Friday, March 14, 2014

Don't Talk to Pregnant Chicks

When I was pregnant with my second child, a coworker approached me with some unsolicited advice.

How old is your firstborn daughter?
She will be six in a few weeks.
Oh...so she'll be six when the baby is born?
Uh, yep. Yep she'll be six.
Oh no. Oh no no no. My girls are six years apart. It's awful. They do not get along. Your kids are not going to get along. Not at all. It will be bad. 
Well, not much I can do about it now, eh? But thanks!

I've had people comment about my weight, telling me I was carrying all the way around, comparing me to a duck when I walked. Hahahaha well, a very round duck! HAHAHAHAHAHA! .........yes, soooooo funny! I'm a big round duck! That is hysterical!

I've had people ask me if I'm going to quit working and do what's best for the kids...and then had people ask me if I'm going to keep working and set the best example for my daughters.

When I was a week past my due date I had people stop me in the hallway and exclaim "OH my GOSH are you STILL here!?" I swear it was like nobody wanted to see me. What gives.

Then the advice. The nonstop, constant advice...

Oh you need to eat, eat, eat! Eat more! Eat this! Eat my lunch! Here, eat this pie I made! Have my leftover meatloaf! You've really filled out but that baby is hungry! EAT!

Don't drive yourself to work anymore.

You are way too big to deliver naturally. You should tell your doctor you want a cesarean.

You're going to breastfeed, right? Is your boss going to let you breastfeed? Pumping is so hard.

You are looking really swollen. You should drink more water.

That baby moves around a lot. Good luck - that means she's hyperactive.

Have you considered any names? I wouldn't name her anything that could get her bullied.

I bet you're not sleeping at night. Have you tried going to bed early?

And then the horror stories....

I remember being so sick all the time. It was terrible. Have a great day!

I was in labor for seven days.

I tried to deliver naturally but the baby started to lose oxygen so I was immediately wheeled into the OR and they had to perform an emergency cesarean. So weird, I was in the best scenario to deliver naturally. Ah, well. Some things just don't work out! Good luck! I'm sure you'll be just fine!

The epidural they gave me still gives me back problems.

It was a boy, not a girl! Joke was on me! My poor son had to wear pink for months! HAHAHAHAHA!

When I had my second I needed 80 stitches. 

My cousin's daughter gave birth right in her office. I mean it. She was sitting at her desk and then there was no time to get her to the hospital. OOOOO maybe that will happen to you! We could have an office baby!

These people meant no harm. They were just trying to be nice......I think? Heck, we've all done it. I've done it. I've talked to a pregnant lady about my own experience, wanting to share what I've learned, wanting to spread the knowledge.

Not cool.

You never know how your words are going to affect someone. You never truly understand how deeply a person internalizes what you say. The safest bet, especially with a pregnant lady, is to just smile. Don't say a word.

Don't talk to pregnant women.

Just let them be. Smile at them, answer them if they approach you with questions, but otherwise, be silent.....

....because who knows, perhaps that advice you thought about sharing isn't all that accurate....



Perhaps the thing you believe to be true isn't true at all.



Anyone else have any pregnant stories to share? Have you said something to a pregnant lady and wished you could take it back? Have you been pregnant and had someone say something that's stuck with you for far too long? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

Thank you so much for reading, lovey readers :)


Jen
jen@jenniferludwigsen.com

63 comments:

  1. OMG!!! My great friend told me how her friend died during a c-section because the fluid got into her blood stream.

    People are stupid. I got every story. But this one shook me to the core.

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    1. Holy crap! That's a terrible one - who says that??? I mean, really??

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  2. I'm pregnant with my second, and I loved everything about this post!! I carried my son waaayy out front. From the back, I didn't look pregnant. From the front, I looked like I was going to give birth at any second. Starting at seven months. My favorites were from complete strangers: "Wow! When are you due?" "In two months." "Oh my goodness! Are you sure it's not twins?? You're huge! But.... you look cute!"

    The best one was a woman who approached me out of the blue just to say "Honey, please don't give birth in Wal-Mart."

    Stopping by from SITS! :)

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    1. HAHAHA I hated those backhanded compliments...."you are so cute, you must've spent a fortune on maternity clothes!"

      I absolutely love the WalMart one - had me cracking up this morning! Thanks so much for stopping over :) Love me some SITS comment love :)

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  3. I have never said anything to someone who is preggers unless they asked me about my on experience. In that case they lucked out cause I had 3 easy births. So at least I can help ease some of the fears instilled in them by others!

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    1. That's awesome - I love that mantra! Say nothing unless they ask, and then if they do, tell them all good things! Wish you woulda worked in my office way back when!! :) Thanks for reading :)

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  4. I love the people that ask if you are sure you're not having twins. A lady at work asked me that twice. No, I'm not having twins. But apparently I look like I am which is super.

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    1. HAHA which is super - yes I got that a couple times too, especially because I was so late with the second one and she ended up being a heifer-sized baby. So glad you came over and thanks for reading :)

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  5. I don't think ANYONE ever needs to hear "I was in labor for seven days." So long human race. None of us will be procreating intentionally anymore.

    Stopping by from the SITSGirls!

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  6. Great post. Hi, I'm Courtney from The Brown Girl with Long Hair blog. And seeing as though I'm fresh off my second (and final) pregnancy -- my children are 2 years, 17 days apart -- I've had my fair share of run-ins with idiots who have diarrhea of the mouth. Ugh. Some people need to just go away. Or, at the very least, keep their mouths shut.

    Stopping by from SITS. :-)

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    1. Hi Courtney - thanks for stopping over!!! Yea, agree with you 100% there! Some people don't have a filter....which can be really funny, but also really annoying. So glad to meet you and thanks for reading!

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  7. Oh my God - I laughed out loud reading this. People really are ding-dongs sometimes! When I was pregnant with my daughter I had pretty severe "morning" sickness all day long for 5 months. Someone told me that when you have morning sickness as badly as I had it, it meant that there was something wrong with the baby. As if throwing up and being continuously nauseous wasn't bad enough... I also had someone tell me that he KNEW I was pregnant with a girl because "they say in my country - a girl steals her mother's beauty". WHAT?????? Your post is SPOT ON!

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    1. OMG what a terrible thing to say to somebody - morning sickness = bad baby?? Really? And what is with the stealing mother's beauty thing?? Are these even real people? Were you being punk'd?

      SO glad you stopped by and thanks for the comment - had me laughing out loud too!

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  8. hahaha just "don't talk". Makes perfect sense to me. But all too often people just won't stop talking. And, funny enough, I have lots of sisters but I've always been closest to the sister that's 6 years younger than me, I believe because I was old enough to "mother" her a little bit, but we're also close enough in age that we did do a lot of growing up together. :)

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    1. That's awesome - I am SO GLAD to hear you and your sister are close! I'm not going to lie that lady's words ring in my ears to this day.....it's interesting how things stick with you even when you try to ignore them. I hope my girls end up like you and your sis :) Thank you for reading!!!

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  9. Wow! I can't believe people are that opinionated and VOCALLY. God help anyone that said anything to me if I was pregnant. I think my head would start spinning!

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    1. HAHA yes, it's hilarious because my responses ranged from the super fake to super sarcastic. Sometimes I would be all "you are so sweet, thank you so much for the advice!" and other times I'd be like "omg totally, I have no idea how I'm going to do it - better just give up now!" Thanks so much for stopping by!!

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  10. I heard everything.... URGH!!!! Have an 11 y/o and a 16 y/o, and because of that I don't say anything, even when I am asked...... Nope not going to do it, read a book or ask your mother, I am not going there.... All I say is enjoy and have a wonderful pregnancy and birth....

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    1. HAHAHA READ A BOOK oh man I should use that one too. I love it!! Thanks for reading and for the laugh!

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  11. When I was visibly pregnant with my third child in four years, I was walking at an outside mall with the two older ones and a complete stranger came up to me and asked if I was Catholic or crazy. FYI: I was neither!

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    1. Ho-lee-crap!? Those are the only two options?? HAHAHA I would've been dying....."Uh......Lutheran?" HAHAHA Wow. Best comment thread ever! Thanks for much for reading! :)

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  12. Great comments. I remember some like that when I was pregnant. Stopping by from SITS

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  13. Worst I got were the usual "I tore from HERE TO HERE" horror stories. Not sure why everyone wants to tell you how awful labor will be :(

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    1. Right??!?! Like I wasn't freaked out enough....like ANY of us aren't freaked out enough about it. Thanks so much for reading :)

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  14. The worst thing was when I was pregnant with my twins and people would ask me if I was having a boy or a girl. I always said yes and waited for them to get it. One lady looked at my daughter (who was 1) and said "I bet if you knew you were going to have twins you would have waited longer so you wouldn't be stuck with 3 kids so young." Umm, what? I can handle the horror stories much better than someone feeling horrified by my family size and age. That just pisses me off. I'm well aware that most would be horrified by my situation but that doesn't mean I am.

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    1. Isn't that the worst? I have a good friend who has five girls....FIVE. I can only imagine how many "TRYING FOR A BOY!" or "would you have had so many" question she must get on a constant basis. Even when you're not pregnant, they see kids, they think it's ok to talk. Just stop talking! HAHA! Thanks so much for reading and I've stopped by your blog - your family is BEAUTIFUL and perfectly-sized :)

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  15. Hi , so true, even if it has been a few years back for me, you never forget. And living in Italy the old wives tales I used to get, how about "oh another girl , too bad" how many of those did i get? idiots. My girls are 7 years apart and they are best friends, so age difference has no meaning. stopping by from sits thanks Rosemary @anitalianinmykitchen.com

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    1. HAHAHA "idiots" .... love it and it's so true. I am so glad to hear your girls are friends :) I think mine will be friends for a long, long time, too :) Thank you for reading and for stopping by! :)

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  16. It's been awhile since I've been pregnant...my dad would say I was the biggest pregnant woman he'd ever seen (and his second wife had twins!). He was right though--I'm tiny and my babies were big! I worked out through all the pregnancies so from the back you could barely tell I was pregnant! Visiting from SITSGirls and loving the picture of your girls! So sweet!!

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    1. HAHAH your dad! What the heck! HAHA that made me literally laugh out loud at my computer. So glad you stopped by and THANK YOU for the SITS comment love! I love me some SITS girlssss! :)

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  17. Happy SITS Day! I hope you have a great one!

    Oh, I've been there! LOTS of unsolicited advice. What got me most, though, was my sister being in tears over some unsolicited advice (she couldn't breast feed though she tried to the point of bleeding with both of her kids, and people gave her such grief and INSISTED she wasn't trying hard enough, even though it was her hormones switching too fast and there was NOTHING she could do about it - there just wasn't any milk) that changed a lot of how I handle my convos with pregnant women and new moms. I try very hard to keep things positive, answer questions THEY ask ONLY, and be supportive of their decisions. I also try NEVER to mention about their weight or being overdue or whatever unless it is ok to do so (i.e. they ask me a direct question about it).

    I remember talking to one girl who was not expecting but curious about my experiences and I mentioned that I'd had my first naturally and my second via c-section because he wouldn't drop (his shoulders were too wide). She concluded from that one should have a natural birth for the first child and then c-sections after that. I was kinda shocked, and said, no. Everyone needs to do what is best for them and the baby. It is great if you can do things naturally, but not everyone can, and that's ok. It made me realize that people take stories to heart and imply meaning that is not always intended, as you mentioned.

    Oh, and I love that your daughters are buddies. :) I have 2 boys that are 18 months apart and they are buddies (ages 11 1/2 and nearly 10), and a 3 1/2 year old daughter who they adore and protect. No 2 families are alike, and people need to realize that.

    Anyway, great post! :) Have a great day!

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    1. UGH the breastfeeding story is so relateable....I had the same thing happen to me with both of my children. I think all lactation consultants are trained to tell women they can be doing something better, doing something more, doing something...it's so annoying and hurtful!

      And I'm not gonna lie I laughed when I read about the girl who thought c-sections are a must for 2nd babies. So funny and so true....people really take what you say at face value sometimes!

      I love that your kiddos are BFFs and cannot wait to see what's in store for my little ladies! :) Thanks so much for stopping by, loved your comment and and so grateful for the support! Have an awesome weekend!! :)

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    2. I hear you about the lactation consultants. By the time I had my daughter, I was an expert on how to handle them. :) With my first born, I was able to nurse him for 4 months before my milk started to go bad (no nutritional value and he was starving all the time) and then dry up, so he was weaned by 5 months. With my middle child, I got 6 weeks before my milk was gone (he was in the NICU for a week, so I did a lot of pumping during his stay and after - while I had it, I had a lot of milk, but when it was gone, it was gone). When my daughter was born 5 weeks early and they sent in the lactation consultant, I knew just what to say to the "You ARE planning on breast feeding, right? You DO know that is best for her, right?" questions. It infuriated me that she was treating me like I was somehow a moron and not going through enough with a baby in the NICU, and as if I also needed guilt if I had no milk and that I was somehow a failure if I couldn't nurse her. Anyway, I looked the lady squarely in the eyes and said, "I will do what I can for her. I will nurse her if there is milk and as long as there is milk and do what I can to keep it, but I have an inherited issue where my hormones switch over too fast. While I have milk, I have tons, but when it is gone, it is gone no matter what I do, not drinking more water, not diet, not nursing more often, not pumping, nothing - I've tried it all. Does that answer your questions?" I was always sweet, but I was firm. And you know what? They left me alone! LOL :) You just gotta show them (and others) that you DO love your child, and you are NOT less than because you can't do _____ (whatever it is they think mommies are meant to do or you're not a TRUE mommy). :)

      Oh, and I laughed a little, too, later when I thought about the conversation with that woman about the c-sections. I honestly had no idea that my sharing my story would lead to that conclusion. It was truly eye-opening!

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    3. It is such a struggle - I went back to work right after having both my kids and I actually had a lady kick me out of the room I was supposed to pump in and tell me to pump in the BATHROOM. In the bathroom! On the toilet! Are you kidding me?? No wonder America is suckin in the healthy body realm of life. Our own workplaces aren't designed to handle mothers. Eventually my milk ran out too and I had the same pushback....drink more water, drink beer, do this, do that. I know for a fact the #1 reason why I lost all my milk was because I was getting up every morning and spending 12 hours away from my baby every day. It was terrible!! I eventually had to have the same talk with myself as you did....this is NOT me failing. I was doing what I had to do for my family. Yes, I wouldve been more successful if I hadn't encountered pushback and YES I would've had an easier time if people just kept their mouths shut and let me do me but that's not the way the world works. It's over now and she is happier and healthier than ever so take THAT lacto-lovers!!! :)

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  18. I have five kids so I also have plenty of pregnancy and delivery stories. I pretty much keep them to myself unless asked. Especially with first time moms. There's so much stress already, I don't want to add to it.

    Congratulations on your SITS day. I hope it's a lovely day for you.

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    1. Thank you very much - I am the same way. If they ask me, I'll open up. A little. I'm always afraid the first-timers are going to think my birth story is the say-all, end-all and wonder why theirs isn't going the same way. So glad you came over - thanks again for the wonderful comments :) Have an awesome Friday!

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  19. 80 Stitches?!? Cripes- I'm at a loss for words!

    www.bombfamily.blogspot.com

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    1. Right?!?!????!?!! Wth?

      Thanks again for the comments :) Feeling my SITSGirls love today!!! :)

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  20. Love that picture of 'sisters.' So true. Visiting on your special SITS day.

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    1. Thank you Barb! :) So glad you stopped by and thank you for the SITSGirls comment love ! :) :) :)

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  21. Stopping by from SITS! Sometimes you get so much advice for your life, you just cannot win! People mean well and like you said, we all do it, but you have to listen to you own self sometimes! Thanks for the post and beautiful sisters!

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    1. Hi Lori! Thanks so much for stopping by and for the wonderful compliment :) I am such a lucky lady....love all the SITS love!!! :)

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  22. Oh, the stories! Yes! I definitely remember those! Hated all the advice!

    Hope you have a great SITS day!

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    1. Thank you so much and thanks for reading!!! :)

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  23. I'm so with you! Today someone asked me how far along I was and then told me how HUGE I was... yay.

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  24. So true! I had a lady tell me not to have an epidural because she pushed so hard that she tore...down her leg. What?! That story haunted me throughout my pregnancy.

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    1. UHHHHHHHHH noooooooooooo! No no no!!! What a nutcase!

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  25. Love this! Don't talk to them. Ever. Great advice.

    Here's what was the worst for me:

    http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/an-open-letter-to-the-lady-at-the-farmers-market-and-the-lady-at-the-apple-store-who-offered-me-their-unwanted-condolences-for-expecting-a-second-baby-boy

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    1. Thank you Stacy and thanks for stopping by!! :)

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  26. I Loathe when people do that. Its quite rude. Loved the article!

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    1. Hahaha thanks Meg and yes, quite rude. Seems to be the trend these days, especially with everyone being so transparent on Facebook and such. Interesting world we live in, one with no filters! Thanks for reading :)

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  27. Oh my gosh! Ignore those crazy people, I have a brother that I'm 6 years older than & one that I'm 9 years older than and they are my best friends!! That sibling relationship is one that should be nurtured by the parents, doesn't matter how old they are!!

    Stop by from SITS! Glad to have found you!! Happy SITS day!

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    1. Hi Kate!!! That is awesome news - that lady's words still haunt me!! Thank you for the well-wishes and for stopping by :) Excited to have you here! :)

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  28. This is so accurate. When I was walking around with my 9 month old twins, and I started to show that I was pregnant again, people would always joke, "Um, you know how you get pregnant, right?" No one stopped to think that this was a medical miracle that I got pregnant on my own and I was terrified of losing it. Not to mention that everyone in the world has a friend that got pregnant and then accidentally got pregnant right away. Congratulations would have worked equally as nice.

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    1. Right?? People are so rude. I can only imagine the things they say behind my back with my tatts and (with my first) no wedding band. People just judge and make stupid comments, thinking they are funny or smart or somehow helping you. It's terrifying!! Ha!! Congrats on your beautiful bundles of joy ... just in case nobody told you! :)

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  29. Hahaha.. I love this post! I'm pregnant with my first baby. I'm almost 4 months and almost everyone tells me I don't look pregnant at all. So you think I am just faking nausea and vomiting? lol

    btw, visiting from SITS..

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    1. Thanks Viviene!!! Congrats on your pregnancy :) It can be such a pain dealing with people's comments - so although you might not be able to....try to tune everyone out! Nobody knows your body and baby like you do!!!! Thank you so much for visiting :)

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  30. I remember those days, although it's been more than a decade since my last baby. So I always try to bring up pleasant things - how much fun babies are, how much I enjoyed them, etc. People should talk more about the pleasant side of their children and complain a LOT less! #SITSSharefest

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