Baby Carriers Australia welcomes back Nelle McCauley with her journey towards motherhood.
When my month of holidays were over and I was adjusting to the news I was going to be a mother it was time for me to head back home to work. I returned with an already noticeable bump and boobs that seemed to have grown another 2 sizes overnight!
I knew our little secret would not be a secret for too long. Unable to hide the bump and the sickness I confessed to my workmates and asked them not to tell anyone else until we were ready. Everyone’s responses to our news were of excitement and happiness for us.
This is where I began to notice that this is also the time that people tend to be very truthful when talking to you.
My bosses’ response when I shared my pregnancy news was definitely not backwards in coming forwards. Instead of congratulations, etc. etc. She responded, I told you I should have brought you a year’s supply of condoms!! (I do know that she was indeed joking, and also a little annoyed about having to replace me when I left for maternity leave 6 months later.)
As I work in a position where I deal with the public daily I have endured months of honest opinions and statements. I can’t say I will be sad to enjoy a few weeks off away from the public before my baby arrives so I can prepare the house for the new arrival, walk around the house bra-less and makeup less and not care one bit, and not have to listen to….”oh my gosh are you sure you aren’t having twins?” “Are you still here, you look ready to burst.” “Look how big you have gotten”, “Gee you look like you need some sleep”, and my favourite…. “Oh you are pregnant I was wondering that, you’ve been stacking on the weight lately now I know why, I didn’t want to be rude and ask questions.” (Gee lady what part of that statement wasn’t rude?)
I should add these are comments from complete strangers not my friends or my super honest co-workers who call me fatty to my face, just your everyday customer or passer-by in the street, people who don’t really know me at all they just feel like they do and that is perfectly appropriate to say anything that comes out of their mouths.
I will forever from this moment on be mindful of how I speak to a person I suspect may be expecting a baby, chances are she is already feeling a little fragile, tired or nervous about the impending arrival of the baby I won’t be opening my trap to make them feel any worse. I certainly won’t set out to offend them by not engaging my brain before I open my mouth and dribbling shit.
As I have previously mentioned I had a co-worker whom I worked with side by side when she was pregnant. She was always honest with me, and it is something I promise to continue with all of my friends when they are knocked up.
She has always been a super fit specimen and could literally run laps around me, it was awesome watching her body transform into a small bump and then gradually blossom as the weeks and months went on. I would tease her constantly as much as I could calling her Fatty and anything else I could think of, always in a joking matter of course and never to intentionally offend her.
One of our other co-workers came in on a conversation one day and I can’t exactly recall how it all started (perhaps with me telling my mate to move her barge arse out of the way so I could get past her chair) when the other worker piped up and mentioned that yes my mate’s arse had gotten larger in her opinion as this would act as ballast to stop her from falling forward as her bump continued to get larger-mmm that was a subtle as a sledge hammer!
Funnier still was the day one of my Reps had come in to see me at work and we were chatting casually when this co-worker once again came up and just slotted herself into the conversation. This was all well and good until she congratulated my Rep on her pregnancy and asked when the baby was due. This led to the biggest and most awkward deafening pause in conversation until my rep could reply, I’m not pregnant. God I wished that I wasn’t there observing this awkwardness.
I think that my co-worker learnt a very valuable lesson this day….Never Ever Ever automatically assume some one is pregnant and definitely do not congratulate them if you don’t know for certain that they are.
My partner didn’t believe me when I would come home and repeat to him some of the things that people had been saying to me throughout the day. He would laugh and say surely not, sure you aren’t exaggerating babe people don’t say things like that.
Finally I had the chance to prove how insensitive and stupid people can be when commenting on your pregnancy, and I was so glad when he was witness to the belly rubbing that would happen nearly on a daily basis from people I preferred would not be that close to me in the first place and certainly not touching my belly and making me feel so uncomfortable.
We went garage sale hunting one weekend and I did not know these people from a bar of soap but pretty much every house was the same reaction…Oh you’re pregnant?! When are you due? Do you know what you are having? Are you sure that you aren’t having twins? And then would come the belly rub.
This was quite amusing to him for the first few places then when we got back into the car after the final one, he said “No wonder you get sick of that, what’s with the belly rubbing?”
I have seen the pregnancy shirts on the internet that are quite comical and I think as part of a pregnancy survival kit each mother should get one specific to them….for example
Yes I am pregnant! It is A Boy. I’m due in Feb. No you can’t touch my belly!
This would be the ideal way to cut through all the inappropriate comments and questions and make the awkwardness go away.