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Mommy Musings: Thoughts and Opinions

My Apologies For Everything I Have Ever Said To A Pregnant Lady

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!

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About Shannon C

I am a university educated full-time working mother of three children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Discussion

29 thoughts on “My Apologies For Everything I Have Ever Said To A Pregnant Lady

  1. Loved your post, Shannon! I spent both of my pregnancies laughing. The best days were those that (within minutes) you’d hear someone think you were due any day now only to hear that “you’re too little” followed again by “you’re huge!” I soaked it in and smiled at the little life doing acrobats in my belly. I miss those acrobatic days!

    Posted by MamaMickTerry | February 10, 2014, 8:20 am
  2. Honestly, I got asked almost all those questions and it never bothered me at all – even the “are they natural?” Maybe that’s bc I’m not a private person at all, but I have no issues sharing that they were due to an IVF. As for the rest of it – I certainly don’t mean to offend but I honestly just don’t get why many of those questions are offensive. Call me crass, I guess. (Though are gonna give birth In my checkout line might be pushing it a bit).

    Posted by Theresa | February 10, 2014, 8:55 am
  3. The only comment out of all of my pregnancies (I’m on #4) That really truly upset me was when people would realize that the kids are all young and close in age and say something along the lines of ‘You do know how pregnancy happens right?’
    Aside from that the rest would sometimes bug me if I was in a mood, but it was never to the point I was truly upset. Pregnancy is an amazing thing and should be celebrated! Great post Shannon!

    Posted by MommaNeedsCoffee | February 10, 2014, 9:32 am
    • Thanks! I can see why that could be offensive. You are just one of those lucky people that can get pregnant even when you are not even trying so some of them were probably jealous (I know I am) when they said that, but that is their hang up, not yours. :-) thanks so much for reading and commenting.

      Posted by Shannon | February 10, 2014, 3:24 pm
  4. Man. I just never got offended no matter what ppl said. I loved the attention. Ain’t gonna lie. After working that hard to get that baby belly, i only got offended when ppl didn’t notice it.

    Posted by journeyformybaby | February 10, 2014, 10:12 am
  5. love this. thank you for your honesty.. and totally have been there with the awkward comments received/ and given!

    Posted by iammom | February 10, 2014, 11:45 am
  6. What a great belly pic! And fabulous post–it is so easy to stick your foot in your mouth with pregnant ladies. :) I owe many apologies, too!! My favorite rude comment made to me when I was 7 months pregnant with twins was from a very drunk co-worker of my husband’s and was intended to be a compliment: “I just thought you’d be huge. Like, huge. You aren’t as huge as I thought you’d be.” ?!?

    Posted by livinginthedeepend | February 10, 2014, 2:01 pm
    • Thanks for sharing! I am sorry if I have offended people but the way I see it, being a parent without a sense of humour is like being an accountant without a calculator. You can still do it, but it’s going to be more work and less enjoyable ;-) Cheers!

      Posted by Shannon | February 10, 2014, 3:09 pm
  7. Great points – people say it all, don’t they? It’s smart to have a good sense of humor. I’m sure I’ve offended others with well-meaning comments. And plenty of people told me I looked like I was about to burst!

    Posted by Book Club Mom | February 10, 2014, 3:10 pm
  8. Everything in this post rung true to me! I am still asked ‘are they natural?’ and ‘are there twins in your family?’ I also didn’t get at all offended by questions and was just ecstatic to be pregnant!

    Posted by twinnies13 | February 10, 2014, 4:35 pm
  9. You know what, Shannon? Now that I’m 35 weeks pregnant I find that I care a lot less what anyone says. It was more hurtful when they seemed to think I was huge (fat) around 6 months. Maybe there’s some sort of serenity hormone that comes in with the nesting in the 3rd trimester. Don’t care.

    Posted by Christie Silver | February 10, 2014, 10:31 pm
  10. I so have heard all the comments you had and probably made the same upsetting comments! When I was pregnant with L after my twin pregnancy I was so huge tag people were like ‘another set of twins???’ And when I said nope just one this time, people would reply: Well that one has a lot of room to enjoy, his siblings made sure of that. LOL ! The funniest assumption people had is when my husband, the kids’ gay godfather and I pregnant with L would walk around with the twins people sometimes assumed I was the surrogate mom/nanny of these 2 handsome gay dads. Gotta love New York !

    Posted by redlipstickmama | February 10, 2014, 11:45 pm
    • Lol quite the picture :-) Thanks for sharing your experience, interesting to know that you carry large after twins. I have several friends who were the opposite thought they were pregnant with twins because they were showing early/large but that’s fairly common, and it was only me who heard “well its about time you announced it, we have been waiting for weeks” when I was 11 weeks pregnant and looking like I was about four months along lol. Yay twin mommies :-)

      Posted by Shannon | February 10, 2014, 11:53 pm
  11. I have to say, the questions and comments didn’t bother me either. And I ask women all the time when they are due and what they are having… I just like making conversation! I didn’t know this would offend anyone. I only ask people who are very obviously pregnant, as I have experienced being asked when I was not! Now that I think about it, the only time I got offended by a comment was when we were on vacation in Asheville, NC. We were buying two bottles of wine from the Biltmore to take back as presents, and I was carrying them. Some woman made a “Pregnant and drinking, that’s just great” comment behind my back. I turned around and set her straight. “These are gifts. I’m not an idiot.” I felt like I was justified in being offended over that one!

    Posted by thingsheatherlearnedtoday | February 11, 2014, 2:09 am
    • OUCH! That is pretty bad. I always felt guilty picking up stuff from the LCBO for my husband because I felt like the cashiers would think I was drinking it (which is silly, but it’s people like that who make you think that way). You are right, when I ask questions I am just making conversation and sharing in the excitement and joy of being pregnant. I am sure most people don’t truly mean to upset anyone. Plus, now that I think about it, due to the raging hormones we might be a little more sensitive than usual when preggers. I used to joke that I couldn’t help myself since I had estrogen for three! Thanks for sharing.

      Posted by Shannon | February 11, 2014, 8:25 am
  12. You’re right, it’s not what’s said but how it is interpreted. I remember a colleague visiting me. It was my first pregnancy and my first child.. My stomach wasn’t showing too much, but my breasts were getting quite large. It’s forty years later, but I still remember how the eyes goggled at the sight. I laughed.

    Posted by maryanne28 | February 11, 2014, 6:51 pm
  13. I will never forget my neighbor’s comment to me when pregnant–which I won’t print here. Let’s just say it was almost a deal breaker.

    Posted by candidkay | February 15, 2014, 9:22 pm

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