Better Left Unsaid

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What is it about being pregnant that is so similar to being a magnet for word vomit? People are so very open (and often, so very rude) because I’ve got a little one growing inside me. Even people who I know (ahem, men) have never had a little one growing inside of them. It’s like seeing the bump makes people forget their manners. So in case any of you run into a pregnant woman anytime soon (believe it or not, they do let us out in public like any normal person, so you’re bound to run into us at some point or another) please, please do not say:

“You’re getting so big!” or “Any day now, huh?” or “You look ready to pop!” or any variation. Yes, I realize my stomach is the size of a watermelon. I realize this baby is getting bigger by the minute. But I don’t need to be reminded that I’m ready to pop (or worse, that I still have 10 weeks to go). I am dealing with my weight gain, something not easy for women to deal with – even if it is for a wonderful reason – on my own. And to some of these people, I really want to retort snottily “Yes, I am getting so big. This baby is 7+ lbs. What is your excuse?”

“Oh, just wait.” This one might be my biggest peeve. I’m uncomfortable. I have to pee. I’m hot and I’ve got a baby bouncing happily on the beanbag chair that is my bladder. Please don’t tell me to wait. That it’s just going to get worse. I’m not saying I’m in the worst pain of my life. I’m not even saying I’m in worse pain that you were in. I’m just saying, there is a lot of pressure happening and I need to get to a bathroom or I will pee my pants… and aim for your shoe.

“My labor was 128 hours with 17 hours of pushing and all this nasty, terrible, horrific stuff happened.” I’m about to have a baby. I realize, this is my first child so I’m not really privy on what exactly labor is going to be like, but I do know this. Every labor is different. And you’re just being rude telling me how terrible yours was. I’m not sure if this is a “Look how tough I was” thing or a “I’m going to one up you” thing or what. But it is rude. And it can be scary. So shh.

“Be careful working out!” Can I take a moment to say, “Um, duh.” I’ve been a runner since fourth grade. I’ve been in the gym hitting weights for 6+ years. I don’t think there is ever a workout, pregnant or not, that I have NOT been careful. I know my body. I’ve talked to my doctor. We’re fine in that gym. And while you’re at it, please refrain from telling me “Now, don’t let your water break while you’re here!” I’ll do my best, sir.

“I wish I was as lucky as you – I gained 75 pounds when I was pregnant!” Not luck. Work. Running into my eighth month. Spinning to the bitter end. Getting into the gym five mornings a week. And not giving into every single craving. That is how I kept my weight gain manageable. Not luck.

“You still have time to get fat.” Thanks.

“May I touch your stomach?” First of all, thank you for asking instead of just touching (most people don’t bother with the question). I appreciate it. But really, you’re a stranger. I know you think you’re touching a baby, but really, you’re just touching my stomach. And if this baby were on the outside, would you come up to me and ask “May I touch your baby?” No. Personal space should still exist even when sharing your body with another human. If I want you to touch my stomach, I’ll tell you.

Now here is my disclaimer: Most of what people have said to me about my pregnancy has been very, very positive. I’m very grateful for all of you and your wonderfully supportive comments throughout this pregnancy. If you have said any of these things to me, it’s okay. I still love you and I promise my annoyance was probably very short-lived. I have heard all of these multiple, multiple times (mainly from strangers), so I don’t even remember who has said what to me. Just remember this next time you see a pregnant woman walking down the street (read:sarcasm… kind of).

xoxo, Mallory

14 thoughts on “Better Left Unsaid

  1. sarahenicephotos

    This post made me giggle. In the best way possible, of course. I don’t usually say anything to a pregnant woman regarding her stomach. And I never ask to touch it. Period. I find the whole thing awkward. I don’t want people touching my stomach either. What do you say to them when they ask?

    On the other hand, I find pregnancy beautiful and can’t wait for that part of my life. And not even just beautiful physically, but in the sense that it’s such a gorgeous part of life. A little miracle. Regardless of how uncomfortable, painful, nauseating it may be. I find the whole thing beautiful. So more power to ya, sister!

    Reply
    1. Mallory

      Pregnancy IS beautiful. It’s amazing what a miracle it is. What our bodies can do.

      And I usually don’t have to answer people who ask to touch my stomach. They’re not looking for an answer… they’re just warning me a hand is incoming. 😉

      Reply
      1. sprout

        I didn’t have too many people asking or reaching for my belly. I was really worried about that in the beginning.

        However, the one odd one was a coworker who asked to touch my stomach when i was just 4 months along. At that point there’s really nothing to feel (besides belly flab). Definitely no baby or baby kicks. I’m sure it was just her being excited about my pregnancy, but I told her no.

        Reply
      1. Wendy

        PS You wrote what I said about 6-12 weeks ago often…especially the first paragraph! As I told Scott, “I don’t have a billboard on for others to put their comments, so they can keep their thoughts silent!”

        Thanks for the public service announcement!! 🙂

        Reply
  2. Amy

    This post is beautifully said. I know I’m going to have a really hard time biting my tongue when I’m pregnant and presented with these situations. I know I’ll appreciate family and friends asking to touch my stomach, but I’ll just say no to strangers and then say SOMETHING when they don’t ask [because that’s inevitable right?]…

    Oh, and by the way, I was just telling Aaron the other day that if I saw you walking around I wouldn’t guess you were “ready to pop.” You’ve done a great job staying fit, lady! All the better to get that baby moving! I know how badly you and Jon want to meet him. :]

    Reply
    1. Mallory

      Thank you. I feel ready to pop but there are still so many times when I think “I always thought I’d be so much bigger by now.” I cannot stress how important working out throughout the pregnancy was to me – and not just for staying in my jeans but for my sanity too!

      Reply
  3. sprout

    oh my gosh, the first one is so dead on. it was the /worst/ when I told people I was seven or eight months and got the ‘you look ready to pop’ comment in return. Gee, thanks. Still have so much more to go and the baby has only just started filling out. It’s so hard navigating peoples notions of what an acceptable pregnant body looks like. I started thinking people are just clueless because they aren’t often exposed to women who are that far into their pregnancy.

    Along those lines I do have a funny story. I was just over five months pregnant and definitely starting to show. (remember how big you used to think 5 months pregnant was??) I was walking down the street in a maxi dress when we passed these guys standing outside a barber shop. As I strolled by on Jeff’s arm, one of them called out “Uh oh. SUM’thin’ happend.” (referring to my rounding belly) It was so out of the blue I was far more amused than offended. Still… the things people say.

    You are going to have an amazing labor. I just know it. You’ve kept your body strong. You took an active role in educating yourself. You found a center that will do its best work with your wishes. You have an amazing husband who will be there for you every step of the way. I know in my heart it will be a good one. And I can’t wait to read all about it.

    Reply
  4. sprout

    Doesnt’ this feel like ages ago? like it was someone else? Seriously, I almost cant even remember being pregnant now. The whole thing seems surreal.

    Reply
  5. Tracey

    I had to come back and read this. I have another one to add to the list because, no joke, EVERY DAY at the end of the day all of my coworkers think it’s fun to say “Don’t drink too much tonight!!”. Everyday. It wasn’t funny the first time.

    And every morning, “You didn’t have it last night?!”. Yes, I did have HER. And now I’m back at work because I’m hard as eff. Thanks.

    Also, I must add to the “any day now” when I have a month left – I hope it’s not any day because I really want a healthy baby that doesn’t have to spend a bunch of time in the NICU if can help it. So, can we give her at least two weeks?

    Just venting/adding to your list 😉 But I agree – most comments are good. I say, keep telling pregnant women how beautiful they are and how unbelievable it is that they only gained wait in their belly – because that is really nice to hear!

    Reply

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