It's my fourth pregnancy, and unless I am accompanied by my three boys, everyone is shocked to hear this. They don't even perceive how bored I am with their unoriginal questions. I honestly don't know what's worse, though. Someone who just keeps looking at me and smiling at my "precious cargo", or the tactless person that races me and my cart in the Costco parking lot so they can catch up to me to ask me when I'm due. Seriously!? You don't know me, likely have never seen me, likely never will again. Why MUST you be sure to bring my giant belly deformity to attention. I mean, pregnancy is technically a medical condition which requires, close and regular follow-up. No one sprints up to the person with an obvious left-sided deficit from a recent stroke to ask about their medical condition. It is actually considered rude and socially unacceptable to stare at people with gross, physical deformities (and I don't mean gross like disgusting, I mean gross like in the pathological diagnosis sense). Just because the creation and bearing of children is generally regarded as a purely happy phenomenon, doesn't mean you can assume anything. It's not a happy experience for everyone. There are a million different circumstances in which people are pregnant, and it should be their experience to have, and not be required to be shared with every person who thinks it's adorable.
It's not cute. My clothes hardly cover by belly, my pants constantly falling down, and I only have about 3 things that are comfy to wear. When you get up from your seat and insist I sit, I will reject you. Sitting is no longer comfortable. Standing isn't either. Nor is sleeping. I am giant. Just let me be. Don't tell me I "need to eat to feed the baby." I birth huge, healthy children, I weigh over 200lbs, I don't think eating is a concern. And as you tell me I need to sit, and eat, you then ask me when I am due, and are shocked that I still have 7 weeks to go...and inevitably the twin topic is broached. No, it's one fetus. It will be 10 pounds. A lot of people have two 5 pounders as twins AND, as stated above, I am not naturally a "small" person anyhow.
Most recently though, I have had a new late pregnancy experience. When I am in public with my 3 boys, it has become routine for people to bluntly ask, "is this one a girl!?" Originally, I would just fake smile, shrug my shoulders and say, "we don't know". I still do this mostly, but one time, someone caught me so off-guard, and I was so flustered that I just said "no". As in "No, I don't know", but I just didn't have time to finish my complete thought before she gave me such the look of pity. As if having a 4th boy would be a tragedy. It truly pissed me off. I mean, what a bizarre reaction! You people all go from looking at me and smiling at my miracle, to feeling sorry for me because it might be a 4th boy? I have since said "no" to a few other strangers, and gotten quite the range of reactions, but none of them have been congratulatory. One woman told me she has 9 sisters and no brothers and "that you have to stop trying at some point". As if assuming I am just going to keep birthing children until I "get" a girl. It's an extremely interesting social experiment. A good friend of mine is expecting her 4th boy, after years of fertility issues, heart break, thousands of dollars spent on procedures to help her conceive these wonderful boys. Do you think she feels sorry for herself because all of these amazing miracles, that for a fleeting moment she thought might be impossible, turned out to all be the same sex? And if this one does turn out to be a girl, and I don't have another, will everyone assume that's because "Mission: produce an O'Laughlin female" is complete?
To be clear, if I specifically talk to you about my pregnancy, often, you are free to discuss it with me all you want. You can even smile at me if you like...though, if you know me, you won't do it. I don't even mind when my family and friends touch my belly. This baby will be part of their lives too, eventually. As for you strangers, you will never meet 4.O, so don't worry about it. In my defense, I have never looked at another pregnant woman and smiled while pregnant. And almost no other pregnant woman has looked at me and smiled. We all have a mutual understanding. We all feel one another's pain. We see that it's not cute. We are all just trying to distract ourselves until that wonderful little bundle finally arrives. Then, I will be happy again. I will smile at strangers. I will let them marvel at my beautiful miracle. Because, a newborn, my friends, is not only cute, but stinking adorable!
|An example of how "not cute" my current condition is (photo concept and composition compliments of Brock.)|