As soon as you announce your pregnancy, either verbally or by waddling into a public space, people ask rude questions and say unprompted rude things. Below, I provide a sample of the rude things that people said to me while pregnant. Because I’m a researching developmental psychologist, I’ve also rated each rude comment on how obnoxious I found them using a 7-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 1 (Not at all obnoxious) to 7 (Are you f’ing kidding me?).
1. How long did you try?
2. How much weight have you gained?
Totes rude, right? Only family members asked me this question. Although being kin doesn’t excuse the behavior, it does make it easier to forgive the offender. What I will never understand is how people who never asked how much I weighed when I wasn’t pregnant suddenly thought this was a perfectly acceptable topic of conversation. The rudeness increased exponentially when the question was followed up with them telling me how little weight they gained during their pregnancy. To these people, know that I have been mentally flipping you off since you told me you left the hospital in the clothes you wore when you were admitted. Also, screw you, if you were one of these people, for missing the opportunity to make me feel good about myself while I was doing my best to somehow magically turn food into a human. Overall, I’d give this question a 5.5—one point for every 10 pounds I gained during pregnancy.
3. Just wait until the baby comes/Enjoy it while it lasts!
Not only did this comment irritate the hell out of me (and it still does), it also didn’t prove to be accurate. Not once since having this baby have I thought that I’d rather still be pregnant. Even if people meant it as a way to tell me to enjoy my last moments of being childless, it’s still emotional abuse, technically, because they were minimizing and negating my feelings, to which I had every right. It was nearly impossible to enjoy much of anything while pregnant and I don’t think I’m alone on this. My body had been taken hostage. Call me crazy but despite willingly allowing my body to be hijacked, it didn’t make the nausea, swelling, snoring, constant peeing, constipation, and insomnia enjoyable. After all, I got pregnant so I could raise a child. I did not get pregnant so I could enjoy being pregnant.
This comment usually happened as follows….
McRudepants: Hey! How are you?
Me: Good. You?
McRudepants: Great. How ya feelin’? Sleeping okay?
Me: I feel okay, except I’m pretty tired. It’s getting hard to sleep.
McRudepants: Just wait until the baby comes!/Enjoy it while it lasts!
Me (on the inside): SHUT YOUR FACE BEFORE I SMACK THAT STUPID LOOK OFF YOUR FACE!
Most importantly, I’ve found that it’s actually easier to sleep after giving birth. For one, I’m no longer being kept awake by my extreme discomfort. Secondly, the process of waddling to the bathroom 8 times in a night (not hyperbole, literally 8 times a night) while pregnant made it difficult to stay asleep once I had finally managed to do so. Now, miraculously, I can go the WHOLE night without having to go to the bathroom. At four months postpartum, I do wake up about 4 times a night to feed the baby, but I just poke my husband to bring the baby to me. I nurse him on my side in bed and barely wake up. When baby pulls off, I poke the husband again and he puts Frankie in his crib. I no longer have to become alert and it’s not much different than simply rolling over. Most nights I couldn’t tell you how often I woke up to feed the baby because I was barely aware I had done so. Because this comment was both highly irritating and inaccurate, I rate it a 6.
Don’t worry. I’ve still got a 7 in my pocket. Stayed tuned for parts two and three of this series.