In Her Words
“You Look like You’re Going to POP!”
What a pregnant woman doesn’t want to hear
“Wow, Jennifer. Your butt is getting bigger.”
I was in the kitchen at my office, making decaf tea and minding my own business, when a coworker decided to do an early-morning assessment of my behind.
So I came clean and broke the news to her. “I’m three months pregnant. So, that’s probably why I look a little bigger to you,” I said with a diplomatic smile.
Her response was to snort loudly then stare at my mid-section. “Well, you’re going to be carrying it all in your butt,” she said with a laugh. Another coworker who had joined us in the kitchen started laughing too, leaving me dumbfounded.
There was no “Hey, congratulations! When are you due? You’ve got that glow already!”
Instead, I got insults.
Aren’t people supposed to be NICE to pregnant women? As the months crawled along and my belly-and butt-continued to get larger, I discovered that everyone had an opinion about the state of my expanding body. Even strangers.
“Let the big pregnant lady sit down,” one woman cautioned her son, as I rode the subway to work one morning. I was eight months along at that point, but I’m only 4-foot-ten. I never thought that “big” would ever be a word used to describe me. I ended up gaining 26 pounds during my pregnancy but to the outside world, I may as well have gained 50.
One of my favorite pastimes in the last few weeks of the pregnancy was to go to our neighborhood pool and bounce in the water. I remember I had put my towel down near these two men on a hot sunny afternoon, and felt their eyes boring into my back.
“Are you sure you should be here? You look like you’re going to POP!” one of them said gleefully, while appraising my belly in a not-so-nice manner. As I stared at his hairy, bloated middle-aged torso, I felt like saying a few choice words in return. Such as: “Hey buddy, in six months I’ll be wearing my skinny jeans again. So there!”
By the time the ninth month had rolled around, I can’t tell you how tired I was of hearing “you’ve gotten so huge,” not to mention the ever-popular “you look like you’re about to go!” During these moments, I secretly willed to go into labor, so I could shock these insensitive people into silence.
While everyone rejoices over the news that you’re pregnant, it also seems to bring out the worst in people-the catty coworker who’s secretly glad your waistline will be larger than hers, even if temporarily, or the skittish guy at the pool who’s worried you’re going to give birth on his lap and ruin his day.
Of course, when you hold your beautiful newborn baby in your arms, all of those insulting remarks you endure during your pregnancy seem to mysteriously float away.
All you can think about is, “my son has the most amazing blue eyes …”
Jennifer Lubell, mom to 2-year-old Alex, has lost all of the baby weight, but her stomach muscles will never be the same. And that’s OK with her.