Pregnancy and the Weird Conversations to Expect
Here are some of the weird conversations and situations that Carissa and I encountered during our pregnancy. Unfortunately, many of them involve the fact that once people know you are pregnant, they tend to see you only as a pregnant person and not as an individual with your own identity. As for myself, I preferred to be treated as Dani who happens to be pregnant, not just “Pregnant Dani.” Please note that these are meant both in jest and seriousness. Enjoy!
How are you feeling?
I always found this to be a weird question. What about “How are you?” After months of being asked this, I started to ask it in return. The dumbfounded look on people’s faces when I asked them “how are you feeling” was both hilarious and eye-opening, as it showed how unusual it is to ask someone about their physical state in such a direct manner.
Can I touch your belly?
Can I touch YOUR belly?!” Absolutely not. It’s strange how people feel entitled to touch a pregnant woman’s belly without permission. It’s a violation of personal space, and it’s not okay. I remember a particular incident at a restaurant when a woman attempted to touch my belly. I was so taken aback that I instinctively stepped back, almost knocking over my husband in the process.
Are you going to breastfeed?
This is a normal thing for me to discuss with my partner, doctor, or maybe even close family or friends. However, it can be an uncomfortable question to discuss with a coworker or the lady in line behind me at Target.
The coworker who you talk to twice a year in the hallway plops down in your office. “How is being pregnant?”
While I appreciate the coworker’s interest, I don’t necessarily want to become closer with them just because I’m pregnant. Let’s stick to the usual pleasantries and keep it professional. I’d rather be treated as Dani who is pregnant, not Pregnant Dani, if that makes sense.
Oh my gosh! You are pregnant? I cannot tell you are pregnant from behind. You are so lucky.
Ok. Thank you….?
Are you going to work up until the baby(s) are born?
I was asked this question frequently when I was pregnant with twins. Is there really another option? Sure, if there is a medical reason to stop working, such as bedrest, I understand. However, do people generally stop working before the baby is born? I needed all the time off after the babies were born, so I couldn’t afford to take time off before. The keyword here is “afford.”
Are you going to go back to work?
Hello there! Yes, I do plan on returning to work. I value my career and do not plan to pause or stop it because of having children. It’s important for me to show my children that mothers can work and have successful careers. However, if I decide to be a stay-at-home parent, that is also okay. It’s all about making the right choice for myself and my family.
Should you be doing THAT?
I’m perfectly capable of picking up a pen or carrying my purse, thank you. Pregnancy doesn’t suddenly make me unable to do things I could do before. If I need help, I’ll ask for it, just like I always have.
Are you going to have a NATURAL birth?
Is there a “natural” way to birth a baby? Please tell me more… We need to end the stigma that c-sections are “unnatural” or not a “real” birth. Birth is a complex and challenging process that can take many different forms. What’s important is the health and safety of both the mother and the baby, and whatever method of delivery is necessary to ensure that is the right choice.
Pregnancy and the Weird Conversations to Expect…Multiples Style
You’re having twins?! [Insert weird question or statement here]
- Oh cool, my best friend’s, sister’s brother also has twins. You should connect with them!
- Are they identical?
- Boy, girl? So they aren’t identical?
- Are they natural?
- Do you think you’ll have more kids?
- Do twins run in your family?
- Are you sure there are only TWO in there? Ha, ha, ha, lol
- It doesn’t look like you are having twins…
- My daughter has Irish twins (aka close in age), that is basically the same thing, I’m sure she’d love to pass advice on to you.
Get ready for the complications of pregnancy and the awkward conversations that come with it. After sharing the news of your pregnancy, expect to have those strange conversations repeatedly with family, friends, and even strangers. If you prefer to be treated normally, it’s helpful to have prepared, concise responses that you can give on autopilot. This helps the moment pass without making you feel like the center of attention.
That said, I’m incredibly lucky to have so many supportive people in my life. It’s possible to feel both grateful and a little annoyed at the same time, especially while pregnant!