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By blissed On 02/24/04  

I'm hormonally cranky, and a month and a half from my due date... and I desperately want my body to no longer be of public interest. Help me laugh at the absurdity of it all: What stupid, rude things did people say to you, and how did you respond? Pregnancy, early parenthood, whatever.

My worst so far: A male co-worker whose belly is much bigger than mine actually said as I passed by: "Beep-beep-beep -- wide load!" I pointedly stared at his belly, arched an eyebrow, and went on my way.

By looloo On 02/24/04  

"oh my goodness you look like you are about to pop" No, I have almost 2 months, but thank you...

And I am sorry, if someone asks me one more time how I feel I am going to tell them...I am sure they want to hear about the heart burn and the gas...

By researchasaurus On 02/24/04  

Threads like this have got me to the point where I say nothing to pregnant people (I'm not one myself).

Recently I helped a woman at work -- which is an Archives full of big dirty boxes -- with some research. She was pregnant so I got the stuff off the shelves for her, etc. The whole time I felt like I was supposed to be publicly acknowledging the fact that she was pregnant, or something, but I didn't know what to say. It was only the first time I'd worked with her.

What to do? Is there something nice you can say as a stranger? Sorry to change the topic a bit--if anyone cares to reply.

And by the way, I would have punched that wide load guy. That's awful!!

By looloo On 02/24/04  

honestly, unless the woman is clearly pregnant, don't say anything!

I guess we are all very sensitive when we are pregnant, I don't know what to suggest you say. You could say "wow, how did that happen?" or "so who's the father?" but those things don't go over so well with most women (I for one would laugh my ass off if you asked me the first)

I guess you could just say little things like "when are you due?" "is this your first baby?" but you really don't have to say anything at all.

By luci_mama On 02/24/04  

Researchasaurus, you don't HAVE to say anything at all.

But if you want to be nice, you can be nice in very generic ways ("How are you?" "Can I help you with anything?" "You look great today!" "That's a great color on you." Or anything else you'd say to someone who you barely know but want to be nice to.) Then allow her to say whatever she feels comfortable with.

You never know, with strangers, how they feel about their pregnancies: some women hate the experience, while others feel better than they have at any other time in their lives. Some women fear having a baby, or worry about it, or wish it wouldn't be happening ... and others of us are ecstatic.

You can't always tell by looking, either.

By Peachy On 02/24/04  


I think that's so nice you helped the pregnant woman get stuff off shelves. That was acknowledgement enough. At this point in my pregnancy if anyone was to go out of their way to lift something up or pull something down for me I would weep tears of relief.

I like it when people ask me how much longer I have to go but not when they poke me in the stomach and say "hey, look at the pregnant lady!" Yes, that actually happened. When I just get stared at I feel like I should say, "Yeah yeah, I got knocked up! Deal with it!"

By luci_mama On 02/24/04  

I'm hormonally cranky, and I'm NOT pregnant!

But I just wanna come up with obnoxious comebacks on your behalf:

"Baby? What baby? Don't you think my doctor did well with my implants?"

"Nah, I'm never giving up this baby. I LIKE backaches, stretchmarks and having to pee every 14 minutes."

And to the "wide load" guy, I would have beep-beeped right over his ass! Of course, then you'd be touching him, which ....ewwwww.

Oh yeah, I just remembered I have a list of obnoxious comebacks to people who make snotty comments about extended breastfeeding!

1) Are you STILL nursing?

Of course, I wouldn't dare ask someone else to do it for me!
What do you mean still? The bare minimum is two years!
Obviously. ..Are you STILL afraid of seeing a breast? (a good one for someone looking at you nursing with a disgusted look on their face)
Yep! The equipment is still in operation.
Yep! He's still my child, isn't he?
Of course! He still needs his mommy!
Absolutely! It's a great way for both of us to take a break!
Actually, he's the one doing the nursing, I just sit here.

2) When are you going to wean?

I weaned a long time ago, when I was two I think.
(pause) Oh, you weren't asking me? Oh...he can't answer you yet, he can't talk.
Weaning isn't even in his vocabulary yet.
Not sure, I hope he is allowed to nurse as long as he likes.
Oh...sometime in the future. (be vague, it gets them every time!)
I suppose whenever he stops nursing, that would be a good time.
That's funny, I was going to ask you when are you planning on going vegetarian (or something equally as ridiculous to ask)

3) Isn't he a little old for that?

(while nursing) Apparently not, the equipment still works for him.
(surprised) What?! He isn't even out of diapers!
I used to think like you, but then I nursed a baby for the first time and all the rules changed.
His doctor didn't think so.
Aren't you a little old to be wearing those jeans?
Nope, he's only three, that's not very old considering he'll live to be 100 or so.
Obviously he isn't.
If I thought that way, would I still do it?
No, I don't think he is, do you? (if they say "yes" then answer, "well, then, you already had your answer didn't you")

*Do you want to see the research that s/he's not?
*We work for National Geographic
*My mother is the US Surgeon General.
*He's allergic to artificial nipples.
*Well, that's one opinion.
*Actually, no. I'd love to talk about it. Do you have time for coffee?

4) He doesn't NEED to nurse at this age!

He doesn't need his teddy bear either and but we still give it to him
Maybe not, why don't you read up on it for me. Maybe you can find out if there is an expiration date for my milk.
Only HE knows what he needs and obviously he still needs it.
(laugh) Where did you hear that?
Shhh - not in front of him, you'll make him feel bad. (then later say "I would prefer it if you wouldn't talk about nursing in front of the baby. How would you feel if someone was telling you that you were too old for something?")
He can HEAR you, you know.
And you don't NEED to eat that doughnut, but you still are.
He should be drinking cow's milk from a cup by now.
I am sure he knows how, but if you were him, which would you prefer?
Why? Are we raising him to be a cow?
He likes human milk from these cups better at the moment.
I would like to see where that "rule" is written down.
Why? Human milk is made for humans...and it's free!
And you should be OVER the whole thing by now, are you still afraid of a breastfeeding child?

And more...

1) Are you still nursing?"

"No, I'm not, my mother lives too far away. Jacob is, though."
"Of course! Nothing but the best for your grandson!" (or nephew or whatever)
"Yes, isn't it amazing? I am so glad he's not in a hurry to grow up"
"Yes, it's really been a life-saver, it is the only liquid he'll drink when he's not feeling well"
"Absolutely, isn't love a wonderful thing?"
"Yes!" (then hold up your hand expecting the other person to high-five you)
"Right now? No, he's over there playing. I need him to do it"
"I was never a nurse. I don't like needles! I'm an Accountant, remember?"
"Yes, his doctor is so thrilled. So many moms give up due to pressures of friends and family" (hint hint)
"Yes, and he's a real pro at it. I am so proud of him"
"Everyone asks that, it must be because he's so incredibly healthy" (not really answering, but it gets the point across that you aren't planning on answering)
"I get that question all the time. It is so great that people are looking out for him!" (again, not answering)
"Yes, he deserves the very best. He's such a good baby."
(for someone who continuously asks) "It is funny how people ask that, but then they don't really want to know"
(for someone who continuously asks) "Of course, I am glad you keep asking. It shows you want the best for him."
(and another for someone who is hounding you to no end) "do you really want to know this time? You didn't seem satisfied with my answer last time."

2) "When are you planning on weaning?"

"I'm not. He'll wean me."
"Before he graduates"
"He hasn't told me yet."
"I haven't asked him yet. He doesn't really make plans for the future at this point. He just does things day to day"
"I don't know, I guess when my milk dries up" (confuse a person who has no clue about breastfeeding)
"I hope not for a while. We're both enjoying our time together"
"I don't know, when the puppies weaned, they were taken away from their mother. It doesn't seem like such a great thing to me"
(sometimes they ask, "when will you start giving him cow's milk?") "Not sure, maybe if he starts thinking he is a calf"
"What, and get my PMS back? are you crazy?"
"I don't know. He seems to still enjoy it and I enjoy those extra 500 calories I burn"
"It is so hard to plan anything with a baby. We're just doing things day to day."
" We're in no rush, he has time to make up his own mind"
"Thanks for asking. Everyone seems to need an answer for that except for me and my child."
(and another for someone who is hounding you to no end) "It depends, when are you planning on asking me again?"

The top five reasons to tandem nurse by Lori (noaimhere)
5 You burn twice the calories (read EAT more chocolate)
4. With a head on each arm, lying flat on your back, you learn how to become an escape artist
3. Two beautiful heads to kiss and smell, I just love that.
2. You know where at least two of your children are
AND the number 1 reason to tandem nurse:
1. There isn't an extra nipple for anyone to "fiddle"

By blissed On 02/24/04  

lucimama, those were so funny I nearly fell over giggling -- or maybe that was just my usual pregnant wobbliness... I'm saving those for future reference. A few people have already asked about nursing (how long I plan to nurse, etc.) I've been rebuffing them by noting that I'm more focused on getting the real live baby in my hands first, but I'll start using some of your comebacks. I'd already added breastfeeding to politics and religion as topics to avoid discussing with anyone besides family and close friends.

As for good things to say: My favorite was a co-worker said, "I hope I'm not being presumptuous, but I wanted to ask: Are you pregnant?" Polite enough, and I don't want to lie, so I told her yes. And she said, with sincerity: "You've been looking fantastic. Congratulations!" I had to tell her the next day: That's good stuff to say to pregnant women. Offering to help with stuff is nice too -- an open-ended "If you need a hand, just let me know" isn't at all patronizing. I don't mind people asking how I feel: But that may be because I feel pretty good, and I'm happy to remind people that I'm not incapacitated, thankyouverymuch.

I ended up taking one female co-worker aside after she asked me, from several cubicles away, how much weight I had gained, and another time in front of people didn't ask but *told* me to turn around and give everyone a side view. (I refused.) I explained, as politely as I could, that anything that would sound inappropriate when said to a woman who isn't pregnant is still inappropriate when said to a pregnant woman. She's been quiet ever since...

By senorcoconut On 02/24/04  

luci_mama, as a fellow extended nurser, I love you.
The decision to wean is mine and my child's together. No one else has the right. Especially when he or she is only two and clearly still needs the comfort (this is my son).

By jane_bond On 02/24/04  

*"No, I'm not, my mother lives too far away. Jacob is, though."*

OK, Luci, jigs up! What's your name?

By pomly On 02/24/04  

I think it's amazing that people just find the need the need to blurt things out when they see your belly. (I am 8 months pregnant right now)
Here are a few comments I've received...
"I bet you're glad it's not August!"
"Hold on a little longer, we don't want an incident here in the cereal aisle"

I've also been asked when I am due when I wasn't pregnant.

By luci_mama On 02/25/04  

I hate to take the credit for someone else's good writing ... Those are damned funny, aren't they? I think I got them either from when I was on an iVillage birth board or else from my ICAN e-mail list. They were too good to simply delete, and I've been glad I saved them to share several times.

I'm not on, sorry.

By jane_bond On 02/25/04  

Oh, damn, I thought I found a'er - that's where that list comes from originally. Glad to see our list is getting around!

My all time favourite nursing comeback:

"Are you STILL nursing?" - "Yeah, why? Did you want some?"

By Eva666 On 02/25/04  

This isn't about pregnancy or nursing but yesterday a friend (A FRIEND!?!) said to me "I should get knocked up so I can just be a mom and take it easy." That was *after* spending an afternoon of errands with me and my two year old that was horribly cranky, insisting on being held non-stop, and trying to pull her shit-filled diaper off in the middle of a 10 minute post office line.

By looloo On 02/25/04  

did you punch her? I would have punched her, threw a dirty pull-up at her and left her with the toddler for a good 15 minutes.

By Eva666 On 02/25/04  

i told her i was going to put that quote on a t-shirt and maker her wear it when she has a two-year-old.

By melmelon On 02/25/04  

Send your "friend" over here.....she can take it "easy" with my darling little monster..and for good measure I'll leave the baby with her too. Just make sure she knows that, yes, they are BOTH nursing and that, no, they cant have a frigging bottle/pacifier/or a really dirty bum while she watches soaps.

also, luci - I could just kiss you!!!! I am to the point where I no longer even respond to the nosey nursing questions b/c I am too afraid of what my angry self will say...usually starts with the f and ends with one too. Goes over well at the family funcitons i refuse to attend. Although we are going to a stupid birthday party for my husband's best friend daughter - she will be one - so it will be fun to hear about how I shouldnt be doing XYZ and how my children will develop all sorts of emotional issues because of me....i am so tired of educating people....

By luci_mama On 02/26/04  

"Did you need some for your coffee?"

HA! That's good!

By Melynn On 02/25/04  

Strangers can be so nosey and stupid. And so handsy.
Probably the wierdest was when I was visiting my mom at the nursing home where she worked and this resident came up to me, laid her hands on my stomach and said, "You will have a very healthy baby boy." I was kind of shocked so I just stood there. I had a girl.
Anyways, I have had mostly the 'oh my God you must be miserable-you look terrible!' I would usually just say thank you, so do you. And the 'you must be ready to pop!' I had justational diabetes and my belly got so huge. I would have to tell them that I still had 3 months left and then always they would ask about my size if it was normal.
But my favorite I kinda got from Friends-Whenever someone would say something about me being pregnant that I didn't like, "Oh, I don't know, it's not mine."
My sister was at a buffet for lunch one day after an appointment, with plate in hand a group of people came up to her and asked if they could all touch her stomach and say a prayer for the baby. She was extremly freaked, but still so mouthy-she said, "whatever does it for ya."
My sister is so cool. I love her!


By bratgirl On 02/25/04  

I must say I HATE the "how are you feeling?" comment. I get it almost 8 times EVERY DAY. The annoying part is one guy in my office says it at least two times every day. What REALLY pisses me off about it is they all say it like I am on my deathbed and act SUPER concerned. At first it wigged me out, and I would go to the washroom to see if I looked bad (and i didn't).

I also notice that most of the people in my office ask me questions, but apparently never listen to the answer as they ask me the same ones every week. "Have you been sick?", "Are you going to breastfeed?", "What are you going to do about daycare?", and on and on... Now I don't mind most of these questions too much, I get annoyed when the same people ask me them again and again. I mean, if you aren't going to listen to my answer, why ask the f***ing question?

Thank you all for the good comebacks.


By sofrosyne On 02/26/04  

I would get really pissed when I would walk down the street on a one person sidewalk and people wouldn't get out of the way for me! Make a pregnant woman walk in the street yeah, that's cool. Then there was the time when I tripped (I didn't fall, just stumbled) and these stupid teenagers LAUGHED at me! I could have killed them!

whoo. scuse me, I got a little worked up there remembering.

My favorite comeback, which I never had the balls to do, is just to say "oh, I'm not pregnant..." Because THAT just makes people feel stupider than anything else you could say.

By looloo On 02/26/04  

okay, it is not the "how are you feeling?" that bugs me, it is the "How are you feeeling????" <concerned look, little frown> coming from previously pregnant women who know how annoying it is!!!

Yesterday this woman at Target looked at me and said "oh my goodness are you having twins?" Now, the strange thing is, she was not a "small" woman and she said she was four months along and looked about as far along as I do! (I am not a "small" woman either) What made her say that to me? What if someone said that to her?

By luci_mama On 02/26/04  

**Deleted because I was too snotty even for MYSELF!**

Sorry if I offended anybody.


By luci_mama On 02/26/04  

**Deleted, ditto**

By looloo On 02/26/04  

I usually just answer with a quick "pregnant" because I know that when I turn around someone else will ask me.

"fine, how are you feeling?" and see how they react to that one

"a little drunk"

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