Telling people you’re pregnant is one of the coolest things you get to do in your life. Having your friends and family get involved and be almost as excited as you for the new arrival is pretty special – providing they go about it the right way! I’ve learned most people will say ‘congrats’, ask a couple of questions and all will be well with the world. Other people just seem to go a bit weird about it! So here’s a list of some of the odd reactions I’ve had about:
- Touching. This is one of the first things which happens when you’re pregnant, suddenly the whole world is allowed to touch you. I’m pretty convinced if I got on to a bus full of people and touched each of their bellies in turn, I would get punched in the face at least twice. At the very least, if I was in a nice area, I’d get some funny looks. But somehow because there’s something growing in there it’s fine to have a good old rub – even very early on when there is definitely no bump. Now clearly, Dylan touching my bump is fine, friends and family fine (although I’d prefer they ask first rather than launch themselves on me like a pack of wolves hungry for blood – or in this case for foetus fondling), people I hardly know = big fat no! I may touch you back, be warned.
- ‘Were you trying?’ This to me is one of the oddest things I’ve been asked, and not just by one person either, quite a few. When I hear someone’s pregnant I’m delighted for them, I ask when it’s due, how they’re feeling, if they know what gender it is etc. I don’t start pondering whether their contraceptives failed them or whether they’d been having unprotected sex. I feel almost like I have to validate my pregnancy by reassuring people I hardly know that yes, I am able to operate contraceptives correctly and yes, we were trying thanks. My personal thoughts are – if I’m close enough to you, you’ll have told me you were trying for a baby. If I don’t know, it’s probably not okay to ask.
- ‘It’s definitely a boy/girl’. 20 seconds ago they didn’t even know the child existed, now they can tell for sure what gender it is by having had the quickest of glances at your (usually clothed) belly. They are so sure, they’d bet their lifetime’s earnings, house and husband on it. They will then back this up with some ridiculous old wives’ tale – definitely a boy because the sun’s out today. Definitely a girl because someone else they know is having a boy so ying/yang, it’s all got to balance out right? Yes, I have had a feeling from the start which one (and I’ll know if I’m right or not by the time you read this) but I’m actually carrying the baby! Plus I still only have a 50 per cent chance of being right.
- ‘I wasn’t sick once’. Well hooray for you, excuse me while I hurl the contents of my stomach out through my mouth for the fifth time today. I’m really glad for you that your pregnancy was such a breeze and I’ll be sure to think of that next time I’m flushing my breakfast down the toilet for the 100th day in a row. Please do come and be more smug around me any time you like. (The only good thing about this one is you can’t hit a pregnant woman even if she hits you first, right?)
- ‘Oh okay’. This is quite a sweet one as opposed to the annoyances listed above. When I told my dad he was going to be a granddad for the first time his reaction was ‘oh okay’. He is actually really pleased and has been really supportive throughout my pregnancy. He’s just not one for jumping around screaming, clearly!
Did any reactions annoy you when you shared your pregnancy news?
Harriet and bump x