Thursday, 26 January 2012

3 Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman


I had a rough pregnancy. Some of you know that, and some of you don’t, but unless you’ve ever witnessed a truly horrific pregnancy (or been unfortunate enough to experience it) you don’t really know it. 

I’m not talking about those pregnancies where the unfortunate mother is hospitalised. That is certainly one kind of horrific and I’m not suggesting it isn’t. It’s just not the kind I’m talking about.  

The kind I’m talking about is the lesser known kind. The kind where every minute of every hour of every day of the better part of nine months is sheer misery. Where getting out of bed becomes almost (or not so almost) an impossibility and shuffling down the hall to the toilet an act of torture and you can’t get in and out of the shower without assistance. Where you can’t pick up a glass or read a book or cut your meat because of the damned pregnancy related carpal tunnel in your hands and it doesn’t matter if you sit, stand, walk or lie down, something (or everything) hurts and getting to the end of the day is no relief at all because you can’t bloody sleep, owing to the fact you can’t lie on your back or your stomach and half an hour on one hip is enough for the damn thing to seize up and inflict sweet excruciating agony.

I had a few things said to me by unwise – or, to be blunt, just plain stupid – people. So here is the Idiot’s Guide on what not to say to a pregnant woman. Ever. That’s E-V-E-R. Did you get that?

  • You chose to be pregnant – No, actually, she probably didn’t (even assuming the pregnancy was planned). What she chose was to have children. Unfortunately, getting those children means the woman has to get pregnant. No choice involved. Funnily enough the man’s choice to have children does not involve getting pregnant. Lucky him. If we could choose, we’d definitely choose the man to get pregnant. Hands down, every time. So don’t tell me I had a freaking choice.
  • Think about the miracle of the life you are creating – This really doesn’t make you feel any better. It doesn’t make it any easier to get through the next minute, hour, day and whatever you’ve got left of those nine months. It doesn’t put your hips back together afterwards. You hear women say they’d like to get their figure back after pregnancy. I’d settle for having my back the way it was and not freaking out every time I get a strange twinge in a finger.  Funnily enough, I noticed this comment was only ever made by men. I can’t imagine why!
  • You’ve been pregnant forever – She knows this. Her forever feels a damn sight longer than your forever. She doesn’t need you to tell her.
Any one of the above is liable to get you attacked by the pregnant woman in question. If you’re lucky, you’ll merely be savaged verbally by the hormonal, mood-swinging feral beast she has become. If you’re unlucky, she’ll take your head off with a half-brick in a sock. Whether you’re lucky or unlucky may depend on whether you’re the first or the hundred and first to make that comment to her. Today. 

So tread wisely…



32 comments:

Amberr Meadows said...

I agree with all of it, and it sounds like something a man would say which would invoke even more ire. Sounds like the suckiest pregnancy ever! The one question: are you going to put yourself through another round and have a sibling for your little one, or are you finished? If my pregnancy had been half as bad, I don't know if I'd even be contemplating it now.

Safireblade said...

I love you! I can not count the times people said stupid things when I was pregnant and I wanted to smack them with a lawn gnome. Hang in there *hug*

Charlotte Walker said...

Haha, I can relate to that so much! Had hyperemesis gravidarum in second pregnancy, so basically wished I could die for the first trimester. I did NOT want to be told how lucky I was and what a miracle pregnancy is, etc. With my first I went two full weeks past my due date and heard every hilarious comment along the lines of, "are you STILL pregnant?", "Ooh, he or she doesn't want to come out, do they!" and "What have you got in there, a baby elephant?" Puh-LEASE!

Sotia said...

I don't know you but I love you. I'm pregnant now, and the stupid I have to deal with daily is unbelievable! (and what's with strangers reaching for my belly???)

Sheryl Browne said...

And if you are about to tell her your horrific pregnancy experiences, just don't. Loved this!

Sheryl Browne said...

And if you are about to tell her your horrific pregnancy experiences, just don't. Loved this!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Yes, I generally don't share the precise details of my experiences with anyone thinking of having children. One poor girl in our office is pregnant now. I am quick to assure her that my experience was abnormal.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Yes, I generally don't share the precise details of my experiences with anyone thinking of having children. One poor girl in our office is pregnant now. I am quick to assure her that my experience was abnormal.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Yeah, it's like a competition for the award for insensitive ass of the year! My problem was that I had pretty much EVERY pregnancy complication under the sun and I had them all to a greater degree than you'd usually expect. My sympathies for your pregnancy!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Yeah, it's like a competition for the award for insensitive ass of the year! My problem was that I had pretty much EVERY pregnancy complication under the sun and I had them all to a greater degree than you'd usually expect. My sympathies for your pregnancy!

EW Greenlee, Author said...

My wife's delivery was at a Catholic hospital. As she dug her nails into me and screamed all known obscenties in Arabic with all her might, I was certain an exorcist priest would be making a visit. Your photo reminds me of her comment "This is all your fault!" Hilarious, thanks for the laugh.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Love you too! Will keep the lawn gnome in mind. Hopefully the next pregnancy won't be as bad but I have installed a spa just in case... I will LIVE in it if I have to.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Yes... but I don't want to. I had to talk my husband into it. That was funny because he'd say 'Why do YOU want to do this again?' and I'd check and think 'Why DO I want to do this again?' But I would like my daughter to have a brother or sister.

Krystal Wade said...

Buahahahah! The you chose this pisses me off for so many reasons. Grrr right along with you!

Christina Majaski said...

I didn't have nearly as bad a pregnancy and I still agree that none of these things should be said to pregnant women. I also believe that taking one's head off with a half brick in a sock is probably the best way to do it-- if you're going to do it.

Jen said...

LOL love this, I intend to be the most horrible pregnant women ont he planet, just because I can! xxx

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Here to entertain :-) I sympathise with your wife - and you! My pregnancy was very nearly as rough for my husband as it was for me. The role of the support person should not be underestimated!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Yeah, half brick in a sock is awesome! Even if I did learn about it from a fictional, cowardly character...

Ciara Ballintyne said...

LOL I wish I had been less horrible - if only for my own sake. I wasn't good company even for myself. But next time, I have a SPA! Yeah, a FREAKING HUGE spa. Plan B - if all else fails, I will LIVE in that spa. I should even be able to see the TV from it. Just.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

It's just so ignorant, isn't it? It just screams 'This person has no idea what they are talking about'. Pisses me off on a multitude of levels simultaneously.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

It's just so ignorant, isn't it? It just screams 'This person has no idea what they are talking about'. Pisses me off on a multitude of levels simultaneously.

Darke said...

I'm so sorry to hear you had a bad experience. You're probably not alone either. I still feel the spot where the epidural (sp) went into my spine. Yeah, I took the drugs. I have a low tolerance to pain, and I catch myself, but I still stand like I'm pregnant. I don't think I'll ever get my centering back. And it's been 14 years.

Donna Beckley Galanti said...

I get it! My pregnancy was so awful I swore to never have another child...that was 9 years ago and VERY HAPPY I had an only child. Only mine was deep problems with depression, anxiety, rage and more...so much I went out on disability. Talk about what NOT to say to a pregnant lady! I think I scared my husband with all the people I told off when I was pregnant! Great post...

Diane Carlisle said...

Hahahahahah. Love the photo too! Here's another, and it's very much inline with "You've been pregnant forever" but I heard it more like this:

"You ain't had that baby yet?!"

Bitch, please...

Ciara Ballintyne said...

I wanted drugs too. Well, I didn't, but I was induced, and my doula rated my labour as 3 times worse than a normal one. I asked for pethidine. bad idea. I fell asleep and when I woke up it was worse and I screamed for an epi. The anaesthetist was in theatre and I never got one before they sent me for an emergency c-section. Had a spinal block when prepped for theatre. The gas was better. If I could give a pregnant woman one piece of advice, it would be 'If they want to induce you, just go straight to the c-section'. First thing I thought when I was told I needed a caesar was 'I will never be induced again'.

I still have back problems. I still get twinges in my hands. I have clicky hips. I still get pain in my feet. Pregnancy sucks arsecrack major league.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Thanks! My husband went from wanting 3, maybe 4, children to one after my pregnancy. I had to talk him back up to 2. I don't want another pregnancy but I do want another child. this time I am prepared...

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Oh yes, that rates with comments like 'You're huge!' and 'Are you going to be pregnant forever?' Man, I bloody hope not!

Kirkus MacGowan said...

Howdy. :) We had a nice conversation the other day on Twitter about this, but I forgot to add in a personal favorite from my wife.

"Wow! Are you having twins?"

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Oh boy did I hear that one too often. I looked full-term by 5 months. It doesn't help that I'm 5'1. Then, of course the convo looked like this:

'Wow, are you having twins?'

'No. the scans only show one baby.'

'Are they sure they didn't miss the the one?'

WTF? Where would it hide????

Jack said...

I admire when women get pregnant. It is a total selfless act carrying the child for nine months. I'm not saying this to gain any favor. I'm just saying. It's an incredible thing for a woman to do!

I'm not sure why some women suffer hard while others breeze through their pregnancies. I'm a man, so obviously, I wouldn't have a clue. Yet, I'm sure it has something to do with genetics. How else can one woman only bear one child in their lifetimes while another a brood of a dozen?

Anyway, I hope you're better! I love your blog!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

I appreciate that you find it so incredible :-) I'm not sure we women ourselves view it as selfless because we grow up recognising it is probably inevitable. But it is because there's a lot of hardship involved for many women. If genetics is to blame I got robbed because my own mother had two easy pregnancies.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

OMG you've got the strangers reaching for your belly? I was lucky I didn't have that (must have been the expression on my face) but I know women who did. It's like they think you're public property. Just so rude!

I wish you all the best and a happy, healthy baby!

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