Being pregnant can be a physical and emotional roller coaster. While I was lucky to have a very healthy and uneventful pregnancy, it doesn't mean that it was easy to get through by any means. In most cases, I received a lot of positive comments like "you're glowing" or "pregnancy suits you", but there are always the inevitable comments that just don't sit right or downright piss you off that you remember the most, like...
1. “You Look Tired”
I’m not sure when it’s ever acceptable to tell someone that they look tired; who the hell ever wants to hear that? You might as well say “you look like sh*t”, because isn’t that what you really mean? I got this comment a few times during my pregnancy, mainly during the last couple months. Although I would just smile and nod when I heard it, what I really wanted to say back was “yes, I’m tired because I spend three hours a day commuting to and from work, get only three hours sleep a night because my hips are killing me and lose about a gallon of water in sweat each day, all while struggling to breath because this baby is sitting right under my lungs.” Note to everyone on the planet: never tell a pregnant woman they look tired. I’m pretty sure they can legally hit you.
2. “It’s Not Like You’re The First Woman To Ever Give Birth”
This comment came from a female co-worker who never had kids. I had been joking about getting myself a nice gift down the road after the birth of baby #2, when she explained that having a baby is something that happens every day and wasn’t some kind of achievement.
There are a lot of things that a person can never truly understand about having a baby until they’ve actually had one; I know I personally underestimated this myself. Getting pregnant, being pregnant and raising children is probably the most challenging part of my life. While I understand where her comment came from, it really belittled the physical and emotional challenges I was going through.
3. “You’re So Big!”
Doesn’t every woman, pregnant or not, just love hearing these words? Yes, I am so big! That’s what happens when you don’t have a supermodel’s body and carry around a 7 pound human in your tummy. Can’t hide it or control how big it gets either! Most surprising? This comment always came from women, some of which have had children themselves (I guess they forgot how big they were at the time?). Maybe I’m hyper-sensitive to these things, but this was one comment that I didn’t need to hear as I watched my stretch marks grow.
4. “If You Focus On Your Breathing, You Don’t Need An Epidural…”
…said the little Asian nurse assigned to me at the hospital while I was in labour. I kindly smiled at her while getting through another contraction and said something to the effect of “hells yes I need one!”. As my contractions continued to get stronger and closer together, again she commented, “…just a few days ago, a woman wanted an epidural and before they could get to her, she had the baby without it. You can do it too.” Again, I replied, “No, I need the epidural. Like, now.”
Unfortunately, as my contractions continued to become more painful and the doctor finally arrived to check my progress, I was already 7-8cm dilated. The person on staff for epidurals was tied up, so the back-up was called and wouldn’t arrive for at least another half hour. I can remember holding onto my husbands shoulders fighting through the worst contractions saying “where is the epidural?”, but I already knew that I wouldn’t be getting one. As my nurse had eerily predicted, I did in fact deliver without an epidural. Damn that woman.
5. “You’re Eating For Two, So Eat!”
This statement was usually made while more food was being shovelled onto my plate. Yes, I am eating for two, but the tiny person in my belly doesn’t require an additional 1,000 calories on top of what I need for myself. I also didn’t want to hear “that’s all you’re going to eat? you’re pregnant!” Again, I don’t want to be made to feel like I’m starving my baby because I didn’t throw back three pounds of ribs upon request. Just let me eat my two pounds of ribs in peace.
What comments drove you nuts when you were pregnant?