Did You Really Ask Me That?
By Julie Davidson
I haven’t always been keen on asking people for information. Maybe because they might tell me what I don’t want to hear. Maybe. And the worst is the unsolicited type. You know the kind that people give you without you even giving them the slightest indication that you wan their input. At all.
So before we got pregnant the advice was stuff like, “You should go off the pill now because it could take months after that to get pregnant.” Or, “Are you even sure you want kids? Cause you might think so now but if you wait awhile it might change.”
Oh man, and once that belly begins to show, you’re toast. A pregnant woman is like a magnet for people looking to spew all kind of information their way. A big, round magnet.
Here is a list of questions I was asked, with the answers I thought about giving but had the restraint not to. Please excuse the sarcasm. It heightened a bit during pregnancy.
“Oh you’re pregnant. Are you gonna find out if it’s a boy or a girl?”
“Yes. We know already that it is one or the other.”
“Are you sure you’re ready for this?”
“No. We are completely unprepared college-educated idiots who waited 36 years to make this biggest mistake of our lives. But thanks for asking.”
“Sleep while you still can.”
“Go away while you still can.”
“Will you breast feed?”
“That’s just creepy. Leave my breasts out of this.”
“You look great!”
“Wait. Did I look bad before?”
“What are you thinking about for names?”
“Thing One or Thing Two”
“Wow, kids are so expensive!”
“Yes they are. How much money can you give us?”
“Are you going to have a natural delivery or use drugs?”
”Ummm…let’s see the baby’s head is the size of a basketball going thru a canal the diameter of a tennis ball. What do you think?”
“Have you considered cloth diapers?”
“Yes, they‘re great for wiping down the car.”
On my way to a routine visit with my OB, I somehow got the misfortune of getting on an elevator with a woman who gave me a piece of her mind. She asked me how far along I was. I told her six months, but I’m not sure she heard or even cared. She did however go on to give me a bit of insight into her life.
“Well, just wait til after they grow up and become mean nasty people!” Who says this to a stranger? A pregnant stranger at that.
As she got off the elevator all I could think of is that I could expect to see her and those “mean, nasty people” someday soon on the Dr. Phil show.
I think the harshest unsolicited conversation came four days after our oldest son was born. He was born C-section, I was having problems nursing and felt like I was gonna burst into tears at any moment.
Charles had gone to get the car, and I was waiting in the lobby. An elderly woman was about 10 feet away from me and started speaking to me. “How do think I felt with my first baby? He was colicky for the first six months and cried all the time. It was awful.” I didn’t even respond. All I could think is, Where is my husband with the car?
Now, I ask for more information. I call people and ask for advice. But when I see a pregnant woman, I try really, really hard not to tell her anything that she doesn’t need or want to hear. I usually just say, “You look so beautiful.” Pregnant or not, you can rarely go wrong with that.