Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How To Offend a Pregnant Woman in Ten Easy Steps

Now this isn't one of those chastising posts about what NOT to say to a certain group of people. You know how I feel about those. But rather an opportunity to laugh at some very unfortunate comments that were made to me during my first pregnancy. Oh, so many comments! So far this pregnancy has been disappointingly inappropriate-comment free. People must be off their game right now, so to help, here are some sure fire ways to offend any pregnant woman near you, they certainly worked on me.

1. Openly judge the timing of her pregnancy.

I think this one might have been my favorite. Shortly after announcing in my workplace that I was pregnant, a co-worker who I didn't know very well and probably never had spoken to before accosted me in the lunchroom.
Co-worker: So you're pregnant? (In an accusatory, non-congratulatory tone.) How old are you?
Me: (A little baffled by the seemingly unrelated questions) Um yes. And I'm 24.
Co-worker: (After looking me up and down and considering my age for a few moments) Oh. I guess that's okay.

It is? It's okay with you stranger co-worker of mine? What a relief! When I was contemplating pregnancy I thought not of my marital relationship or my financial stability or my emotional readiness, I thought only of you, co-worker! And your treasured opinions!

2. Express concern over her lack of maternal instincts.

When I announced my pregnancy to someone extremely close to me their first and only response was, "but you hate kids."

Every newly pregnant woman will surely appreciate this touching vote of confidence.

3. Diagnose her with a medical condition, especially when you have no medical experience.

When I was pregnant with my first baby I had majorly swollen feet. There was nothing medically wrong, except I was nine months pregnant in August and I had swollen feet. But everywhere I went people loved to tell me I had pre-eclampsia. My favorite ones were the ones who just wouldn't believe me when I told them I didn't.
Neighbor: You need to be careful because you have pre-eclampsia.
Me: (Gritting my teeth and trying to be kind) I know my feet are really swollen but I actually don't have pre-eclampsia, my doctor checks every two weeks.
Neighbor: Well has your doctor seen your feet?
Me: (Really gritting my teeth) Yes but pre-eclampsia is not just swelling, it is marked by high blood pressure and protein in the urine and I don't have either of those things.
Neighbor: Well you have pre-eclampsia, I can tell. Be sure to tell the nurses that when you go to the hospital to deliver.

4. Ask her if she's sure she isn't having twins. If she says no, keep asking her, don't let the subject drop, there has to be two babies in there!

It is amazing to me in this day in age of ultrasounds and fetal dopplers and regular checkups how anyone can think someone might be harboring a secret second baby in there that no one has noticed yet. It's just amazing.

5. Comment on how much bigger she is than another pregnant woman you know.

One unfortunate day, I went to a bridal shower for a relative and another woman there happened to have the same due date as I did. Through the whole shower I was treated like a circus act as people would have us line up next to each other and then invite all their friends to come see these pregnant ladies- "They have the same due date, can you believe it?! Look at how much bigger that one is!" Hint: I was the enormous one that people were gawking over.

6. Criticize her eating choices.

One day I walked into the house with a bag of groceries. Out of the top of the bag some potato chips were poking out. My neighbor then took the opportunity to tell me that I really shouldn't be eating those as I had already gained too much weight in her opinion.

7. Criticize all her life choices. Tell her things like paint fumes and pedicures will surely kill her unborn child.

My favorite part about these comments was the subtle insinuation that I hadn't done any research and had no knowledge of what was potentially unsafe for my fetus. And the insinuation that someone else, say a middle age man with no medical expertise, had more knowledge on the subject than I did.

8. Remind her how many people die during childbirth.

Always a nice comforting thing to say to someone who is about to experience childbirth. Be sure to follow it up with a "I would never do it. I don't know what you were thinking."

9. Tell her the worst labor story you've ever heard.

One day in between loud mouthfuls of an extremely pungent and bad smelling lunch, my coworker decided to regale me with her boyfriend's cousin's sister's birth story. I don't remember the exact details but I'm pretty sure she was in labor for a full week, almost died several times, and then finally birthed a baby with two heads.

10. If she says she's feeling uncomfortable in her ninth month of pregnancy, suggest she get out and go for a run! When she stares at you bewildered tell her about all the other women you know that ran marathons right up until their due dates.
Enough said, am I right?

So to all of those people who have just been asking me stuff like, "how are you feeling?"and other niceties, feel free to use any of these tips to step up your game! You have a lot of offensive comments to make if you want to keep up with my last pregnancy!


Jenna Foote said...

Forever and ever amen! I've had all those things happen to me over the course of my three pregnancies. My good friend and I were due the same day with our last babies, and she happens to be a good six inches taller than me which means she carries her babies differently. Every person in our circle of friends would comment how much bigger I was than she. It was amusing at first and then aggravating. The kicker was her baby was literally a whole pound larger than mine at birth and they were born only two days apart.

Meg said...

I think you forgot the one where you accidentally decide that yes, you will tell that neighbor across the street what you think you're going to name your baby, and then she spends 20 minutes offering you alternatives.

P & J said...

Yes Megan!! I did forget that one! So many horrible things you can say to people about their baby names!

~Love Lis said...

I agree with Megan! I had so many people judge my baby's name. I think you nailed it though. I think you should write a whole separate list about offensive things people say to a new mom and tell us how to be a good mom. Some people!