Monday, March 22, 2010

Things People Say

WARNING: Very sassy, sarcastic post ahead!

I’m going to start a Twitter account called “things people say to me while pregnant.”

Call me a little sensitive, a lot vulnerable and sometimes so uncomfortable with feeling so big and uncomfortable but is it just me or does it feel like pregnancy gives people a license to say things to you that they wouldn’t otherwise say. If you are pregnant or have been pregnant you know what I mean. And know why I'm begging for
a little more discretion in dealing with the pregnant woman please.

Now, I mean no offense. Really, I don’t. Please forgive me of all sass because I am, after all, pregnant, raging with hormones and about to make my 14th trip to the bathroom for today. But here goes, a (long) list of things people say to you when pregnant....

#1 – Anything said about weight gain by the woman who is not pregnant nor has ever been pregnant.

Telling you that you only need 300 more calories a day when pregnant. How soon until you can shut your piehole? There are things you don’t know. Being pregnant changes your body. That doesn’t mean that I am nose deep in ice cream every night nor going to stay “fat” for the rest of my life. It just means that there are things you cannot control in life and this is one of them. The body will do what it wants to do. If and when you get pregnant, we will see what your body will do. And I will be there to help you count those 300 extra calories a day.

#2 – Anything said by a man about his once pregnant wife.

Don't tell me your wife only gained xx (read: very few) pounds in pregnancy. There is no medal for delivering without drugs just like there is no medal for gaining the least amount of weight. Either way we all get the same thing at the finish line – baby. I gained her total pounds before week 20. I got there faster. Know what that means? I win.

#3 – Anything said by a man about your weight gain.

Things like – wow, you’re really getting big or wow, every time I see you, you are eating. I ask you though – when does he have to give up many things that he likes in life to become 25+ pounds bigger with a small mammal growing inside of him. He does not. And because of that, the proper thing to say is "wow you look beautiful" or "gee can I get you some more _____(what you are eating)."

#4 – Stories from your mom about how she finished her pregnancy at the weight you started at.

Nothing more needs to be said.

#5 – Stories from the woman who gained over 50 pounds while pregnant.

To some extent, she is my hero. She looked at the angry ocean of pregnancy, said fuck it and jumped right into a bag of chips, a gallon of ice cream and whatever the hell she wanted every single day. She knew she was going to be uncomfortable no matter what so might as well go at it full tilt. I have a friend who gained 75 pounds while pregnant. When I asked her how she accomplished that amazing feat she admitted it took a lot of Cinnabons and Oreo McFlurries. THAT takes balls.

#6 – People who say “If you keep ______, that baby’s going to fall right out.”

Let’s see: the baby falls out or I spend possibly 36 hours pushing it out while shitting myself. I’ll take my chances.

#7 – People who disagree with your attitude that as soon as you enter the hospital, a source of drugs should enter your veins.

It’s like talking to someone about god. Get ready to agree to disagree. I can’t say that I really care which way the baby comes out, just as long as it comes out. There’s a lot of things to feel guilty about in life (tapping into free cable from Comcast, eating the last spoonful of Nutella, blowing my nose on the indoor track at the gym when no one is around), taking drugs during labor is not one of them. There will be plenty of Mommy-guilt every time I want to take my eyes off my kid for the next 18 years.

#8 – Someone who doesn’t realize you are over 5 months pregnant until you tell them.

Is this an insult or the best compliment in the world? Happened to me the other day. I’ve seen this guy every 2 weeks or so since December. When he asked if I would be riding my bike outside this week, I told him I can’t do that anymore. His face turned white and he said “you aren’t?” Well, I have been for the past 22 weeks! Does this mean that he sat there for over 5 months thinking to himself, wow, she’s really packing on the pounds or am I hiding what has to be 8 pounds of placenta, 5 pounds of boob and 4 pounds of edema THAT well?

#9 – Once pregnant women who tell you that your _______(enter body part) will never be the same.

News flash: after gaining what feels like 100 pounds and watching the skin of your stomach migrate to the next zip code outside of your body, it will never go back to its original state. You mean – that 60 buck tub of cream from Pea in the Pod wasn’t blessed by magical anti-stretch-mark elves? Please let me believe that everything will just snap right back into place.

#10 – When someone informs you that “you are starting to show”.

I’m starting to show. Really. Funny because when I looked down today and couldn’t see my vagina I was thinking that I might be able to hide this FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS. Amen to showing – finally I can stop feeling like the chick who’s getting a little bit of chubchub around her waist and move on to the we-can-finally-ask-her-when-she’s-due-without-embarrassing-ourselves category.

#11 – Women who kindly inform you that being pregnant in the summer is hell.

Because I haven’t already lived through 25 summers in the ass crack of the Midwest summer, these women remind you that being 30+ pounds overweight, bloated and waddling through a 90 degree day with 90% humidity is not as fun as you thought it would be. Neither was the marathon at Kona but I still did that in a Boston qualifying time. Both times. Thankyouverymuch.

#12 – Incessantly being asked “how are you feeling?”

Imagine greeting someone every single time with how are you feeling. It’s not just that they ask you the question, they lower their voice and say it in such a way that you think that you might just look AND feel really bad. You think to yourself: am I dying? What you really want to say is: I feel f*cking amazing. How do you think I feel. I’ve already gained 16 percent of starting my body weight and I haven’t crapped in 3 days.

#13 – When someone asks, “are you sure you should be doing that?”

If I could walk around with freedom to say that to anyone in the world, imagine the responses I would get. To all smokers, fast food eaters, texting while driving drivers, people posting their workout stats as part of their Facebook status update: are you sure you should be doing that? One night, I took a sip of wine and someone said “are you sure you should be doing that?” Listen, if that’s all it takes to harm this kid then he’s in trouble. I've got a 10-lb killer chihuahua living at my house.

#14 – Stories about how labor is godawfulmostpainfulmessynightmare

Gosh, I was thinking that squeezing a watermelon through a hole that used to make me think – how will I ever get a tampon in there – will feel so good I’ll shove the kid back in so I can do it again.

#15 – “You look great.”

Really? Do I REALLY look great? Don’t lie to me. This is like when a spectator tells you that you look great at mile 18 of the Ironman marathon. No I don’t. I’ve been sunburned, pissed myself a dozen times and I am so desperate for salt I am licking my arm for the sweat. I look like hell rolled over me. Here's the deal: you don't look great, you just look pregnant.

#16 – Being reminded that I’ll never _____ again (sleep, go out to eat, have sex, take a vacation, live a normal life).

I would imagine that taking on the responsibility of another life involves sacrifice. This is why we waited 10 years to have a child. We’ll make the sacrifices. Life will change. Like most change in life, it will be hard. You telling me hard it will be doesn’t make me think it is any harder. I think back to the race course in Corner Brook. Everyone couldn’t stop talking about the EPIC climb on the course. Turns out that epic climb was something you could stomp up out of the saddle in your big ring. This will be hard but we’ll be the judge of how hard it is. If it’s really hard, I’ll bring my road bike. If it’s epic, I’ll put on my compact crank.

#17 – Stories about pregnancy from women who gave birth to twins (or more).

Nothing they she says is stupid, in fact it’s pure genius. Higher value wisdom than she-who-gained-50pluspounds. She says it’s hard, she knows hard. She says she breastfed – two at one time, she basically double-fisted it. She says she didn’t see her vagina after week 12, she’s a legend.

#18 – After being asked how you feel and told you look great it’s only a matter of time before someone asks “when are you due”.

I’m due when the baby comes out. He will come out when he’s ready to come out. It could be on a specific day but about 80 percent of the time it occurs after that specific day. So what this all means is that I have no idea when the baby will be born. You can now stop asking me. Every time you ask me it reminds me I still have ___ months to go before I can shed this fat suit. And when I tell you late July it inevitably leads to #11.

#19 – When your husband tells you that he'll still love you even if you don’t lose the weight.

I know he means well. But that doesn’t mean I want to hear it. Let’s pretend like I lose all the weight in 3 days and I go back to being me again. Tell me you will only love me then because I’m a pretty competitive person and I need a little fire under my ass. If you tell me you’ll love me no matter what that makes me feel like I have permission to walk around looking 6-months pregnant for the rest of my life. Tell me to nut up and get my ass back in shape or something. Call me Chubs. I’m going to need some motivation.

#20 – Strangers who ask “have you thought about names?”

Listen, I’ve had this child named since I was 12 years old. OF COURSE we’ve thought about names! But the real question is why should we tell? Chances are you’re going to tell me some story about a kid you knew in the first grade with the same name who stood in the corner eating paste while shitting his pants. Thanks for the visual. Now, what’s your kid named? Really? I knew a kid with that name who ate his own boogers every day at lunch.

Now, it's not all that way.
Know that for all the crazy things people say, you get about ten times as many good things that make you feel warm beyond words. And, of course I write this with the sass and humor that you need to have when you realize that even your underwear doesn't fit you anymore or that you just got out of breath while bending down to tie your shoes. So, cheers to all the pregnant women out there. Carry on, no matter what they say and remember, the correct answer is always: I feel great. Repeat after me: I - feel - great.


D said...

So I'm only on #1, but I'm CRACKING UP because I'm pretty sure that refers to a comment you got on fb (that I, also, shook my head at). I wish I could give people virtual punches in the face sometimes.

Now, off to read the rest of it and hoping that something idiotic I've said shows up!

D said...

Damn. I didn't make the list, but I did get another hearty chuckle at #2.


Keith said...

Four more months of extremely funny sarcasm. I'm looking forward to it. So far, I haven't said any of those things to you. I think I'll just sit in a corner and be quiet now. And I wouldn't try, or even ask if I could touch your belly. I'm surprised you didn't mention that.

E.L.F. said...

Keith - YOU ARE SO RIGHT ! Random belly touchers. How could I forget. And yup, this is all my sense of sarcasm - which along with my stomach keeps getting bigger.

LZ said...

Thank you for this post as I feel the same way as you do about almost all of these. I have a friend 10 weeks ahead of me and I have gained as much weight as her and it makes me frustrated when she complains about how much weight she has gained...does she know that I will probably pack on another 15lbs on top of her! I have decided not to talk about how much weight I have put on because of this!

sallyaston said...

LOL! Those comments take me back..I love the sarcasm, it's the best way to deal with it! Try to shut out the "noise" and continue to enjoy your journey as a pregnant athlete. :-)

Adam Beston said...

Random belly touchers turn into random baby touchers. I will wait patiently for this post to re-appear in early baby months for more good laughs. (15 month old daughter here, well boy if you ask any men over 40, still don't get that, she wears a lot of pink hooker outfits at that).

Jennifer Harrison said...

HA! I think we are afraid to comment! LOL. I think i ask you everyday how you are...oopps, but I do that anyway, pregnant or not...but then I saw #17 and realized...yep, I can ask you how you are...not that #17 is neccesarily referring to me, but I'll pretend it is.

Carry on....

Ironman said...

"Call me Chubs" That was the coffee on the monitor comment of the day.

LittleRachet said...

I'm just wondering why you are tying your shoes?? Really? I'd be putting elastic laces in all my shoes and say that I'm just trying to keep up on my transition skills.

Angela and David Kidd said...

Ahhh, I remember these times well. And I work with all old men who would constantly say "You haven't had that baby yet. You're huge." It was awesome. It's only going to get MUCH MUCH worse over the next couple of months.

And I have to say, I prefered being preggo in the summer. At least I could wear tank tops and shorts.

Colleen S said...

Liz- Never been pregnant.. can't relate, won't tell you any stories or touch your belly. I do LOVE that you are keeping your humor and keeping us entertained. As always, you have lots of wisdom to share, and I love reading ALL of your posts.

meredith said...

yes. i agree to all of these. and yes, i don't want to hear that your wife gained 14 pounds during her pregnancy. i win cause i did that by week 6.

but lizzy, you do look cute...

i heard some guy on the radio complain about a pregnant woman wearing a bikini in public. sheeit...i am going to be wearing a lot of nothing if i am hot, and i will be sitting in a kiddie pool at lola V's. you can come too.

Erin Chernick said...


I have been reading your blog for a while....I am at 21 weeks and let me tell you, your blog takes the words right out of my mouth!LOL. I think that being an athlete and being pregnant is an interesting combination to say the least!

Oh, and yes, my mom swears that she went home from the hospital in her pre-pregnancy jeans....ummm, ok...

Thanks for sharing your journey/experiences; it makes other pregnant athletes feel at least a bit "sane"


Molly said...

Never been pregnant, never gonna be pregnant and certainly never gonna say any of these things to you!!!! It almost seems like you take all the comments people make towards those of us who are *ahem* vertically challenged, or really tall, or overweight, or underweight - pump them up on steriods and add in an extra dash of rudeness, and then you still aren't even quite to the level of the things people feel entitled to say to pregnant women. *shakes head*

They call the wind Mariah... said...

People just don't think before speaking, do they? I have a similar post about stupid things people say to tall people (like myself).

Da Blog said...

ha ha! Good to know the 'when are you due' is on the blacklist. I pretty much say nothing at all now. That seems to work fairly well.
Great post!

Melissa said...

I think being pregnant in the summer is going to be great, just like Angela said. We'll look much cuter in tank tops and minimal clothing, as opposed to baggy sweaters and big coats. No thank you!

Loved the post :-)

Kellye Mills said...

My favorite are when the people tell me the horror stories of bad things that happened to their babies and such. I'm like, I'm worried about my baby constantly as it is, don't give me something specific to worry about. Only good news from here on out! :)

Alili said...

What do you mean I don't get a medal?! ;)

Sarah Giacomarra Schrader said...

Ouch. I don't think I will ever post my training stats on FB again seeing as how it's right up there with smokers, fast food junkies and car-driving texters. Gawd, I feel like I should take up something more meaningful, like drunk driving or Munchausen by proxy. :b

Here's another one you will just LOVE...#21 Can I touch your belly? (if they even bother to ask first)

Paul said...

But apart from all the moronic things people say to you ... you're enjoying pregnancy, huh?

Smiles, Paul :-)
-dad to two beautiful girls

E.L.F. said...

Sarcasm is such a lost art. :)

Kim said...

Hilarious.. keep it coming. this is great material! Almost better than triathlon!!

Melissa said...

I love you, Liz. Should be required reading for all persons, pregnant or otherwise.

John said...

#7 is a must, it will also help your husband.

Connie and Neil said...

Coming from a new mom of 3 & 1/2 yo twins at age nailed #16. I would be a rich gal if I collected a dime for every person who said "Wow, your life is about to change" when we told them we were adopting. Guess what? We are not your typical female...we are used to multi-tasking and managing a million details. Parenting requires very different skills, and you do sacrifice when it comes to doing what you want when you want to do it...but overall if you want to be a parent, you fit it together. Yes, I skipped some of the toughest stuff (diapers and bottle feeding) but they don't feed themselves and still need help wiping their rears from time to time. Last I checked they don't work yet or bring home a paycheck so we still have some work to do. Trust me, life does not end when you have kids, it just gets a ton more fun. PS: A plus for adopting...skip the fat suit! Hang in there.

Alicia Parr said...

My mother also has selective memory about how quickly she lost the (really small) amount of pregnancy weight.

P.S. You look great. :)

Rebecca DeWire said...

When I was pregnant I tipped the pounds at about 200 lbs. No joke, I gained 60 lbs and people at work would still tell me that they were concerned because I looked small (I really didn't). Usually when I told them how much weight I gained they shut up. I probably gained 25 lbs in the first trimester due to extreme nausea that was only cured by eating. To my surprise, I did lose it all 5 months after my daughter was born. So don't sweat the weight gain at all.

The Mommy said...

Add "while reaching out to touch your stomach without asking permission first" to any of those things people say and you've officially catalogued the entire ridiculousness that a pregnant woman is subjected to.

Bravo. And congratulations.