Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Just say it (like I could stop you)

Pregnancy opens up all kinds of different conversations, particularly with strangers. Or should I say, when you're pregnant, strangers feel free to open up all kinds of different conversations with you. It's like the more room your belly takes up, the more people feel free (or in some cases compelled) to discuss it with you. Even your friends' and family members' normally-halfway-decent verbal filters get a little looser.

I can't remember being the least bit phased by comments about my belly during my first pregnancy, but in your second pregnancy, you just start showing so much faster and apparently in my case, so much more. So the comments have come earlier with almost everyone assuming I'm further along than I am. I'm not really bothered by it. I'm not bitter. But I'm also not feeling the need to keep these comments to myself. So in the same spirit of walking up to someone and saying whatever comes to mind, I am feeling free (compelled) to share with you some of the gems I've heard lately.

Of course, there are the numerous you-look-like-you're-just-about-to-pop's, and there are the strangers in the neighborhood calling across the street to me that it must be getting close (when I had 3+ months to go). Then there are the people at the coffee shop or the park who want to guess how far along I am and the gender and explain all the reasons that my profile led them to guess what they did (however incorrectly). But here are the stand-out comments of the past several months.

Guy friend: "Your belly just looks so much bigger today."
"Well, usually I don't wear a baggy shirt like this," I say, pulling the shirt closer to my belly.
Guy friend: "Well, now it looks like a torpedo."

A woman I adore: "Wow, it looks like a salami."

Different guy friend (at 33 weeks): "So, they think your belly is going to just keep on growing?"

Then this weekend, a stranger at the local coffee place asked how far along I was. When I said I only had a few weeks to go, she acted surprised at the short time I had remaining, and I was like, "You're awesome," since most people assume I'm at least that far along, if not overdue. Then she said, "So just one baby?" and I was like, "You're not awesome."

Yes, just one baby. No, I'm not having twins. Did I mention you're not awesome?

Don't get me wrong. Though I wasn't prepared for all these comments, I am repeating them all here in fun, and I'm keeping in mind that they are balanced by others. Most of my girlfriends kindly insist that my belly is the only part of me that looks pregnant, and whether true or not, I'm hanging on to that. Plus, when you're pregnant, people smile at you for no reason. And though I don't really like attracting attention, I'm trying to soak that up because in a few weeks, I'll no longer be a sweet anonymous pregnant person reminding them of the beautiful part of the circle of life. I'll be the mom of two attracting glares instead of smiles as I accidentally block the door to Starbucks while struggling with the infant stroller and trying to convince my preschooler to keep moving in the same direction for more than a few steps at a time.

So though I'm nearing the end and pretty uncomfortable and though I'm now more likely to have a potty accident than my three-year-old and only slightly less likely to burst into tears from being overtired, I'm raising my glass (of ginger ale) to pregnancy and all of its craziness. See you on the other side!


  1. From the picture, you look not huge! How can people say that? I don't get it but anyway. You made me laugh about the blocking the door with your infant and preschooler and potty accident comment. Hilarious! I'm sure you look amazing! Good luck and can't wait to see pictures.

    1. Thank you!!! Actually that is my pic in early March -- after the torpedo comment, but before the salami one! Maybe the cropped jacket was helping to balance the belly. Anyway, I appreciate your comments (as always)!

  2. Replies
    1. Awww - thanks! Such a huge compliment, especially from you, Mrs. Amazing!

  3. Some shared stories from readers (through fb):

    Monica: I think you look beautiful! I got comments like that too. The comments I truly enjoyed (not) is when people would tell me where the rest of my baby weight went besides my belly! Thank you....move along!

    Joanna: Yeah, once I had two I became that exact person in Starbucks you mentioned at the end. Hang in there... The end is near!

    Aimee: Love this, Valerie. I feel you and love the part about strangers smiling at you. I wish I had that kind thought a few weeks ago. #3 got way more comments than the first two! Also on the struggling with two note- one of the best things I did this time was get a graco sit and stand...my kids=wrangled

    Reagan: This is perhaps the best thing you've ever written. Thanks for sharing! I've been there. Twins. Pop? I love the line, " I'll be the mom of two attracting glares instead of smiles as I accidentally block the door to Starbucks while struggling with the infant stroller and trying to convince my preschooler to keep moving in the same direction for more than a few steps at a time." Sweet. Candid. Refreshing and wonderful

    Jeanette: Cute! I assume the photo is not your belly (because it doesn't look like a torpedo). The most insensitive comment I remember was a guy who started walking beside me as I waddled along at the Pentagon and asked how far along (which I answered), then said "this will be your only one, right?" (which I assumed to be a passive-aggressive comment on my advanced maternal age).

    Jennifer: I love a good blog post. I heard all those comments, except the torpedo....