I write this at 40 weeks & 3 days gestation and I’m quite happy to say there are a lot of things I’m so OVER hearing people ask or say to me. As overjoyed and grateful as I am to be pregnant, sometimes I feel ready to give up. I guess that comes with the territory. Here are some of the things that strangers and friends have repeatedly asked or said that I’m sure other pregnant women alike hate hearing too.
1. “Have you picked a name yet?”
This is a tricky one. I’ve found that revealing possible name choices only opens yourself up to a tidal wave of judgement. It’s been difficult enough to choose and compromise with my partner on names without having the opinion of others rammed down our throats. If you’re genuinely interested and open minded, ask away, but if you’re going to offer a negative opinion or make suggestions without being called for, just don’t ask.
2. “Don’t get an epidural, you’ll be paralysed! ”
As if the thought of giving birth isn’t scary enough. My birth plan is none of your business and unless you are a medical professional, you shouldn’t offer your opinion on it. If there was a high chance of paralysis, this wouldn’t even be offered as a pain relief option and there would be an abundance of mothers rolling around in wheelchairs. Unless you’ve been paralysed by the epidural, you shouldn’t say anything remotely close to this.
3. “You look like you’re ready to pop! ” or “Are you sure you’re not carrying twins?”
Wow, I already feel like an obese beached whale, does that mean I look like one too? Pregnant woman are very sensitive creatures. No one likes to be called fat and this is the maternal equivalent to it.
4. “Can I touch your belly?!”
What am I, a petting zoo? I will ask you if you want to feel the baby kicking. Even worse when it’s a complete stranger that just goes in for the grab. Harassment, anyone?
5. “Oh you can’t eat/drink/do that!”
Hey, are you my doctor? No? Then don’t tell me what isn’t good for me or the baby. I already know the do’s and don’ts, if it’s not your job then simply don’t say it.
6. “Sleep while you can!”
Between an acrobatic foetus and countless toilet breaks, I already can’t sleep at night. It’s no secret that sleepless nights are part and parcel of having children, why do you feel the need to remind me?
7. “You know it’s going to hurt, right?”
COME ON! I’m sure every educated person on this planet knows that giving birth is no walk in the park unless you’re in denial or a man.
The following apply to the later stages of pregnancy:
8. “Are you in labour?”
I’ve had multiple people ask me this via text message on a daily basis from 38 weeks, yes, before I was even due! There are a few people that I will tell when I’m in labour and they know this, why do they feel the need to keep asking…everyday?! Even if I was in labour, I doubt I will want to glue myself to my phone, surely I will have better things to focus on. If you’ve had children before you really should know better than to ask. If a pregnant woman wants you to know she is in labour she will tell you.
9. “Have you had the baby yet?“
This is another question I have been asked on a daily basis via text before I even reached my due date. Once again, same people, same question, everyday. If I haven’t gone into labour, what makes you think I’ve had the baby? Better yet, don’t you think I would have told you or don’t you think you would have heard from someone if I had given birth? If I have to be patient then so do you.
10. “Overdue? Wow, you must be over it.”
Thanks Sherlock Holmes for that marvelous observation, I’ll be sure to hire you next time I need someone to state the obvious.