Monday, September 14, 2009

Something you should never say to a pregnant woman

For some reason, as soon as the rest of the world finds out a woman has conceived a child, the floodgates open wide for opinions, comments, and observations that would NEVER be said to a non-pregnant woman. All of a sudden, everyone wants to know about your sex life, your digestion, your bathroom habits, your plans for your breasts - why are those things suddenly ok to ask about? Especially strangers?

But what really gets me is this comment: "Wow you are huge! Are you sure you're not having twins??"

Luckily this hasn't yet happened to me with this baby, but I got it ALL THE TIME when I was pregnant with Emma. Almost daily, whenever I left my home I'd hear some variation on that exclamation many times. Even from my own family! Granted, I was too-thin before I was pregnant. But you know what? She was a big baby - one ounce less than ten pounds. And I gained 40 pounds during the entire pregnancy. So do you know what those statements accomplished?

They ruined my self-image. I immediately went from being happy with my looks (I actually modeled for years before I got pregnant) to crying whenever I looked in the mirror. I couldn't stand to see myself naked, and of course our apartment at the time had a HUGE mirror in the bathroom, so I was faced with my huge belly every time I bathed. I didn't see myself as a beautiful pregnant woman, giving life to my child. I saw an ogre, a fat cow. Gone forever was the confidence and satisfaction with how I looked to myself.

And even though this time around I am still barely showing, I continuously catch myself holding in my stomach to look thinner, worrying about my clothes making me look fat, wondering what other people think about how I look. I can't even appreciate the growing bulge in my abdomen. And I hate that.

So please, never ever tell a pregnant woman about how huge she is. I guarantee she already knows for herself, and being reminded of that does not help matters. It just might be the final straw to destroy her confidence.

At the very least, it just might get you a black eye.

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