Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Your Belly is SO _____!!

A rare photo of my 29 week pregnant belly.

A growing baby belly attracts a lot of attention.  Much of it, during this second pregnancy of mine, is unwanted.  When I hear, "Dr. Momsie!" in the hall of one of my schools, I brace myself.  Mostly because I really never know how someone is going to respond. I get some very lovely and supportive comments, but I also receive some really rude and unthoughtful responses too.  I can't resist sharing a few examples  I'll start with the supportive make-my-day type of comments.  Please repeat these unsparingly to the pregnant people you know.
  • "You carry a baby so well, you just really take to pregnancy."
  • "You look beautiful!" (said by a complete stranger in the bathroom).
  • "You are so tiny, all belly.  You will have that baby and have no weight left to lose!" (From their lips to God's ears!)
  • "You just have a little ball in front. How cute."
  • "You haven't gained much weight in your face like some pregnant women." (Even though you can obviously see in the picture above that my cheeks are quite chipmunky).
  • "You are glowing."
  • "You look much smaller then with your last baby." (Completely untrue, but I love to hear it).
  • "Ah, she's having a baby!"  (Said with smiles by children in the hall).

Unfortunately, more often then not, this is what I hear instead . . .
  • "You're not due until July?  I just don't think you'll make it!" (I hear this at least once a day.  Does anyone really think this is a kind thing to say?)
  • "Oh my! Are you sure it isn't twins?"  (Quite possibly the most annoying, but very common, comment).
  • "Ewww, she's pregnant!" (said with judgmental and glaring stares by students in the hall.)
  • "You look good . . . in the face." (Teacher says as she stares at my belly.  Really?)
  • "Wow, you're really much larger with this baby, huh?"
  • "How much does she weigh?  She's going to be a big baby!"  (Ok, do people really think I know how much the baby weighs, as if I can place her on a scale?"
  • "What's wrong with your belly?  It's all lopsided!" (Yes, she likes to roll up into a ball on one side. Thanks for letting me know how freakish that looks).
  • "You're really poking out!"
  • "You sure are growing!" (Duh.)
  • "Wide load!"  (Jokingly said by the husband.  Totally not funny.)
  • "You're much bigger than I was at that stage."
I'm amazed at how thoughtless some people are when they make "big belly" comments.  I assume these are people that either were big-and-fat pregnant women and want everyone else to be big-and-fat too, or they never have been pregnant.  Anyone who has gone through a pregnancy and felt self-conscious of their changing body would know better.  God has been so sweet to me, though.  Usually when I have heard a hurtful comment, He sends someone not long after who says something encouraging and flattering.

Say something kind to a pregnant woman today.  Even if she looks like a hot mess, she may need to hear a little lie.  If nothing else, try "You look amazing!"

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