10 Things To Say To A Very Pregnant Woman To Trigger Immediate Rage

by Erika Meller
Originally Published: 

Being pregnant for the second time around has been surprisingly different from my first. Maybe it’s because, at 36, I feel every year older than when I had my son at 30, especially now that I’m in my third trimester. Or maybe it’s because the extra female hormones from this baby girl are still causing the occasional nausea. It could be the uncharacteristically hot weather we are still experiencing, or the fact that my son wants me to play with him all the time when all I want to do is rest to stave off the cramping like I could before giving birth to him. It’s probably a (non-alcoholic) cocktail of all of the above.

But the most palpable ingredient in this metaphoric spirit has got to be the conversations I’ve found myself roped into with people who think that talking to an expectant mother gives them license to dole out medical advice like a doctor, food approvals like a nutritionist, or invasive and inappropriate comments about my obvious, though personal, situation.

Below are 10 questions and comments I’ve actually been asked/told during the last half of my pregnancy, who it was from, how I actually responded, and what I was really rage-thinking after my mostly polite responses to their unsolicited observations:

1. “Was your pregnancy planned?”

— Said by a colleague

How I actually responded: Yes, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.”

What I was really thinking: “Are you seriously asking me whether my husband and I were trying to conceive a baby that one time we had sex while I was apparently ovulating? Whether it was ‘planned’ or not doesn’t really matter now that I’m announcing the news that I’m going to give birth to a second child. What if the answer was ‘no?’ What would be your response to that? A pathetic ‘I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have asked?’ AWKWARD. If you even think that ‘I shouldn’t have asked’ MIGHT be in the realm of possibility of coming out of your mouth, then promptly stick a foot in there after simply saying ‘congratulations!’ like a normal person.”

2. “Seriously, why are you so tired all the time?”

— Said by my husband

How I actually responded: “Is that even a real fucking question?” (See below – the husband doesn’t get the luxury of any sort of rage filter from me.)

What I was really thinking (and did say!): “Is that even a real fucking question? I have a demanding full-time job that luckily I get paid for, and an even more demanding, full-time, thankless and unpaid job taking care of the cooking, bills, laundry, and our entire household; our 5-year-old; our dog; and in many cases YOU all while facilitating the growth of HUMAN LIFE. What did you do today? Go to work, come home, and watch football on the couch? TODAY MY BODY GREW A HUMAN BRAIN!”

3. “You have a boy and now you’re having a girl? You must be SO happy that you will have one of each!”

– Said by my aunt

How I actually responded:“Yes, it will be wonderful.”

What I was really thinking: “Well, actually, I was really hoping for two boys. I ‘get’ my son (case in point: the Scary Mommy post I wrote about farting being hilarious) and can easily relate to sports, superheroes, truck shirts, dinosaurs, and even the post-shower naked dances he performs. Pink ruffles, tights, and bows? Um, no. I plan on dressing my daughter in whatever clothes my son wore at her age because blue onesies with monkeys and elephants are clearly gender neutral, as are the ones that say ‘Daddy’s Little Man,’ right? And don’t even get me started on the future horrors of sassy pre-teen attitude, puberty, hormones, and teenage heartbreak. It was hard enough for me to go through that myself, and I’m terrified of how much I’m going to worry about my daughter having to do the same. Having kids is sentencing yourself to a lifetime of worry, and I have a feeling I’ll be feeling that worry much more for my daughter than my son. Excuse me while I go take an extra dose of my anti-anxiety pills now.”

4. “Wow, your kids are going to be really far apart in age, and that will be hard.”

— Said by a stranger in front of me in the long grocery store checkout line

How I actually responded:Yep, they will, but my almost 6-year-old will be a great helper to his little sister.”

What I was really thinking: “Agreeing to even have a second child took some convincing for my ‘one and done’ husband. Then, when that conversation was settled, we went through heartbreak I never could have predicted. Thank you, random stranger, for reminding me of the dilation and curettage procedure I had to endure when my son was three because the ultrasound for my second pregnancy showed that my fetus did not have a heartbeat. To this day, I still consider that to be the worst day of my entire life. And thank you also for spurring the memory of my ectopic pregnancy that could have killed me when my son was four, and for the many tears shed each month when I got my period instead of seeing two pink lines on a pregnancy stick. I could not be more thrilled about my rainbow baby girl, whose blessing came right when it was supposed to. So fuck you, lady. I hope you choke on those grapes you’re buying.”

5. “You’re due in November? Wow, that’s gonna be a big baby!”

— Said by the phlebotomist at my doctor’s office

How I actually responded:Well hopefully she will be early!”

What I was really thinking: “You seriously couldn’t come up with ANY other generic small talk topics for the literal 3 minutes I’m in this chair than remarking on my size? What happened to the weather or any sport team or even SILENCE, which would have been a much better choice? Stick with what you know, stick me, and then leave me the eff alone.”

6. “That had better be decaf!”

— Said by a colleague from another department upon seeing me holding a Starbucks cup

How I actually responded:“Well, it’s half caf.”

What I was really thinking: “This coffee is not even remotely decaf. And are you my doctor? No? Then shut the hell up. Do you know just how little caffeine I can have on a daily basis and still be expected to perform at this job? With no mid-afternoon naps? Let me tell you – it’s much, much less than I was enjoying before I found out I was pregnant and had to quit that much intake cold turkey, and some days I actually find myself needing to rest my head for ‘just a quick minute’ in the bathroom stall because if I didn’t I’d probably accidentally walk zombified into an empty elevator bank.”

7. “You know that Khloe Kardashian only gained 12 pounds during her entire pregnancy.”

— Said by a close Relative

How I actually responded:“Wow, that’s amazing.”

What I was really thinking: “OK, first of all, that’s actually not even possible or true. Second of all, why did you feel the need to tell me this? And third of all, what the hell else does a celebrity who is famous for being famous have to do outside of focus on herself during pregnancy? She probably has a personal trainer, chef, housekeeper, and nutritionist at her disposal; can rest whenever she’s tired; and get one of her assistants to do any errands or tasks that need to be done. Meanwhile, I’m eating a gourmet snack of fruit snacks and Cheez-Its that I found in the car because my 90-minute commute home from work gives me just enough time to let the dog outside and grab my son from school before he has to be at soccer practice. It’s a wonder I’ve gained more than 12 pounds because of all of the sometimes literal running around I do. Stupid Cheez-Its (sooo good though!).”

8. “I can give you this shirt I got at a conference that might fit you. It’s a 2XL.”

— Said by a colleague from my department after I remarked that I’m running out of work clothes that fit me well.

How I actually responded: I am now wearing shirts that are a size large, but thank you for the offer.”

What I was really thinking: “THIS SHIRT I’M WEARING NOW IS A LARGE! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? I already feel like a cow; I don’t need to know that I actually look like one!”

9. “I hope that’s a healthy lunch.”

— Said by a colleague remarking on what I was warming up in the microwave at work.

How I actually responded:“Yep – chicken and vegetables!”

What I was really thinking: “Yep – chicken and vegetables for lunch only because I grabbed the wrong container from the fridge. Although that mistake will be beneficial later when I’m scarfing down leftover deep dish pizza followed by strawberry ice cream for dinner! Also, what business is it of yours what I eat these days? Does it affect you in any way? No? OK, then move your negative energy along and eat whatever you’re going to eat for lunch, which had better not be fish you plan on putting in the communal microwave or so help me god I will throw it out the window.”

10. “When are you due, ‘cause you are huge!”

— Said by a colleague I barely know

How I actually responded:November, which is right around the corner!”

What I was really thinking: “I literally don’t even know your last name, nor have I ever said anything more to you than a polite ‘good morning’ with a forced smile if I pass you in the hallway, and you have the audacity to pop your head into my office and say that to me? Yes, I’ve gained weight, but I’m supposed to and at least 12 pounds of that weight is another human and the gross bodily masses and fluids keeping her alive. But thanks for stopping by!”

And one thing you SHOULD say to a pregnant woman, regardless of her size, weight, mood, ill-fitting clothing, sweaty armpits, or whether she is scarfing down food like a coyote that’s finally caught a meal after 5 days of eating nothing in the dead of winter:

“You are absolutely beautiful, and are going to be a great mom.”

How I would actually respond: “That’s so sweet; thank you so much!”

What I would really think: “You are such a fucking liar about me being anywhere close to the realm of what is socially regarded as ‘beautiful,’ but I can’t argue about the great mom part. That part I’m sure about.”

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