This morning as I put away my purse and got my essential things (smoothie, cell phone, water.) set out on my desk for the day, a co-worker came into my office. She said, “Oh, are you feeling ok? You look a little…off.” I immediately wondered if the ass of my pants was ripped and relief swept over me as I remembered I was wearing a stretchy dress. “I’m fine. I just haven’t put any make-up on yet.” I replied sweetly. I gave her the stink eye as she left. It is no secret that pregnancy makes you feel and react to things differently than you normally would. When I am pregnant I become more outspoken and quick tempered, along with being more sensitive and quick to tears – a delightful combination, my husband would assure you! Everyone knows that pregnant women are a bundle of hormones and worry already, so it never ceases to amaze me how insensitive and ignorant people can be while speaking to us. This morning’s comment wasn’t even close to the worst I’ve had while growing a human, though. Here are some of my all time worst.
1. “Whoa! Are you having twins?” also phrased, “How are you going to make it ___ more months?!?!”
I am short. Just under five feet tall. There is only so much torso on my body, and that space is all taken up by sixteen weeks. The rest of my pregnancy I look like I have an enormous protruding mountain jutting out of my body. I know it looks hilarious. I know I look like I’m going to tip over. I know. You don’t have to tell me.
2. “It’s a girl. You can tell because you’re carrying the weight in your face.”
For real. A
stupid whore lady said this to me. And I don’t have a girl, so she was wrong about my fat face anyway.
3. “Make sure you don’t eat before you go to the hospital. You’ll poop on the table.”
Said to me by a man. In a Men’s Wearhouse. I can’t make this stuff up.
4. “Oh…it’s another boy? Oh well, you can try again for a girl.”
I’m so incredibly blessed to have ONE beautiful, smart, loving, hilarious boy. I am absolutely over the moon about getting ANOTHER! And if I choose to have a third child, I won’t care if that one has a vagina either.
5. “How far along are you? You need to watch your foods.”
(Insert disapproving look from 80 something year old lady who weighs forty-five pounds.) I felt my face turn red as I stammered that I got really big with my first son too and haven’t actually gained that much weight. I silently debated whether to cry or punch her. I decided punching an octogenarian is never a good idea.
6. “Why are you still breastfeeding? You can’t do that when you’re pregnant!”
Well, I am…so, I guess it is possible. And pretty common. And not that crazy. And none of your damn business.
7. This was said about me, not exactly to me. “She must be bipolar.”
By a co-worker who knew I was not bipolar, knew I was pregnant and knew about my history of infertility. Maybe what she didn’t know was that I was bleeding, and cramping and the best the doctor could tell me was, “to wait and see,” and IF I made it to thirteen weeks I should be in the clear. My first ultrasound showed two sacs, one filled with blood and the other one was empty. I had been trying for three years to get pregnant and finally got there, only to be told this may not work out. I was also having to take progesterone suppositories to try to sustain the pregnancy while being on complete pelvic rest. Progesterone is one of the pregnancy hormones that makes you emotional. And hot, and exhausted, and relaxes smooth muscle tissue, which increases aches, pains and heartburn. I felt like shit. I was a wreck. I was scared and sad, and probably a little bitchy. So, obviously the best way my co-workers (Some, not all. Some of my work friends were awesome.) could help was to hurry to any available chair when I came in the room and sit down so I was forced to stand all day, call me names, and make fun of me. Whatever, I’m over it…kind of.
8. “You aren’t supposed to be drinking coffee!”
I drink half a cup of coffee on days that my heartburn will allow it. Some studies link excessive caffeine intake to miscarriage in the first trimester, some do not. Risk of having a stillborn baby is increased in women drinking over EIGHT cups of coffee a day. If you see me with a Super Big Gulp of coffee or pulling along a stand with an IV drip of coffee going directly into my veins, say something. Otherwise, please shut up. I don’t need to constantly defend my tiny little vice to you.
9. “That is going to be a BIG baby.”
Because the thought of a C-Section, third degree tears, or shoulder dystocia doesn’t scare me enough, it is helpful to hear that you think my fears are legitimate…
10. “See, it happened once you stopped trying.”
No, it didn’t happen because I stopped trying, or wanting, or I began focusing on something else. I don’t know why it happened right now when it didn’t happen before, but I can tell you that the yearning for a baby never left. My mind never took a break from wanting to get pregnant. I became sad. I began to prepare myself for the possibility that it may never happen for us. I gave up eating healthy and taking supplements and instead started drinking a lot of wine, because doing the opposite of those things hadn’t worked. It may seem coincidental and it may seem that I just let it all go and (WOW!) magically I got knocked up, but that is not what caused me to get pregnant. I assure you, relaxation is NOT a cure for infertility, no matter what happened to your best friend’s cousin’s roommate. When infertile people hear this (and they hear it A LOT) it feels exactly like a slap to the face. I don’t know of anyone who wasn’t relaxing and having fun for the first six months or year of “trying.” The worry comes after relaxing didn’t work. In our case, infertility was unexplained, meaning that the tests came back clear and there was no medical reason that we weren’t conceiving. For many other couples there are definite medical reasons. Issues that need treatment. Issues that no treatment can fix. Issues that hurt down to the depths of your soul. So, hearing that all you need to do to have a baby is “stop trying so hard” or “just relax” is maddening.
So, there are my top ten! I still have a few weeks of this pregnancy left, so my “biggest” days are yet to come. I’m sure I’ll hear a few more to make it a top 15. What were some of your favorite comments?