7 Things NOT to Say to a Very Pregnant Woman
When you’re 33 weeks pregnant, there are several inappropriate things you do not want to hear, not from your partner, family members, friends, or strangers. I have personally experienced all of these during this pregnancy or the last. People, don’t say this stuff!
1) Wow. You’re big. (Usually followed by: how much bigger do you think you’ll get?)
Yep, and chances are you’re just going to get bigger. It’s called pregnancy and you grow in all parts of your body, not limited to your belly. A hair dresser once told me (when I showed her a photo of how I liked my hair when I was about 40 weeks pregnant with SuperBoy), “Oh, honey, we can do that hair, but this girl’s face is shaped differently than yours.” Um. That was me. 45 pounds heavier. Oope!
2) So how uncomfortable are you?
More than you can imagine. And do you want me to be graphic? I can describe which parts of my body the baby’s body chooses to body slam. I can also describe all the other uncomfortable parts of life that revolve around my pregnancy-related-areas. Is this a question people ask just to rub in that you’re a beached whale and they’re not?
3) Do you want it to be over yet?
What a tricky question. No, I want my child to grow until she’s considered full-term. And then I want her to come out without medical intervention. So the answer is no. But the answer is also YES because I want to be done with the back aches, front aches, belly aches, kicking, pinching, bladder bouncing, poor sleep, etc. This last bit leads to the next thing people say:
4) But when you actually HAVE the baby, then you’re never going to sleep again. (Chuckle, chuckle.)
Duh. This is number 2 for me, bozo. At least when I’m waking up at all hours it’s for the purpose of nourishing my little love dove. Having a newborn is very very hard. I do not underestimate that, nor have I forgotten the endless stream of sleepless nights with SuperBoy. But I also know the joy of being a mother, and the delights of getting to know your child. So yes, you suffer poor sleep, but the reason for that poor sleep makes all the difference.
5) And how old is your other child?
The implication being that you are having children too close together. ?? How is anyone else a judge of that? I always catch myself feeling like I’m supposed to defend why our children will be just shy of two years apart. Often it’s an innocent question, but you know when you’re getting the hairy eyeball from the lady at the store when she sees your toddler in your arms, and your burgeoning belly.
6) Are you ready to have this baby?
I don’t even know what that question means. And it’s not offensive per se, depending on who’s asking it, of course. Really, how can anyone be ready for anything they’ve never experienced? In my case, I’ve never experienced having two children under the age of 3. I cannot begin to fathom how I will split myself into two, and meet both of their needs, while doing everything else under the sun. This is where I’m counting on lots of grace! And of course, there are so many unknowns. Will she be healthy? Will I be healthy? Will SuperBoy continue to be healthy?
7) Was this a planned pregnancy?
My pet peeve question. In our case, yes. But what about all those families who have been trying and trying to conceive, and finally do? Are they expected to explain to this person their fertility and sex lives? Or families who were surprised to have conceived, but happy for the gift of a child. Are they to defend their contraceptive methodology? Or people for whom this pregnancy has been a real struggle in many ways? Maybe she decided to keep the baby, and had little support from the father. You have no idea what a pregnant woman has done through in her journey of motherhood. It’s no one’s business either way. So aside from telling you that ours was planned and welcomed, I don’t respond to that question from people (often strangers or acquaintances), but instead merely say, “What a personal question!” I hope by baby number 4, I stop getting asked it 🙂