Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dear Pregnant Friend... Keep it to Yourself

Scan the internet and blogs and you will find countless lists of what not to say to pregnant women.  I probably have heard almost all of those comments during the course of four pregnancies: are you sure you’re not carrying twins (I wasn’t); are you sure that’s your correct due date (from people who think my doctor can’t count trimesters); wow, your [random body part] sure has gotten big; how are you going to manage x+1 kids?  And the variety of pregnancy and labor horror stories that folks like to share (and this is not a passion reserved only by women, baby daddy’s like to get in on this one, too.)  So here’s a deal – I won’t say all those things to you, if you stop sharing all your pregnancy details.

Here are five things I want you to keep to yourself.

How, where, or when your baby was conceived.  Honeymoon, on a drunken night of passion, in a doctor’s serene office. That’s you and the baby daddy’s business, not mine.  Okay, I will give the exception to the nickname “honeymoon baby” or “vacation baby” because that’s just funny, but I don’t need the details.

All about your pregnancy sickness.  Morning sickness, constipation… It’s making me sick just thinking about it.  Save all this for your doctor, your momma, and your baby daddy.  I know, I know - pregnancy hormones makes you want to complain about these things, but I'm a bit squeamish on body fluid illnesses.

Sonograms. You post them on Facebook or pass them around at bookclub and everyone “ooh’s” and “aah’s” and “oh congratulations” as they look at them. It’s not because they actually know what they are looking at. We just know when a woman shares a print of a black-gray half-circle with a white-gray blob in the middle she is showing us her in utero baby and we are supposed to respond with congratulations and coo-ing as if we can actually tell a head from a butt, or one out of focus baby shape from another. Trust me - I've had four babies. All the sonograms look the same.  And those new 3D ones? Ooh, that’s just too spooky.

All that stuff about your in vitro or sperm selection or whatever doctor’s office medical technology put a fertilized egg into your womb.  Good for you, glad things are working out for you, but hear me out on this one. One of my best friends is one of those medical professionals who help women in such situations and the process is fascinating to me. I pepper her with questions whenever I see her. But it’s about people I don’t know and a baby-to-be that I don’t know.  Yes, I am nosy enough to perhaps wonder, but think about it – when your baby becomes a big kid, is he/she really going to want everybody to know all of his/her pre-birth business? Give the kid some privacy.

Your baby’s sex. And your baby’s name. It’s not disgusting, it’s not too personal. It’s my own preference and I know I’m probably the only person in the modern age who doesn’t want to know.  I don’t want to know until that baby sucks in his or her first breathe whether he or she is a he or she and what his or her name is.  I have stopped folks mid-sentence who excitedly say “I’m having a – “ or “The baby’s name is –“ Nope, stop. Don’t want to know. For one, I do like to be surprised. Two, it feels like counting your eggs before they hatch.  I’m not saying don’t find out, that’s (again) your business, I just don’t want to know.  So, yes, if that means I don’t get an invite to the baby-sex-reveal baby shower, that’s alright.  I’ll mail you your neutral sex box of newborn diapers.

So what’s left to talk about, you may wonder? Talk about your excitement or nervousness, happiness or anxiety about bringing this new person into the world. Talk about your hopes for him or her or your family. Talk about the type of parent you plan to be (but know that all that may change as soon as junior arrives.)  Talk about the fun (or not) of shopping for baby bedding.  You can even ask for a spa recommendation for those swollen feet or a pregnancy massage.  Talk about you.  Don’t start to lose your own sense of you before baby’s even here.  Trust me, when these nine months are over, you’ll have more than enough to say about that new little person.

Join the conversation on Facebook: Just Piddlin' with Frances

No comments: