Monday, 26 September 2011

Pass the Ear Plugs...

Now at the ‘unmistakably pregnant’ stage of pregnancy (though a woman did ask me if I had irritable bowel syndrome a couple of weeks ago…), my shape is causing near-constant comment from both acquaintances and strangers alike. As someone who generally likes to go about my everyday business without entering into conversations with strangers about my intimate medical history, this is rather irksome.

I know people are just being friendly (in the main), but the range of comments I have been on the receiving end of in the last couple of weeks has sometimes been both intrusive and upsetting, leaving me to ponder whether a lot of people are somehow disturbed by pregnancy, and therefore have a tendency to make a load of unwise comments.

With this in mind I have come up with a handy list of comments to say – and comments decidedly not to say – to pregnant women. All of the comments below are things that have actually been said to me.

Do Say…

“When’s it due?”

“Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?”

“Is it your first?”

“How are you feeling?”

In other words, keep it simple, safe and unoriginal. Yes, I am sick to death of answering these questions on an almost hourly basis from delivery men, taxi drivers, newsagents, fellow travellers on the bus (the list goes on…and on), but these are inoffensive and neutral. You’re on safe ground: stay there.

Don’t Say

“Are you OK? Your face looks a bit swollen.”

“Wow. You’re HUGE. Are you having twins?”

“If you don’t know if you’re having a boy or a girl, how do you know what colour baby clothes to wear? OMG! Nightmare!”

Oh, and if I reveal that I am having a planned caesarean, please DON’T say:

“My sister almost bled to death on the operating table when she had a caesarean.”

“If they deliver the baby before the due date, do you know the baby could die?”

“Why are you having a caesarean? You don’t HAVE to have one, you know. I had two home births. They were amazing!”

One last thing: don’t touch the bump unless we are actually friends. (In fact, this doesn’t happen too much to me, probably because of what I like to term my distinct ‘fuck off vibes’. Good).

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