meaning conceived without medical assistance) which even when phrased properly is still asking a way too personal question about my sex life I would prefer not to answer. Mind you, it’s not always nosy or ignorant people, some of the questions are genuine. I came across a few women who asked me that when I was pregnant because they were undergoing fertility treatments and just looking for someone to talk to, or see an example that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
So I will end my apology with a little advice. While it can be frustrating at times when people say things to you, just try to relax and remember it’s all about perspective. Remember that you are lucky enough to have a miracle growing right inside you and there are thousands of women out there who would endure much more insensitive comments 24/7 if it meant that they could finally get pregnant. Remember that comments are just comments and it’s only how you interpret them that makes them positive or negative. Trust me, when I say that if you are going to let others make you upset with their silly comments parenthood is going to be a rocky road because even once you have the baby, it never stops!
So once again, to anyone I may have offended or probably will offend in the future I do apologize. From now on, I will try to be more sensitive about what I say and in return I ask that you try to be a little more understanding.
Congratulations on your pregnancy!