In response to 10 Things Pregnant Women Do Not Want to Hear Coming Out of Your Mouth, IVFConnections would like to present the 10 Things Pregnant Infertiles Don't Mind Hearing:
1. "Oh my goodness, my labor was absolutely horrifying. Worst pain of my life."
She is perfectly capable of visualizing worst-case scenarios in her own head without any help, thank you very much. No need to tell her some miserable story about stretching or ripping or sh*tting (or some sort of horrific trifecta) that will haunt her for the hours/days/weeks after she hears it.
Wow, you know, I'm amazed you're sharing this with me after years of having you awkwardly avoid the subject of pregnancy with me. I'm pregnant - I'm in the club now! I can barely believe I'm pregnant, so I sure as heck can't picture labor and delivery. I mean, I know she's in there right now, but this pregnancy is a complete and total dream. I've endured countless uncomfortable diagnostic tests, surgeries, and procedures to try and get pregnant. I've given myself two shots a day, had my ovaries punctured repeatedly, and have adhered to the strictest medical protocols. I've had three chemical pregnancies, a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy.
So ... labor may hurt, but I guarantee I don't care! Bring it on. It's worth every minute of agony to finally have a child.
2. "I only gained 17 pounds during my pregnancy. I totally craved organic apples and rice cakes the whole time!"
Yeah, you're a freak of nature. Step away from her and her artificially flavored puffed cheese snack food or she might place that crinkly bag over your head and suffocate you with it. That is, after she creases the bag into a v-shape and finishes pouring the last of the crumbs into her mouth.
Really? I've been forced into hormonal menopause and given ridiculous amounts of hormones in repeated cycles. I've gained and lost more weight in the past three years than I could ever have imagined. Hell, I gained 17 pounds of fluid - in my abdomen - when I ended up with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome after that last fresh IVF cycle.
I don't care if I gain weight. Or lose weight. Or stay the same. As long as I have a healthy pregnancy with no scares, you won't hear one word out of me about weight gain. Totally, totally worth it.
3. "Oh my, your bump is getting bigger every day!"
The ugly cousin to the "You must be due any day!" comment. Believe it or not, pregnant women are pretty attuned to their bodies and can tell when their skin is stretched to the limit and their organs are getting mashed and wedged into every available space inside their bodies. They can really feel that extra 30+ pounds they are carrying with them every time they take the stairs, too.
Really? You're noticing it? Oh my god, this is really happening! I'm pregnant. And she's growing in there.
Look at me! Isn't it amazing?! I'm pregnant! Oh please let me stay pregnant. Please please let me have this baby.
4. "How long are you planning to breastfeed/pump?"
Or any other questions or advice at all related to why/how/when/where she is going to nourish her child. It's none of your freaking business. Until you've lived INSIDE her body and/or analyzed her genetic makeup and/or gone through her exact life situation, you are in no position to offer unwanted advice or analysis about her child's nutrition.
To be honest, I've been thinking about this issue a lot over the past seven years. I've read every book and blog there is, and I've talked to four lactation consultants already. I've imagined what things will be like when I have the baby, but to be honest, I still don't believe I'm pregnant.
So while I've got ideas about what our plans will be, I've learned the hard way that none of this is really in my control. I'm going to wait until I have this baby in my arms - then I'll believe it has happened, and we'll make a decision.
5. "Are you supposed to be eating/drinking/doing that?"
Unless she's drinking a six-pack of beer or chain-smoking cigarettes, I'd say it's safe to assume that she's making sensible decisions for her unborn child, based on advice from her doctor. If you're questioning something as ridiculously benign as feeding her baby salty/fatty processed puffed cheese snack food, refer to the possible consequence described in number two.
Why? What have you heard? What are the findings from the peer-reviewed medical research you've read on this subject? Have you found any meta analyses of that theory? You know, after dealing with infertility for seven years I've gotten pretty good at digging through the medical research and learning what I need to know. In fact, I have my own subscription to Fertility and Sterility.
If you have some real, legitimate information here, then I want to learn it. So tell me what you know - help me keep this pregnancy as safe as I can.
6. "When I get pregnant I'm going to _________________."
(Insert eyeroll here.) Yeah, shut it. You have no idea what you're going to do. Even if you've already had one, the second (or third or...) time around can be a whole different ball game. In reality, you will do what the baby tells you to do. It's nature's prep for when the baby is here and is in charge in person.
Wow, I have no idea what it feels like to be so confident about getting pregnant. I used to think getting pregnant was a given ... that it was something that would be ridiculously easy to do (and hard to avoid!). I've never gotten pregnant on my own and I've had three failed IUIs, two failed fresh IVF cycles and four failed frozen IVF cycles.
I have no idea what I'd do if I ever got pregnant, because I'm afraid I never will.
7. "We're out of doughnuts in the lounge."
The horror! The horror! Even if she's never enjoyed a peanut-covered doughnut in her entire life, there might be a day during her pregnancy when ALL SHE CAN THINK ABOUT is swallowing a peanut-covered doughnut, and hearing the news that the peanut-covered-doughnut-eating opportunity has been stolen from her can be devastating. Don't be the messenger.
Bummer. I was just headed over to have one. Wow - I can't believe I finally get to say this: baby wants doughnuts!
Let me grab my keys and I'll head out to Dunkin Donuts for reinforcements. I worked hard to get pregnant. I went through hell. If baby wants doughnuts, I'm going to go get doughnuts. Now!
8. "How are you feeling?"
A seemingly friendly question, I know. But even the most grateful of grateful and fittest of fit feel about the same way. Pregnant. She's feeling pregnant. Exhaustingly, whale-ishly, hormonally pregnant. She feels like sh*t and wants to stab everyone around her in the eye with a fork. Even if she feels happy, she also feels like sobbing. Frankly, it takes physical and emotional energy she doesn't have to fake a smile and tell you she's feeling just fine. Don't steal precious energy away from the baby by asking this question. Stop harming the unborn babies!
Scared. And lucky. And incredibly grateful.
Scared, lucky and grateful. That about sums it up.
9. "Hi Mommy!"
OK, hearing anyone other than your own offspring call you "Mommy" is just disturbing as hell. It's not even sort of cute. Pure creep-o, right there. If it's said in a high-pitched voice, it makes her think you might actually be psycho enough to try to murder her in her sleep. Stop creeping her out.
For the fiftieth time today ... wow. I can't believe I'm pregnant. Seriously. And hopefully, if these last seven weeks go as planned, I'll be looking into the amazing eyes of my beautiful baby. And I'm going to be her mommy.
I'm going to be a mommy. I am so lucky.
10. "Shrimp." "Raw chicken." "Mangoes."
Or any other word that conjures up even the notion of a smell so offensive that it makes her literally gag just from hearing the utterance. I realize you may not know ahead of time which word will cause this response (especially if it's something seemingly non-gagworthy, such as the word "dust" or "wall"), so just let the bobbing Adam's apple be your guide.
While I don't particularly like feeling nauseated, I don't really mind, either. I mean, every time my stomach does a flip-flop, I know that my hCG is increasing and my body is responding in a normal way to becoming pregnant. In fact, if the nausea goes away, that is going to freak me out and make me worry that something is wrong.
Bleah. I'd rather not think about it, but thanks for the reminder. I'm pregnant! And lucky. And scared. And incredibly grateful.