Now why would you say that?

I spend some time each week reading birth month message boards on BabyCenter.com. The majority of what I see there isn’t helpful or even interesting, but there are those occasional gems. It’s been helpful to hear from other women who are having the same weird little symptoms. Then I know not to worry. And there were some women who were very helpful when we got the echogenic focus on the ultrasound.

But there’s a vast lot of complaining going on there as well. You may have noticed that I’m no stranger, and I would immediately concede that point. But there’s one subset of complaints that gets a particularly big eye roll from me. The genuine upset, outrage even, women express over hearing things like, “You’re getting really big now!” or even “How are you feeling?” You know, I get it. I get asked, “How are you feeling?” many times a day. It can be a little exhausting. But how could I really mind? It’s nice that people care, and I appreciate that. And I really think comments on my size are a way of expressing excitement at my progress, not sneaky ways of taking a shot at me. I think a shot like that would be readily apparent.

So far I’ve only heard three things that have stopped me in my tracks. All three of them were innocent, I know. But the first two in particular made me wonder what on earth that person was thinking. Funnily enough, it’s the third one that makes the most sense and was also the only one that make me feel a real surge of anger.

1. Our lovely tech support director and all-around great guy came to my office a few months to do some thing or another. He has an adorable toddler daughter and his wife is expecting again. He’s very excited that I’m pregnant and hilariously asked me lots of questions about whether I was planning natural childbirth and breastfeeding. And then he spent close to an hour telling me short stories along the lines of (image in Jersey accent): “Just be careful. My neighbor was seven months pregnant when she moved a couch and the baby died!” He had lots of them. There was also a subset of hospital/delivery horror stories. “Yeah, you know, you can get permanent disability from terbutaline. I mean, if you were to go into labor early you’d have to take it. But, you know, you could wind up never the same again.” I’m entertained by his interest in the minutia of pregnancy and delivery, and was not worried by his medical crackpot prognostications. I know in his own weird way he was trying to protect me.

2. Just last week I was eating lunch with some of the editors at work. These women have dedicated their professional lives to communicating with other women. I was eating a smoked tuna sushi roll. I’m resisting the urge here to defend my food choices, and am going to just move forward because that’s not what this post is about. Anyway, one of the other editors has a six-month-old and we were talking about how pregnancy changes what you can eat. I said that my doctor is fine with sushi, as long as I am well familiar with and confident of the source. That’s when one of the most senior editors says, “Yeah, I guess there are two kinds of things you have to consider when you’re pregnant. The first has a cumulative effect, like alcohol. A little bit won’t hurt your pregnancy but the more you ingest the more likely you are to hurt the baby. And then there’s stuff like sushi, where most of it is fine but if you happen to get the wrong bite then the baby dies.” Now, that’s true. And I also don’t think for one second she was trying to backhand me over my lunch. She was just being so academic that she forgot she was talking to humans. Afterward the new mom and I had a good laugh as she kept saying, “I CANNOT believe she said that.”

3. This was just this Friday. I was chatting with an editor who had a baby in the fall of last year. She asked how far along I am and I said I’m bumping up against 32 weeks. She said something like, “Oh good. It’s when you reach 33 weeks that they can survive if they’re born then.” This is the one that made me want to smash my quesadilla (snacking again) into her face. First, that’s not true. Lots of babies born at my gestational stage or earlier survive. Of course each week improves his chances of good health. But crossing into survivable territory was one of the most important emotional points of my pregnancy. The relief was phenomenal. And at that moment I felt like she, with her based-on-nothing-scientific opinion, was trying to take that peace of mind away. (I know that’s not really what she was trying to do.) But I could have rained fire and brimstone on her at that moment. Just re-telling the story makes me feel a little chafed.

That’s really been the worst of the commentary. At least if you don’t count my mom’s early arguments that our decision not to circumcise and our decision to call our son by his middle rather than his first name (just like Damon) both have the potential to ruin his life. She surrendered both those arguments pretty gracefully. The name thing after one go-round, the circumcision thing after about three. And she wasn’t nasty about it, so I was laughing through each argument. I can usually get away with the cheap derail when I change the topic to how I hope he turns out to be gay. There’s more to that story, but that’s another post as well.

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72 responses to this post.

  1. I do not advocate violence under any circumstances. Well, most circumstances.
    But if some dipstick makes a remark that sets you off like that again, you can always just take action and then just say, “Oops. I’m just not myself.”

    Reply

  2. I do not advocate violence under any circumstances. Well, most circumstances.
    But if some dipstick makes a remark that sets you off like that again, you can always just take action and then just say, “Oops. I’m just not myself.”

    Reply

  3. I do not advocate violence under any circumstances. Well, most circumstances.
    But if some dipstick makes a remark that sets you off like that again, you can always just take action and then just say, “Oops. I’m just not myself.”

    Reply

  4. I do not advocate violence under any circumstances. Well, most circumstances.
    But if some dipstick makes a remark that sets you off like that again, you can always just take action and then just say, “Oops. I’m just not myself.”

    Reply

  5. I do not advocate violence under any circumstances. Well, most circumstances.
    But if some dipstick makes a remark that sets you off like that again, you can always just take action and then just say, “Oops. I’m just not myself.”

    Reply

  6. I do not advocate violence under any circumstances. Well, most circumstances.
    But if some dipstick makes a remark that sets you off like that again, you can always just take action and then just say, “Oops. I’m just not myself.”

    Reply

  7. Damon has agreed not to circumcise his son? Good for him! Please smack him upside the head for the s#*t he (and Al…and Tim) gave me. 🙂

    Reply

  8. Damon has agreed not to circumcise his son? Good for him! Please smack him upside the head for the s#*t he (and Al…and Tim) gave me. 🙂

    Reply

    • I most certainly will. Funny how he didn’t mention hassling you. It was actually very easy to get his agreement once he moved past his knee-jerk reaction and really thought about it.

      Reply

      • I think he was just trying to save face in front of Al and Tim. I always knew Damon was a more enlightened form of man.

      • He’s pretty enlightened. And also such a soft touch. When it came down to him imagining someone cutting his own little baby it got much easier for him to change his mind.

      • I’ll tell you, after my boys were born, I was so glad we’d decided not to circumcise, because they were SO TINY. Yikes.

      • I’ll tell you, after my boys were born, I was so glad we’d decided not to circumcise, because they were SO TINY. Yikes.

      • I’ll tell you, after my boys were born, I was so glad we’d decided not to circumcise, because they were SO TINY. Yikes.

      • I’ll tell you, after my boys were born, I was so glad we’d decided not to circumcise, because they were SO TINY. Yikes.

      • I’ll tell you, after my boys were born, I was so glad we’d decided not to circumcise, because they were SO TINY. Yikes.

      • He’s pretty enlightened. And also such a soft touch. When it came down to him imagining someone cutting his own little baby it got much easier for him to change his mind.

      • He’s pretty enlightened. And also such a soft touch. When it came down to him imagining someone cutting his own little baby it got much easier for him to change his mind.

      • He’s pretty enlightened. And also such a soft touch. When it came down to him imagining someone cutting his own little baby it got much easier for him to change his mind.

      • He’s pretty enlightened. And also such a soft touch. When it came down to him imagining someone cutting his own little baby it got much easier for him to change his mind.

      • I think he was just trying to save face in front of Al and Tim. I always knew Damon was a more enlightened form of man.

      • I think he was just trying to save face in front of Al and Tim. I always knew Damon was a more enlightened form of man.

      • I think he was just trying to save face in front of Al and Tim. I always knew Damon was a more enlightened form of man.

      • I think he was just trying to save face in front of Al and Tim. I always knew Damon was a more enlightened form of man.

    • I most certainly will. Funny how he didn’t mention hassling you. It was actually very easy to get his agreement once he moved past his knee-jerk reaction and really thought about it.

      Reply

    • I most certainly will. Funny how he didn’t mention hassling you. It was actually very easy to get his agreement once he moved past his knee-jerk reaction and really thought about it.

      Reply

    • I most certainly will. Funny how he didn’t mention hassling you. It was actually very easy to get his agreement once he moved past his knee-jerk reaction and really thought about it.

      Reply

    • I most certainly will. Funny how he didn’t mention hassling you. It was actually very easy to get his agreement once he moved past his knee-jerk reaction and really thought about it.

      Reply

  9. Damon has agreed not to circumcise his son? Good for him! Please smack him upside the head for the s#*t he (and Al…and Tim) gave me. 🙂

    Reply

  10. Damon has agreed not to circumcise his son? Good for him! Please smack him upside the head for the s#*t he (and Al…and Tim) gave me. 🙂

    Reply

  11. Damon has agreed not to circumcise his son? Good for him! Please smack him upside the head for the s#*t he (and Al…and Tim) gave me. 🙂

    Reply

  12. Damon has agreed not to circumcise his son? Good for him! Please smack him upside the head for the s#*t he (and Al…and Tim) gave me. 🙂

    Reply

  13. If anyone gives you flack about eating sushi, calmly point out that some experts think that the thing that scares moms and docs about sushi is something you are more likely to get with cooked supermarket fish at home than with raw sushi grade fish at a restaurant…as in not freakin bloody likely at all.
    if you need some documentation on that, im sure b can point you to it. he found it for me.
    I didn’t really mind people asking how I was until after my duedate… But I also recognized that I was bitchy and it wasnt the fault of the person calling to check on me and just stopped answering the phone.

    Reply

  14. If anyone gives you flack about eating sushi, calmly point out that some experts think that the thing that scares moms and docs about sushi is something you are more likely to get with cooked supermarket fish at home than with raw sushi grade fish at a restaurant…as in not freakin bloody likely at all.
    if you need some documentation on that, im sure b can point you to it. he found it for me.
    I didn’t really mind people asking how I was until after my duedate… But I also recognized that I was bitchy and it wasnt the fault of the person calling to check on me and just stopped answering the phone.

    Reply

    • I’m with you on the sushi thing. As my doctor has pointed out, millions of Japanese women eat sushi all the time and they don’t have rampaging lysteria epidemics. The people there just generally know how to handle and pick sushi.
      I haven’t had more than one or two passes at raw sushi (I still eat cooked stuff), and even then it’s been the smoked pieces. But it’s been very necessary for my mental health. But yes, the fish sitting out in ice in the supermarket rates far more caution in my book.
      The second I give birth I want a beautiful piece of toro and a glass of sangria. It probably won’t work out that way, but that’s my fantasy.

      Reply

      • If I lived there I would totally make sure it worked out that way for you. I had sushi delivered to my postpartum room after Ivy was born. Seriously…best.fish.ever.

      • If I lived there I would totally make sure it worked out that way for you. I had sushi delivered to my postpartum room after Ivy was born. Seriously…best.fish.ever.

      • If I lived there I would totally make sure it worked out that way for you. I had sushi delivered to my postpartum room after Ivy was born. Seriously…best.fish.ever.

      • If I lived there I would totally make sure it worked out that way for you. I had sushi delivered to my postpartum room after Ivy was born. Seriously…best.fish.ever.

      • If I lived there I would totally make sure it worked out that way for you. I had sushi delivered to my postpartum room after Ivy was born. Seriously…best.fish.ever.

    • I’m with you on the sushi thing. As my doctor has pointed out, millions of Japanese women eat sushi all the time and they don’t have rampaging lysteria epidemics. The people there just generally know how to handle and pick sushi.
      I haven’t had more than one or two passes at raw sushi (I still eat cooked stuff), and even then it’s been the smoked pieces. But it’s been very necessary for my mental health. But yes, the fish sitting out in ice in the supermarket rates far more caution in my book.
      The second I give birth I want a beautiful piece of toro and a glass of sangria. It probably won’t work out that way, but that’s my fantasy.

      Reply

    • I’m with you on the sushi thing. As my doctor has pointed out, millions of Japanese women eat sushi all the time and they don’t have rampaging lysteria epidemics. The people there just generally know how to handle and pick sushi.
      I haven’t had more than one or two passes at raw sushi (I still eat cooked stuff), and even then it’s been the smoked pieces. But it’s been very necessary for my mental health. But yes, the fish sitting out in ice in the supermarket rates far more caution in my book.
      The second I give birth I want a beautiful piece of toro and a glass of sangria. It probably won’t work out that way, but that’s my fantasy.

      Reply

    • I’m with you on the sushi thing. As my doctor has pointed out, millions of Japanese women eat sushi all the time and they don’t have rampaging lysteria epidemics. The people there just generally know how to handle and pick sushi.
      I haven’t had more than one or two passes at raw sushi (I still eat cooked stuff), and even then it’s been the smoked pieces. But it’s been very necessary for my mental health. But yes, the fish sitting out in ice in the supermarket rates far more caution in my book.
      The second I give birth I want a beautiful piece of toro and a glass of sangria. It probably won’t work out that way, but that’s my fantasy.

      Reply

    • I’m with you on the sushi thing. As my doctor has pointed out, millions of Japanese women eat sushi all the time and they don’t have rampaging lysteria epidemics. The people there just generally know how to handle and pick sushi.
      I haven’t had more than one or two passes at raw sushi (I still eat cooked stuff), and even then it’s been the smoked pieces. But it’s been very necessary for my mental health. But yes, the fish sitting out in ice in the supermarket rates far more caution in my book.
      The second I give birth I want a beautiful piece of toro and a glass of sangria. It probably won’t work out that way, but that’s my fantasy.

      Reply

  15. If anyone gives you flack about eating sushi, calmly point out that some experts think that the thing that scares moms and docs about sushi is something you are more likely to get with cooked supermarket fish at home than with raw sushi grade fish at a restaurant…as in not freakin bloody likely at all.
    if you need some documentation on that, im sure b can point you to it. he found it for me.
    I didn’t really mind people asking how I was until after my duedate… But I also recognized that I was bitchy and it wasnt the fault of the person calling to check on me and just stopped answering the phone.

    Reply

  16. If anyone gives you flack about eating sushi, calmly point out that some experts think that the thing that scares moms and docs about sushi is something you are more likely to get with cooked supermarket fish at home than with raw sushi grade fish at a restaurant…as in not freakin bloody likely at all.
    if you need some documentation on that, im sure b can point you to it. he found it for me.
    I didn’t really mind people asking how I was until after my duedate… But I also recognized that I was bitchy and it wasnt the fault of the person calling to check on me and just stopped answering the phone.

    Reply

  17. If anyone gives you flack about eating sushi, calmly point out that some experts think that the thing that scares moms and docs about sushi is something you are more likely to get with cooked supermarket fish at home than with raw sushi grade fish at a restaurant…as in not freakin bloody likely at all.
    if you need some documentation on that, im sure b can point you to it. he found it for me.
    I didn’t really mind people asking how I was until after my duedate… But I also recognized that I was bitchy and it wasnt the fault of the person calling to check on me and just stopped answering the phone.

    Reply

  18. If anyone gives you flack about eating sushi, calmly point out that some experts think that the thing that scares moms and docs about sushi is something you are more likely to get with cooked supermarket fish at home than with raw sushi grade fish at a restaurant…as in not freakin bloody likely at all.
    if you need some documentation on that, im sure b can point you to it. he found it for me.
    I didn’t really mind people asking how I was until after my duedate… But I also recognized that I was bitchy and it wasnt the fault of the person calling to check on me and just stopped answering the phone.

    Reply

  19. Ah, I think the bottom line here is: the baby is safe unless you are moving a couch while eating sushi during your 32nd week.
    🙂

    Reply

  20. Ah, I think the bottom line here is: the baby is safe unless you are moving a couch while eating sushi during your 32nd week.
    🙂

    Reply

  21. Ah, I think the bottom line here is: the baby is safe unless you are moving a couch while eating sushi during your 32nd week.
    🙂

    Reply

  22. Ah, I think the bottom line here is: the baby is safe unless you are moving a couch while eating sushi during your 32nd week.
    🙂

    Reply

  23. Ah, I think the bottom line here is: the baby is safe unless you are moving a couch while eating sushi during your 32nd week.
    🙂

    Reply

  24. Ah, I think the bottom line here is: the baby is safe unless you are moving a couch while eating sushi during your 32nd week.
    🙂

    Reply

  25. I most certainly will. Funny how he didn’t mention hassling you. It was actually very easy to get his agreement once he moved past his knee-jerk reaction and really thought about it.

    Reply

  26. I’m with you on the sushi thing. As my doctor has pointed out, millions of Japanese women eat sushi all the time and they don’t have rampaging lysteria epidemics. The people there just generally know how to handle and pick sushi.
    I haven’t had more than one or two passes at raw sushi (I still eat cooked stuff), and even then it’s been the smoked pieces. But it’s been very necessary for my mental health. But yes, the fish sitting out in ice in the supermarket rates far more caution in my book.
    The second I give birth I want a beautiful piece of toro and a glass of sangria. It probably won’t work out that way, but that’s my fantasy.

    Reply

  27. So true! And since the chances of me moving anything bigger than my own fat belly are pretty slim, I guess we’re good to go.

    Reply

  28. I think he was just trying to save face in front of Al and Tim. I always knew Damon was a more enlightened form of man.

    Reply

  29. He’s pretty enlightened. And also such a soft touch. When it came down to him imagining someone cutting his own little baby it got much easier for him to change his mind.

    Reply

  30. I’ll tell you, after my boys were born, I was so glad we’d decided not to circumcise, because they were SO TINY. Yikes.

    Reply

  31. If I lived there I would totally make sure it worked out that way for you. I had sushi delivered to my postpartum room after Ivy was born. Seriously…best.fish.ever.

    Reply

  32. People love the horror stories, don’t they? They also like failure stories that start with, “You think that now, but natural birth/breastfeeding/whatever is SO HARD and you probably can’t do it/won’t like it/whatever.” Ugh.
    I never minded being asked how I was doing. I do, however, loathe the expression “ready to pop” and find it unforgiveable. 🙂
    I’m glad to hear you aren’t circumcising.

    Reply

  33. People love the horror stories, don’t they? They also like failure stories that start with, “You think that now, but natural birth/breastfeeding/whatever is SO HARD and you probably can’t do it/won’t like it/whatever.” Ugh.
    I never minded being asked how I was doing. I do, however, loathe the expression “ready to pop” and find it unforgiveable. 🙂
    I’m glad to hear you aren’t circumcising.

    Reply

  34. People love the horror stories, don’t they? They also like failure stories that start with, “You think that now, but natural birth/breastfeeding/whatever is SO HARD and you probably can’t do it/won’t like it/whatever.” Ugh.
    I never minded being asked how I was doing. I do, however, loathe the expression “ready to pop” and find it unforgiveable. 🙂
    I’m glad to hear you aren’t circumcising.

    Reply

  35. People love the horror stories, don’t they? They also like failure stories that start with, “You think that now, but natural birth/breastfeeding/whatever is SO HARD and you probably can’t do it/won’t like it/whatever.” Ugh.
    I never minded being asked how I was doing. I do, however, loathe the expression “ready to pop” and find it unforgiveable. 🙂
    I’m glad to hear you aren’t circumcising.

    Reply

  36. People love the horror stories, don’t they? They also like failure stories that start with, “You think that now, but natural birth/breastfeeding/whatever is SO HARD and you probably can’t do it/won’t like it/whatever.” Ugh.
    I never minded being asked how I was doing. I do, however, loathe the expression “ready to pop” and find it unforgiveable. 🙂
    I’m glad to hear you aren’t circumcising.

    Reply

  37. People love the horror stories, don’t they? They also like failure stories that start with, “You think that now, but natural birth/breastfeeding/whatever is SO HARD and you probably can’t do it/won’t like it/whatever.” Ugh.
    I never minded being asked how I was doing. I do, however, loathe the expression “ready to pop” and find it unforgiveable. 🙂
    I’m glad to hear you aren’t circumcising.

    Reply

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