10 things I learnt… That you don’t say to a pregnant lady

The internet is full of memes and moans about things that men say to ‘hormonal women’ when they’re pregnant, but in my experience, it was the women as well! It’s not just the standard stay-away-moodswing-hormone-crazy-lady comments, in fact, those didn’t really bother me. It’s everything else that people say because now you’re pregnant you’re public property. Didn’t you realise?

So here are my ten things not to say to a pregnant lady, FYI…

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Are you sure it’s not twins in there?

I was an early bloomer. By ten weeks my bump was visible if I wore the right clothing. Despite having two scans and numerous photos, it didn’t stop people from asking repeatedly whether I was quite sure it wasn’t twins in there.

Where’s your bump? Are you sure you’re pregnant?

This one didn’t actually happen to me (mostly because I was apparently having twins *eye roll*) but to a friend of mine. Her bump was perfectly formed and diddy, but for some reason that prompted people to ask whether she was actually pregnant. Seriously, I mean come on, who asks that?!

You’ve found out? Oh, didn’t you want a surprise?

If there’s one thing to know about my husband and I, it is that we are organised to the nth degree. We do a practice pack for holidays – I discovered last year this is not a normal thing #awkward… Anyway, I digress… we chose to find out what we were having and we were overjoyed when we found out we were having a mini Darryl. I know it’s not for everyone, but the number of people who said “oh, but you’ve ruined such a nice surprise”. Thanks for that!

He’ll come when he’s good and ready.

This is, hands down, the worst thing you can say to an expectant mother. Felix was four days late but when you’re tired and it’s summer and fifty zillion people are sending you messages every day asking whether he’s arrived yet swiftly followed with a “aww he’ll come when he’s good and ready”, you want to poke someone in the eye with a sharp object. We know it’s true, but hearing it doesn’t help any body.

Just relax and enjoy your maternity leave before he arrives.

The reason this is so very irritating is because it is also so very true. I kept active but I was on edge! I waited for every long wee in case it was my waters breaking, and every slight twinge in case it was the world’s smallest contraction. Seriously though, as annoying as it is to hear, this advice is actually good. Take a bath, read a book, watch a film. You won’t be doing these uninterrupted again for a long while…

Can you walk a bit faster?

There I was, nine months pregnant and two days before my due date. I’d ventured out to the local supermarket to treat myself to a cookie or two and a middle-aged busy-body of a woman decided to tell me to walk faster and barge into me. My response was something along the lines of “I am nine months pregnant, I haven’t walked quickly in months!” and she just tutted at me and walked off. As I carried on my hunt for cookies and cried the whole way through the store, a lovely employee told me I should have told her to F off. That made me feel better.

Do you want [insert vomit-inducing food/drink here] for dinner?

One of the most disappointing elements to my pregnancy was the lack of cravings. I was so looking forward to eating gherkins and peanut butter, or radishes dipped in cookie dough ice cream, but the most I got was liking chocolate milkshake. There were plenty of things I went off though, and sadly the mere mention of a KFC in the office was enough to make me scuttle through the office oh so subtly to vom.

Would you like some Prosecco?

Well yes, as it happens, I would absolutely bloody love some Prosecco, thank you for asking. But oh, wait, I can’t have any. There’s nothing more to say here…

What you can’t eat that either?! Well you could in my day…

The sheer number of people who said “what, you can’t eat that either?!” was brilliant. From parents to colleagues, those with children and those without, the list of what you can and cannot eat was baffling and, annoyingly, ever-changing! Knowing that, back in the day, you could eat runny eggs and all the delicious meats and cheeses you wanted really doesn’t help. I tell you, having a Christmas with none of the aforementioned Prosecco plus no camembert or pate was heartbreaking. Worth it, but heartbreaking nonetheless.

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What do you mean you’re going back to work full time?

This is one of my biggest bugbears. I do not judge those who choose to be stay at home mums, those who decide to go back to work part-time, nor those who go back full time. I won’t pass judgement on those who take three months matnerity, six months, a full year or anything else for the matter. These are such personal decisions for you as a family. Sadly, not everyone realises this and, again, your career Vs. family life balance is public property for the world to pass judgement on. Cheers for that, stranger at work who had barely spoken to me for the previous four years…

 

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