>If it were any other physical ailment, impairment or struggle, people would never be so forthcoming.
“Oh, my, that rash sure looks terrible. Hope you get that herpes treated soon,” or, “My, my, getting rather large, aren’t we? Maybe we should cut back on those tasty cakes.”
Not only would such comments be in bad taste and socially unacceptable, they’re down right mean. But it doesn’t stop there. Not only would we never dream of saying such pejorative statements to someone who obviously is either praying his/her condition goes undetected or is hoping that people will be kind and compassionate, but we wouldn’t kick them while they were down by rubbing in how great our lives are in comparison- would we?
“Awh, man. Stomach flu? That’s the worst. I don’t ever get sick. Wanna finish my hot dog?”, or,
“Lost your job? That sucks. I love mine. And I just got a raise!”
I’m not really sure how the human instinct of societal compassion goes out the window when it comes to pregnant women. Now, surely, there are some pregnant women who exist (see previous posts) who revel in their roundness, glow in their new skin and lustrous locks and adore all the new attention- albeit from strangers who seem to follow a strange strain of Buddhism as foretold by all their belly-touching rituals. But for some of us, this road’s been hard enough to travel without being given sly winks when we reach for a second piece of pie, tales of numerous women’s pregnancies that seem to be untainted by the morning sickness that has colored my last six months- “You’re STILL sick? Wow, I was NEVER sick for that long!” Gee, thanks. You’re so helpful. Pass that paper bag, please?- coos over how excited I must be to pick out a new stroller, the echos of, ” Wait! Did this and that happen to you YET? Oh, God, just wait….”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I was carrying twins. After I have politely laughed in response and delivered my well rehearsed, ” My husband’s 6’4, she was bound to be big!” Insert tight smile here, someone had the audacity to ask me if I was sure. Strange old ladies at Shoprite seem to think it’s their grandmotherly duty to give me homemade remedies for swollen feet- I didn’t even think my feet were swollen. Never in my life has the word “vaginal” gotten more mileage. How did that become common place vernacular? I do not need to be told that I look tired- I’m incubating a human life form and feeding her all of my nutrients. Of course I look tired. Sigh. Is it too much to ask to be treated with the same consideration as a non-fetus carrying person? Chances are, if a non-pregnant woman would be slightly affronted or hurt by a comment, she’s not any different than a pregnant one.
People take for granted that the joy of carrying a child will override the fact that all of these strange things are happening to one’s body and mind during the process. And yes, it does- most of the time. But for the times it doesn’t, just do every preggo a favor- tell them they’re beautiful and move on to the weather, not the three boxes of oreos in her cart.