Friday, July 18, 2008

Questions You Should Never Ask a Pregnant Lady

Are you pregnant?

Please don't ask this question to any woman. She will tell you when she is good and ready. Some women alert the media as soon as the pee stick has two lines. Others wait a couple of weeks and still others wait until they are out of the first trimester. I've heard good reasons for all scenarios but nothing is right unless it's right for the woman who is pregnant. Pregnancy is a long process so what does it matter? I can assure you one thing. Women are not going to be running into the labor and delivery room shouting behind them, "Oh yeah, did you hear I'm expecting?" You'll find out in due time.

And for the record, no, I'm not.

Were you trying to get pregnant?

This was the most irritating question I got when I was pregnant. I'm even going to go so far as to say it's flat out rude. What does it matter? If she answers 'no' all you really want to do is run to your friends and say, "Did you hear it wasn't planned?!"

If the parents were indeed trying to get pregnant (as we were the first go round) I viewed this question as an insult. I felt like what they really meant to say was, "Surely you didn't intend this because there is no way you are ready to be a parent."

Even if the parents were shocked to find out they were expecting, they've probably come to terms with it by now and are most likely even thrilled to be adding to their family. At the same time I'm sure these parents have fears and concerns like any pregnancy, intended or not, can bring on. You should be there to reassure, not scare.

My sister-in-law once told me that her fourth pregnancy was a surprise to her and her husband. Twelve weeks into the pregnancy she found out the baby had no heartbeat and had died in utero. She cried and grieved for this baby just as she would have for any of her three planned and born children.

Are you sure you're not carrying twins?
Or the alternate: Are you sure you're only six months along?
Or another: Are you sure they have your due date correct?

Seriously, people. What are you thinking?

Prior to becoming pregnant with William I was graciously invited to be a bridesmaid in one of my best friend's wedding. When I found out I was pregnant I did the math and discovered I was going to be about six months along once her wedding date rolled around. That meant I needed to do some serious dress alterations.

I went to this seamstress a.k.a. miracle worker who transformed my very chic bridesmaid dress into an equally fashionable maternity dress. Because the dress was fitted I had to go back several times for measurements to make sure it was a perfect fit. And even though I coughed up $65 to this lady (I probably could have had her build me a new dress for a few bucks more) she insisted on asking me on each visit if I was sure that I was only six months along.

"I don't know," she said as she sized me up, "you look a lot bigger than just six months pregnant."

Thanks. Because in addition to already having a waist three times the size of the next largest bridesmaid what I really want to hear is that I look even bigger than I really should.

And while I truly did love my swollen belly and all the cute maternity clothes that went with it, there are days when I wished I would unstrap that baby and feel what it felt like to have hips again. Sometimes I would irrationally beg Brian, "Puh-LEAZE! I promise I'll put the baby right back on!"

But alas, he could be of no help. And neither will you if you ask any of these questions.

Haven't you had that baby yet?

I know this is a rhetorical question but honestly. Can you not see the huge belly? I'm not trying to steal a basketball. Or a watermelon. Or a pumpkin. There really is a baby still in there.

We know you're excited for the arrival of a new baby but the apple will fall when it's ready. And you can bet that mother is counting down to the last minute.

One little known fact about pregnant women is that they can tell you exactly how far along they are at any given moment. "Thirty-five weeks and two days!"

The last few weeks of pregnancy are also the most uncomfortable. The heartburn, the swollen legs and ankles, the sleepless nights and the incessant need to use the bathroom. So continual questioning about when the big day will arrive is equivalent to that maddening child in the backseat that keeps asking, "Are we there yet?"

You're still breastfeeding? (In an irritated tone.)

I know this falls outside of the pregnancy category but it's similar and irked me just the same.

The recent studies that show the positive effects of breastfeeding are just as eye-opening as the modern-day studies that show the negative effects of smoking. When we see someone who has a constant smoking habit we ask why and hope that they will decide to get on a quitting plan. But when we hear a mother is still breastfeeding a baby that is almost at or has already passed the one year mark we turn up or noses.

Breastfeeding is an intimate relationship between mother and baby and only those two people can decide when it's the right time to ween.

When someone asks this question I'm not really sure what the motivation is because breastfeeding really has no impact on anyone else. So really, unless you ask it in the right tone of voice that shows you really care, this question is pretty dumb.

I should add that even though I don't have to respond to the first question I really am not pregnant. But I have many friends who are right now and we've been discussing these annoyances a lot so I thought it would be a good idea to list some of them here.

So what do you think? Do you have anything to add to my responses or any annoying questions to add to the list?

1 comment:

  1. I have A LOT!
    The lunch lady in our cafeteria at work said to me recently, "Ohhh, for the longest time I thought you were just putting on weight!"

    Or...the lady in the next deparment to me said, "Ohhh, you POOR thing you must be SO uncomfortable."

    Another..."Oh, girl, are you STILL here?"

    I can laugh now, but ooooh I was irked!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © Mama Nash | Custom Blog Design by Lilipop Designs