Say what? The things people say to pregnant women . . .

Chad Riddersen

Posted on September 20 2012

I'm now almost 4 months pregnant.  It's hard to believe how quickly it's all happening.  The last time I was pregnant was 4 years ago, so I've surprisingly forgotten a lot.  I forgot how paralyzed I was with exhaustion during the first trimester.  I forgot how difficult it was to find something appetizing to eat.  I forgot how quickly I outgrow my regular clothes, and I forgot how disrespectful people can be, particularly, family members.  I've learned not to take these unsolicited comments personally, but they always make me pause.

Mark and I have decided not to find out the gender of the baby until he/she is born.  The other day my dear mother-in-law said, "Bring me your next ultrasound photo.  I can take a look and tell."  First, unless you're an ultrasound technician or a doctor, it's quite difficult to look at a print-out of an ultrasound and determine the gender of the baby.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the baby have to be in the right position at the right time to actually see the "goods"?  Second, both my husband and I have clearly stated that our wish is to keep the gender a surprise.  Why would one go out of one's way to ruin that surprise for us?

The other alarming comment I got was from my aunt.  I was at my cousin's bridal shower on Saturday evening, and my dear aunt says, "You must be having a boy.  You look so unattractive.  Your face just looks awful."  I just had to grin and bear it, so as not to cause a scene, but WOW.  Old wives tale or not, I'm pretty certain that the gender of the baby in one's womb has no bearing on how one's face looks.  Also, even if you truly believe this, have you no filter?  How about giving a pregnant lady a break?

I realize that this blog post has become a mini-vent session, but I just had to write these things down.  Have any other mothers or pregnant women out there experienced jaw-dropping comments like these or are my family members just outright rude?

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  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Izzy, thanks for sharing. I cannot believe the gall of some people. I’ve been feeling pretty crappy these days too, but thankfully, I haven’t encountered the kind of people you’re running into on the street. Hang in there mama!

  • Izzy: July 02, 2015

    This was so comforting to find! I’m due in about a week, and honestly the comments are making me crazy! So much so that I’ve started lying to the many, many people (strangers one and all) who keep asking me what the gender of the baby is. I respond politely that my husband and I are keeping it a surprise.Total strangers on the sidewalk will approach me and ask, and you’re right: they act really disappointed when I tell them I don’t know, which makes no sense. Why do they care?? I actually started lying about having a girl when a few strangers made comments like, “Oh, that’s too bad. Better luck next time.” I don’t need their negativity, and I cannot believe I’m hearing comments like that in 2013. Today was the worst. I look and feel terrible. I couldn’t find a comfortable position last night, and so I got no sleep. I can’t really complain, because my pregnancy didn’t become that uncomfortable until a few days ago and not much time remains after all, so I’m just trying to make the best of it. I went to get a manicure to make myself feel a little more presentable, and the manicurist said, “Do you have a lot of kids already?” “Um…no,” I said. “This is my first.”I thought to myself, “What the heck?” “REALLY?” she replied all surprised. In general, everyone has assumed this is my first child, because I look really young for my age, but she definitely let me know how run-down and exhausted I looked this morning :( I still over-tipped her, ugh. Afterwards I went to pick up groceries and got the question about the baby’s gender. When I lied to the cashier that I didn’t know, she started guessing the baby’s gender based on my body shape! “You carry girls really round and boys mumble-jumble.” I couldn’t understand. I shut her down: “Look, I’m wearing a sweater, a thick scarf under my coat and a winter coat. You really can’t tell HOW I’m shaped.” That stopped her. However, the absolute worst was a stranger who came up to me at about 7 months and said: “It hurts. It hurts a lot. And sleep now. Need any other advice?” I just looked at her like she was crazy (which, obviously, she was) and said, “No.” Then I walked away. Ah, the joys of living in a crowded (New York) city. The creepiest was the delivery guy who hit on me the other day, “Hey bonita,” he called out. I looked down at my belly, sure he was not speaking to me although (creepily) there was no one else up and down the whole street. “Yeah, I’m talking to you. I LIKE that. I like that a lot.” GROSS!! A pregnancy fetishist. Yes, I’ve heard them all. I agree with you…I don’t get why people feel they can endlessly comment on your body just because you’re pregnant. Thankfully, I’ve only had one complete stranger actually rub my tummy (I don’t mind at all when acquaintances or friends touch me), so I’m counting my blessings!

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