I’ve debated writing this post because I’m concerned that people might see it as me being over-sensitive or roll-out the ‘it’s hormones’ card again. However, when I made the choice to blog I wanted to write about my life as a parent, the ups and downs, warts and all and to be honest the past week I’ve been feeling, well a little bit shit about myself.
It’s a funny thing when you’re pregnant, although the physical (and emotional) changes are happening to me as an individual, I feel like I’ve become public property. There is always an interest in pregnant women, usually from the older generation on the street that ask how far along you are, whether you know the gender and if it’s your first etc. But aside from those questions, which I have no problem with, to me it seems that people feel it’s ok to be opinionated on your shape and size, and actually it’s a little bit rude. This week has been a bit of a tipping point for me, no word of a lie, every single day since Monday somebody has said one of the following to me:
“Is it just one in there?”
“You’ve got HOW LONG left?”
“Oh blimey look at the size of you”
“Are you sure it’s not twins?”
“You can tell it’s a boy, and probably a big one”
“I’ve not seen a bump that shape before, can I touch it?”
There’s nothing new there, I have merely been subjected to the classic lines that people wheel out time and time again to pregnant women, but that doesn’t make it ok. I am exhausted hearing it, and I’ve still got two months to go. Yes, really, the size of me eh?
It’s basically culminated in me not really wanting to go out because I am sick of tired of strangers thinking it’s ok to pass comment. When I do go out, I’ve taken to draping myself in something Warehouse tells me is called a Coatigan (I need to read more fashion mags) and avoiding eye contact.
The thing is, while there is probably no malice intended, I think people just need to be a bit more aware of how that person might be feeling. Pregnant or not, I am very self-conscious about my weight. Gaining weight and not being able to lose it is why I went to the doctor’s and ended up being diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few year’s ago. While I can lose weight it’s not very easy for me and as someone who spent most of their 20s naturally in size 8/10 and is now 12/14, it’s quite a sore point for me. Height is not on my side either, at 5ft 2” I can’t really pull off any added pounds without feeling and to be honest looking a bit rotund. Throw in pregnancy where you put on weight because of the whole growing a human thing and it’s a very anxious nine months for me. And the point is I am growing a human being, so I’m going to get bigger, because that’s how it works, so cut me a little slack.
As I do have a couple of months left of this pregnancy (which by the way I’m fairly sure is the longest in the world) I guess I need to find some sort of coping mechanism, so far I’ve got:
- Don’t leave the house (but you know, ice cream season)
- Continue to smile politely (and whisper bad words under my breath)
- Ask them when their baby is due even when it’s obvious they are not pregnant (I find this funny but wouldn’t actually do it, well not yet)
- Stick a sign to myself with all the answers to questions I’m asked daily by strangers and point, potentially get some laminated leaflets made up too
- Tell people I’m not pregnant but just fat
- Go out wearing a bikini top in the knowledge that people will be far too scared to approach me
While I joke (coping mechanism klaxon) I think there is something in people having a bit more thought before making passing comments, even if they think they’re harmless, to that person it might just be enough to make them go home and have a tactical cry, nobody wants to make someone else cry.
It would be silly to write a post and not share a picture, I just hope it fits on the screen: