The pregnant woman is an odd creature. She is beautiful and at the same time prone to fits that can make her positively horrendous. She carries life within her and can appear to have the very life and vitality drained out of her at the same time. This is the one thing that she can TRULY do better than a man! However, she can be sensitive to the point of discomfort, as many a husband has been dismayed to find out. There are some things that one should never say to a pregnant woman. I have a few in my head but this is by no means an exhaustive list.
1) “ My…how you’ve grown! You look about ready to pop!!”: Uhm…no, no and again I say no! FYI she is VERY aware of her bulging, burgeoning shape. You do not need to remind her, genius! She feels like she’s about ready to pop and if you’re lucky, she just might…in front of you. Not pleasant. Very messy.
2) “ That’s a very odd shape…looks a bit like a misshapen pumpkin…”: Einstein, who told you that all pregnant bellies are created equal? There are some that are like cute little basketballs and others that look like oblong watermelons (yep, it’s gross but true). Please don’t tell her that. You may have one of 2 reactions: she may burst into tears…or she may attack you.
3) “Uhm…are you sure if you eat that the baby will turn out…you know…normal?”: There are very few times in life when a woman can eat what, when and how she wants and pregnancy is one of those times. So do her a favour and leave her alone. So what if she’s eating yoghurt with pickles and ketchup? The baby will turn out just fine. Worst comes to worst she’ll have a bad case of indigestion.
4) “Aren’t pregnant women supposed to glow and be radiant?”: ‘So you mean I’m not?’ That would definitely be her response and then you will fluster and sputter and try to apologize ‘No, that’s not what I meant…’ ‘Well, what did you mean?’ “Oh, uhm..I..uhm’. You get the picture. Don’t start what you can’t finish. And a pregnant woman is not a person you argue with: she has stamina and she can be C-R-A-N-K-Y!!!
5) “Let’s hope baby doesn’t end up looking like Uncle Clement (or Auntie Abebelubelanetta)”: That is a definite no-no…especially if the said Uncle or Auntie is aesthetically challenged in the facial department. Seriously, no mum-to-be wants to visualize her baby with Uncle Clement’s red brick nose or Auntie Abebelu(etc)’s satellite dish ears.
6) “Good LORD! I’ve heard of women’s noses getting big during pregnancy but yours…” You have just officially entered the danger zone. The condition you speak of is called pregnancy induced acromeghaly and is quite common. However it’s one of those things you pretend not to notice…for you own well being. As mentioned earlier in points No. 2 and No. 4: Pregnant woman= cranky and sensitive!
7) “Wow…got a Dolly Parton thing going there, have we?”: How do I put this delicately…a pregnant woman’s body is preparing for a new person. That new person can make a loud and HUNGRY entrance into the world and for the safety and sanity of all around there had BETTER be food on the menu around the clock, a fully stocked bar so to speak! For some ladies this is a rather welcome development while for others, it’s a bother. Better to err on the side of caution and not try to find out which of the sides the lady is on, right?
8) “ Geez…I thought you were a Size 6. When did you start wearing your husband’s shoes?”: There are cases in which the lady gets swollen feet and hands. That can be quite distressing. Equally distressing is the fact that gone are the days of sassy Manolos and in come the Crocs and flip flops. For the fashionista mum-to-be this can be extremely depressing. So please when you see her donning a less than flattering pair of shoes/slippers, leave her be. Believe me, she’s grieving the loss of her high heels.
9) “ Oh I’m sure you’ll be back in shape in no time after…you gained 28 kgs? Oh… I see. Well, nothing a year of vigorous diet and exercise won’t clear up!”: Oh don’t rub it in! She knows she looks like a beached whale. Please don’t remind her needlessly. If you’re not going to be her personal trainer and help her lose the weight then please don’t talk about it.
10) “ Gosh, I hope you don’t have one of those long 75 hour labours…”: Labour is not a pleasant walk in the park and for some ladies it is a terrifying prospect. The less said to scare her, the better. Besides, you may make things even harder for her husband as she is likely to pour out all her labour room angst and horror at him!
There we have it, people! Having gone through the process myself I know I don’t want anyone saying that stuff to me next time around!