Friday, March 04, 2011

What Not To Say To a Pregnant Woman

These are the ones I personally hate hearing…

1. Enjoy eating everything you want!
Ha. Ha ha.  Hahahahahahaha!  Obviously you’ve never been pregnant.  The list of food that you MUST NOT EAT or you will KILL YOUR BABY is long and pretty much includes something you absolutely love.
  • Raw or undercooked meat (kiss Carpaccio and sushi good-bye and expect to order all your steaks and hamburgers “well done” *spit*)
  • Deli meat - including hot dogs (kiss lunch goodbye)
  • Fish with mercury or exposed to environmental pollutants (i.e. any fish that once swam in an ocean, lake, or river)
  • Smoked fish (like there was any fish left for you to eat anyway)
  • Raw or undercooked shellfish (cooking shellfish doesn’t prevent algae-based bacteria from proliferating, so most of the time they ask you to just avoid shellfish entirely… just in case)
  • Raw or undercooked eggs (this includes fried eggs, over-easy eggs, soft-boiled eggs, poached eggs, and scrambled eggs that aren’t completely dry and horrid)
  • Soft cheeses (except American cheese, which isn’t actually cheese)
  • Pate (actually anything with liver in it, including, surprisingly enough, liver)
  • Anything with caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Vitamin A - you need it every other day but too much will KILL YOUR BABY
  • Cut your fat by 30%
  • Cut your cholesterol
  • Make sure you get enough fat and cholesterol because you need them to absorb the vitamins
  • You must still get lots of folic acid, calcium, and iron and you can’t get enough of it by eating because we’ve cut all the main sources of vitamins and minerals out of your diet - so take big fat vitamins!

So exactly how am I supposed to enjoy eating when everything I like to eat has been taken off the “acceptable” food list?  I have to read the packaging, obsess over food choices, and try to work a balanced diet around restrictions and availability…

Or you know, throw my hands up in the air and ask: what the hell are French, Italian and Japanese women eating, then? And then eat whatever I want.

The corollary to #1 is: don’t tell me what I shouldn’t eat, because I will fucking cut you, bitch.

2. Enjoy sleeping while you can, because you’ll miss it after the baby’s born.
WHO IS SLEEPING NOW??  FIND ME THE COMFORTABLY SLEEPING PREGNANT WOMAN!!  Multiple trips to the bathroom (and getting out of bed is NO walk in the park), acid reflux, restless legs, cramps, Braxton-Hicks, kicking baby, rhinitis, numb hands, HUGE BELLY keeping me from rolling into any other position, yeah, I’m sleeping like a goddamned princess here. 

3. You’re not fat; you’re pregnant.
You did NOT just contradict a pregnant woman, did you?  DID YOU??  I’ve put on 50 lbs (25 kgs) in the last 9 months.   I can’t reach my feet.  I can’t even SEE my feet.  I’ve out grown all my normal clothes and half of my maternity wear.  If I wanted to wear a skirt, I’d need to rub talcum powder between my thighs.  They stick and won’t rub past each other, thus limiting my ability to actually move myself without the obviously pregnant waddle.  I get winded walking up the gentlest incline; so don’t even talk to me about stairs.  My hips POP OUT OF ALIGNMENT and my knees have a nasty tendency to give when I squat.  I’m SO SORRY if I’m offending the sensibilities of the fat people (“oh, *sob* poor us, we’re fat, you have no right to be calling yourself fat, you don’t understand what it’s like to be fat”) but I bet you put on those extra pounds SLOWLY, over time, giving your muscles, bones, and closet time to adjust for inflation and I bet your fat doesn’t kick you in the middle of the night either.

The proper response to a pregnant woman who bemoans her fatness is to say “thankfully it’s mostly baby and water, so this too shall pass.”  Because what a fat pregnant woman needs to hear is validation of her feelings and a reminder that it’s temporary.  Telling us we look great is also nice, even if we know you're lying.

4. In English “Was it planned?” or in Danish “Er du glæde for det?” (are you happy about it)
No, the motherfucking Archangel Gabriel came to me and told me God raped me in the night and implanted the Savior of all Mankind, that he’ll take on the sins of the world and be sacrificed by being nailed to a goddamned tree all because he told people to get along with one another and pay their damn taxes because the Romans gave us roads, peace, and hygiene.  And I for one am Quite Pissed Off About It.

Seriously people - dumbest questions EVER.  Everyone is going to say “yes” no matter what and now the pregnant chick is wondering what kind of cheap whore do you take her for.  THANKS A LOT!

5. Are you still pregnant?
No, I had the baby and now I’m just wearing a pillow around my middle for shits and grins. 

6. Are you getting exercise? You should be exercising.  [Insert discussion of the benefits of exercise and what will happen to me if I don’t.]
So remember the part where my hips pop out of alignment?  And my knees have gone… well, they’ve gone somewhere and they left no forwarding address, although I think it was Fiji.  For all I know they took my feet, I haven’t seen them in a while either.  Point being, exercise is limited to standing up, getting up from lying down (both are gargantuan achievements, y’all), and going up the stairs.  Spend all day on my feet, walking and moving about and I’ll be flat on my back in tears by 8 pm.  I was fine until about 10 lbs ago.  At that point my weight got ahead of my ability to build new muscles and the muscles I have are pretty taxed.  How about this, then, I’m still moving.  How’s that for ya?  Would you like to tell me how many poops I should be doing a day too?

7. You can’t do X with a baby!!
Oh, damn, now you’ve done it.  Like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  You’ve done told me I can’t do something.  Now I have to do it to prove you wrong.  Trying to appeal to my husband to “make me see sense” is not going to help.  He’s probably going to start plotting how we can accomplish X as soon as humanly possible. 

8. How are you feeling?
I know I’m being slightly bitchy here.  I can’t say that I particularly “hate” this question; it’s just that I get asked it so many times a day.  And the answer is: I feel like crap.  “But you look great!” or “[Insert unsolicited advice]” follows and then I’m stuck standing or sitting while the person with the great intentions tries to make me feel better.  You wanna make me feel better?  Carry this damn thing for me while I go take a nap, some asshole has been telling me I should be getting my rest now before the baby comes.

9. Once you are holding that precious baby in your arms you will totally forget how miserable you were.
That may be.  HOWEVER, I’m pregnant NOW.  I’m not holding a baby, I’m holding my breath because I think I may belch, fart, and possibly dribble a bit of GOD KNOWS WHAT NOW into my panties in the next 30 seconds.  Yes, some day we may all look back on this and laugh… but “some day” is not happening fast enough for me.

10. [In response to seeing someone trying to manage a screaming child] And that’s what you have to look forward to!
OH YAY!  THAT’S WHY WE GOT OURSELVES INTO THIS!!  You know what, just go away.


  1. Oh, you kill me! Yes, yes and yes - I totally agree! I haven't forgotten the misery that was pregnancy (so why did I do it three times?)

    You know what I do miss about pregnancy though? The ability to produce really good, raunchy belches and farts!

  2. Anonymous5:50 PM

    About 4. Do you think they're ready to give you abortion advice in case you are not "glæde" for it?

    You reminded me of something Twisty Faster said about motherhood
    "Women who fail to become mothers, as well as mothers who fuck up and deviate from the impossible standards mandated by the official patriarchal narrative, are always punished in one way or another."

    The dietary restrictions, the exhortations to exercise, all of it, is about control. It's not about your baby's health for sure but to guilt trip uppity-ness out of you.

    All power to your arm!

  3. You know.. I got the "Er du GLAD for?" a couple of dozen times (even when the kid was already out and sleeping snuggly in a slingy thingy).. And I thought "What kinda creepy question is that?".. I mean.. even if I WASN'T 'glad for'.. would I spill my business to the random Danish public? But.. now that I get the INSINUATION behind the question.. geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze.. what-the-hell-business-is-it-of-yours-you-shrivelled-Danish-heiffer???

    Good luck with this final leg of your journey.. Processing a baby is hard WORK :)

  4. Anonymous9:33 AM

    Sympathies, all the way around!!! Hated all of that too.

    I too, put on 50 lbs, had to hear, "having twins?" ALL THE TIME. Even my jordemoder gave me grief, despite the fact that I was still bicycling daily until the last day, I EVEN BICYCLED TO THE HOSPITAL TO GIVE BIRTH!

    And the doozy - "everything will change", no shit Sherlock, but ya know, sometimes people have a baby because THEY WANT A BABY AND ERGO THE CHANGE THAT COMES WITH IT!

    Damn, my blood pressure is up just remembering this stuff.

    Just give 'em hell.

  5. FUN TIMES!!!
    Especially #2..must be said by folks who have NEVER had a watermelon in their gut which causes them to pee every half hour...yeah, good sleep times.

    You're getting closer though... hang in there!


Keep it clean, don't be mean....