Stop Asking How I'm Feeling -- or Give Me a Nickel
If I had a nickel for every time someone has asked me, since I announced my pregnancy, "How are you feeling?" my unborn child would have a pretty sizable start to her college fund already. Unfortunately, you don't get nickels when people ask you uncomfortable questions. You just get a whole lot of awkward.
I hate being asked this question. And it's not like when you're not pregnant. You can't just go, "Everything's fine," and expect the person who asked you to move on. You say, "Everything's fine," and they go, "Really? Everything's good?" and look at you as if they are waiting for you to pour your heart out to them about how your pregnancy is going.
So you have to tell them something. I'm 8 months in, and I still have no idea what I'm supposed to say. If I try to give them another short, generic answer, they're either going to keep pressing OR look at me like I've just been extremely rude to them. So am I supposed to give them a run-down of my last doctor's appointment? Give them a generic response about how I'm just so excited that she's almost here?
I am almost positive that most of the time, people don't want the truth.
"I have a basketball under my skin that won't go away, can't bend over, can't breathe, haven't pooped in 4 days, but have been farting pretty much non-stop for the last 2 months, feel like I'm in a sauna pretty much all the time and sweat profusely around the clock, have to wear flipflops in January because my feet are so swollen, and have outgrown all of my maternity pants except for stretch pants, which let me assure you is not flattering on a woman who is 8 months pregnant. Oh! Also? When I sneeze, a little pee comes out. I'm 27 years old, and I can't control my bladder. How do you think I feel?"
Please stop asking me how I feel. I have 20 extra pounds hanging off of my front half, and my body is going through all sorts of weird changes in preparation for pushing something the size of a watermelon out of my lady parts. There is no sincere response to this question that will be delicate or cheerful at this point.
So even though I know you're very curious about pregnancy and babies, and I'm sort of a walking freak show right now, please just leave the social interchanges to the typical, polite "How's it going?" with no strings attached at the end. Let me say, "Good. You?" and keep walking after you've given me your own satisfactorily monosyllabic response.
If you're curious how a woman is feeling in the last few weeks of her pregnancy, google it. I guarantee you, you will find more than enough articles, blog posts, and forum comments about how miserably uncomfortable all of us are without having to remind me that I'm a flatulent, constipated whale in flipflops and stretch pants.
Nickels photo via Shutterstock.