I’m ready to lighten the mood just a little bit, I suppose. I found a link to this serious but cheeky post about what pregnant women really think when you say ridiculous things to them via @DarleneMacAuley on Twitter. Ok, so maybe I should add the caveat that not all pregnant women react like this, but at least Mama Birth and I do!
Here’s one of hers:
(Said when out in public with ‘gasp!’ all three kids and pregnant belly.)
“Wow. You are going to have your hands full.” ~Must be said in a voice that is a mixture of shock and horror.~
What I say:
(Why is my response almost always a smile and nervous laughter?! Seriously, my parents are not this polite!)
What I am thinking:
(On a bad day.)
“Are you kidding me, my hands ARE full. I am secretly freaking out, wondering if my sanity will survive and more importantly, if my kids will turn out to be functional adults. Can you get the door for me, load the groceries in the car (even after I say I don’t need help) and then help push me into my Suburban that conveniently has a four inch lift?”
(On a good day.)
“I love my kids! I couldn’t imagine life without them! They are the best thing that every happened to me and in no way a burden. Why does everybody seem so afraid of children? They are awesome.”
This is often said to me, especially when my big pregnant self is carrying a toddler twin on each hip! (Mama Birth, I don’t have a Suburban; thankfully, a very practical Honda Odyssey!)
Here are a few more in my own voice:
Random persons: “Oh, you’re really carrying high.”
My responses: (1) “Not really – here are my hip bones.” (2) “Really? I haven’t thought about it.”
What I’m thinking: “That’s the last freaking thing I need to hear because what I do hear (it’s that small little nasty voice) is ‘yeah, the baby will never drop, never engage, never descend, mwhahaahahaaaa!‘”
Random persons (with my twin pregnancy): “Wow, you’re smaaaaallll for carrying twins!”
My response: “Huh, thanks?”
What I’m thinking: “I imagine she thinks that’s a compliment, but I don’t really appreciate having my twin pregnancy minimized. I’m friggin’ huge but thankfully handle it well.”
Random persons (with my current singleton pregnancy): “Wow, you’re biiiiiiiiiiiiig!”
My response: “Well, most women look bigger sooner when they’ve been pregnant before.”
What I’m thinking: “Eff you I do not either!! I look fantastic!!!” I also then think that people shouldn’t ever make comments about how big or small they think you are for whatever stage of pregnancy you’re in.
Various friends: “You’re not going to the hospital? Wow, you’re brave!”
My response: “Hmm, well I think women who go to the hospital are brave.”
What I’m thinking: Unfortunately, most women take it for granted that they’ll be safe in the hospital and that their births will go normally. I’m thinking that women don’t really consider their choice of birth venue as seriously as they should. In my town, low risk women have access to a regional hospital (with a cesarean rate reflective of the national trend), a birth center (run by a CNM), and home birth. Do women really know the pluses and minuses of each of these birth venues?
Random & Non-Random people: “Well, my baby would have died if we hadn’t been in the hospital because he/she was in distress!”
My response: “Wow, I’m sure that was really scary!”
My thoughts: Normal, physiologic birth usually (sure, not always) does not lead to distressed babies. When someone tells me their babies were in distress, I immediately wonder if they had: (1) AROM? (2) non-medically indicated induction? (3) non-medically indicated augmentation of labor? (4) epidural (which most hospital births involve epidurals). We all usually study the “cascade of interventions” in childbirth education classes, but in the heat of the moment, lots of us forget that information and do whatever is required of or recommended to us.
These are a few of the random and usually not appreciated comments directed at me when I’m pregnant. What are yours?