The Things People Say

I’ve had my share of random unsolicited comments along the way, as I’m sure we all have. I have to say, none has upset me yet, I’m more bemused that people actually say these things, often to complete strangers. So I’m sharing some of the gems I’ve experienced here with you in the hopes that you’ll share with me some of the doozies you’ve heard.

Let’s start with the ones when you announce you’re pregnant. With number 4. When, let’s face it, you’re no spring chicken. “Is that good news?” they ask, a quick question for confirmation that I didn’t require help through a crazy situation before congratulating me. Or the ever popular: “Was it an accident?” Really? Do you think I don’t know how to prevent pregnancy? {Hint: I had that figured out way before I became a childbirth educator.} And more importantly: Do you think I’d ever call my own child an accident? No.

And why is it that so many people see a large pregnant belly and DARE to ask if “you’re sure there’s only one in there?” I mean, honestly. If it’s not twins, do you think it’s going to make that mama feel good to know you think she’s ballooned so far forward that she must have TWO babies in there? Let her tell you the good news, otherwise, keep your questions about twins to yourself. It’s bad enough she’s probably already bumping her belly into furniture and countertops without you adding comment about her girth.

“Someone’s going to the hospital soon,” a random woman dared say to me as I waddled up to the check-out at the grocery store. “Uh, no, I have my babies at home,” I replied. “But you haven’t had this baby yet.” [??? Talk about stating the obvious.] “That’s right, but I had my other 3 at home.” “But you’re going to the hospital to have this one,” she insisted. “No, I’m not, I birth my babies at home.” When was this going to sink in to her? Finally, it did: “Ooooh. I didn’t know they still did that.” Sigh.

Or how about the comments about the number of kids you have. Sitting on a bench in a state park one day, my kids came running up and the guy on the bench next to me said: “Are ALL those kids yours? I thought the 50s were over.” Hmm. Indeed.

Then there are the random unsolicited comments with an intended meaning I don’t quite grasp, such as the lady in the bowling alley who came up to tell me: “It’s really nice to see a big family. It’s good for our country!” Is it? Because some (see above) seem to think anything more than two is too many. Or are you making assumptions about what kind of family you think we are? Perhaps you’ve heard that saying about what happens when you assume….?

The grocery store seems to be where I catch many of my comments. Here’s a conversation I had with a Publix cashier as I wore my baby while waiting for her to finish so I could get out of there:

“Are they all yours?”

”Yes, they are.”

“You’re a brave woman.”

“Yes, I am.” (What else can you say?)

”What’s the baby’s name?” 

“Rhiannon.”

“That’s pretty. Judging from the ages of the others, she was a surprise.”
Wow!

What irks me is the random unsolicited comment about kids or pregnancy as if mine can’t hear what’s being said right in front of them. Checking out at BJ’s, standing there tired and heavily pregnant with 3 kids around me, I endured several comments along the lines of “Ready to pop?” (uh, no!) and “That’s why I never want kids, too scary. I can’t imagine sticking out an extra foot in front…. but you look cute.” Sure I do.

You’ve got to have a little fun when you’re pregnant though! I always enjoyed answering the “when are you due?” question with “a week ago”… People tend to move away pretty quickly after that!

Of all the random unsolicited comments I’ve received, I’d say probably my all-time favorite has to be a comment our vet made. I was there in March with one of our Labs and he asked me if I was due in April. “No, I’m due in June.” “Oh,” he says, knowing I already had three kids, “are you always this big?” Hmm. Blink. Blink. “Yes, actually, I am. I do have big babies.” “Ah,” he says as he goes about his business, “a good brood mare.”

Really? Did you just compare me to a horse?? Clearly, his bedside manner is better suited for animals than people but I paid him anyway and went about my day.

Entertain me! What are some of the most crazy, rude, surprising or hilarious things people have said to you about your pregnant body or baby or where you choose to birth?

Leave a Reply