I’m at the end of my pregnancy. A blissful time when you can justify everything from eating ice cream for dinner to asking your husband to install a towel hook in the guest bathroom at 10 p.m. It’s also a time to reflect on all that’s come before: 40 weeks of growing a human and also saying goodbye to occasionally feeling like one who is under a microscope.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing when an elderly woman looks upon your swollen body and exclaims how excited she is for you and all that is ahead. When people tell you, you look beautiful when you’ve put on 30 pounds. When someone offers to load your groceries. However, by the end of your pregnancy you have probably answered some of the same questions at least 100 times.
When are you due?
Do you know what you’re having?
And the most well-intentioned and possibly most over-asked…
How are you feeling?
Which, as my friend Nicole pointed out, is a question no one actually wants to answer or hear the answer to.
Let me be clear, I wanted to write this post because I am just as guilty as the next person of asking all the cliché questions; of not knowing what to say to Mary at the park who is equally as far along. I also want to point out that it’s wonderful that people usually ask these questions because they genuinely care. I just feel like there have to be some better alternatives out there for all of us.
I opened up this topic to a few of my friends and I wanted to bring it here too.
My friend Nicole offered one of the best questions I’ve heard:
What are you most looking forward to?
“I feel like everything is so negative. Like pregnancy sucks and having a baby sucks too, so questions that reframe it and allow for a more positive focus are always great. Like we feel as though the social norm is to bitch about how hard it is and then the no sleep, so we follow that lead. We should try to approach it from a happier, joyous place.” To me What are you looking forward to? accomplishes that perfectly.
Stephanie told me “In terms of offering alternatives to ‘How are you feeling?’ I’m not sure I have a ton. I just remember feeling like you think about your pregnancy so much it was kinda refreshing when people didn’t even bring it up. Or, even better, told me something really inappropriate that made me laugh. Sometimes is seems like it’s a societal norm that pregnant woman are these sacred little flowers that can’t handle a dirty joke or anything remotely vulgar.”
Nell said she couldn’t remember any good questions, but that many led to someone telling her about their birth story when she wished they hadn’t (ha!).
Some that I’ve been throwing around in my head are:
What has been the best thing about this pregnancy so far?
Do you feel like your perspective on things has changed since becoming a mom?
What questions are you sick of answering?
Some that I’ve been asked that aren’t bad are:
What have you been craving?
How does Avalon feel about being a big sister?
Some of the worst are:
Are you having twins?
Are you having a natural delivery?
I also agree with Stephanie that it’s nice when people don’t ask about your pregnancy at all and simply focus on your thoughts about something else or what you’ve been up to.
What are some of the best (and worst) questions you’ve been asked when expecting? What do you wish you would have been asked?
Finally, in case you get the question “Have you had the baby yet?” don’t forget that you can send people right this way…http://www.haveyouhadthatbabyyet.com.