The first two times I was pregnant, people were generally pretty polite and nice to me. Sure, I had the occasional tummy rub from a stranger and a couple of questioning looks when I looked more chunky than preggo in the early months, but mostly people were gracious, sweet, and congratulatory.
My third pregnancy, seven years AFTER my first, has been a little different. It might be because for many people I know who are educated, liberal types, having more than two children biologically is considered bad and selfish. Or maybe it's just because for a lot of people who have trouble conceiving, a third (or fourth or fifth) pregnancy just feels greedy.
Whatever the reason, I have had some stunningly rude comments about my baby bump this time, and I asked around and most of my friends with 2+ kids have heard similar things. Here are the 10 rudest things we have heard:
1.) "Do you actually know where babies come from?" This gem came to me via a friend of a friend. I so wanted to point out that that there are five years between my last and my second to last because I know VERY well where babies come from and this baby was very deliberate and planned.
2.) "Uh-oh, now you can't call yourself an environmentalist, you are going to need a big gas guzzler." This one angers me because it's usually said by some smug hippy who has no clue. We are actually never going to get an SUV. We may get a minivan down the line, but for now, we are going to fit just fine in our non-gas guzzling vehicles.
3.) "Couldn't you have adopted? The world is so overpopulated already?" Anyone who says this clearly has no idea how difficult it is to adopt. My husband and I had actually always planned to have two and then adopt a third, but when we started filling out the paperwork and looking into it, it was an incredibly daunting, potentially painful, and very expensive endeavor. I respect anyone who can go through with it so very, very much. But it wasn't for us. And it's not for anyone to assume it's easy, either.
4.) "Haven't you heard of ZPG?" Yep. Zero population growth. I've heard of it. I guess I really am just a selfish, resource sucking jerk. But hey, at least I am not totally uncouth, judgmental, and sanctimonious!
5.) Nothing at all. I have had more than one person in my life simply say nothing or ignore the pregnancy entirely. I know that some of them have struggled to conceive, so I try to be understanding, but it's hurtful. Plain and simple.
6.) "Is this your little 'oopsie'?" Why is it so hard to believe that people -- even those of us who have the "perfect" boy and girl -- might still choose to go for number three because that's the number of children we WANT? Is that really so weird?
7.) "Why do you have a gender preference when you already have one of each?" The reality is, some people do prefer one gender over another. Let's not make them feel more guilty about it just because we didn't. It's not really our place to judge.
8.) "Trying for that boy/girl, I bet." This one is often said to mamas whose first two were the same sex. It's potentially very hurtful because, no, we can't control the sex of our babies, and also, maybe we want all of one sex. Maybe we don't care. Maybe it's not anyone's business to assume.
9.) "Are you, like, religious?" Contrary to popular belief, people often have bigger families for reasons OTHER than spirituality. Some people just want bigger families.
10.) "OMG! Three/Four/Five is the most stressful number of kids. Your life is over now!" OK, I get it, more than one or two babies isn't for you. But come on? How is that helpful? Most pregnant women are already stressed enough.
What rude things did people say to you after pregnancy number two?
Image via Ben Salter/Flickr