Thursday, 7 November 2013

Stupid things to say to a pregnant woman #1

Yesterday I had my first experience with “stupid things to say to a pregnant lady.” I was quite taken aback by it but think I handled it pretty well.

As I walked into work yesterday, I ran into a colleague that’s been wanting to catch up for a coffee for a while now. I hadn’t felt motivated to do it and now I know why! We had spoken on the phone several times about my pregnancy but yesterday was the first time she had seen me.

She realised it was me and said “Oh, I’ve been wanting to see your baby bump.” She looked down and just smiled at me. She asked how I was feeling, what I was having and was this my first. I find these are the “trilogy” of pregnancy questions everyone asks. I’ve got the answers down to a fine art now – “Not too bad, girl, yes. “ It doesn’t take too much effort.

Then she said, “I hope I’m not too rude asking this, but why did you leave it so long to have children?” My first thought was, if you have to start a question admitting you’re rude asking it, it’s a good indication you shouldn’t ask it. Second, she’s just made this assumption that I’m verging on being too old to have a baby, without any idea of my age. Third, she’s just made this assumption that I’ve been travelling on this fabulous journey and have suddenly decided to have children as something fun to do.

I so badly wanted to say “I’ve waited this long because I didn’t want some drunk bloke I met in a pub and shagged to be the father of my child.” Or, “If I hadn’t of lost my first baby I would actually be at home with a 6 month old right now”. But, I bit my tongue and said “I’ve only been married for 1.5 years so it took me a while to find the person I wanted to have children with.” She nodded and said “Oh yes, I was 34 when I had my daughter. I’d been married for 8 years and we just decided it was time.” To which I responded, “Yes, we aren’t all lucky to meet our husbands in our 20s so these things happen at different times for us all.” I then promptly said good bye.

I’ve heard lots of stories from my friends about stupid things people have said to them when pregnant but no one ever said they were asked that. I found it enormously incredulous that someone would even think that, let alone ask it. It just goes to show that people really don’t think about things before they say them. I can laugh about it today, and I’m using it as another reminder of why you never assume anything about a woman’s pregnancy journey. You just don’t know the path she has travelled to get to where she is. Needless to say, I’m now even less motivated to have coffee!

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