Today’s guest post comes from Kasia of Good Finking, a new mother to a beautiful little boy!
The question that you should never, ever ask
As Molly is off having new little moments with her baby boy, I thought I’d share with you a little moment of my own which just so happens to be pregnancy related (because c’mon admit it, you can’t get enough of these preggo stories).
I recently gave birth to my own bouncing baby boy but the day I found out I was pregnant still feels like yesterday. I was thrilled and shocked and scared and million other things but once those died down, I was… Hmm, I don’t know if there’s a word for what I was. How do you explain that feeling you get when you have a secret so ginormous that it makes you feel like your rib cage is filled with helium and is going to lift you off the ground and it’s all you can think about so you’re totally freaked out you’re going to spill it by accident and anyway, can’t people read it all over your face… but you can’t tell anyone? Yeah, that.
Well I walked around feeling that for fourteen whole weeks which is an ETERNITY when you’re feeling that feeling. We told our families halfway through that period but wanted to wait a bit longer before telling everyone else and needless to say, it almost killed me.
Whoops, did I say fourteen weeks? Well with some people it was shorter, but not by choice. Because guess what? They asked the question you should never, ever, EVER ask:
Are you pregnant?
I know, it seems so harmless, right? I mean, isn’t that a happy, joyous thing to ask someone who you know has been married for awhile and you know loves and wants kids and ha ha, isn’t it fun to tease them a bit about it and watch them squirm?
Yeah, I used to think so too… that is, until I was the one in the hot seat. And the day my (male) coworker* poked me in the paunch and said, “Whoa Kasia, you’re getting a little soft there, are you knocked up?” was the day I realized that the time to ask whether someone is pregnant or not is NEVER. I mean, consider the scenarios:
1. Yes, she’s pregnant but she’s not ready to tell you yet. I can’t tell you how excruciatingly uncomfortable it is to have to make up crappy lies to explain why no thanks, you’ll pass on the wine tonight (when everyone clearly knows you’re a lush), especially when you suck at lying. (By the way, the one that worked best was: “No thanks, I’m on antibiotics.” You’re welcome.) And what’s more, no one likes it when you rain on their parade. Maybe they have certain plans for how they want to tell everyone. Be a good friend – don’t ruin it for them!
2. No, she’s not pregnant and not trying and now she feels fat and you look like a dumbass. This is the classic one we all know about and hope never happens to us – on either side of the scale. No explanation needed.Ouch. I never really thought about this one until I had some friends who were going through this oh-so-painful experience and, well, yeah. It’s pretty terrible. They might smile and say, “Oh, not yet!” and seem fine about it but let me tell you, chances are high that the moment they get into the sanctity of their parked car, their hurt will overflow into tears. (My heart goes out to you if you’ve ever been in this situation.) Ok so maybe you’re clueless but maybe you’re just asking if she’s pregnant as an icebreaker because you really want to talk about babies but don’t know how to initiate the conversation. Either way, don’t do it!!! We all know women are touchy about their looks but pregnant women? Pregnant women are insanely sensitive and usually neurotic too and oh yeah, there’s that whole hormonal rollercoaster thing. Be kind and if you’re not 100% sure, keep your trap shut. If she is pregnant, I guarantee you it will make its way into the conversation somehow. Well, if it’s her first baby, anyhow. (It’s almost impossible to not talk about it.)
3. No, she’s not pregnant but is trying and thanks a lot for reminding her that she’s not pregnant yet.
4. Yes, she’s pregnant and quite far along thankyouverymuch and are you casting doubt on the fact her belly looks like there’s a baby inside instead of a lot of Big Macs?
5. I’m sure there’s another scenario that I can’t think of right now but um, yeah, it’s bad too so don’t do it.
See? I told you. It’s never a good situation.
Having that said all that, when you see a woman (like Molly) who’s very clearly glowing and happy and hiding a super-sized beachball under her belly and debating the merits of a Diaper Genie in the aisle of Babies R Us, by all means yes – DO take a moment to smile at her or even congratulate her and ask her how it’s going. Growing a baby is a beautiful, wonderful thing and when you’re doing it, nothing feels more lovely than being acknowledged.
Just make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground and nowhere near your mouth.
*By the way, that coworker who poked me in the gut is actually not a jerk. No, really, I swear. We have a crazy goofy brother-sister relationship so he thought he was just being funny. Not that that makes it okay – the day it happened I was mortified. But now that story is one of our favorites so thanks for your offers to hunt him down and pull out all his fingernails one by one but it’s not necessary. (This time.)