Rude Comments During Pregnancy: People, Your Only Job Is to Be Kind So Think Before You Speak by Christy VanBibber
Lady: "When are you due?"
Me: "September 1st!"
Lady: "Oh. So do you think ... do you think ... you're um ... big or...?"
Me (gulping and keeping a smile): "Well, I mean, I found out I was pregnant when this little guy (pointing at my sweet redhead next to me) was only 4 months old, so I didn't have much time in between. I'm sure I’m bigger at this point than I was last time."
Lady: "Oh ... Are you sure it's not twins?!"
Me (uncomfortable chuckle to cover the cry bubble forming in my throat): "Yes, just one little guy in there. Your stuff is beautiful, have a nice day"
This morning, I got dressed and, to be honest, I'm doing a better job this time around of embracing the belly (and thighs and back chub) and I felt OK in my skin. I thought the baby bump actually looked kind of cute. I'm 6 months pregnant, and I look it. Maybe I even look 7 weeks pregnant. But I felt good enough to snap a baby bump picture before we headed out, and had a smile on my face as we arrived at the street fair. Walking the streets, looking at the art, my whole little family in tow. I thought, “This is a good day. My heart is happy.”
AND THEN THIS. THIS LADY. WHAT THE LITERAL EFF.
We kept walking, thankfully hidden behind sunglasses, my eyes welled up with tears. Thoughts flooded. "How dare her," "I should have tied that shirt around my waist," "I should have worn something baggier," "My ass does look huge," "She's not wrong, I am big for 6 months."
NO. NO. Stop with this thinking. My body is NOT the problem – she is.
Let me emphasize that every day I wake up feeling blessed to be a mama. It's the most difficult, and the most rewarding, job on the planet, and not everyone is given the opportunity. For those woman, my heart truly aches. I do NOT take being a mama for granted, and this post is not to chalk pregnancy up to the negative image I often see as my reflection in the mirror. Pregnancy, and motherhood, is so so much more. But body image plays a part as you grow a precious human in your belly. It just does. For some, their bodies grow and they think nothing of it, they embrace and thrive. For others, the transition becomes daunting.
Whatever the case may be, it is never OK for you, as an outsider looking in, to comment on another woman's body as she navigates through nine months of pregnancy hormones, stretch marks, emotions, maternity moo moos and Spanx.
It's never OK to comment on a woman's body, at any stage in her life. We are all doing our best, we are all fighting our own inner voices. Build each other up. Use some common sense. Fill the world with kindness.
And to the lady in Target who saw Daxton (our 11-month-old) and then saw my pregnant belly and said, “Oh, that must have been an accident,” as she pointed to my belly: “NO, LADY, HE WAS A SURPRISE. A blessing, a miracle." How dare her.
Don’t be these ladies. It’s just ugly.
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