OK, so at 33 weeks pregnant with my third little one, I was getting grouchy and irritable with third trimester discomforts. And then there’s the fact that I’m only 5’2” (OK, fine! 5’ 1.5”!) and because there’s just nowhere for baby to go but out, I always carry huge. Even though I’m on round three, I’m still shocked by what strangers consider appropriate small talk regarding my pregnant belly. I wasn’t even 6 months along when the waitress at a restaurant asked when I was due (expecting it to be any second) and reacted by dropping her jaw and exclaiming, “Whoa! Do you ALWAYS carry this big?” “Actually, I’m carrying smaller than my first two pregnancies,” I replied. (I had some super duper horrible morning sickness for the first 22 weeks.) I think I blew her mind and she walked away with an astounded “Oh, WOW.”
So, I thought I’d have a little fun by sharing some phrases I’ve actually been told that should absolutely never be said to a pregnant woman (really folks, EVER) and the things I’ve wanted to say in reply (but didn’t):
1. Are you SURE you’re not having twins?
Having seen two ultrasounds, I’m pretty damn sure! But thank you for questioning my intelligence in addition to sharing your charming insights on my ginormous size.
2. You’re the biggest pregnant woman I’ve ever seen!
Seriously? I already feel like my belly defies the laws of physics. The only appropriate response to this one is to try to walk away without causing physical harm to the speaker. My friends who carry small have told me that it’s just as annoying to hear “You’re 8 months? You’re so small!” as for someone to point out that you’re massive.
3. My! You just look pregnant all over! I mean, you can’t tell some women are pregnant from the back but you look pregnant from every angle.
Yes. I’m pregnant. I LOOK pregnant. And I’m so glad you noticed how I’m swollen from head to toe while some women look like they’re carrying a watermelon under their shirt. Awesome.
4. Are you due tomorrow?
No, actually, I’m due in 3 months. Shall I tell you our baby’s name so you can criticize it? Because that sounds like a lot more fun than this conversation.
5. You look tired!
You know what? I AM tired. I’m GROWING A HUMAN INSIDE MY BODY. But thank you for pointing out that I look exhausted. That’s the encouragement I needed to push through what feels like the millionth day of this pregnancy.
6. You must have a huge baby!
Actually, no, I’m NOT carrying a 14 pounder. I’m measuring perfectly for my due date and baby is a normal-sized human child, not a baby Hagrid, thank you very much.
7. (When overdue) *Look of shock* You haven’t had that baby yet?!
Do you see a baby? You don’t? Then no! I HAVEN’T had that baby yet. And guess what! My annoyance at being overdue is probably greater than your surprise that I’m still managing to waddle around with a full-term baby in my womb. So do allow me to walk away before I let loose my pregnant crazy on you. (And let me assure you, a very overdue woman has stored up a LOT of pregnant crazy.)
So what do you say to the very pregnant woman in your life? Best not to comment on the size of a woman’s belly at all. Just stick to this: The first thing you say to pregnant woman is always, “You look beautiful!” And when a woman tells you her due date, say “oh great, how exciting!!”
If you’re unsure if you can stick to this script, you can always opt to not say anything!