I was talking with my dad the other day about the things people say and ask while you’re pregnant. Sometimes you get nice comments, like “You have a cute little baby bump.” Sometimes they’re not so nice, like, “You’re waddling now. But it’s a cute waddle, so it’s okay.” Nope, still not okay.
Possibly one the most annoying topics for me is morning sickness. I have this frustrating trend of not getting over it when the first trimester ends. I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant, and still fighting nausea every waking moment. People seem confused by this. As soon as the second trimester started, some people started asking, “So you’re feeling better now, right?” Right. I’m just running off to the bathroom to make sure it’s still there.
People who hear of the never-ending nausea also like to ask, “Have you taken anything for it?” Thank you kind stranger for your wise question. If not for you, I’d have continued doing nothing about it. It’s hard to believe I’ve been nauseated for 22 weeks and never once thought of addressing the problem.
“Well, have you tried…” Let me stop you there and save us both some time. This is my third pregnancy, and thus far the nausea has been a long-lasting problem. Three pregnancies means so far a combined total of roughly 19 months of morning sickness. Unless you’re going to suggest burning sage, under a super wolf blood moon, while doing the chicken dance at exactly midnight, I’ve probably tried it. “And it’s not working for you?” Yes, they all were miracle cures. I’ve just been fighting a mild case of food poisoning for the past 22 weeks.
Still, I suppose things could be worse. One lady I work with told me people were asking her, “Aren’t you ever gonna have that baby?” for months after she’d given birth.
Another lady cautioned me against telling anyone about possible baby names, because some people will try and talk you out of it. My first thought was to respond, “If you wanna name a kid, you can be pregnant next time.” Unless I’m trying to name my kid ‘Hey You Little Squirt’, back off.
One coworker of mine came up to me and asked if she could ask a personal question. After people asking me my preferences on gender, breastfeeding, epidurals and everything else that could possibly come up, I was a bit worried, but also very curious, to see what she might ask. She asked me what my due date was. I almost laughed. That’s hardly personal at this point. That’s the same question that some random stranger, who I’d never talked to before, and have not talked to since, hollered at me from her front porch as I waked by. I was very tempted to turn and yell back, “I’m not even pregnant!” just to make her think twice about doing that ever again. But that would be lying. So I did not do that. After that experience, though, I thought it was incredibly sweet of my coworker to ask before asking. We need more people like that in the world.
We could use fewer people who need to add their opinions on my plans for mat leave, from across the counter at work, when my entire knowledge of said person is that they take cream in their coffee. If I don’t even know your name, I don’t need your opinion on my personal decisions.
Sometimes I know my reactions are poor because I’m nauseated, tired, achy, cranky, and hormonal. I suppose, “Are you excited?” wasn’t a question that deserved a glare. And maybe other pregnant women feel differently. Maybe some women are enjoying being pregnant and love an opening to gush about it. Not me. I’ve been miserable since about mid-September. I don’t want to gush about pregnancy. I don’t want to play 20 questions. I just want a clear path to the bathroom, a fresh can of ginger ale, and a nap. And maybe for someone to tell me I don’t look as fat as I feel. “You don’t waddle that much after all.” That would be nice.