Because even after all these years of women being pregnant, some people still just don’t get it.
1. Was it planned?
Dafuck? I really don’t get what people think they are going to achieve by asking this question. If the pregnancy was planned you look like a dick for asking. If it wasn’t planned you look like a dick for asking. Lose lose. What if it had been planned for years and the woman you are asking had undergone extensive and costly fertility treatment to reach this point but did not feel comfortable opening up to you about it? What if it wasn’t planned at all and the woman you are asking is scared as hell about the whole thing and still trying to get her head around it herself? What if it was planned but the woman simply wants her privacy respected? Some people have the idea that if a woman or a couple are trying for a baby, either the old fashioned way or through IVF, surrogacy, sperm donation or whatever, that they have some god given right to know about it. You don’t. Sometimes people want to keep things to themselves. Newly married and cohabiting couples are constantly asked when the baby will arrive – because people assume that they are ‘trying’. What if they don’t want kids? What if they can’t have kids? And if you have a group of friends that are all ‘trying’ then fuck a duck, you’ll literally never hear the end of it. And someone is always ‘last’ in that race to conceive unfortunately, creating additional stress and pressure on the whole situation. A time which should be fun and exciting becomes fraught and all about peeing on sticks at every opportunity. Not conducive to the baby making. So before you consider asking someone if it was planned, STOP. Think. What might they have gone through to get to this point? Do they really care if it was planned or not? Do you? If the answer is no then just keep your bleeding mouth shut. Curiosity killed the cat you know. If they want to tell you, they will.
2. Do you know what you’re having? And what do you want?
What an odd question. I’m having a BABY. Not a dog or a cat or a hamster or a budgie. I want a BABY. Ten fingers, ten toes. As long as the baby is healthy that is what I want. I couldn’t care less if it’s got a little winkle or not frankly. Whether you decide to find out the sex or not, this question will probably still be asked quite early on in the pregnancy. What if you say you want a boy but end up with a girl? Uh oh does that mean you’re not going to love the baby just as much? No it doesn’t. Stupid bloody question to ask. You’re getting a baby and you are just thankful for that. Does it make a difference what sex they are? Will you raise them any differently? (The real answer to this is that unfortunately you probably will because, well, gender stereotypes but that’s another matter entirely). Boy/ girl the baby will be loved. Next.
3. Are you having twins?
People usually think they’re being funny when asking this one. Variations include: Aren’t you nearly done/ready to pop? Are you about to go into labour? Are you sure you will last til next week/tomorrow/this afternoon? Etc etc. Yes I get it. I’m fucking massive. I look like I’m about to drop a litter right here in the middle of Costa. I feel even bigger than I look. I probably also feel like a hormonal mess and really shitty. So making comments on how gigantic I look can clearly only help with that. No. I once wore a new maternity shirt to work and some random guy in the lift asked me how long I had left until mat leave. I was only 6 months pregnant I said, so a while yet. “Bloodyhell are you sure you haven’t got two in there?” was his response. “That’s gonna be one big baby!” Actually I’m measuring small for dates you prick but I’m never gonna wear this shirt again now, thanks for that. Leave the baby size judgements to the doctors/midwives (who are still usually way off). Now do one before I prize that sandwich from your hands and shove it into my fat face in a fit of rage. Am I having twins? Eye roll.
4. Have you got any names yet?
This might just be a personal bugbear but I used to hate this question. I would try to fob people off with either “na not yet” or “yeah got a couple of options” but some people weren’t satisfied with that. And heaven forbid if you do mention a name then every time you see that person they will ask “So are you still thinking of Cyril?” or whatever. I’m trying to name my unborn child that I haven’t even met yet. This is hard. The little person is going to be stuck with this name for their entire life (unless they pay to change it) so I want to make sure I get it right and the poor fucker doesn’t end up with a name that makes them sound like a chav/posh twat/hippy/whatever other connotations names have. Please leave me be and allow me to do this without your input. Because if I do mention a name you will almost certainly tell me “Oh I know someone with that name, she’s a right bitch” or “My mate’s got a dog called Boris” I literally couldn’t give a teeny tiny fuck who you know with that name. The reason I have chosen it is because I don’t know any wankers with that name and I like it. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not. You are irrelevant. So mind your own mate or I’ll start calling you by a different name altogether; it begins with a C and ends in untface.
5. Can I touch it? (The bump)
Asked no one ever before reaching out their grubby mitt to get a handful of belly. Fuck. Off. That is still my stomach. It is not a baby yet and even if it was you should ask before touching my baby too (FYI many strangers, mainly old people, try to touch my baby when I am out with the pram. I don’t know where your hands have been love, leave him alone!) “What does it feel like?” I was asked while someone leaned forward and got a good rub of my bump. “It feels like this” I replied as I gently stroked their tummy back. Seriously. My body has not become yours to touch simply because I am harbouring another human in there. In fact, I think I would rather have had you rub my unpregnant tummy than my vulnerable foetus laden bump. Plus I don’t even know your sodding name so why you think it is OK to touch my body is beyond me. This is borderline harassment. Now kindly piss off. Ta.
6. Are you knackered?
Basically you’re saying I look like shit. You’re telling a very emotionally charged woman, whose body is experiencing extreme changes that are hard to come to terms with, that she’s looking run down and is not the ‘glowing’ vision of health that we all dream of during pregnancy. Thanks very much. I got asked this a lot when I was pregnant and I get asked it a lot now I have a baby. Maybe I just have that knackered look about me all the time. I am one knackered old cow. Way to make a woman feel good about herself though. Especially when she is probably already horrified every time she catches a reflection of herself and her ever multiplying chins and shiny forehead. Kick a woman while she’s down. Slow clap.
7. How are you feeling today? Any signs yet? (As you approach/exceed due date)
I will admit that before I gave birth I had been guilty of asking this one. But if you share your due date with others (my advice – don’t bother) then you can expect at least five text messages and numerous phone calls on a daily basis asking this as you near the 40th week (even starting a few weeks beforehand if you’re lucky). And it gets oh so tedious. Because you are also bored of waiting for baby to arrive. You wish they would hurry up now. You’re all ready for them (so you think, ha fucking ha) and there is just one final (really fricking big) hurdle to overcome. You’re huge and uncomfortable and emotional. You eat pineapple and curry, drink raspberry leaf tea, go for long walks, bounce on a yoga ball, side step up the stairs like a crab and if you get that desperate you might even attempt to have sex. But still no baby. So everyone asking you if there is ‘any sign yet’ is really the last bloody thing you want. Just wait until I text you the cute new baby pic thank you please. I won’t ask that one again in future!
I’m sure there are hundreds more stupid questions that pregnant women get asked/ ridiculous things that people say. Please post any others in the comments…