Saturday, 12 April 2014

Are you Pregnant?

Yesterday morning on my way back from dropping S at nursery, I was asked - for the second time in a month - whether I'm pregnant.

Aside from the fact I've put on a little weight, I have a hernia. My belly sticks out a bit.

Aside from both of those facts, what the hell happened to, you know, being polite?

Interestingly, both people asked me not only if I was pregnant, but wanted to know, "are you pregnant again?"

To clarify here - I have one child. To ask if I am pregnant again suggests I already have too many. Is one child too many these days? Furthermore, I am notoriously (and seemingly terminally) single - so what, exactly, where those people implying?

Incidentally, neither person apologised for what I would consider to be a terrible social faux pas. The most I received was a look of mild surprise.

Neither of these was a person I know terribly well; they were not people I see very often. Incidentally, neither could exactly be described as skinny themselves.

I have made this mistake once myself; someone I vaguely knew told me someone we both knew was pregnant. I saw her a couple of months later and said, "oh, I heard you were pregnant; congratulations!" to which she replied, "no, I'm not..." I was absolutely mortified, and spent the next ten minutes apologising profusely. Since then, even if I've been told a person is pregnant, I keep my gob shut until they mention it themselves!

Besides the fact my feelings were hurt by these comments - both the assumption that I'm pregnant and the insinuation that a second pregnancy would be excessive - I'm a little shocked at the fact these people would have asked in the first place. Whatever happened to social niceties, to being polite, to not ... well, to not being a bitch?

I have a hernia. It bloody hurts a lot of the time. I often have to resort to wearing a rather unsightly tube-grip type thing, in order to stop parts of my intestines from poking through my abdominal wall. The hernia is a left-over from my pregnancy, and since my mother has the same thing, I'm inclined to believe it's a hereditary weakness.

Yes, I could probably make it a little better with regular exercise and core exercises, but even when I was really skinny in the months after S was born, even when I was exercising every day, the hernia still poked out a lot of the time; it still bothered me; it still hurt.

Ergo, it's fair to say there's not a lot  can do about it. I just have a hernia. It just sticks out. And apparently this gives people the right to make comments about my personal appearance.

I'm thinking of changing my stock response from "no, I have a hernia and it's playing up at the moment" to the shorter, pithier, "no - are you?"

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  1. Argh, people can be so inconsiderate! I'm 30 weeks pregnant but no one has commented on it because I was fat prior to this, so maybe they think I've just gained more weight and don't want to risk asking me the 'are you pregnant' question.

    Honestly, I think people should avoid asking that question or making assumptions altogether. If you're pregnant, you're going to share that information with the people you want to know. For everyone else, well, it's none of their business what's going on with your body!

    I have to admit that if I were in your position, I'd be tempted to go with the more snippy "no, are you?" response too!

  2. I would go with the latter response too, at the end of the day people should expect to be treated the way they treat others so if someone wants to be rude to you then they deserve the same back!! It is a shame that a lot of society seem to have forgotten basic manners these days x #weekendbloghop x

  3. I too, like the later response! And you are right, manners have taken a bit hit in today's culture. BTW, great pics of you and "S"! :)

  4. oh dear people will speak before they think its so insensitive.

  5. I had the same back in Dec/Jan - one of the people asking was my great aunt at my mum's funeral...I was incensed a) because it was at a funeral and b) I'd lost 2 stone and thought my dress was really flattering. Her response was 'I hope you're not offended, but your first child is the right age for you to be having number 2! Eh?!

    I'm just like you, especially having been on the receiving end, I'd never ask unless I knew for sure. It's just rude and nosy.


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