Thursday, April 24, 2008

And the Number 1 Thing To Never Tell a Pregnant Woman...

We have a winner.

I thought I'd heard it all by now. You know, the well-meaning (or secretly diabolical, hard to tell!) people who find out you are pregnant and give you all kinds of horrible "advice" (which is really just a thinly veiled warning that makes you wonder why on earth people ever have children in the first place).

Here are some real life examples of things people have told either me or my friends while pregnant: (not kidding!!)

Boss: “Are you still pregnant?”
Mom to be: “Yes.”
Boss: Sigh. “You’re really inconveniencing me.”

Mom to be: “Look, this Bella Band is the greatest invention ever! You so can’t tell my jeans are unbuttoned.”
Coworker: “You’re having to unbutton your jeans already?”

Friend: “I was in labor 37 hours. But don’t worry, that’s not typical.”

Not-so-helpful friend: “Enjoy sleeping now, because when the baby comes, that’s it!”

Not-so-helpful family member: “Make sure you get spoiled now, because after the baby comes, it won’t ever be all about you ever again!”

Stranger: "So when are you due?"
New Mom: "Uh...I delivered a week ago."

Co-worker: "Are you having a girl?"
Mom to be: "We don’t know, why do you ask?"
Co-worker: "Women that are pregnant with boys have a glow to them."

Shopkeeper: "Wow, are you sure you’re not having twins?"

And of course, no matter what you say, there is always the inevitable "oh just wait it gets worse" remark from someone standing nearby. I try to crack a joke about how often I'm in the restroom, and I get "oh just wait, it gets worse!" or make a joke about feeling like a cow...sure enough "oh just wait, it gets worse."


But last night, I found the winner. The number 1 thing you NEVER ever should say to a pregnant woman. Really, something you should never say out loud to anyone, but to a woman in her third trimester, who is already nervous about the inevitable birth/labor process...its just unimaginable.

Let me explain.

After work yesterday, I went to the gym (yes, while starting my third trimester! I so deserve a cookie!) I had been very active in the gym for two years before getting pregnant, and stayed going somewhat regularly ever since, using the treadmill or the pool. The last few weeks though I'd slacked off on the gym part, but was still doing my nightly stretches and hand weights at home. But I decided it was time to get back on the treadmill before it was too late. Now that I get out of breath quicker, I knew to take it extra easy, but felt that getting back on the treadmill would hopefully help my lower back that has started hurting from sitting at work all day.

So I'm in the locker room changing and this woman comes in, obviously exhausted from her workout. She's apparently one of those people who likes to talk to anyone around her, so I was being polite and encouraging as she told me how hard she just worked out and how she was 51 years old and quite proud of herself, etc. I agreed and then she said "But look you at! Pregnant and here! That's great." and I smiled and nodded.

She went on to say "now you be careful out there."

"Yes ma'am."

"Don't pull anything."

"No ma'am." (I tie my shoes faster at this point, hoping for escape)

"You don't want to strain anything. You'll need those muscles for pushing during labor."

"Yes ma'am." (rapidly losing patience now as the all too familar, irritable horomones take over and I edge toward the door. Does she think I don't know that?!?? Of course you use muscles for pushing during labor. Duh.)

Then she said it. The words I'll never forget and hope to never hear again.

"You know, when I was pregnant with my son, I pushed and strained so hard my uterus dropped. It literally almost fell out."


I never knew it was possible to want to simultaneously fall on the floor in the fetal position and cuss out a stranger, all at once. My mind is a blur. My stomach immediately starts to hurt. I'm thinking oh my GOSH I didn't even know that was possible.

THEN SHE KEEPS GOING. Have you seen the movie "Mean Girls"? With Lindsay Lohan (I'm not endorsing it, just asking!) There's a part in there where she refers to word vomit - where you keep talking and can't shut up even though you really, really should. That's what this woman did.

"They had to do an emergency hysterectomy right then and there. Needless to say I didn't have any more kids after him!"

I don't know what to say. I'm trying to leave, but my feet are frozen to the floor. I try to remain polite, though I really am surprised either of us are still standing. I manage a smile and say "I'm sure he was worth it."

She scoffs. "He was, 'til he got to college. Then he only called when he wanted money."

At that point in my life, I had never prayed and asked God to literally make someone disappear before...Now I can say I have.

She finally leaves, and I'm standing there in my cute little sweatpant capris and maternity tank, feeling my stomach grow heavier and heavier with every breath. I want to go home and hide under the covers, or maybe camp out in front of my doctor's office and demand the truth of possibilities from him, but I don't. I suck it up (not in, can't do that anymore! lol) and get on the treadmill like a good preggo and do my 25 minutes of walking, keeping a sharp eye out for Ms. Word Vomit and plotting my next blog in my mind.

I mean, really, how is it EVER okay to say such a thing to a pregnant woman? That would basically fall under the "too much information" category to anyone, much less a woman in their third trimester.

Some people need to have their brain/mouth filters repaired. Or maybe installed in the first place.

So on behalf of preggos everywhere, I beg you - encouraging comments only please! Follow the golden rule - "If you can't say something nice..." you know the rest. =)


Lori said...

The rest of it? What, you mean: "If you can't say something nice... then you must be talking to a pregnant woman"? Is that what you meant?

Sheesh. I say, Pregnant Women of the World Unite! We've got to put a stop to this!

Betsy Ann said...

Hear, hear!!!!

Georgiana said...

Sounds like that lady was quite bitter. Sheesh!

Ane Mulligan said...

ROFLOL!!!! Too funny, Betsy. :D

When I was pregnant, it wasn't what others said to me, but what I said once.

I drove into the gas station. THe little bag that held the windshield washer fluid was empty and my windshields were dirty. This was back when gas stations were service stations.

The kid put the nozzle in my gas tank and as he neared my window, I asked, "Would you fill my water bag, too, please?"

I'll never forget the look on his face as he wide-eyed took in my bulbous belly. :D

So remember, even you can say the wrong thing.

Sally Bradley said...

LOL, what a dingbat. Now I'm pregnant, third time, but I frankly can't imagine that what she said was true. Fell out???? My head, too funny!

Erica Vetsch said...

Betsy, I'll say something positive: My oldest is a daughter and she is a treasure. I love her to death, she's so poised and mature for her age, so fun and sweet.

You're going to have a wonderful time with your daughter. The birth will be an amazing experience you'll remember for the rest of your life, and the payoff for the hard work is a beautiful baby girl, a lifetime friend in miniture.