The things people say

Sorry to be so AWOL, I have been working my batooshka off up here in RIR-Land, many days starting at 8:30AM and done around 10PM.  Not in a bad way, this is a project I love, love, love and I love the people here and it is like a dream come true to work here.  But, I know my time is short and I have to make the most of it while I can.

(Also, I have been following blogs, but on my 14k dial-up line my attempts to comment are generally cut off.  The same thing happens to my attempts to reply to comments on this blog. Sigh.)

Things with me have been going great, I generally am feeling my energetic self these days, and with the exception of all-day heartburn, which I can definitely live with, am not noticing a lot of pregnancy complaints. Hallelujah, that second-trimester honeymoon did arrive, even if it was about a month late. I’ve noticed that in the last week (I am now 21.5 weeks) the baby is kicking a lot more frequently, or at least a lot more frequently that I notice it. This morning I woke up at 6AM and the baby was already moving around a lot. I just thought to myself, “What the heck are YOU doing up now?!” So things are good.

The other day, Chicklet posted about some dumb comments she has been getting about being pregnant (notably the “you are so small, are you sure your baby is not sick?” comment which is pretty dang high on the idiotic scale). Somehow it seems like a lot of people’s brains turn off when they are around pregnant people, even (or perhaps especially) the people who have been pregnant themselves.

Now, as an infertile person I have been used to getting really dumb comments from time to time, to be honest. But the dumb comments now have a different tone. On the one hand, they sting a lot less, since they are generally not rubbing a lot of salt into an open wound. On the other hand, I can’t protect myself by not telling people I am pregnant, since by now it is glaringly obvious to my surroundings (not to mention the fact that in this tiny town everybody knows everybody’s business).

For your amusement, I now provide my favorite dumb comments.

1. “What do you want, a boy or a girl?” I probably get this comment from pretty much everybody who talks to me, right after the ever-popular “do you know what you are having yet?” (answer: “a human, hopefully”). Here is why this question is idiotic (apart from the fact that my instinctual answer is “Are you kidding me? It is a f*cking miracle I am having a baby at all! Let alone starting to get picky about exactly what kind of baby I am going to get!”): Hello, my baby already IS a boy, or IS a girl. So what you are really asking me is, “are you going to be happy with the gender you get, or are you maybe going to be sorry your baby is different?” Like I am going to take a chance on bringing a child into the world with everyone around me whispering “gee, that’s not what she wanted.”

2. Scarey stories about people who had horrible pregnancies, terrible births, or worse. I thought I was prepared for these, with the plan to stop someone right away by saying “I don’t want to hear about it, I’m sorry.” But someone snuck one right by me: “My daughter-in-law was pregnant too, with a beautiful healthy baby.” Me: “That’s so nice!” Someone: “Then the baby died.” (continues explanation of cord accident) Me: Oh poop, I got caught. Now, I can totally, 100% understand someone wanting to talk about these things, miscarriage and stillbirth should not be tragedies a person has to keep to themselves, and normally I am capable of being extremely understanding and compassionate about it. Having said that, please do not share these stories with a pregnant lady, let her live in bliss, especially if she has already told you that she is very scared of something happening to her baby.

3. “Was it an accident?” Are you serious, are you really wanting to know about my birth control and whether it failed? Or asking me whether I actually want this child? Fortunately, it is easy for me to answer this one… “No, we waited years and years and years for this baby and to be honest I had given up hope that it would ever come, it is a miracle that this happened.”

4. “Are you sure it’s not twins?” “Yes, they checked.” “Really? Are you really sure? It could be twins anyway, you know.” Look, I had 10,000 ultrasounds and was screened ultra carefully because I transferred two embryos. It would be major malpractice if they had not noticed the extra baby by this point. And thanks for making me feel even more giant than I am.

5. “Don’t lift that” (said for anything over about 3 pounds). Now, I can kind of appreciate the protective impulse behind this, but, folks, I lift weights for exercise. I think I know how much I can safely lift. What really kills me about this is that here in RIR-Land women have always worked their tails off when they were pregnant. The same women who tell me not to lift something because I am pregnant thought nothing of slogging around with 5 gallons of water from the well when they were pregnant.

6. “I don’t think people should have just one child.” Hmmm, let’s do the math here. I am 40 years old (as of a week ago, and giant party to celebrate in RIR-Land means everybody in town knows exactly how old I am). I probably just told you, thanks to the previous comments, that it took me years and years and years to get pregnant with this child. So what are the chances that I am going to have another kid? Well, actually, they are pretty good, because I used donor egg, plus there is adoption to consider. But trust me, that is not what people are thinking about when they say this to me, since I doubt anyone around here has even heard of donor egg and an adoption here takes about 7-10 years to process. They are thinking… well, I don’t know what they are thinking, because saying something like this to someone who you think just achieved a last-chance hail-mary miracle over-the-hill pregnancy is just… not thinking. My standard answer is “you don’t always have a choice.” But it really makes me wonder whether people have their brains hooked up to their mouths at all.

All in all though, if that’s the worst I’ve got, I really can’t complain. But thought you might be amused.

Best wishes to all of you out there in internet-land.

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3 Comments »

  1. chicklet said

    Yea, I get similar ones. The big one I argue over is lifting things, because like you, I lift weights so I’m strong and can do this. I’m not stupid about it, but people want to treat you like you’re paralyzed or have some deathly illness, when all you are is heavier?

    The “best” comment I got recently was from a woman who when I told her how easy my pregnancy had been so far, warned me that easy pregnancies meant terrible TERRIBLE labor/birth, vs if I had a bad pregnancy I’d have an easier time with labor. Seriously woman? First, why do you feel the need to share that with me? And second, have you read anything that says I’m probably having an easy pregnancy because I exercise, oh, and that exercise contributes to easier birth too sometimes? Sheesh.

  2. People are just so stupid. I am lucky in that I am somewhat isolated by my work. A little lonely at times, but jesus, reading this post is making me realize what a blessing that is. I haven’t had a stupid comment yet, thank god. But if I had more exposure, I bet I would. Whatever.

    Glad you’re feeling well and enjoying life overall. Keep on keepin’ on! 😀

  3. peeveme said

    you and I are sooo alike. Even down to our responses to a stupid comment (and all the words we actually hold back).

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