I’m writing all about the things I wanted to say to people during my three pregnancies but thankfully did not as it would have probably resulted in fisticuffs.
“My cervix is none of your damn business, fat man in the elevator. Stop thinking about my junk, or I will kick you in yours.”
During my last pregnancy, I was working at the health department. That meant that I worked around a lot of people in the medical profession. And many of them felt completely comfortable discussing what was going on with my vagina during, say… a staff meeting. Or on a conference call with my boss and some public safety officers. Not cool, people. I am a walking, talking example of social awkwardness and even I know you’ve crossed the line here. I don’t care if you’re my husband, best friend, mom, co-worker or OB/GYN do not EVER discuss my personal, private lady parts in public. And I swear by all that’s holy if I ever hear you say the word discharge, I’m slapping you hard across the face with a sandwich.
“Thank you. I’m glowing because I just violently vomited in your bathroom.”
People used to tell me that I was “glowing” when I was pregnant and I was too embarrassed to tell them it was due to my near-constant throwing up. At work, in the car, at the house in a variety of locations, at the preschool, even one particularly memorable time at Five Guys. By the end of my third pregnancy, my entire family could have cared less if I got up from the dinner table to hurl in the kitchen sink. They’d be all: “Can you grab the salt shaker while you’re in there?”
“I can see that you’re wondering if I’m fat or pregnant. Well, I’m not going to tell you because you did such a bad job hiding the confused look on your face, jackhole.”
I have done it myself, asked someone if they were pregnant and it turns out they were not. I felt like an ass hat but learned a valuable lesson. The next lesson is don’t stare intently at a woman’s larger-than-normal belly with a confused look on your face because the thoughts running through your brain are fairly obvious. In fact, it’s pretty much the same thing as asking, “Are you knocked up again or what?”
“I am allowed to have 250 mg of caffeine per day. If you give me one more dirty look for buying this latte, skinny jerk in the black skirt, I will karate punch you in your damn neck.”
People have the right to judge an obviously pregnant woman in public only if she is committing a violent act that could land her in jail. Actually… Jail might provide her with some much needed peace and quiet, as well as a break from her children and the mountain of laundry that needs folding – so really there are no reasons to judge a pregnant woman. If she is having a cup of coffee, could you not treat her like she’s committing child abuse? She is not and you need to mind your own beeswax, Judgey McJudgerson.
“I see you over there, trying to get next to me so you can put your hands on my enormous stomach. If you touch my belly I will start screaming so loud that you will fall down and dogs from all over town will come running to your prone form. And I will bray with laughter as they pee on you.”
This is a pregnancy classic. Random people trying to put their hands on you. No no no. If I see someone with a peculiarly bulbous forehead, would it be appropriate for me to walk over to them and cup my hand on their face? It would not. Would it be OK for me to pet the head of a stranger with particularly shiny hair? No, of course not. You shouldn’t even pet a dog without asking first. Use your damn manners, people.
“I’m so glad you felt you wanted to share your labor story with me. But I’m trying to eat breakfast so could we please discuss your mucous plug a little later?”
Why do people feel compelled to tell pregnant people their most horrific labor stories? No pregnant woman wants to hear how you were in labor for 36 hours and then had to have a c-section and then were mis-dosed with drugs that made you flatline. And you know what’s the best? When new dads, who have a 6 month old baby – so they think they’re experts – start to tell you all about what you can expect. Like they squeezed a baseball out their urethra, got mastitis and then didn’t sleep for two years. Keep your labor stories to yourself unless someone is literally begging you to share. And if sharing includes either photos or video, you need help.
“Am I pregnant with twins? No. I’m so huge? Am I really? Is this you being nice? Because I can be nice, too. I hate your ass face.”
Are you really so amazed by my pregnant belly that you have lost your mind completely? What would make you say this to someone? Is that supposed to make them feel good? It’s much more a reflection of your insensitivity than the actual size of my mid-section. If some poor woman looks like she just swallowed a watermelon, what is served by saying: “My heavens! You look like you swallowed a watermelon!” No no no. You say: “Please sit down. May I get you a cool beverage and a Thai spring roll?”
“You know what, older-lady-at-the-grocery-store, I am not having this baby any minute now. I am having this baby in 8 weeks. OK? You smell like Vicks Vapo-Rub and cats, and I want to move away from you before I throw up on your padded nylon ankle boots.”
This was another one that drove me crazy. By the time you’re on pregnancy 2+, you look pregnant at about 15 minutes. You can go ahead and put all your non-maternity pants into one of those big blue Rubbermaid bins or one of the vacuum sealed plastic hoo-haws until your baby is at least 4 months old. Your boobs and your bump are out and proud and there’s nothing you can do about it. So when someone says something like that to you… Just smile and try not to harm them.
“You know what? I’m growing a person. If I want to eat this Big Mac and then eat another you will have nothing to say about it. As a matter of fact, if you try and keep and keep me from my Big Mac and his step-brother, the refreshing and delicious fountain Coke, I will turn into the Incredible Hulk except with pregnancy hormones, and I will rip off the arms you used to steal my cheeseburger.”
While pregnant, I had both food aversions and food cravings. Mostly it was aversions – everything made me sick. In fact, though I am not a small person, I did not gain more than 25 pounds during any of my three pregnancies. Because pretty much everything edible smelled awful to me. You know what didn’t make me sick? McDonald's. I might only eat one thing each day that I could keep down and with my son Hawk – that was usually a Big Mac. But people don’t think you’re awesome when you eat Mcdonald's every day instead of organic non-fat cruelty-free chicken wraps from the Whole Foods take-out counter. But you know what? You eat what you can eat. And everyone else can go suck it.
“What. Did. You. Just. Say. To. Me? That you can barely tell that I’m pregnant? What the HELL does that even mean?”
I never understood this one. Is this supposed to be a compliment? The pregnancy equivalent of saying “you look thin”. Are you saying I’m normally fat and bulgy in the middle? Or are you saying that I’m measuring small for my gestational age and there’s some sort of heretofore unsuspected problem with my unborn child? What are you – a doctor? The creepy neighbor lady from Rosemary’s Baby? No? Then shut the hell up and if you want to do something useful, go get me a fountain coke or a large sweet tea.
“I could understand if you couldn’t take your eyes off my belly, but the jugs you’re staring at aren’t even mine anymore. They’re like two ginormous, bloated, scalding hot water bottles that cause me constant back pain. How’s that for sexy?”
Just because they’re bigger and they’re meant to feed a baby, doesn’t mean it’s OK for you to stare at them. They came to life when I was about 8 weeks pregnant and now these new semi-sentient life forms are attached to my chest and driving me crazy. Look at my eyes or look at the belly. The demilitarized zone in between will get you popped in the mouth with my handbag.
“Not so fast, Cap’n. That’s how I got in this mess in the first place. For the third time.”
I understand that on some distant planet, there are pregnant women who are really into it. That’s awesome. Yay for them. I have about as much interest in that activity as I do in folding laundry. Now if you were a donut or a Thai spring roll or a large sweet tea, maybe I’d be interested. Until then, we’re good. Maybe.
Anything you wanted to say while pregnant but didn’t?
When did you have to bite your tongue?
Our next reco: 19 Things Pregnant People Say