On pregnancy etiquette

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image You know how when you buy a car (or you name your child), at the time, you don’t think too many other people have had the same idea. You think you’re fairly unique right? But then, after getting your cherry red Passat (or you name your child “Ethan”) you start seeing your car on the road…a lot.

Well, being pregnant (again) is a lot like that. I’m suddenly very conscientious about the whole pregnancy thing. For instance, I work in a cube farm and people drop by from time to time to ask a question, or to read my whiteboard (cuz it’s witty and informative) or what have you. Generally, I don’t get out of my chair–largely because, to do so, would mean that I would be taking up the bulk of the space in my cube, which would in turn, drive the other person outside of my cube. And that would probably be rude.

So, when…say…that short pregnant lady that I work with comes by, I’m cognizant of the fact that she probably feels as big as a house and so I do my ever-luvin best NOT to look at her belly while I’m sitting belly high in my chair talking to her.

And so it is with the whole, “What are you having?” question.

Yes, I realize we have two boys and so naturally, most people feel that we are just desperate for a girl; but, hold on a second.

We’ve also been so unfortunate, as to have lost two pregnancies, and both at a time when most folks are considered “safe.” This happened prior to each of our boys being born, so in each instance, when we did get pregnant again, we really just wanted a healthy baby.

And so it is now. But I can’t tell you how many people, ALL WOMEN mind you, have said, “Well, maybe this time you’ll have a little girl.”

Well, isn’t that special?

If ever you meet CareerMom while she is pregnant, do not, I repeat DO NOT, say this to her. You want to see her hackles come up? Say that.

I’m not kidding. Zip it. You can think it all you want; just don’t say it.

And granted, random people who barely know us, don’t know any better, but when family says it? Yikes. Just as a general rule, I think this is something you should keep to yourself. Kinda like, “Man your dog is butt-ugly,” or “Dude, seriously…put some pants on over those biker shorts!” because you just never know the circumstances behind the situation.

By the way, we men learned long ago not to say stupid stuff like this. I can’t remember the last time I heard a guy ask a fat woman, “When are you due?” or Can I touch your belly?”

Uh uh. We aren’t THAT dumb. But apparently, these life lessons just passed other women on by.

And people say we men are insensitive. Tsk tsk tsk.

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9 thoughts on “On pregnancy etiquette

    ispyu said:
    February 5, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    You know, I never got that, either. To me, it was all about having a healthy baby, not about the gender. Here’s to a healthy baby for you and CareerMom!!

    RE: Thank you. I honestly wanted to snap back something snarky to both my mom and my aunt when they said it. I mean, seriously? You, who have had one child between you because you had problems…are going to put that on us? Ugh! Drives ya nutz!

    allison said:
    February 6, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Good wishes for a happy,healthy child!

    I’m not one of those women, by the way. I would never dare to say to anyone “hope it will be a such and such”, or “maybe this time you’ll get a….”

    But, I’m always curious and I do tend to ask (a lot), “Do you know if it is a girl or a boy yet?” See? I’m not being insensitive, just curious.

    Dana said:
    February 6, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    I agree with the other comments. I just wanted to be able to have a baby period. It didn’t matter what it was. I did want to know what I was having because I’m a planner and nester by nature. I wanted everything to be as ready as I could have it. I also like to know what my friends are having so I can buy them things they need !!! Hint, hint. Keep me posted.

    trishatruly said:
    February 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    I’m with Allison. I’m just nosy!

    Nanas tend to be like that! πŸ™‚

      dobeman said:
      February 6, 2009 at 1:08 pm

      Just for the record, I don’t think there’s ANYTHING wrong with asking, “What are you having.”

      It’s the presumption that a person wants a baby of a certain gender, that I think is iffy.

      But, we don’t know yet. We have an ultrasound on Tuesday, which will probably still be too early to tell unless there’s an obvious genetic trait popping up for the world to see πŸ™‚

    Eric said:
    February 6, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I dont know how many people who wanna touch my wife’s belly…

    some people she says it is okay… others she’s more…

    ugh, no.

    Surfer Jay said:
    February 6, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Lilly would go so upset when people would just touch her belly without asking. Not that she would want them to even if they asked anyway. Of course it is a natural tendancy to want to ask quesions and to reach out and feel…but damnit lay off.

    RE: I never got that one. I mean, rubbing another man’s woman’s belly is like sitting on his hawg without askin’. It just ain’t done!

    Hygiene Dad said:
    February 6, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Once and ONLY ONCE did I make the mistake of even assuming a woman was pregnant. I politely offered her my seat on the subway and she looked at me and said, “Do you think I’m pregnant or do you just think I’m fat.? Either way, thanks but I’m fine.”

    Now, I won’t even acknowledge the pregnancy unless I see the head coming out.

    You’ll enjoy whatever you have. πŸ™‚

    pamajama said:
    February 8, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    People have such strong feelings about this subject, it really is so smart to shut your freaking mouth, something I totally suck at! I want to divorce my sister-in-law every time she talks about how strongly she feels about never wanting to know the sex of a baby before the birth — not mine, not either of her daughters, not her own. I get that if it’s your kid it’s your choice, but if it’s my kid? She would cover her ears and begin to hum. Duh?

    But I do properly behave in one instance — I wouldn’t dream of touching someone’s stomach! It’s not acceptable to touch a woman’s breast in the meat aisle of the supermarket, even if it’s swollen due to PMS or breastfeeding or anything else (although if she’d had a recent boob job I would take her up on it if she offered). So why is a stomach fair game? YUCK.

    On a serious note, though, I’m so sorry to hear about the losses you and your wife experienced. It had to be just awful for you both. Grief changes your view of the world & leaves those who haven’t experienced it in the same way sometimes looking really stupid & unaware.

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