Some people have no filtration system between their head and their mouth. And lately, I’m noticing a trend with older women who speak “down” to younger, pregnant women. As though they feel their experience with child-bearing however many years ago gives them the right to say whatever they please, no matter how harsh. Like they’re inducing me into the “I’ve Been Pregnant Before and Now I Have All the Answers” Club.
I’ve heard some of the strangest things. And some of the people who say them, I kinda tilt my head to the side and think, “What?!” as they’re walking away. So with that in mind, I present:
Things You Should Not Say to a Pregnant Woman.
(Note: While this is presented in jest, everything listed has been said to me over the course of the past couple months and weeks.)
- “You’re due in August?! Are you CRAZY!? My baby was born in June and I swore I’d never have another summer baby. I (insert lengthy list of end-of-pregnancy symptoms that can be made worse by extreme heat including but not limited to swelling, general aches and pains, inability to pee, and inability to walk) so much worse than with my other pregnancies.”
- “Well I’m just really sorry for you that you didn’t get to give your parents their first grandchild.” (I’ve heard this from two separate sources, and always with such sympathy in the voice. WHY?!?!)
- “Don’t listen to anything anybody else tells you.” Which almost always comes before they tell me something that, if I heed their advice, I will ignore.
- “Summer babies! You and Amy are going to be so miserable this summer! Your sister was smart and got hers out in the Spring.”
- “So I guess you felt bad that your sister and sister-in-law were giving your parents grandchildren before you and you had to jump on the bandwagon, huh?” (Yep. Bandwagon-jumping. That’s how babies come to be.)
- And the REAL kicker: (this was over the office phone one day earlier this week – allow me to emphasize – I’m at work) “I was talking to my daughter the other day. She said you’re not really showing yet. I told her it’s probably because your boobs have gotten so big they’re overshadowing whatever little pregnancy bump you might have.” (This is just so disturbing on so many levels. How the size of my boobs comes into play in any conversation where I am not present just befuddles me.)
And on a much more positive note, we received what will probably go down as my favorite baby compliment yesterday. Joe is one of Kyle’s good friends, a coworker whose wife is also pregnant. They were talking about baby stuff yesterday and got on the subject of names.
Don’t know if I’ve ever shared this on here, but the names we have picked out are (boy) Darby Bishop and (girl) Ivalee Grace (we’ll call her Iva). It was surprisingly easy for us to come up with names that we agreed on. It took all of two or three weeks to commit and we LOVE both of the names so much!!
Back to Joe & Kyle: When Kyle shared the names, Joe’s reaction was so awesome! He said, “Wow! Those are such great names! That kid is gonna be somebody!”
It seems like there can be such negativity surrounding pregnancy. Yes, some of the symptoms aren’t fun and I’m definitely treading new territory with a lot of what’s going on in my body. But every single thing that happens, I try to view as a celebration of the miracle of what’s going on in my body. God is shaping my child. There’s going to be a personality to get to know, a temperament to adjust to, a will to mold, a soul to invest in. My Child! Iva Polk. Darby Polk. And I know the process of child-bearing is not a foreign one – it’s part of the circle of life, having taken places billions and billions of times in the course of history. But that doesn’t make it any less miraculous. And it doesn’t decrease our anticipation at all!
So to the recruiting members of the “I’ve Been Pregnant Before and Now I Have All the Answers” Club, I make one request: Take a tip from Joe. Celebrate this child with us. And please don’t try to take my happiness and put dread and fear in its place.