5 Nuttiest Things People Said When I Was Pregnant
Judging from the number of times strangers came up to me and made rude pregnancy comments about my size or gave me their expert opinion on what I should be doing to make labor easier down the road, I’d say pregnancy temporarily turns us into creep-magnets. Here are the most colorful things people had no qualms about saying to me.
Make sure you’re walking enough. It’ll open up your hips for childbirth. That statement’s innocuous enough. But delivered by a fifty-something man holding his lower back and gyrating his pelvis a few feet from your face as you sit on a park bench, it’s truly cringe-worthy. Gents, no matter how many children the lady in your life has had, do the pregnant population a favor and refrain from dishing out advice — especially about hips, breasts, and vaginas.
Are you having twins? Oh, you’re not? Must be a big baby. Target checkout guy, this one’s for you. First of all, never ask a pregnant woman if she’s having twins unless you know she’s having octuplets. Secondly, if she’s polite enough to dignify your question with a response that doesn’t involve throttling you, swiftly move on to a different topic. Now is not the time to act shocked that she’s not having twins or to wonder if her obstetrician somehow missed a second heartbeat. Lastly, don’t speculate about the size of her fetus. Yes, even if you are an overweight woman waiting in line for the ladies’ room, that doesn’t give you carte blanche to go on and on about how big someone’s unborn baby must be based on the remarkably large size of her bump. I considered putting an end to our conversation by asking, “And when are you due?” I blame the hormones.
Any day now! Again, this isn’t offensive if you’re talking to a woman who was due yesterday — annoying, certainly, but not offensive. Say it to a woman who’s only six months pregnant, though, and it reaches a new level of rudeness. I smiled and nodded, mortified, when a stranger yelled this at me from across the studio lot I was working on at the time. I wasn’t due for three more months.
Looks like you’re going to need special shoes soon. This was a personal favorite of mine because it had the effect of both totally confusing me and reducing me to tears in the span of about ten minutes. The offending party was a server at a restaurant I was lunching at. I was 27 weeks pregnant, had just been diagnosed with gestational diabetes the day before, and was wearing my perfectly comfortable Jack Purcells. I don’t think I was waddling, and my ankles weren’t swollen. I had no idea what she meant and kept picturing myself hobbling down the street wearing two Velcro post-op shoes. It was a vulnerable time for me, and hearing that a stranger thought that even my feet were screwed up pushed me over the edge. I silently cried over my low-carb meal and stared at my feet under the table.
You’re movie pregnant! Jackie, doesn’t she look movie pregnant? That’s exactly what an eight-month pregnant woman wants to hear when she walks into Victoria’s Secret. The offending party was a salesgirl, and so was poor Jackie, roped right into what would become a very awkward conversation, at least for me. To clarify, the salesgirl didn’t mean that I looked like a pregnant Naomi Watts or Natalie Portman. No, that would be movie star pregnant, and a major compliment. She meant that my baby bump was so basketball-like, so freakishly large, so out of place on my body that it could only be likened to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s prosthesis in Junior. OK, so she didn’t say that exactly, but she did say it looked fake — like in the movies.
What are the worst things strangers said to you during your pregnancy?