Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed odd behaviour when it comes to how people react to me when I’m around them as well as what they talk to me about. It’s not everyone, but it’s more than I would expect.
When I walk into the office every morning, for example, some people will stop and go “there she is!” as if it’s my birthday, other people will be sweet (kind of) and ask me questions about how everything is going at the moment (I wouldn’t mind this so much if they hadn’t asked the same question literally the day before), and others are caught just staring at me.
One lady at work approaches me EVERYDAY I SEE HER and says; whilst pointing at my belly, “there’s a baby in there” in a voice similar to how you would speak to a new born puppy. It was cute the first few times but now it’s just annoying and I just fake a laugh.
When I’m out and about in general, people will take a double look, which I imagine is because I’m with S and they’re trying to work things out (I do, however, tend to find this funny when I’m on my own in the booze aisle of the supermarket). Other times, I just attract the small talk – I find this most frequent in shops or when I’m on the bus.
I don’t know if the bump is now a sign that I’m open for conversation but I do remember being almost invisible to people I didn’t know, before pregnancy.
The weirdest and most personal aspect of pregnancy that I have found though are the questions. I find it even stranger when they’re asked by ladies I rarely spoke to before pregnancy or never even met!
“Have you got nipple cream yet?”
“Have you noticed hair sprouting from weird places?”
“You’ll need <insert item> later on DEFINITELY.”
“How often have you been sick?”
“How much weight have you gained?” (I know! This is a whole different post).
“Are you eating again?”
“Should you be doing that?”
“You won’t be able to that that soon!”
When I fell pregnant I was warned early on that people will want to touch my belly and that they WILL ask questions, however I expected on a daily basis the usual questions regarding when I’m due and how I’m feeling, and I’ve even prepared myself for touchy-feely people, but these ones are a whole new experience. Some really shock me.
Is it not enough that people feel comfortable to ask me questions all at – I don’t mind normal questions – but to go that extra mile and then ask quite personal ones? I don’t understand it. When did my pregnancy become an open invitation for people to ask me very personal questions?
I enjoy chatting to people, especially when I’m stuck in an office all day – I’ll chat to almost anyone I meet on the street, but I don’t dig these questions at all – and how do I even answer them? Do I even answer them at all?
Do I tell them I’ve sprouted hair? That I actually haven’t been sick at all during pregnancy? That I don’t own and don’t intend to own <something> yet? I feel that whatever answer I give it will open the table up for a discussion on said topic, invite criticism that I don’t want or need, or make me feel like I have to justify why I have/haven’t done this or that yet… or worse – ENCOURAGE MORE QUESTIONS!
“You haven’t been sick? Gotta watch that one”, “You’re not actually eating for two y’know” are but a few responses I have to my answers. (It does make me laugh though when said mum-with-personal-question later on sympathises with me about how many questions she got during her pregnancy and how annoying it was).
I really do appreciate the warm and welcoming feeling I’ve received from other mums over the past few weeks – I know how open mums can be and I really love that – but I really don’t love trying to answer some particular questions. Maybe I just need to get over it and go with the flow, but I’m just not there yet.
I’m pregnant, and by all means ask me if you can do anything for me (I’ve submitted and do let people ask this now), or ask how I’m feeling or whether I know what I’m having, but unless I ask you – don’t ask, or at least think before you ask or ask yourself whether what you’re asking is actually quite personal for me.