Monday, August 31, 2015

Things That Shouldn't Be Said To a Pregnant Woman

Soon after Froggy was born, he was baptized in our parish by a rather loud mouthed deacon.  At one point, he felt the need to address everyone attending (there were two other families also having babies baptized) to remark on how large I had been before the baby was born.  I don't remember his exact words, something to the effect of, "Before her baby was born I just kept wondering when she was going to pop!"  Note that this particular deacon was not a close family friend.  In fact, he was a newer deacon who didn't have an ounce of tact.

This past weekend our family had a few different outings in which I received comments that really should just never be said to a pregnant woman (or any woman/mother for that matter).  The first was from an elderly woman, who frankly should have known better, but for some reason felt the need to share her opinion.

"Wow!" She said to me as I sat down with a baby in one hand and a plate of food in the other. "When are you due?" 

When I told her November, she raised her eyebrows in a dramatic fashion and said, "Really?!  You must have triplets in there!"

And then she asked if this would make four children, and when I replied that it would actually make five here on earth, she again raised her eyebrows and said, "I only said four to be polite!  Five!  Goodness!"

I had no idea what to say to either of these comments (I have more manners than to just lambast her in front of a large group of people) and was thankfully saved by having to help one of my (numerous) children.

Later that day, our family went to the evening Mass, which while not ideal for us, has been what lately has worked due to a hectic traveling schedule.  During the sign of peace another not so elderly woman (but who also should have known better) said, "You are really getting big!  When are you due?"

I mumbled November simultaneously with a sign of peace, but what I really wanted to do was throw tomatoes at her (if I carried tomatoes with me, which maybe I should start doing).

I try really hard not to be too sensitive, but when twice in one day complete strangers remark on the largeness of my pregnant self (when there are still 2 1/2 months to go), it's hard to not think that perhaps I should not venture out into public for the next few months as if my mere presence is an obscenity.

My husband did not hear any of these comments, so when I told him on the way home, he was furious.  "You are beautiful when you are pregnant."  Now that is a man who knows what is acceptable to say.

While I'm sure most of you would never say anything but the sweetest things to a pregnant woman, take this as a lesson.  Hold doors open for her, give her your seat, offer to carry her groceries to the car, ask her how she's feeling, when she's due, and if she knows what gender the baby is.  Congratulate her.  Do not express shock when you see her lumbering around, or struggling with her (four!) born children.  Do not comment on her size.  Just don't.  She feels awkward enough already without having to go home and wonder how she could possibly get any bigger (because she will, oh yes, she will).  Pregnant women are vulnerable, both physically and emotionally.  They do not need to deal with your poor manners as well.

My huge self at 28 weeks.


Jennie C. said...

You look lovely, and people are idiots. I mean that as charitably as possible. :-)

Kate said...

Grrrrrr!!!!! I cannot stand how rude some people can be!!!!! So very sorry you had to deal with all that Cmerie! You were/are so sweet. There was a man at church once who used to always comment on how fat I was getting (he was kind of notorious, and actually made one other pregnant lady cry once with his comments. grrr!). One day I had just had enough. After he made his comment, I smiled at him and said " Well, at least I am expecting a baby. What's your excuse?" Terrible and mean, I know. But he has never bothered me again. Good grief. When I am pregnant, charity is not one of my strong suits. Even the smallest things can make me want to boil over. God help me!

You ARE beautiful! And you have a beautiful family!
Hang in there my friend!


Tori said...

Ugh, so rude. I really have a hard time understanding how those comments get past the internal filter. Maybe they don't have one. In any case, you are not huge. You are pregnant and you look just how you are meant to - lovely.

Mom said...

Oh, my darling you look absolutely, beautifully, stunning, seriously I think you look wonderful. And its not because I'm your mother, I really do think you look beautiful, when you start to feel like that, dig out that pic of me when I carried you, I was about as far along as you are now, enough said :)

Cmerie said...

Thanks all. :)

Kate! I just love what you said to him! If only I could be as quick thinking.