For Your Safety 01/30/2012
So... I’m pregnant. One of the most tell-tale symptoms of pregnancy, right up there with the increased olfactory sensitivity, the morning-noon-afternoon-evening-and-night sickness, and the roller-coaster hormones, is the non-stop growth that is happening. Everything is expanding. Nails shoot out and become hag-like if not clipped daily, hair grows faster than weeds (apparently this is true for every other pregnant woman other than me), feet grow for absolutely no good reason, hips widen for a reason that I’m trying not to think about just yet, and the belly balloons out creating that adorable “speaks for itself” bump that strangers feel they can come up and rub without asking. While I typically find my ever-expanding middle endearing, I have moments where I feel more like Violet Beauregarde must have felt during that infamous scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I understand that a growing belly means a growing baby, and that’s wonderful and all, but sometimes the self-conscious, figure-watching, celebrity-comparing side of me feels a little freaked out when my wonderful husband comments on the fact that I’m “getting bigger daily!”
Because I like you all, I’m going to share this little pearl of wisdom that I’ve picked up over the past 25 weeks. Pay attention, because this may save your life someday:
Never ever say anything negative about a pregnant woman’s size. Ever.
Actually, to stay on the safe side, just don’t comment on a pregnant woman’s size, period. I remember feeling self-conscious when well-meaning people told me how I didn’t look pregnant at all. I understand that this is typically intended to be a compliment, but after months of hiding the baby bloat and feeling like every intake of breath would result in the expulsion of everything I had eaten in the past 12 hours, I freaking wanted a little evidence of the miracle of life going on in my body that I barely recognized.
I would think that it should go without saying to never ever comment negatively on a pregnant woman’s size. However, after reading other blogs and forums, and sadly drawing on my own experience, I’ve come to the realization that keeping one’s mouth shut about all the growing going on in a pregnant woman’s body is not a skill that a lot of people have. People ask “are you sure you’re not having twins?”, “does gestational diabetes run in your family?”, and my favorite: “my goodness you’re growing fast... have some more pasta dear, you’re eating for two, you know.” A dear family friend recently said to me “Oh wow, if that’s how big you are at 23 weeks, then...” and then trailed off as if to let me draw my own conclusion. Then what? Then I’m going to be huge at 40 weeks? Yeah, I’m planning on it. I’m freaking growing a human in here. Thanks, by the way, because I’m not already super self-conscious about my belly.
After a recent meeting at work, I made a joke about needing to widen the doorways in the office, and my male coworker replied “I didn’t know we were allowed to joke about that.” Well, you’re not. I am. If I comment on my size in a comical way, then feel free to join in the fun while it’s happening. Don’t come up to me later and remind me of the laugh we shared over my protruding abdomen, because it might not be funny to me anymore.
I will not be held responsible for my reactions to jokes that are made at my expanse... haha.