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What not to say to a pregnant lady (or any lady for that matter)

by Karen on October 27, 2010

I’m going to try really hard not to rant. We’ll see how it goes.

I will be 34 weeks pregnant tomorrow. THIRTY FOUR. My mom gave birth to my two older sisters — both perfectly healthy with no preemie complications — around 36 weeks. When I think about that, it kind of blows my mind.

As uncomfortable and huge as I feel, the possibility that I could have this baby in 2-3 weeks sort of makes me panic. I’d be happy if he came in about a month. I’m sure I won’t be any more prepared in an extra two weeks, but right now, that sounds reasonable.

That said, I’m not looking forward to another month or two of pregnancy.

It seems the baby and my belly have undergone a pretty extreme growth spurt in the past few weeks. Suddenly, everyone feels compelled to comment on my size. And can I tell you? NOT COOL.

I’m already lumbering around feeling like I have a 20-pound medicine ball under my shirt. I’m uncomfortable. My mid-section and lower back ache constantly from the strain on my muscles. I’m crabby, and I’m not getting any sleep because I toss and turn trying to find a comfortable position for the aforementioned medicine ball strapped to my stomach.

The number on the scale is way higher than it’s ever been in my life, and my body image is at an all-time low. I think every pregnant woman goes through a period where she sees pictures of herself pre-pregnancy and feels compelled to weep in mourning of her formerly fabulous body (no matter how unhappy she was with her body before pregnancy).

So guess what I DON’T need to hear right now? The following comments:

“Wow. SEVEN weeks left? I don’t believe it. Please tell me there’s more than one baby in there.”

“I don’t think it’s possible for you to get any bigger.”

“You look like you’re ready to pop.”

“THAT looks uncomfortable.”

I have actually heard every single one of those comments in the past few weeks from strangers and even well meaning friends and family.

Depending on my mood, who the commenter is, and my level of crabbiness, I’m usually able to muster a reasonably polite response. The CVS cashier who insisted I must be having twins because I’m WAY too huge to be carrying one baby received a bit of a sassy retort. (“No. So nice of you to say that, though.” *death stare*)

Honestly, though. I know I’m not the first person to say this, but what in the world makes people think it’s okay to comment on a pregnant woman’s size? When is it EVER polite to comment on someone’s size? Answer: never. Never ever ever.

While I’m on the topic, guess what else is not okay? Groping a person’s stomach. Unless you’ve been given direct permission, keep your hands off. It may look like a beach ball, but it is a part of my anatomy, and I’d rather you didn’t man handle me.

The bigger I get, the more personal space I require. Unfortunately, there is an inverse relationship between my size and the amount of personal space the general public is willing to allot to me.

I guess I couldn’t resist the urge to rant a little after all. But seriously. Keep your hands off my belly, and shut your trap about how enormous I look. Thank you.

Photo by cglatz

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