So, it’s been almost four years since I evicted C from my uterus. And while four years of parenthood has been a virtual magnet to my mental hard drive, erasing all kinds of things I thought I would never forget, I can remember clear as day some of the inane things that were said to me when I was pregnant. What is it about having a human growing inside you that invites all manner of unsolicited, insane advice?
My friend Mary gets it. She’s expecting her third baby and has had enough of the pregnancy peanut gallery. I’m excited to welcome her on the blog today and have her sound off on the idiotic things she’s heard during her pregnancies.
I love being 34. I look at myself now compared to 24-year old me and I like me so much more now. I have accomplished a whole bunch: I got married, I had two kids, I went back to school and got my MA and now I teach at an all-boys high school preparing the youth of America and my own little tykes for the future.
My proudest accomplishment, though, in being a woman, is getting to that magical age where I’m still hot (if not ten times hotter) but no one has the guts to hit on me because I’m confident and it scares them. My students and colleagues respect me because I don’t take BS from anyone. I say what’s on my mind and I don’t start off any statement I make with “Sorry, but I was wondering if I could just say …”
No sir. I just say it.
I started CrossFit a year and a half ago, and I can out-squat and out-deadlift some of the very teenage boys I teach (which gives me major street-cred; we compare numbers all the time). Talk about a major confidence booster. And my rear end is firmer and higher and rounder than it has ever been in my life.
All of these things: the MA, the teaching all boys, and the lifting weights have trained me in a way to think like a man. I see how we’re raising our boys – to be the dominant ones in society, to have no regrets for their decisions, and to not give a flying flip what others think about them, and I have learned in recent years that getting in on that action is the best thing a gal can do for herself.
Now that I’ve shared enough about myself to feel that you know ME, I’ll share one more little bit of info that has nothing to do with my identity or my ability as a human being: I’m 35 weeks pregnant. And gosh darn it, I love flaunting my enormous belly because I have worked hard at growing the little parasite living inside there.
But my belly is not me, and it is not an invitation for you to make judgments about who I am or comments about what I’m capable of doing.
Seeing my belly grants you ZERO access to personal information and it does not allow you to comment on my appearance, my ability, or my fertility. Back the eff off. I don’t care what you think of me, but I do care what you say to me. And it’s not because it hurts my feelings, but rather because it’s clearly you have been trained to talk down to women and you are showing me exactly the kind of person you are and I have no use for you. If you want me to think any better of you, it’s time for you to join all the rest of us in 2016 where we respect and encourage women.
If you are unable to find your filter, allow me to help you create one.
Here are six things you should NEVER say to a woman who is pregnant:
1. “Any day, now, huh?” / “You look like you’re about to pop!”
I had someone say this to me at 34 weeks. You, dear heart, have just called me fat AND wished a premature baby on me. So now stuck in my mind are worries about bills, heartache, time spent in the hospital, missed bonding time with baby… Just because YOU think I’m unreasonably fat does not mean that you get to comment on my appearance. If and when you do, be ready for some colorful commentary coming back in your direction. I don’t plan to let you get away with what you just said without a fight.
2. “Oh, honey, your skin is breaking out.”
WTF?!?! Here is a picture of me I took the day a sweet little old colleague of mine just wanting to engage me in conversation said that little gem to me.
I was feeling so pretty that day because I looked like THIS without any makeup on. I was feeling like the frakkin’ Mona Lisa that day! Dammit, lady, YOU JUST DON’T COMMENT ON PEOPLE’S SKIN!!! EVER!!! You don’t hear me commenting on your failing eyesight, do you? Where’s your tact?
3. “Were you trying?” / “Was this a surprise baby?”
You think it’s ok to ask me about my sex life and about my family planning? Why don’t you just give me a Pap smear right here and now, since you and I are close like that? I’m having a baby. That is all you need to know.
4. “I hope it’s a girl.” / “Are you going to try again if it’s not a girl?”
What an awful thing to say. If you say it in front of my two boys who make the world a brighter place for me to live in, therefore suggesting to them that they are a disappointment to me because they were born with what you consider the wrong genitalia, I will punch you in your genitalia. We wanted another baby, and that’s what we’re getting.
5. “You’re still going to CrossFit? That’s dangerous! You could make yourself go into labor!”
I hit a personal record on my squat and my deadlift at seven months pregnant because I know that the muscle used for squats and deadlifts is not the uterus, but rather all the other ones around it that support it. Other exercises that put a strain on any inner connective tissue surrounding my womb? Guess what – I don’t do them. I find a safe alternative, because I listen to my body. I’m strengthening my body to prepare for a labor and delivery that will make all of you hate me. I popped the first child out in three hours, the second in 45 minutes – both of them without any drugs – and I’m aiming for the most glorious hat trick ever seen this side of the Mississippi for the third kiddo.
My ACTUAL doctor is on board with it all, and your imaginary MD is really getting on my nerves.
6. “I was just trying to be friendly” / “Why so sensitive?” / “You’re a little hormonal”
Oh, so my reaction to your insult is MY fault? Well, yes, I guess it is. I do choose how to react to you when you say stupid things to me. I choose NOT to stay quiet while you continue to think that the way you say these absurdities to a pregnant woman, or ANY woman for that matter, is OK. My friend, keeping quiet is the worst possible thing I could do for all of the other ladies out there dealing with this nonsense. How are you going to change if you have no idea that what you’re doing to women is wrong? I’m taking the time to educate you – it’s what I do. I’m a teacher. And I’m 34 now; I’ve found my voice in this world and I’m going to use it to stick up for myself and for the gals that haven’t found theirs yet. I am not a delicate flower and you should not say such bullying things to me to try to force me to back down off of this rant. Because believe me – we are ALL thinking the exact same thing. We are all fed up with this BS, and the only hormones that have anything to do with how I respond to you are adrenaline and testosterone. They are surging through my body and you are going to feel just how “hormonal” I can be. Good golly I love being me!