As a librarian, I live for questions. I love finding answers. I will hunt online for the answer to a student’s question for an hour after he or she has left the library, then email the student’s homeroom teacher to say, “I found it! Send <name> back to the library when you have a chance!”
In the library, I’m a big question-loving nerd girl.
Personally, though? I’m not a fan of questions. Blame it on my introverted personality, but I prefer to share what I want and not be asked to give up information I haven’t volunteered. And never did I hate questions more than when I was pregnant.
A Facebook friend who is very pregnant at the moment just posted a link to this site, named after the question women in late pregnancy probably hear most often: “Have you had that baby yet?” Listen to me, friends, and listen carefully: You know the answer to this question. She knows the answer to this question. If you are thinking of asking a pregnant woman this question–DON’T. You are not cute. You are not funny. You are not clever. What you are, to the pregnant woman you are asking this of, is irritating beyond reasonable belief.
Pregnancy is hard–mentally, physically, emotionally hard. And the last thing a pregnant woman wants to do is answer a host of questions from everyone from family members to co-workers to strangers every time she sets foot outside of her house. But since I love to be helpful, I’m going to do you a solid and give you answers to the most common, most annoying questions that I heard while pregnant.
- “Is it a boy or a girl?” If I want you to know, I will tell you.
- “What’s the name?” See question 1. Are you noticing a pattern here? You should be.
- “How are you feeling?” Do you really want to know? And are you prepared to help make the situation better when I tell you? If so, then ask away. But if you’re asking just because you think it’s polite–don’t.
- “Can I touch your belly?” First, thank you for asking. You’d be surprised how many people treat pregnant bellies like public property. Second, no, not unless you helped put this baby in here or you’re going to be helping to get it out.
- “Aren’t you scared of labor?” Actually, I was really looking forward to squeezing something the size of a watermelon out of an opening the size of an apple. Listen, people, if you’re talking to a first-time mom, or even a lot of experienced moms, she’s scared. And she’s trying really, really hard not to think about it. So thank you so much for bringing it up.
I’m sure my many mommy friends could come up with even more. I get that everyone loves babies, and pregnancy from the outside seems exciting and wonderful. And it is, in many, many ways. But stop with the questions. Because odds are, there’s probably only one question your pregnant friend wants to hear:
“How can I help?” Trust me, she’ll welcome this one. Just don’t be surprised if the answer is, “Stop asking me questions.”