I was going through old pictures recently when I came across some black and whites of me in all my pregnant glory, wearing the only dress I could still fit into. I wanted my husband to take them so I would remember what I looked like when I was doing the important work of growing a human. As if the stretch marks will ever let me forget…
Ah yes, a glorious time. I gained double the recommended weight, had swollen ankles from seven months on, developed aversions to some of my favorite foods and could never get comfortable. I was not one of those women who glowed.
So maybe that’s why people said unkind things to me on a regular basis. I expected it from the teenager who worked at the coffee shop. In July, he asked when I was due. I told him October. “Wow, so you’re having twins?” Nope. Just one bun in this oven. Can I get some extra whipped cream on that mocha latte?
Surprisingly, the three worst things that were said to me, not only came from women, they came from MOTHERS, all former co-workers.
One looked me up and down, then said, “Bet you can’t wait to get rid of that thing.” Damn those pregnancy hormones for not getting the words “I’d much rather get rid of you” to my mouth fast enough.
Another time, toward the end of my pregnancy, another woman looked at me, apparently so offended by my belly, and said “My God, Carrie. Do you need me to boil some water?” Only if you’re planning on making me some pasta, I wish I had said.
And my personal favorite came from a new girl who started working at the paper at about my seventh month. A few weeks later, she felt compelled to tell me “Wow, you look so much bigger this week than last.” I bit my tongue to keep from saying, “Wow, so do you.”
For the record, I lost all my baby weight and then some. Thank you, Weight Watchers. Take that, mean ladies who made me cry.
Being around a pregnant woman seems to make people feel like they need to say something, or worse, do something, like touch your stomach. For the most part, people are sincere. I mean, it is pretty amazing, the miracle of life and all.
So I put together a few things NEVER to say to a pregnant woman. Please feel free to add to my list and share your own horror stories.
1. Are you having twins?
2. Can I rub your belly?
3. I was in labor for days.
4. Say goodbye to sleep.
5. I only gained 15 pounds when I was pregnant.
6. You must be having a boy. Your nose is enormous.