It has been said [by my mother] that I have a branding iron as a spinal cord. For this reason, I walk away from heated discussions and don't attend church business meetings. I have learned to control it around the public and usually the only person who hears my honest thoughts is my husband. Of course, if you ask me, I'll tell you what I think but I try not to go around volunteering those things. I'm pretty sure I learned in kindergarten about the things a person just doesn't say out loud.
One of those taboo topics is pregnancy. I don't think you should ask any woman anything about her alleged pregnancy unless she opens the conversation. Never just ask a woman if she's pregnant. That can be deadly. I have started just telling people no, or that I just ate a big lunch. It's too much fun to watch their faces.
From the time we announced my pregnancy up until now, I have tried to be patient with the off-hand and sometimes rude comments, bits of advice, and horror stories that everyone from sweet old ladies at church to the check-out lady at Kroger have bestowed upon me. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt because surely they didn't mean that.
One of the most fertile [pun intended] environments for these comments is church, especially when you're one of the minister's wives. I'm on public display as it is and my poor daughter just didn't stand a chance. For some reason, that gives people a sense of ownership to your business and to your baby. People who have never so much as asked me my name are now assuming rights to the details. And that's ok, for the most part. I know people get excited about babies. It's an exciting miracle. Even people I've never seen before when we're out in public get in on the action.
BUT, if you can't say something nice, please just don't say anything at all.
"No, I am not having twins. Really, I'm not. The marvels of modern medicine can actually see if there are two in there." I've said those words at least 6 times.
"You're never going to make it to your due date." /"You're too big to still have this many weeks to go."/ "Wow, you're huge!" These sentences have been said to me and about me to my husband.
"Pregnant in the summer? You're going to be miserable." Wow, really?! I guess I should have thought of that back in January.
Once I apologized for being out of breath to an older lady, letting her know that I had just walked up the stairs. She remarked that maybe if I wasn't so fat I wouldn't get winded. She literally told me that she thought she was seeing double. Who knows, maybe she was.
Can you understand my sensitivity? After hearing comments like this week after week, it gets a little old. I'm barely 5 feet tall, just where exactly is this baby supposed to go? I have severe back problems, so that's why I walk funny. I'd be limping a little, pregnant or not.
I'm not really angry, but to be honest it does hurt my feelings a little bit when people make comments about my weight. That would hurt any woman's feelings. I know that God has created this little girl for Him and He has made my body to nurture and deliver her in His time. I'm writing all of this so that the next time you see a pregnant woman, here are some great things you can say to make her day.
"You look beautiful!"
"What do you still need from your registry?"
"I am so excited to meet your little one. Is there anything I can help you do to get ready for her arrival?"
Or better yet, just don't say anything at all. :)