The Things People Say…

Pregnancy makes people do strange things. Not just the pregnant people, but all the people around them, too. There is a large segment of the population that seems to believe pregnant people have no need for personal space, and their body parts are open for discussion. Especially in mixed company.
Most of the time, I find all of this very amusing. Although occasionally, a comment will catch me off guard and I’ll stew about it for a few hours until I realize it’s not worth the energy.
In the last two months or so, people have begun to reach out and touch my belly. I call it “rubbing the buddha.” Some just go straight for it. Others reach halfway, then remember that the belly is still part of my body and not just an accessory, and ask permission. Others talk about how much they love to touch pregnant bellies, fishing for an invitation. The good thing is, none of this bothers me. I happen to think my belly is adorable, and I can’t keep my own hands off of it. I can see why more modest people might be frustrated by all this, but I like the attention and I’m glad people are excited about our baby.
Most people have been exeptionally complimentary as well, and for that I am grateful. But I’m still amazed by what some people will say. It’s as if, when you’re pregnant, you must not care about how you look. Therefore, people are free to say whatever they want about whatever body part they choose, and you shouldn’t get upset.
The day we found out we were having a girl, a co-worker asked me about it at the start of a meeting. When I told her the great news, she exclaimed, “I knew it! I was telling everyone I thought it was a girl because you’re just plumping up all over! Especially your boobs!”
Gee, thanks.
People walk by my office sometimes and poke their heads in because they want to see how big I’m getting. One recently asked me to stand up so she could get a good look. I obliged. Then she said, “Now turn around.”
Instead of protesting (which is what any dignified person should do), I turned around so she could get a look at my butt. She didn’t say anything. How can you ask someone to turn around and not at least say what the verdict is? She left, and I felt dirty.
I was in the elevator with 2 other coworkers, and one complimented me by saying, “You’re just getting big in the belly, the rest of you has stayed small!”
But the other coworker felt it was necessary to add, “But your feet are starting to swell.”
As if the pregnant lady didn’t know this already. So that’s why my shoes are feeling a bit snug! Thanks so much for pointing that out!
But today was one of the worst. I ran into some former coworkers I haven’t seen in nearly a year. One beckoned me over so he could see my belly, and reached out to give it a pat. Then he said, for everyone to hear, “Wow, you’re really getting pregnant all over.” Then he puffed out his cheeks and pointed to them, as if I didn’t understand the first time and needed sign language to help me out.
There are lots of things I should’ve said. For starters, I should have called him several nasty words. I should have told him that was rude. I should have asked him to try to grow a baby and maintain his girlish figure. I should have kicked him between the legs.
But instead, I just stared at him and stuttered a bit. Then I walked away and moped about it for a few hours.
The thing is, I get complimented every day on how great I look, how I glow, how cute my belly is, etc. Most people have been very flattering. So why is that it’s so much harder to ignore the negative comments and focus on the positive? And if I had to gain 100 pounds to have this baby, it would be worth it and I would do it. But I’m astounded when people say things like that – as if it were ever okay to say something like that.
I’ve recovered though. When I look in the mirror, I see a very lucky pregnant lady with the super cute baby belly I’ve wanted for a long time. And that’s what matters.