I loved being pregnant. I was one of those obnoxious women to whom pregnancy was very kind. That being said, toward the tail-end of my pregnancy (specifically the last four weeks), I became angry and surly like a large bear. A large bear that ate a lot of Cheetos, Mexican food, and pretty much anything else that came within biting range.
There seems to be something about an about-to-pop pregnant woman that makes people lose their da-- minds and say the dumbest things in the history of forever. If you find yourself with a death wish, here are just a few of the things that you could say to a pregnant woman that will pretty much guarantee the end of your life.
You could tell her to choose her due date.
- "When are you due?"
- "January 17th."
- "Oh, you should wait until the 29th. That's my son's birthday!"
EXCUSE ME, FETUS? THIS RANDOM WOMAN AT THE GAS STATION WANTS YOU TO WAIT UNTIL THE 29TH TO BE BORN. I'M GONNA SQUEEZE MY LEGS TOGETHER REAL TIGHT AND WALK LIKE A PENGUIN SO YOU DON’T COME OUT BEFORE THEN. Just a heads up, my little unborn buddy.
You could comment on her size.
People. This is a lose/lose situation. There is nothing that you can say to a pregnant woman about her appearance except: "WOW! You look amazing! How are you feeling?" Because seriously, why do you think that it is socially acceptable to gawk at me and declare, "OH MY GOD ARE YOU SURE THERE'S ONLY ONE IN THERE?!" I don't know, are you sure you have only eaten that ONE TWINKIE that you're holding in your hand right now? I don't go around commenting on the size of your beer gut, the sway of the turkey waddle underneath your neck or the pasty bat wing below your arm so SHUT UP about my belly. I'm aware how large I am. TRUST ME. I am relatively sure that I don’t even have feet anymore and the other day I found a Frito in between my boobs and my stomach. I think it had been there for weeks. Yes, I ate it. JUDGE ME. I DARE YOU.
You could tell her what life was like in 1892 when you were pregnant or raising children.
- "When I was pregnant, I smoked and my baby turned out fine."
- "I put all my babies to sleep on their bellies, and they turned out fine."
- "When my children were small we didn't have car seats. We strapped our kids to the hood of the car with bungee cords and they turned out fine."
Oh, hey, woman in line behind me at Target, in case you hadn't noticed, IT'S 2013 AND WE KNOW BETTER NOW. And also, I’m holding donuts in one hand and hemorrhoid cream in the other. Do you really think that I want to hear your opinion on how I should toughen my nipples, wear less revealing tops, and how you just know that I’m having a boy by the shape of my belly (uh, except it’s a girl)? Spoiler alert: I DON’T. GET OUT OF MY FACE AND LEAVE ME TO MY DONUTS. P.S., MY ASS HURTS. Wanna talk about that, too?
You could criticize her baby's name.
There is one appropriate way to respond when someone chooses to divulge the name of their unborn baby to you, and that is to be polite and say something nice about it, even if you hate it more than you've ever hated anything in your life, including kombucha and people who talk at the theatre. If that hipster friend of yours tells you that little Chevron is going to have a Mumford & Sons themed nursery, you smile and you nod AND YOU KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. We named our daughter Nellie. I had the name picked out since I was about sixteen, because it was the name of my late grandmother, and it was special to me. For the most part people were nice and seemed to genuinely like her name. But I did get excellent comments like:
- "Nellie? Like that bitch on Little House on the Prairie?"
- “Nelly? Like the rapper? HURR HURR HURR.”
- “You know she’s going to hate you for naming her that.”
The woman who said that last one is lucky that I was roughly the size of a barge because if I hadn’t been, I would have launched myself across my desk and flattened her like an elephant. I think I might have snarled at her because she left my office pretty quickly.
I really don’t understand what it is about seeing a pregnant woman that makes people lose all sense of social propriety. At a time when a woman’s emotions are very vulnerable, people should be doing nothing but saying nice things and leaving food at her feet while slowly backing away in the hopes that they don’t get punched or bitten. So if the next time you see a pregnant woman you find yourself tempted to say something like what I just mentioned, or put your hands on her belly uninvited (by the way, DON’T. DO. THAT. EVER.), just remember this article and instead hold the door open for her, offer to help her with her grocery bags, tell her that she is glowing, or just avoid eye contact and leave her alone. Everyone will be happier in the long run and there will be no punching, biting, or elephant-smashing. Probably. Maybe. Okay so really, just run away. Fast.
What horrible and ignorant things did people say to you while you were expecting?
Natalie Green is a Chicago girl living in Chattanooga with her husband and their 3-year-old daughter. When she’s not working full time outside of the home, she enjoys reading, writing, singing, zombies and running. From zombies. And also beer. You can stalk her blog, Mommy Boots, or follow her on Twitter @mommyboots; or you can email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.