Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Apparently, the Comments have begun...

Today was a total blow to my pregnant self-confidence. The phase of strangers commenting on my pregnancy evidently has begun, and I'm not happy about it, not at all. What is it about pregnancy that makes people think they have free reign to blurt out whatever they're thinking within their tiny little heads? Normally, would a person start asking random questions of a stranger or try to make jokes regarding their condition so openly? I really don't think so. Even if a person is trying to comment to "make me feel cute, precious, ________, ________" whatever endearing term, I just don't really appreciate the commentary. I've had this huge (pun not really intended) fear of being one of those women who strangers look at and say "Oh, poor thing, she's got to be/looks/is so miserable." I don't want to be huge, I want to be normal and if possible, slightly cute. But, today has almost totally washed that pipe dream down the tubes.

Exhibit #1: I was seeing a 4 year old girl in clinic for her well-child check. Mom, who is 24 with an 8 year old and a 4 year old, half way through me talking to them just blurts out randomly--
Mom--"Are you having a baby?"
Me--"Yes, I'm due in July, it will be my first baby."
Mom--"Well that must be a BIG baby! My sister is due Aug. 10th and she's not nearly as big as you!"
Me--"Well, I'm a month ahead of her...." trying to keep from informing her that I didn't care how big her sister was, and that her sister was probably like 15 or something and not eating appropriately, and trying to keep from asking her if her sister knew who FOB was and all the other mean things I could think of....and also yelling at her for having a child when she was 15.

Exhibit #2: When walking back from the cafeteria at the hospital, with only a bag of Cheez.its and a spoon in hand, one of the crazy security guard people at the hospital says--
Security guy--"See, I told you to watch out about eating the cafeteria food, it's got you all bloated and stuff!"
Me--"Haha..." restraining myself against turning around and punching his teeth out.

Exhibit #3: In the clinic later on, another mother of a patient is in there-she's pregnant with her 4th child. Somebody asks her when she's due...she says May 30th-- a full 6 wks before me, but I swear, I feel that we're pretty close to the same size. I think she couldn't be older than 21....
So later on, I go back to the area where the students, residents, and doctors are sitting and lament the fact that I am feeling like I'm too huge to be barely over half-way through my pregnancy.... a male resident chimes in, genuinely trying to be helpful I think....
Resident--"So when are you due?"
Me--"The second week of July..."
Resident-- "Oh, well, is this your first or second baby?"
Me-- "My first...."
Resident-- pure silence...

The intent here was for him to be able to say, "Oh, well, if it's your second baby, then you're probably fine" or whatever....but this isn't my second.

There are a few things that get me all riled up about all of this stuff
  • Firstly, I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER HOW BIG MY BELLY IS, OR HOW BIG MY BELLY WILL GET! I'm not eating everything in sight, and I've NOT put on an extra layer of fat. I'm not exercising because I have uncomfortable cramp-like sensations when I walk long distances, but I take the stairs for up to 3 flights, and park kinda far from school.
  • Secondly, as I alluded to before--why is it that people think they have the RIGHT and the NEED to comment on my belly? It's MY BELLY! I don't comment on your belly, you don't need to comment on mine. What would things be like if people were going around saying "Hey, your spare tire looks a little inflated today!" I don't think it would be pretty. IF YOU'VE GOT THOUGHTS ABOUT HOW HUGE I AM, KEEP THEM INTERNAL---OR AT LEAST SAY THEM BEHIND MY BACK SO I CAN'T HEAR!
  • Comparing pregnant women's bellies is not fair to anybody. We've got a distorted image of how a woman should look while pregnant--all that matters is that I'm healthy and the baby is healthy! And I know, I need to take my own advice and not compare myself to another woman, because I really don't know how big I am or how big I look.
  • People can't assume to know how I feel about the way I look. I probably won't agree with ANY comment that is made, positive or negative. Right now, I feel that I'm as big as the broad side of a barn, and I've got 17 weeks to go, God willing.

Ok, I think I'm done ranting--and don't get me started on the rubbing the belly thing!

I need to get a shirt which reads "I don't comment on your belly, please don't comment on mine!"


Katie! said...

I love the shirt idea.

Good luck getting through the comments. I wish I could tell you that it gets better. Maybe, as you get closer, you'll start caring less...

Good luck on Thursday!

Ruth said...

Ashley, I know what you mean! Someone on the shuttle told me they thought I was having twins! After the fact though, Ethan was totally worth it and made me forget every comment, because it was just awesome that he was here and was perfect! Hang in there! :)

Anonymous said...

Don't get me started. I am only 15 weeks and 1 day and I am already in maternity clothes. I just limit my contact with the outside world. My assistant's wife just had a baby 3 weeks ago, so he knows better than to say anything more than, "Wow, you are absolutely glowing today. May I get you another box of girl scout cookies?" My family is familiar with my work. They just don't comment. Hang in there! We'll get through it!

Organic Meatbag said...

Look, it may be annoying, but it's not the end of the world...when people start asking about your pregnant belly when you're actually NOT pregnant, then you can be pissed...

DuckyDoc said...

I'm sorry. I say things honestly because I'm fascinated and a bit jealous. No more cute comments, I promise.

~Ashley said...

sara--jealous? i can understand fascinated i think (as i'm sure the changing of my belly and the thought of boy parasite inside is a bit fascinating)...but i didn't know you were close enough to thinking about babies to cause tugging of the jealousy strings

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