It's hard enough being pregnant as it is: the frequent appointments, the many expenses, the physical and emotional stress of the experience, and that's barely getting started.
It's unbelievable to think that so many people have been rude to women who are carrying children, but as these stories attest, some people have absolutely no shame!
[Sources listed at the end of the article.]
"In my first trimester, I brought ziplock bags with me wherever I went and was heaving up on buses and subways frequently. You can't imagine the looks people gave me. Or the snide comments. I've had people tell me that I'm obviously an alcoholic, that I need to get my life together, or that I'm a mess.
Once, I managed to get off the train in time and was vomiting into a snow bank, and these college kids walked by me and went, 'Ohhhhhh! WASTED!' And in between heaves I said, 'No, pregnant!' These jerks had the nerve to respond, 'Ohhhhh got herself accidentally knocked up!'
So I held up my hand to show my wedding rings, while still heaving, and said, 'No, married and trying for a baby after a miscarriage, so how about you mind your own [expletive] business?'"
"'Do you know yet whether you're having a boy or a girl? If not, try to remember what position you were in when you conceived, because that determines the gender.'
Thanks random lady in the grocery store. No, its okay, you didn't have to say hi or introduce yourself, or maybe even just avoid asking me a personal question about my pregnancy. That's cool. And by the way, I think you should cite your sources on that so-called testing method!"
"I'm doing my residency for medical school, and I'm also very much pregnant. A few days ago one of my patients was asking me about training and my schedule, and it came up that I won't be able to travel for away rotations, because I'll have a newborn.
She asked if I had a newborn, and I reiterated that I would have a newborn in a week. She insisted she didn't think I was pregnant, just really heavy. She'd been wondering how I was going to be a good doctor if there were simple things I couldn't do, like bending down to the ground to put her shoes on her feet.
Then she grilled me on my lack of wedding band. I haven't been wearing my rings because they don't fit at this point. Because I am nearly 39 weeks pregnant. I am having a baby in a week, but according to her I don't look pregnant. I don't even know where to start with her."
"Once, I saw a pregnant girl on the subway ask another girl for a seat. The seated girl answered, 'It is not my fault that you decided to get knocked up by a man without a car.'
"The one rude comment I got that stuck with me was from my dad.
It was when I called him to tell him I was pregnant. We had known for a few days already and he was the last person I told. His first reaction was, 'Okay?'
Literally. That's all he said was, 'Okay?' Like he didn't understand why I was telling him.
There's a reason he was the last person I told."
"My husband and I announced that we were pregnant to the family this Easter. At the time I was 12 weeks along. The previous year, we had lost our first pregnancy at 11 weeks, and it was one of the worst experiences of my life.
My husband's grandmother had the nerve to respond, 'Well, it's not as exciting as the first time you were pregnant, but at least you're farther along than the last.'
I cried in the guest room."
"I lost a lot of weight after my first child was born. About 110 pounds in total. The store manager where I worked would always comment on my weight loss, saying little things like I was, 'wasting away,' etc.
Anyhow, I get pregnant with my second child, and as soon as I started showing: 'Wow, you just keep packing that weight back on, huh? Must be hard. All that work you did to lose weight was for nothing.'
That stung. I worked really hard to get in shape, and here this jerk was getting a lot of joy out of tearing me down. I'm happy to say that I gave him zero notice when I quit that job and declined several of his offers for me to return. He can run his own store for all I care."
"I didn't find out whether I was having a boy or girl ahead of time, and that was apparently shocking for some people.
So many people were flabbergasted that we weren't painting either a pink or blue nursery. I even had someone who was very concerned about what kind of clothes we would bring the baby home from the hospital in. Hopefully my son wasn't too 'emasculated' in his yellow onesie!"
"So I got extremely sick with my second kid. I was heaving up uncontrollably, upwards of 30 times per day.
By the eleventh week, I had been hospitalized 9 times for ketones in my urine, dehydration, an electrolyte imbalance, and malnutrition, at which point I got a permanent IV line and home healthcare so that I could mainline large doses of antiemetic medication. I gave up trying to drink liquids, and just stuck to IV hydration.
Everywhere I went, friends, family, and random strangers had the same solution when they heard of my struggles:
'Oh, have you tried crackers and ginger ale?'
Yeah, because I totally went for a permanent IV line without first trying the easiest and least-invasive treatment!
The runner-up for the best of these comments was, 'Oh yeah, my wife had horrible morning sickness, too. She threw up every day for a month. It was horrible.' Please, tell me again how horrible it was to only throw up in the morning. I never got that lucky and I wish I had it that good!"
"When I was on the operating table having a C-section with my oldest, I kept asking, 'Where's my baby? Where's my baby? Why aren't you talking to me?' Because I'd felt them pull him out but hadn't heard him crying yet, and no one would acknowledge me at all.
Then one of the nurses looked down and said, in this horribly snide voice, 'Hmmm. Guess you aren't the star of the show, anymore, huh?'"
"I had people ask me if I knew who the father was.
Yup, he's standing right here... holding my hand.
'Are you sure?'"
"I'm 37 weeks into my pregnancy and very pregnant-looking, and I actually just left a grocery store bawling because of the couple behind me in line. I used a WIC check (government support for pregnant women with a low income) for milk and juice. I also bought a box of cake mix... I wanted a cake, because today is my birthday.
Well they kept rolling their eyes and while I was digging around my purse for my store card, the guy jabbed me with his cart and said, 'Hurry up! Some of us actually work for our food.'
I was so embarrassed, and on top of that, when he hit me I dropped my wallet, so I squatted down to get it and he jabbed me again. I fell onto the hard floor, and just started crying.
The cashier yelled at the guy to get out of his line, and the bagger helped me up.
The store was nice enough to cover my cake mix. This was a horrible experience, but I don't want people to feel sorry for me. I really think that the guy who has sunk so low in life that he attacks a pregnant woman is the one who we should feel sorry for."
"The 'was it planned?' question always gets me. I'm married--and a lot of people who have asked me this know I am married.
I've gotten the same question even more often while pregnant with child number two.
'So was this one planned? They are going to be so close together!' Um, yes I can do math too and what does it matter if my baby is planned or not? The baby is happening, either way! Large egg-shaped stomach provides evidence of this!"
"I'm white, and my husband is Vietnamese.
Once, when picking up my prescription prenatals, the clerk recognized that my last name was Vietnamese because she was also Vietnamese. She asked me, 'You know that's a Vietnamese name, right?'
I said, 'Yes... my husband is Vietnamese.'
She said, 'Oh,' with a long pause. Then, 'Aren't you worried the baby will look, you know, weird with your face and his combined?' I was dumbfounded. She not only just insulted my unborn child, she managed to insult my and my husband's appearance too in one blow!"
"My only sibling is a younger brother who is sixteen years my junior. When he was still an infant, my entire family went shopping at a grocery store. I was walking beside my stepdad, and my mum had wandered a few feet away to look at something.
All of a sudden, this elderly lady was in front of me, lecturing me on how appalling it was to have a child at my age, how I should be ashamed of myself, and that my stepdad was disgusting. I was stunned. She left before any of us had could pick our jaws up off the ground.
From then on, I refused to stray more than 2 feet from my mother's side anytime we were with my brother, and would avoid holding him in public."
"I was married and pregnant at age 24. I was shopping at a local pharmacy when two elderly ladies started to use that 'shocked' sarcastic tone between each other, making sure I could hear them. The topic was 'Oh, what a shame it is for all these children to be having their own children. Teenagers should just learn how to keep out of trouble!' That kind of exchange.
I realized they were talking about me, assuming I was a pregnant teenager. At the time, I had gained enough wait that I was not able to wear my wedding ring.
I chimed in, 'Yes, it's a shame when teenagers don't plan their pregnancies or use birth control when they're not ready to have children. I'm glad I planned my pregnancy successfully, having waited until I was twenty-four and married, with the financial stability to raise a family.'
I then checked out in a very glorious, but awkward silence."
"'It's not really your baby because you're on Medicaid. It's mine because I paid for it with my taxes.' This was my lovely mother's first reaction when I told her I was pregnant.
By the way, I was working and also pay taxes."
"While pregnant with my firstborn I was working, selling mobile phones. I was serving an older man one day, who looks at my very pregnant belly and tells me, 'your parents must be so disappointed.'
I had to point out that I was married, and owned my own home."
"It's amazing how many different people will tell you that, once you've reached full term, you should get it on with your partner constantly to induce labor. Parents, in-laws, siblings, store cashiers, bill collectors, church pastors... Ok, I may be over exaggerating a little, but you get the point!
It's funny at first, then it gets to the point where it's just not ok anymore."
"As a lesbian, I got a lot of 'HOW?!' questions.
Some people could not fathom the process of getting pregnant without a dude in the picture. Many of them assumed that I went out and slept with a bunch of guys. Like, come on people, as if I'm married to a lovely woman and the best plan we could come up with was me sleeping with a bunch of random guys to get pregnant.
They're called sperm banks. Those things... where you get sperm... they've been around a long time."
"The way my doctor told me was kind of rude. She came in and said, 'Well, I'm sorry but we have to talk... you're pregnant.' She said it in a tone and manner that was very apologetic.
When I conveyed excitement, she was surprised and said, 'Wow! You want it? Most 27 year-olds come in here not wanting a baby.' It just really took away from the excitement and made me feel like I was too young to be having a baby. I live in Manhattan, so it's a different lifestyle out here. Still... my partner and I wanted a baby!"