While we were trying to conceive this second baby, I had mistaken some premenstrual symptoms as pregnancy symptoms one month. I was at the grocery store alone early one morning, so I decided to get a pregnancy test while I was there.
I actually, in all honesty, had already taken one a couple of days prior (got the old minus sign) and I still had another one at home I could have taken. However, I had convinced myself that maybe I got a negative result because I just had been testing too early. So when I was at the grocery store, I decided to get a digital test after reading they are supposedly more accurate. (Don’t ask me if that’s really true.)
I put it in my basket, along with my other grocery items, and planned to go through self-check out as I usually do. (I know it’s more work but I don’t love small talk, okay?) Apparently though, I was at the store too early when self-check out wasn’t yet open, so my only option was to go through the check-out with a real person. I hesitated for a moment because I was worried she might ask me about my pregnancy test.
‘Pfft, yeah right, that would never happen,’ I thought.
I quickly reminded myself how many pregnancy tests I’ve bought in my life and how not one person has EVER questioned me about buying it. They’re professionals! Maybe they secretly judge, but they would certainly never do it out loud.
As the cashier was scanning my pregnancy test, she stopped to examine it, looked at me, then smirked, and as casually as one might comment on the great deal on avocados, straight up asked me:
“So, are you hoping you’re pregnant?”
I was stunned. “What the hell business is it of yours, Nosy O’Donnell?! I resent this question. How unprofessional to ask me something so personal. If I had bought vag cream, would you ask me if I’m hoping I have a yeast infection? Didn’t think so, lady! I demand to see your manager, I’m getting you fired.” — is what I wish I responded. I’m so great at coming up with the best comebacks ten minutes removed from a situation.
Instead, I could only think to answer with the truth and say, “Um, yes.” She lit up like I just let her in on the juiciest piece of Hollywood gossip.
What I didn’t tell her is that I already had a negative result two days ago which both confused and disappointed me. How I didn’t have much hope that I was pregnant this month, but part of me thought maybe I could be. That she’s a stranger who is making me extremely uncomfortable, not my long lost best friend that I want to confide in.
When a woman buys a pregnancy test, assume it’s because she thinks she might be pregnant. Do your job, scan the item, tell me the price, and that’s it. It should be a given that you don’t ask questions about whether the potential pregnancy would be wanted or not.
Next, she giddily asked me, “Is it your first?!” as if I’m already pregnant simply because I’m buying a test. Again, all I could manage to do in the moment was just swallow my discomfort and tell her, “No. I have a son.” (Why do I suck at telling this obnoxious person to learn some boundaries?!)
Of course she then asked, “How old is he?”
‘Please shut up forever’ came out as, “Almost two.”
She squealed, “Eee! Good luck!” Adding, “Fingers crossed!” while crossing her fingers on both hands. I gave her both my middle fingers in my head, grabbed my bags, and left the store annoyed AF.
As I suspected it would be, that test ended up being negative too and I got my period a couple days later. I’m very grateful that the next month is when I did get pregnant. Looking back though, Grocery Store Sally still offended me because seriously, how would she have reacted had I said, “No, I really don’t hope I’m pregnant.” Like, are you prepared for either answer when you ask such an invasive question, stranger? Awkward. Think before you speak, Rude-y Giuliani.
It reminded me of my first pregnancy when a few people asked us:
“Was it planned?”
Do they realize what they’re truly asking when they ask that? They are fully admitting they’re curious to know a couple’s intention for having sex. Pervs, am I right? Whether something is planned or not, I’m telling you excitedly that I am pregnant and I’m happy about it, so don’t ask details, it’s insulting and creepy.
Both of our babies are planned, wanted, and loved. However, even if they weren’t planned, they would still be wanted and loved and that’s all that matters.
There are just so many disrespectful and outrageous things people dare to say to women who are pregnant, or who may be trying to get pregnant, that should just be universally known to be socially unacceptable. So, while I’m on a ranting roll…
Here are some other things you don’t ask or say!
…Along with what I dream I could respond with. For the record, not all of these questions or comments have been directed at me, thank goodness! But I know they all happen.
*Warning: I might go off and have way too much fun with this.*
- “When are you going to have babies?!”
Well, according to my calculations, it will happen exactly when you stop pressuring me.
- “It will happen when you stop trying.”
Wait, I can get pregnant without doing anything? Please tell me more about this.
- “Are you going to have another?” (Frequently asked while women are still pregnant.)
One at at time, Broseph. Let me start with this one.
- “How long were you / have you been trying?”
How long have you been interested in the frequency of which my husband and I engage in sexual intercourse?
- “Did you do IVF?”
Man, I wish I could do ‘interesting various flips’. That’s what IVF stands for, yes?
- “Are you going to try for a (names specific gender) next time?”
How do you even try for a girl or a boy? Does it involve an orgasm while simultaneously making a wish at exactly 11:11? Omg, it worked!
- “You should have (insert number) of kids.”
I’m currently not taking suggestions on the number of children I will decide to have. You should really consider having six yourself though.
- “Don’t you already have enough kids? / Don’t you know how babies are made?”
No, actually, why does this keep happening to me?
- “Good luck with that age gap between your kids.”
What an odd pronunciation of, ‘congratulations!’ I’ve never noticed your accent before.
- “Are you keeping it?”
A secret? No. That’s why we told you, ding-dong.
- “Who’s the father?”
I’ll find out soon, hopefully. I applied to be on Maury, wish me luck!
- “How old are you?”
Why does my age matter to you, Campbell’s Snoop? So I can get your opinion on whether I’m too old, too young, or mmm, mmm, good?
- (Followed up with) “Oh phew, I thought you were like nineteen.”
Cool compliment. It feels awesome when people assume based on my looks that I probably wouldn’t be ready or capable to be a mother.
- “Are you excited?”
No, not at all! We actually smiled ear-to-ear, gave you a big hug, and jumped up and down just now when we told you because that’s how we express our disappointment.
- “You look tired / huge / (basically anything except beautiful.)”
Thanks, I’m growing a human being, what’s your excuse? Zingggg.
- “You sure it’s not twins?”
All I’m sure of is that you should watch for me on the next episode of: ‘TLC’s I didn’t know I was pregnant with twins until this guy asked me’.
- “You’re so small! I can’t even tell you’re pregnant!”
Great, now I’m panicking if my baby is growing on track. See ya never, I have some obsessive Google searching to do.
- “It’s bad luck to *references any baby-related superstition*.”
Pretty sure a superstition has zero effect on my baby’s survival, but super weird of you to think it does or put it out there. Also, I broke a mirror six years ago, I still have one year left of bad luck, correct?
- “You can’t eat that / drink that / do that.”
I must have missed that time you became my doctor! So great of you to fit in an appointment with me in line here at Starbucks.
- *pointing and shouting at pregnant woman* “BOY! / GIRL!” (for those who don’t know gender.)
Thank you very much for analyzing my body and discovering with your X-Ray vision what I’m carrying. I just saved a buttload in 3D ultrasound costs.
- “Let me feel baby!!”
Ooo, let me feel your stomach too! What did you eat for lunch? I feel someone’s digestive system working!! You better leave the fan on.
- “When is your baby going to be born?”
Well my APPROXIMATE dude date is ____, so don’t forget to pester me constantly as it approaches.
- “Have you had the baby yet?”
Yes, several weeks ago, I just didn’t tell you, Grandma. What’s new with you?
- What are you going to name him/her? Ew, I knew a *insert name* once and he/she was awful.
Crazy, that’s exactly why we ruled out your name!
- “Are you having a natural birth?”
Perfect, a chance to be judged for choices I haven’t made yet and circumstances I may have no control over!
- “Get your sleep now. Har har har.”
Why? Do babies not sleep through the night from day 1 or something? FYI: you can’t bank sleep to use for a later date, but thanks for the useless tip (which is similar to…)
- “Nap when the baby naps.”
Did you say nap when the baby naps? Or crap when the baby craps? I’ll just do both to be safe. Any other unsolicited advice?
- “Are you going to breastfeed, circumcise? (etc.)”
Hmm, why exactly are you asking about my breasts or my son’s penis? Let’s talk about you. Do you bleach your asshole? Just wondering?
- “Your body is never going to be the same.”
Oh nooo, I didn’t know this, is it too late to switch to a surrogate?
- “It’s going to be so hard. Trust me. Your life is forever changed.”
What, really? I didn’t realize having children was a life-changing experience. I thought I’d just casually pop the baby out then he would raise and take care of himself. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be easy and never challenging, it’s all I’ve ever heard.
Did I miss anything? 😉
xo – Bri