Pregnancy One-Liner Translations
I sit here trying to think of a better name for this post, but it is what it is truthfully! When you’re pregnant, you’re a little touchy. Hot and cold emotionally. You’re sometimes… temperamental or you may have a short fuse. I was warned pretty extensively on what to expect from my sweet momma friends and family, but there were a few times where I was told things from non-preggos (NPs) and I know I pursed my lips and arched an eyebrow like, “you did NOT actually say that…”. Most people say things to comfort you, or to raise your spirits, and almost never to be malicious or outright petty, so try not to take things that way. You may think specific people will be really helpful… then they aren’t. You may heavily rely on the advice from others, and then you’ll get bogus one liners from them. You may think everyone is going to treat you like a delicate flower (they won’t, but you may think that hahahaha).
Well, you’d be surprised the things people would say. Sometimes it’s the UBER cliche stuff that you can LITERALLY Google (what NOT to say to a pregnant woman), or it seems like common sense (it’s obviously not), and other times they’re being flat and truthful with you, you’re taking it to heart, and I’ll be the first one to tell you that you might be overreacting. Either way, I’m breaking down a few of the phrases you will hear, where they’re coming from, and why they’ve been said to you in the first place. Grab yourself a tissue, a cookie, or whatever other means of comfort you may need, and let's go!
“Wow! You’re HUGE!”
When I got this one the first time, I was literally so in shock that someone still said it, that all I could do was smile dumbfoundedly. When your baby bump comes in, somewhere between your second and third trimesters (sorry girls, before that no one can tell you’ve even eaten a big meal, though you may feel like a whale), it comes in quick. Mine really pooched out around 30ish weeks and I felt all cute and bumpy, wearing shirts to accentuate the new belly and was greeted with the above sentence. Truthfully all they mean when they say this is, “Wow! You’ve grown / your baby is getting bigger / your pregnancy is visibly progressing / etc” but of course, those are not the descriptive words that come to mind. Take it with a grain of salt and don’t read too much into the number on the scale that night, as long as you’re making (somewhat) healthy decisions. This sentence, just like any other comments made on your physical appearance while you’re pregnant, in no way embodies your weight gain or health in general, just remember that.
“Just be patient.”
Towards the end, you get anxious anticipation and you likely tell everyone how ready you are to have your baby. Even if you had a fairly ‘easy’ pregnancy, you did deal with some discomforts, and you definitely made conscious decisions to do or not do certain activities that would put you or your baby at risk. It’s natural to be ready to NOT be pregnant, and even more natural to just want your baby in your arms. People telling me to be patient was like telling your girlfriend that she’s “acting crazy”. It just adds fuel to the fire. It’s not like at 36 weeks I was actually hoping for our baby to come. I knew it would be better for him to cook a little longer. Just make sure you’re not overly complaining about pregnancy, remember that pregnancy is a choice by two people to grow a new life, and try to be at peace with the time between 36 and 40+ weeks. I am literally writing this post on my due date, so hardcore practicing what I’m preaching right now. We were offered an elective induction this weekend, at 40w4d, and so long as I and baby boy are healthy, we’re going to hold off until our doctor recommends it as medically necessary. Patience is key, 100%. But you should also confide your gripes in people who genuinely understand where you’re coming from, not social media, or the masses. You’re basically asking for this exact sentence to be said over, and over, and over… I know from experience.
“You’re probably not going to make it to your due date.”
This one probably set my expectations more than ANY other phrase said to me, and it totally shouldn’t have. A lot of first time moms go over their due dates, and only 3% of all women actually have their baby on their due dates. Full term is loosely considered 38 to 42 weeks. I started effacing (cervix thinning) and dilating (cervix opening) at 36 weeks and progressed a teeny tiny bit every week. There was a good chunk of people saying I would not make it to my due date, and like every other pregnant woman, I hoped I was the exception, not the rule. Let me tell you, you’re probably the rule. Plan to go over. Plan to be empty handed and full bellied on your due date. Thankfully, I didn’t set my heart too much on having a baby before our due date, so I wasn’t awfully disappointed, but it’s one of those things that you build up in your mind, even if you swore from the second you found out you were pregnant that you wouldn’t. Just line up some loose plans in the last week or so leading up to your due date. It will be easier for you to keep busy and makes the time pass a little faster. People who say this are usually just being hopeful for you, and aren’t actually trying to get your hopes up to be crushed a few weeks later. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how you’re carrying, how much heartburn you have, or when you start waddling. Whether you give birth at 38 weeks or 42 after an induction or c-section, that is outcome completely unknown to you, your doctor, your best friend, your sister’s dog-walker, and everyone else who tries to tell you when baby is coming. The best thing anyone can say is “they’ll come when they’re ready”. Now that is a true statement people (shout out to both Nik and my grandma who literally ONLY said this exact thing over and over).
“You’re probably going past your due date.”
This was the exact opposite of the above, obviously, and honestly I couldn’t even pinpoint why it was irking in the beginning. Turns out, again, I was hoping to be the exception, not the rule. I didn’t complain on social medias about being pregnant. In the privacy of my own home and in confidence, I would occasionally voice a gripe or two to my husband, mom, or closest friends. What was irritating, was every time I’d post an anticipatory pregnancy post, like a cute “who will you be” or “can’t wait to meet you” post, I’d always have a half dozen people telling me that I wasn’t having the baby anytime soon. Not to be rude, but at 32 weeks, duh. 34 weeks, still duh. I’m not a medical professional, but again, even 36-38 weeks, I wasn’t even remotely hoping for my baby to come early. I want our healthy, chubby, perfect little baby boy to make his grand entrance when we are both ready. To have people speculate in this way, without any medical information about me or our baby, without any medical experience, and some without children made my eyes roll back into my brain. I will say again, when you post on social medias, you are opening yourself up to this kind of commenting, so be aware of that, and if you can’t handle it, don’t post. If you choose to post, try not to take these comments to heart, and try not to be rude to people, because they’re just trying to give you realistic expectations. On the same note, it’s also okay to say that they have no idea if the baby is coming early or late. If my doctor can’t even tell me with partial certainty, a rando on the internet can’t either.
“Enjoy it, it goes so fast!”
This one wasn’t irritating at all to me, just repetitive and I think true! I felt like being pregnant was one of the shortest, coolest experiences in the universe. It’s not often that you get to harbor a new person in your belly, and it’s not an experience that everyone gets to have, so take the hard parts a day at a time, slow down and confide in your partner when you need to, and try to take in everything that is happening in this transitional time in your life. Soon enough, you’ll find your new normal and get back to it. Finding peace in the abnormal is hard, especially when you’re a neurotic planner like me, but it’s temporary. That always helped me stay gratefully positive.
“You have it easy!”
Just because a preggo complain, doesn’t mean they have it ‘easy’. Some pregnancies are definitely complicated with medical issues, some ladies are plagued with terrible sickness, fatigue that never quite goes away, and even more severe complications. But, I will say that some people are also more happy to be pregnant than others. Some wear pregnancy like a glowing accessory, and some just don’t thrive in that environment. Either situation is totally acceptable, though one may be perceived as a little negative if you don’t watch how you voice certain gripes, or how often you may be complaining… again, pregnancy is a choice. There will be times that even the ladies with ‘easy’ pregnancies break down and cry because even their maternity pants don’t fit, or they’ve got a backache that never ceases, or they’re just not themselves. Pregnancy is a humbling time for everyone. If you’re having a tough pregnancy, know that someone out there has had a tougher one. I do consider my pregnancy as fairly ‘easy’ and I can say that, because I lived it through and through, but I’d never compare my situation to anyone else’s. Pregnancy is fickle. One day it loves me, the next it may loathe me, especially in the last few weeks. Either way, I tried not to complain too much, because I chose this, and I know plenty of others that I considered to have it worse than my situation. Try not to get too worked up if someone comments on your ‘easy’ pregnancy, and don’t pass judgement on others. You only know your own body, tolerance, and attitude. The latter of which has the largest influence in my humble opinion.
“You should rest more.”
Honestly, I was BUSY for 90% of my pregnancy. I had things to do, people to see, plans to carry out… I was never still. Most medical professionals will agree that staying active is the best thing you can do. That being said, I had days that I wayyyyyy overdid it. When you feel like tackling a big task, I say do it. There will be a time when you no longer reach your feet without grunting and heavy breathing. If you have items on your list that you can get done without help, go for it. Take breaks when you need them. Drink plenty of water. But of course, listen to your body! I took advantage of early nesting and purged our entire house. There’s nothing wrong with that.
“You should be more active.”
If you’re sedentary most days, you may benefit from exercise a few times a week. I was better about this in my first two trimesters than the last, as I’m sure many are. Again, going off my burp from above, I purged my entire house over the course of 2 days. I then spent a solid 24 hours in bed, watching Game of Thrones and eating peanut butter from the jar. I’m not perfect. Take advantage of the times when you have energy and you won’t feel like a bump on a log when you take a well deserved day off.
The takeaway: Try to remember that most people offer their opinions or one liners as a means to help you, not hurt you. Assume no one is being outright mean for no reason, and make sure you ask yourself if you’re taking it to heart first, because that is sometimes the quickest way out of your misery. If someone is offering you more opinions than you’d like, keep your opinions away from them (especially on social medias, for some reason in text people feel much more confident about saying things on your posts). The more you keep to yourself and your close, inner circle of family and friends, the better off you will be. Those closest to you will only offer you the support or guidance you need, without all that extra fluff or unnecessary crap. If you have questions about pregnancy, birth, or child raising in general, turn to those moms you respect the most. If you gather too many opinions from too many people, qualified or not, you’ll start to get confused. I go to my mom, mother-in-law, sister, and best friends (like 3 of them) for the best advice or info. People who share your genetics are likely to have a (somewhat, and I use the following term VERY loosely) similar experience to what you miiiiiight be able to expect. Kinda. Maybe. Seriously, don’t count on it. But it can give you a smidge of insight into your pregnancy genetics on things like stretch marks, going over your due date or preterm deliveries, and more. For general questions, I consult my mom friends who have recently had kids, and my L&D nurse bestie for those “is this normal” kind of stuff. Again, if you collect opinions from the masses, you are going to find it more difficult to weed through the helpful info and the stuff that just ticks you right off.
Thanks for tuning into this session of pregnancy related crap! Good luck to you, and I hope for an ‘easy’ pregnancy for all!