Today marks the start of my 35th week of my pregnancy, and over the past few months I’ve noticed some commonly asked questions, as well as some not so commonly asked questions.
What has amazed me is the unspoken social etiquette of refraining from asking a woman who may be pregnant if she is. While I have felt massive with my ever expanding tummy from about the 14th week, it was after I was 6 months along before my patients were game to ask if I were indeed pregnant. I thought I was much bigger and it was clear to all those around me, but once bitten, twice shy rules here. It seems so common despite this etiquette that most people have a tale to tell about having been caught out asking a lady if she’s pregnant, followed by the awkwardness of a “No” in response.
Being pregnant however, I’ve been fascinated by the number of people who ask in a very round about way how I am, with questions such as “how have you been feeling?” followed by “so, any bid news?”. Prior to this six month mark, for those bold enough to outwardly ask the question guarded by a follow up line, such as “Are you pregnant or is that just a very unflattering dress?” or “Are you pregnant or have you just been piling on the weight?”. On one occasion I was asked by the sweetest young lady in her early 20s if I was pregnant and with a giggle I answered “No, no, I’ve just had way too much pudding” while holding and shaking my growing tum. It was a clear conversation stopper but I was quite sure she may have heard the sarcasm in my response. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I saw her three weeks later that she was game to ask again, this time in a questioning tone “Suse, are you pregnant?” I was able to assure her I was indeed pregnant, with her next comment being “well, last time you said you’d just had too much pudding, and I’m not one to judge, I like pudding and its normal to put on weight over winter.” I was left apologising profusely for her three weeks of dread after she’d left thinking she’d asked a fat person if they were pregnant. I have learned that jokes aren’t welcome when responding to the question “Are you pregnant?”
But the best follow up question I have been asked was “But whose the Daddy?” I was able to assure her my wonderful Husband is the Daddy, but it left a lingering thought that if it wasn’t how would this question be answered. Probably not a wise question to ask some pregnant women.
One 8 year old came in with a surprising line, “I know how that baby got in there” eyeing off my baby bump. “Oh, yes?” I questioned him. “Yes, I know all about it, and I know why my youngest sister was born” he said. “Oh, really? How?” I asked. He was keen to tell me all about it… “Well, you see, Daddy didn’t put on a condom.” I had not been expecting that! He continues “But Daddy said he didn’t put on a condom because Mummy said she was on the pill” as he raised his eyebrows at me disapprovingly. “But Mummy said she was taking antibiotics and that didn’t make the pill work, and that’s why my sister is called an Accident!” I wonder how many 8 year olds really do know how my baby got in there. I told this young man that he must be very mature to know all about these kinds of things and that other children his age won’t know all these kinds of details. He said “Yes, I know. I am very mature and I’m not meant to tell any other children.” Especially buddy, don’t tell your little sister!
I’d love to hear if you’ve had some odd questions or comments during your pregnancy and how you responded.