Yesterday, I went to a couples-only lunch with approximately 15-20 couples (all aged between 23-29) – some vet moms, some new moms, some soon to be moms and some no-plan to be moms. Although I was the youngest in age, I had been married the longest (child bride, I joked =P).
During lunch, as topics after topics were discussed (careers, social networks, Milton vs Mississauga, joint family system vs independent living etc etc) we came to the topic of parenting.
As I started speaking about my experiences, a couple of women let out *gasps* and asked ‘You’re a mom?!’.
I replied ‘yeah, infact I have another one coming!’
The unanimous response was ‘You’re not showing at all!!’. so i stood up and pointed to my outtie and replied with my blanket statement: ‘trust me, its there!’. I was then told how I’m only showing on my tummy and no where else etc etc.
I’ve heard them all this pregnancy (and the last!). People that I meet often tell me how much I’ve gained, whereas people I don’t meet often, tell me I’m not showing much. No one believes me when I say I’m in my eighth month (or atleast they pretend not to! =P).
Last pregnancy, I was a huge bloated turkey and everyone felt obligated to ensure I was aware of it. This pregnancy, I’m not as big but everyone feels obligated to inform me about proper nutrition and dietary needs of the baby. Ironically enough, since I’ve stopped taking prenatal vitamins, my daily food intake is almost twice as much in this pregnancy compared to what it was during the last one. Yet, my week to week comparison shows that I am 11lbs lesser in this pregnancy than I was at this time in the last one.
This other friend of mine who recently delivered, gained a significant amount of weight during pregnancy. But the comments she faced were horrifying. Some of the things I heard at her baby shower make me shudder! The woman was 8 months pregnant, she better be showing! And what is weight, but progress? What do people expect pregnant women to be like? Frail lil girls with a body of a 14 yr old?!
People assume a pregnant woman’s weight reflects what she eats or does. Its not about how much you eat, drink or exercise. I believe its about how your body works – (sorry, no credit to the mum, its all about nature!!) – its about how well your body accepts the embryo, how great your metabolism remains, whether you have swellings or complications etc, whether or not its hereditary etc. I strictly believe, its all upto nature.
A Portugese classmate of mine once told me that if anyone dares call you fat while pregnant, politely say ‘I’m pregnant, what’s your excuse?’, and you’ll never hear it again. I found that hillarious because I know she has the tact to say it too!!
I know its not a desi vs gora thing, coz my white classmates were telling about how tactless/rude and nosey some comments in their community can be.
What bothers me most is when vet moms compare their weight gains. Yes, yours or your sisters/mother’s/cousin’s badge of honour says they gained 15 lbs more or less than I did. Now what? I don’t see how any number can be so significant? My friend, L, suggested that it really comes down to some form of inferiority complex they must be enduring which urges them to needle/boast about something that really holds no meaning.
Its not as if being small is always a compliment either. I hated being huge last pregnancy, but I don’t feel the greatest being small this time either. Earlier on in the pregnancy I wanted to be overweight so if the baby is born early, theres more chances of survival. Even when people say ‘surely you can’t be that far along’, I can’t help but pray that everything inside is going smooth! I’d be most content knowing that the baby is healthy, rather than what weight I carry her with.
All through yesterday, I was wondering why do people feel the compulsion to comment? I think what it really boils down to, is the fact that we feel that the only way we can connect with a pregnant woman is by commenting on her size!
Its all a matter of perspective I believe. People can say all they want. Afterall, at the end of the day, I’m in the middle of making ourselves a gorgeous lil baby and to her
(and her daddy!), my body is absolutely perfect in everyway! And thats all that matters =)