Say what? The things people say to pregnant women . . . - lollaland

Say what? The things people say to pregnant women . . .

I'm now almost 4 months pregnant.  It's hard to believe how quickly it's all happening.  The last time I was pregnant was 4 years ago, so I've surprisingly forgotten a lot.  I forgot how paralyzed I was with exhaustion during the first trimester.  I forgot how difficult it was to find something appetizing to eat.  I forgot how quickly I outgrow my regular clothes, and I forgot how disrespectful people can be, particularly, family members.  I've learned not to take these unsolicited comments personally, but they always make me pause.

Mark and I have decided not to find out the gender of the baby until he/she is born.  The other day my dear mother-in-law said, "Bring me your next ultrasound photo.  I can take a look and tell."  First, unless you're an ultrasound technician or a doctor, it's quite difficult to look at a print-out of an ultrasound and determine the gender of the baby.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the baby have to be in the right position at the right time to actually see the "goods"?  Second, both my husband and I have clearly stated that our wish is to keep the gender a surprise.  Why would one go out of one's way to ruin that surprise for us?

The other alarming comment I got was from my aunt.  I was at my cousin's bridal shower on Saturday evening, and my dear aunt says, "You must be having a boy.  You look so unattractive.  Your face just looks awful."  I just had to grin and bear it, so as not to cause a scene, but WOW.  Old wives tale or not, I'm pretty certain that the gender of the baby in one's womb has no bearing on how one's face looks.  Also, even if you truly believe this, have you no filter?  How about giving a pregnant lady a break?

I realize that this blog post has become a mini-vent session, but I just had to write these things down.  Have any other mothers or pregnant women out there experienced jaw-dropping comments like these or are my family members just outright rude?




Chad Riddersen
Chad Riddersen

Author



42 Responses

TaSh
TaSh

July 02, 2015

Oh goodness! I’m sorry they’re giving you a rough time. It can be difficult to hear such rude comments especially when you are at such a vulnerable stage in life. It’s like people feel like they now have the right to comment on our bodies now that we are pregnant. I have a journal full of awful things that have been said to me throughout two of my pregnancies.

With my first, a man that my husband was working with laughed and said “You’re pregnant. Say goodbye to being thin, that will NEVER happen again.” At the time I was considered underweight by my doctor and wore a size 4 in maternity.
With my second, doctor ordered bed rest gave me the motive and opportunity to put on extra weight. My grandmother told me that I must be carrying a girl, because I have never been so ugly before in my life. She said every time she looked at me, all she could think about was how ugly I looked.

Lia
Lia

July 02, 2015

Wow. Those comments are out of control. My little sister is pregnant right now and if anyone said anything like that to her I’d have some MUCH ruder things to say to them.

Kimi
Kimi

July 02, 2015

Your family members are just outright rude….and you’re so nice, just grinning and bearing it! If it were my Aunt I would have replied, “Well it looks like that makes two of us then!” :)

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Seriously, I hate when these comments are prefaced by the obligatory, “no offense.”

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

HAHAHAHA…simply incredible!

Caroline
Caroline

July 02, 2015

It was a surprise for us during both my pregnancies and I feel like people thought it was an open invitation to guess the gender by publicly telling me how I looked. yes both times I got your so huge you must be caring girls! Well I had two boys so not only were their guesses wrong but they were rude. Then there’s the good old mother in law. My cousins all had csections so she says to me “don’t worry dear you have wide child bearing hips you’ll be fine.” & “I’ll go talk to the doctor and find our the gender so we can shop and buy clothes” Really! You’re not alone, we are here to listen and vent a little 2 ;-) On a side note that’s another reason I love Lollacup because of the gender neutral colors :-)

Jane
Jane

July 02, 2015

I was a work and 2 separate clients told me I must be having a girl because I was looking a little dull. I was 8 months pregnant! Of course I wasn’t looking my best! I loved it that after that, they proceeded to tell me they didn’t mean any offense…well, what did you mean then?!

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Classic! I cannot believe your husband’s co-worker had the gall to say such things! Simply incredible what we deal with…

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Your sister is lucky to have you by her side :)

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

I’m not sure if it’s a cultural thing, but I think older Asian women feel like they can say whatever the hell they want to whomever the hell they want…I guess that’s why I just take it. I LOVE your comeback though!

Erica
Erica

July 02, 2015

Ha! I’m not pregnant, but I can definitely pipe in about the rude family member comments! (I know, you asked for pregnancy-related rude comments, but this post reminded me that us non-pregnant girls get the rude comments, too!) I told my uncle that I had a dentist appointment scheduled during my time in Korea to which he responded, “You should get a nose job, too.” Um, ok, because getting your teeth cleaned and getting a nose job are on the same level and now I know that you think I need a nose job. Awesome!

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Thanks :)

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

wow…a simple, “I hope you have a great delivery,” would’ve been nice.

Erin
Erin

July 02, 2015

I am 4 months along as well! The shock and awe has worn off for most who know us but when we first told people we were expecting we got the, “you know what causes that, right?” comment. Which I find awful. See we have 3 girls; 6, 4, and 14 months. So then we would get the, “it could be 4 girls.” comment. In a negative tone. I love every single one of my girls and wouldn’t change their gender for anything. Much to everyones surprise we are expecting twin…..you guessed it girls. So we get girl comments, pregnant again comments, and the ridiculous twin comments. Sometimes when I get snarky and people will say better you than me I say, “I agree!” I am sure women have been talking about rude comments all throughout history. I mean we think it is bad to hear the old wives tales. What about living during the times when the old wives were coming up with these tales? Eeek!

Caroline
Caroline

July 02, 2015

Yes it’s an Asian thing lol. I’m Asian and my family piss me off from time to time with tactless comments. But even non Asians said offensive things to me while I was pregnant without meaning to. I would just smile it off or ignore them and then pray my hormones don’t get the best of me lol.

Katie
Katie

July 02, 2015

I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with our second child. We chose to leave the gender a surprise during both pregnancies. It always amazes my husband and I that other people are more distraught over the fact that we don’t know the sex than we are. Most people tell us they just had/have to find out so they can be “prepared”, like we aren’t prepared! Just because I don’t have a closet full of pink or blue doesn’t mean that we don’t have every essential a newborn needs. They are newborns who need to be in soft comfortable clothes and barely leave the house for 2 months! Then on top of that everyone feels the need to tell you what you are having due to your weight gain, how you are carrying, ect. I didn’t realized I asked what you thought I was having =)

Rita
Rita

July 02, 2015

The best is when people feel the need to tell you, “you look like you are about to pop!!!” My personal favorite is when people told me around my 7th month that I looked like I could go at any time. Ummm, I only gained about 25lbs and I did not start out overweight. I felt huge as it was, I did not need the comments that would make me feel worse!! Seems like the sensitivity chip flys out the window when a pregnant woman is present.

Cecilia
Cecilia

July 02, 2015

Never been pregnant myself but I’ve been able to watch all of my closest friends in their pregnancies and I cannot believe what people feel they have the right to say!! You are creating life and deserve nothing but the upmost respect. So that is what all of you lovely ladies have….my respect. :)

Jane
Jane

July 02, 2015

No kidding…and I must have just been looking dull, since I ended up having a boy ;)

Sarah
Sarah

July 02, 2015

I’m always shocked at the gall of people—family, friends or even total strangers—and what they think is appropriate to say to a pregnant woman. I had strangers come up to me to tell me what sex they thought the baby was based on how wide my backside was! The worst, though, was at my baby shower, a dear friend of the family cornered me as soon as I arrived to tell me all the gory details of the birth of her first son, including the fact that both she and her son nearly died! Who on earth thinks stories like that are 1) appropriate at a baby shower and 2) absolutely necessary to tell to a first time mom, 8 months along in her pregnancy? I mean, REALLY.

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

These comments are killing me! Although I hate that women have to deal with this, I feel a sense of camaraderie in that we’ve all endured these mini beat downs and come out on top!

hollie
hollie

July 02, 2015

I am 34 weeks pregnant and my mom hates the name we picked out for our little guy. We chose to name him Zander Stephen. She has chosen to call him critter and tell me every day she hates the name! I am really getting sick of her telling me this. I have told her too bad on many occasions! I am so glad I live 6 hours away from her!

mdlc
mdlc

July 02, 2015

That’s unfortunate and it doesn’t stop with pregnant mothers. We adopted our baby boy and we received people asking us how much we paid for the adoption and why his mother “gave him up.” Sometimes, people feel like they know you better than they really do so they were either not taught the right way to interact by their parents or they are just rude and expect you to “live with it.”

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Nat, what a story! I hope your supervisor had a wake-up call with this one. SO glad to hear your son is healthy. My daughter was in the NICU for 10 days and it was the scariest 10 days ever. Thanks for sharing such a personal story.

mkim
mkim

July 02, 2015

I too got many rude comments during all three of my pregnancies. My first born is a boy and all my relatives and employees at my mother in law’s company were sure that it was going to be a boy because I got uglier. Then her best friend looked at my belly when I was three months along and said, “I looked smaller than that when I was 5 months preganant”. With my second and third pregnancies, both my mother and mother in law and my uncle at Christmas dinner asked if I was SURE it wasn’t twins. I told my uncle that I was having triplets.

Nat
Nat

July 02, 2015

When I was pregnant with our first, my husband and I worked at the same company. One day our supervisor looked at me and told me that when our baby was born, “it’d” (like you, we didn’t want to know the sex) be covered in hair because my husband always had scruff. I so badly wanted to say something but didn’t because he was my supervisor and my husband would still have to deal with him after I left. A bit later in my pregnancy he asked how pregnant I was-7 1/2 months. He told me there was no way that I was 7 1/2 months pregnant because I didn’t look big enough to be “that” pregnant (I was all belly). A week or so later, my doctor ordered me off of work and 4 days after that I had our son, 5 1/2wks early. Besides a 3wk stay in the NICU, everything was fine but our son was covered in “peach fuzz” because of his early arrival and not being fully developed.
Some people don’t realize what they are saying or just don’t care.
Hugs to you!

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Congratulations! I have 2 amazing girls too. I’m sure you have your hands full so thanks for taking the time to read/comment.

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Caroline, I do feel that the hormones are getting to me…and that’s totally ok ;)

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

You are soooo right! What more preparation do we need than diapers, onesies, and blankets?

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

hahahaha…I’ve heard this one far too many times.

Aquabee
Aquabee

July 02, 2015

I think you are well-justified in venting, but I also deeply respect your ‘grinning and bearing it’. I am quite certain that your Aunt said it without thought, and – family is family. Good on you, and best of luck with the little one.

Arthur
Arthur

July 02, 2015

There’s one in every family… my family’s chinese, so we have like 20 :)

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Karen, thanks for commenting on my blog. I read this last night before going to bed and was completely blown away. It’s simply crazy the things we have to deal with during a quite challenging time in our lives.

Karen
Karen

July 02, 2015

I was in a business meeting close to the end of my pregnancy and was explaining to a client who he could contact in my absense as I would be off work for the next year. He asked why (I thought it was pretty clear that I was 8.5 months pregnant) and I responded that i was due in two weeks and his response to me was “oh I thought maybe you were just fat”. Ya hard to believe I know!!!! Not only did I give him a piece of my mind and ended the meeting very quickly I also involved HR and Legal to follow up with him to let him know it is NOT ok to say that to anyone!!! I received an apologetic email from him the following day…

I was a size 10 when I got pregnant and gained 30 pounds so in my mind I was healthy and felt great about my body. Now that I have a beautiful 8.5 month old baby girl and am back to my pre-pregnancy weight and feel great, I just laugh at the thought of anyone saying that to a pregnant woman!

Love your Lollacups! Going to a place in Toronto this week to stock up for my little one and my nieces and nephews :)

Karen
XO

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

hahaha…“birthing hips” I know it wasn’t funny when you heard it, but it just blows me away.

Megan B.B.
Megan B.B.

July 02, 2015

Love reading about the personal side of the business. It’s super refreshing. And yes, people do say random things to pregnant ladies. I once had an elderly lady tell me that my delivery was probably going to be a breeze, since I had “birthing hips.”
I don’t know what that means, but she may/may not have been telling me my ass was big? :)

Karen
Karen

July 02, 2015

I would have just said, well I’m just pregnant & my face & body will go back to normal after the baby arrives, but what’s ur excuse? Just got smacked with the ugly stick today? I swear family can b 1000x worse than friends &/or strangers. LOL

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Mothers…can’t live with ’em or without ’em! Ha! On a more serious note, I think parents sometimes lose their filters completely. I remember fighting so much with my mom when my daughter was a newborn. She helped me tremendously but offered up SO much unsolicited advice that I was losing my mind…Hang in there!

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Seriously??? I just read the most eye-opening article about adoption in Vogue magazine last night. After going through such a rigorous process, I’m sorry to hear you have to endure ridiculous comments and questions.

Christina
Christina

July 02, 2015

No, it is not JUST a cultural thing. I know I am late to the party here, but I wanted to add my two cents. For what it’s worth, I am an American/Italian/Lebanese. I am married, 30 yrs old with a 9 month old son. I can not tell you how many RUDE comments I heard from family members while pregnant. My 2 grandmothers and occasionally my sister. The filter was certainly tossed aside and it became a free for all. My husband encouraged me to respond, but I believe it would have provoked more attitude, so I took it all with a smile. Sometimes giving myself permission to just walk away. What helps is knowing I don’t go home to them and I preserved relationships, showed dignity and loads of self control. My husband has oodles of respect for me in regard to how I handled those situations. Life isn’t perfect all the time, but our little family is happy. I absolutely love your story and family, best of luck with your wonderful business. I placed my order today, I’m excited to receive our first Lollacup soon. :)

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Izzy, thanks for sharing. I cannot believe the gall of some people. I’ve been feeling pretty crappy these days too, but thankfully, I haven’t encountered the kind of people you’re running into on the street. Hang in there mama!

Izzy
Izzy

July 02, 2015

This was so comforting to find! I’m due in about a week, and honestly the comments are making me crazy! So much so that I’ve started lying to the many, many people (strangers one and all) who keep asking me what the gender of the baby is. I respond politely that my husband and I are keeping it a surprise.Total strangers on the sidewalk will approach me and ask, and you’re right: they act really disappointed when I tell them I don’t know, which makes no sense. Why do they care?? I actually started lying about having a girl when a few strangers made comments like, “Oh, that’s too bad. Better luck next time.” I don’t need their negativity, and I cannot believe I’m hearing comments like that in 2013. Today was the worst. I look and feel terrible. I couldn’t find a comfortable position last night, and so I got no sleep. I can’t really complain, because my pregnancy didn’t become that uncomfortable until a few days ago and not much time remains after all, so I’m just trying to make the best of it. I went to get a manicure to make myself feel a little more presentable, and the manicurist said, “Do you have a lot of kids already?” “Um…no,” I said. “This is my first.”I thought to myself, “What the heck?” “REALLY?” she replied all surprised. In general, everyone has assumed this is my first child, because I look really young for my age, but she definitely let me know how run-down and exhausted I looked this morning :( I still over-tipped her, ugh. Afterwards I went to pick up groceries and got the question about the baby’s gender. When I lied to the cashier that I didn’t know, she started guessing the baby’s gender based on my body shape! “You carry girls really round and boys mumble-jumble.” I couldn’t understand. I shut her down: “Look, I’m wearing a sweater, a thick scarf under my coat and a winter coat. You really can’t tell HOW I’m shaped.” That stopped her. However, the absolute worst was a stranger who came up to me at about 7 months and said: “It hurts. It hurts a lot. And sleep now. Need any other advice?” I just looked at her like she was crazy (which, obviously, she was) and said, “No.” Then I walked away. Ah, the joys of living in a crowded (New York) city. The creepiest was the delivery guy who hit on me the other day, “Hey bonita,” he called out. I looked down at my belly, sure he was not speaking to me although (creepily) there was no one else up and down the whole street. “Yeah, I’m talking to you. I LIKE that. I like that a lot.” GROSS!! A pregnancy fetishist. Yes, I’ve heard them all. I agree with you…I don’t get why people feel they can endlessly comment on your body just because you’re pregnant. Thankfully, I’ve only had one complete stranger actually rub my tummy (I don’t mind at all when acquaintances or friends touch me), so I’m counting my blessings!

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