It’s been awhile since we’ve penned a blog and while the last five years have been dedicated to details of our Europe-wide travels (and beyond), the blog may shift as we try to maneuver this upcoming parenting thing.
Perhaps, in time, it will shift back to travel – this time with a rug rat in tow. Which begs the question – are children checked baggage or carry on?
For now, as I’m currently 5 days past my due date, pregnancy is on my mind big time. I’ve entered the waddling phase and after a near fall yesterday when my pant leg got stuck in the spokes of my bike – I’m officially taking it easy.
I’ve been lucky during this pregnancy though, relatively speaking. I consider my pregnancy a positive experience and I’ve been able to remain active and still participate in activities I loved pre-pregnancy – but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t had its negative moments. But to be honest, most of those moments have come from third parties. So I dedicate these words to explaining the language of pregnancy. Or better yet – what not to say to a pregnant woman, ever.
Being pregnant can be tough, even when pregnancy itself is running smoothly. Your hormones are a bit out of whack, your body is constantly changing and your I.Q. is cut in half. (Seriously, it’s a wonder I can still type in full sentences as I’ve resorted to speaking like a cave man).
It’s during these times that encouragement goes a long way. Here’s a list of appropriate affirmations that every pregnant woman would love to hear:
“You’re doing great!”
“You look wonderful!”
“I know it’s tough, but you are handling it like a pro!”
“Pregnancy suits you!”
“Keep up the good work!”
And when all else fails, “Congrats!” works every time.
Weighing your options
Why yes, I am completely aware that I have packed on some pounds in the last 41 weeks, no need to remind me! Please avoid phrases like:
“Are you sure you’re not having twins?”
“That baby is going to be so big!”
Let’s focus on the latter for a moment. While I know that the birthing experience doesn’t have to be frightful, the thought of pushing a large object out of my nether regions brings a slight bit of anxiety. It’s sometimes impossible for a doctor or midwife to accurately predict the size of a baby in utero, so perhaps your estimation is off, too. But putting that thought into a pregnant woman’s head can be very detrimental to her mental state.
Feel free to resort back to old faithful: “Congrats!”
The name game
After “how far along are you? the most common question I’m asked is “do you have a name picked out?” And yes, I do, but I’ve stopped telling people what it is.
See, it doesn’t matter to me if you had a boyfriend with that name that broke your heart, or you simply don’t like it. I don’t want to hear it. None of your name issues matter to me. It’s unnecessary negativity and the likelihood of me changing it to suit you is slim.
Again, when you hear it and don’t like it, say “Congrats!”
Touch and go
Never, ever, is it appropriate to touch a woman’s belly if she is a stranger. Ever. I can’t imagine anyone who would do that to a non-pregnant stranger, so think of it the same way. Even if you’re familiar with the person, it’s nice to ask. I honestly don’t mind folks rubbing the Buddah, but when strangers do it – it makes me feel creepy.
So don’t touch, instead, just say “Congrats!”
If you ever have the urge to begin a sentence directed toward pregnant women with these two words, stop. Instead say “Congrats!”
The unflattering birth story
A few months ago Jeremy and I were eating at a restaurant when our waitress decided to go into great detail about her horrific birth experience. To make matters worse, we were eating Indian food. We have yet to return to this place as the food was as bad at the service, but we still can’t figure out why she thought it was a good idea to scare to the shit out of me with her personal tale.
Everyone’s experience is different. Sure, my birth could be horrific or it could be the most beautiful and uplifting experience of my life. But it’s mine. Keep it light and keep those horror stories to yourself.
Instead, say “Congrats!”
Seriously, works every time.