While out running errands this weekend I came across a heavily pregnant woman waddling her way through the mall. As I reminisced about those final weeks of my own pregnancy and wondered how I managed, I heard a very familiar comment directed towards the expectant mother. "Oh my, you're gigantic!", exclaimed some insensitive passerby.
What is it about a pregnant belly that makes people behave like neanderthals? It's as if that baby belly omits a signal that erases all manners and decency. I remember during my own pregnancy having to endure thoughtless, rude remarks from friends, family, and strangers while I envisioned grabbing the offensive moron by the hair and slamming them into the wall. In those final weeks I did not want to leave my house because everywhere I went I was accousted by some jackass.
Here is my list of stupid things said to pregnant women, in no particular order:
"You're huge!" or "You're so fat!" - Oh really, I thought I was just pregnant. Every woman just loves to hear how big she is, especially when she is pregnant and has no control over her expanding belly. I am growing another person inside my body, would you like to explain to me how I am supposed to do that without gaining any weight? Maybe you should try putting down that double cheeseburger before commenting on someone else's size.
"Are you sure you're not having twins! It sure looks that way!" - No, I am not and yes I am 100% sure. It's called prenatal care and an ultrasound. I am certain that if I were having twins my doctor would have picked up on that by now and the ultrasound images would have shown two babies, not just one. But apparently a cashier working at Wal-Mart knows more than an OBGYN with 20 years experience under his belt.
"You're having a boy, I can tell by the way you're carrying." - Ah yes, how you carry is all dependent upon the baby's sex, not you're body and build. This is by far one of the stupidest things I have ever heard.
"I can tell it's a girl because she's taken your looks." - Gee, thanks! I already feel uncomfortable and fat, but now you're telling me I'm ugly. Since we're being honest here, your hairstyle went out in the 70's and that shirt looks like it's covered in cat vomit.
"Oh, I've just gotta rub that belly!" - No you don't have to rub the belly. How about I rub yours? Just because a woman is pregnant does not mean you can touch her without permission.
"It looks like that baby is going to fall out!" - Everyday thousands of babies just fall out of their mothers as she walks down the aisle in the grocery store. Why don't we ever hear this on the news? Make sure to strap a board to your ass, just in case.
"You shouldn't eat that! It's not good for the baby!" - Why thank you, I am not a responsible adult who is capable of making her own food choices. Having a doctor and a dozen pregnancy books advising me of what I can't ingest during my pregnancy is not enough, I also need complete strangers to monitor my food intake.
"You should be walking 30 minutes everyday." - This comment is typically made by women who have never been pregnant. I am carrying an extra 35 pounds of weight, have a full term baby pressing on my sciatic nerve making it painful to stand, a bladder that's as flat as a pancake, and feet so swollen I can't fit them in a pair of shoes. Hey, let's go for a walk! Make sure to bring a wheelbarrow!
"You're not going to make it to term. That baby is going to come two months early." - Expectant mothers just love hearing that you think their baby is going to be born prematurely. As if they weren't already worried enough about everything, they now have visions of their baby struggling to survive and spending weeks in NICU. What a sweet thing to say!
The next time you see a pregnant woman, unless you are going to tell her how beautiful she looks, just keep your mouth shut. She doesn't need to hear what you think about her size, her looks, her baby's name, etc. You may think you're witty but I can guarantee she does not.
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