If you have read this blog often you know that I am quite transparent about my shortcomings and frequent blunders. This post has a different twist. Today I get to bring your attention to some of the less than thoughtful comments I receive from strangers on a regular basis.
As of today, I am 7 months along with my 6th successful pregnancy. For those of you who read the post about my miscarriage in April this might be a tad confusing. That baby was expected last November. This baby is due in March 🙂
Now that we have caught up, can I tell you that most people have no idea how to talk to an expectant mother. I understand that many people have the best of intentions, they just sound clueless. I tend to carry the majority of my pregnancy weight in my stomach which makes me a special target for those who are otherwise unsure whether to assume someone is with child. What people are not aware of however is I also carry the majority of my pre-pregnancy and post pregnancy weight in my tummy. They just assume that the large mass attached to my midsection is “all baby” so thus the comments flow in.
At five months: “You look like you are going to have that baby any minute! Is there just one in there?”
“You have definitely dropped.” (In reality my tummy is so heavy it has drooped.)
“You look like you are about to pop!”
The dreaded question that starts the cycle of irritating comments is, “When are you due?” In itself this question drips with innocence. It only hurts my ears for the fact that 3 out of 4 people usually feel obligated to display shock at my size when I honestly answer them.
“Wow, is there just one in there?”
“That is one big baby!”
“Are you having triplets?”
All of these comments translate in my mind to one thing, “You’re huge (fat)!”
Before the comments come pouring in about how expectant mothers are suppose to be big and there is no shame in it, please remind yourself of the variety of hormones involved in the logic of the person you intend to relay this to and that such words give no consolation.
So what may a well intentioned person say to a woman great with child.
“Congratulations! Babies are such a blessing!”
“Wow, you are just glowing! Congratulations!”
“You are carrying that baby so beautifully!” (Might not be as well received from a man as another woman.)
The key is to avoid all mention of size.
While we graze this subject lets address the mothers out there that feel it is their obligation to share their labor and birth horror stories with first time expectant mothers. One word: DON’T! It is neither kind nor helpful. Filling a poor mother-to-be’s head with visions of abnormally long labors, emergency c-sections and botched epidurals is just plain wrong. You are not preparing them for reality because you have no idea what kind of labor she has ahead of her.
The truth of the matter is labor can be a hard process but once you hold that precious child in your arms it does not matter what it took to bring him into this world! After 5 labors with midwives (no pain medication) I speak from experience. The calmer a mother is about giving birth the smoother the process will go.
I hope by the writing of this post I have spared at least one expectant mother from the same discouraging comments or stories. After laying all these opinions on the table I must concede. I consider the fact that the LORD has blessed me with another child inside of my womb to be a great privilege. Although I find people who say things carelessly to me to be very annoying, these issues seem minute compared to the blessing of carrying this little miracle inside of me!