The scene: grocery store, last night.
Checkout lady, who I’m guessing was about 50-ish: “So how far along are you?”
Me: “Three and a half months.”
Her: (tilts her head sideways, squints and looks suspicious) “You sure there’s only one in there?”
Me: (trying to laugh it off, but honestly feeling like I might cry) “Um, yeah. I’ve had an ultrasound, I’m definitely only carrying one.”
Saintly lady in line behind me: “Oh, don’t worry. You’re probably just having a boy.”
I was stunned because I thought that everyone in the polite universe knew to never ask a pregnant woman “are you sure you aren’t have twins/triplets/a litter?” I really didn’t know how to react.
Honestly, I’m sort of surprised when strangers start conversations with me about pregnancy at all, because I still feel like I’m in the in-between phase. You know, the “maybe she’s pregnant, or maybe she just has an unfortunate body shape, and it’s probably better to err on the safe side and not mention it” phase. Or at least, that’s what I would do if I encountered someone who looked like me. Who wants to go into that minefield and risk being incorrect?
But then, I guess the maternity tops do sort of give it away.
Which reminds me, I’ve been saying “three and a half months” for a while, but I don’t think it’s even accurate anymore. I’ll be 16 weeks pregnant as of Saturday. If you operate under the assumption that a month is 4 weeks and/or 28 days, doesn’t that make me four months pregnant?
And by that logic, if the average pregnancy is 40 weeks long, doesn’t that mean that it’s actually more like ten months rather than nine? How on earth do people calculate this stuff? It’s making my head spin. And the books are no help, because they all seem to have their own definitions.
In the meantime, though, I think I’m going to start lying about my due date. I’ll just tell strangers that I’m a month or so farther along than I am, and then they’ll think that I’m wonderfully svelte given my condition.
Either that, or I’m just going to lose my mind and punch the next person who implies that I’m having twins.
DUDE. You know about that time that lady kept insisting I was pregnant and rubbed my stomach, right? If you punch someone, I will totally be your second.
Oh, and I think they say 40 weeks because they start counting from the day after your last period (hi dave) ends. As in, you couldn’t have been pregnant any sooner than that, even though you probably *actually* conceived 2-3 weeks later. So you gestate for 37-38 weeks? But you start counting at the earliest day possible?
Look at that. I think I learned something from Sassy magazine circa 1990. Or maybe not. Obi Mom Kenobi?
No, you’re right – you start counting the 40 weeks from the first day of your last period. Which is bizarre, because it means you’re already considered 2 weeks pregnant by the time the baby is conceived.
But I’m just trying to figure out how to translate it to people when they ask how far along I am. Maybe I should just say “16 weeks” and let them do the math.
Ugh. I totally did not know the story of the lady rubbing your belly, Angie. Ugh.
The whole 40 weeks pregnant thing is totally weird, and it’s hard to translate that into the proper amount of months. I always told people how many weeks along I was, and let them figure it out. And when it got closer (like the last three months or so) I would tell them the month I was due:
Rude person: Oh, you’re huge. How far along are you?
Me (ignoring rude person): I’m due in November. (and then I’d walk away)
Also, they’ll want to start touching your belly soon. I always crossed my arms over my belly, or put my hands on my belly to prevent the unwelcome groping. It worked every time but once, when Ernie’s mother physically moved my hands so she could rub the fruit of the genius tree.
— Obi Mom Kenobi (hee)
I pretty much have a rule that Dave is the only person on the planet who is allowed to touch my stomach. (Well, not counting my doctor.)
I could probably deal with it if it were a family member, but if a stranger ever tries to touch my belly, I think I will really flip out. I like my personal space, and I don’t usually have a problem vocalizing when I feel like it’s being invaded.
Random strangers think the sole purpose of a pregnant woman’s belly is for them to touch it. They don’t ask, they just do it. Used to drive me insane. I’d be out covering a story, and damn people would reach out and touch it before I could get the words “please don’t” out of my mouth.
The only person to ever ask me if she could touch was a senator, and she’s fantastic so I let her touch. After a few weeks of random belly groping, I started putting my own hands on my belly, to block other people.
GAH! Angie, I hope you started patting that lady’s belly, too, and asking when SHE was due. How awful!
I need more than 2 hands to count the number of people who’ve asked if I’m carrying twins (including TWO people last week). I think a lot of people are just ridiculously impolite. It no longer bugs me when people touch (because you can almost see footprints at this point), but at 16 weeks, it’s completely inappropriate and kind of perverted for people to touch. It’s not like they’ll feel anything that early.
My sister-in-law insists that you should never ask “are you pregnant?” unless you see the baby’s head crowning. 🙂
I like your SIL’s viewpoint. 🙂
I keep egging Cindy on to look horrified and declare that ‘No , I am NOT pregnant’ every time someone asks. 😀
I got a LOT of comments about looking farther along than I actually was when I was pregnant; people are just incredibly rude. Screw them. If your doctor approves of your weight gain, that’s all that matters. You WANT a big, chunky, healthy baby!
On the rudeness of strangers…. My ex’s brother had (and beat) cancer, like, three times. During the first bout, he was at a McDonald’s, a man came up and gave him hell for being a skinhead. (It was winter in Boston, he had on snow boots and a long trench coat.)
He waited out the rant, and then said very calmly, “I’m so sorry, sir, that you are upset by my baldness from the CANCER I have.” The man just about died on the spot. Then again, Mark always had a sense of humor about his illness in general. He carried around a bucket after chemo that he named something like “Mr. Yuck-It the Chemo Puke Bucket” and performed Aretha Franklin’s Respect with his a capella group while dancing with his IV pole.
Anyway. I’m with Dave. Insist you aren’t pregnant. Invite people to rub your tumor!