Saturday, November 19, 2011

What Happens? Life?



And so it begins--the barrage of rude comments about my pregnancy.  It's not my nature to quip back snippy little comments.  I really do not feel like I need to be confrontational.  But really, what are these people thinking when they open their mouths and feel free to speak about my procreations.

It started at my first prenatal appointment.  The nurse was obviously new and she started asking questions and making rude little comments.  She asked me if it were my first pregnancy.  No, I have three children at home.  "Oh, how old are they?"  I tell her and she replied in a sad little voice, "Oh, did you mean to have them this close?"

"Uh, [it's really none of your business and completely inappropriate for you to say such things. What if I was having a hard time about it and broke down crying. Then what would you do? Do you have a counseling degree?] well, I would like a little more space in between, but this is fine too.  We are excited."  Then she had the nerve to ask me later if I was, "OK."  I told her, yes, and it is not my first show.  I am doing fine, better than fine.  This has been the most comfortable pregnancy yet.   Maybe, it would be a difficult situation for her, but all her intrusive questions and concern and overt disagreement with my "situation" really got on my nerves.  The next time was not much better and I will be talking to her supervisor next time if she makes one more flip comment.

However, today I received the rudest comment I have received to date.  I was at the grocery store, which is where I get the most comments because I run into the most people than anywhere else.  Most often, people say "You have your hands full," or ask how old my kids are, because they are all so small and look close in age.   I ran into a mom from the Karate studio where Alex took lessons.  She smiled, nodded and said, "Hi."  Then I stepped passed her and grabbed an onion.  She spotted my growing belly and said, "Oh, are you expecting."  I smiled and said,

"Yes."  She smiled again and said,

"Oh, [concerned sigh, as if she were consoling me] it happens.  So that's why you have been hiding out."  (Actually, not hiding out.  Quit.  We cannot afford the bait and switch membership increase.)

Huh? What? Smile nod, move away quickly.  "Alex, let's go. Move a little faster."

What "happens?"  Marital Union?  What did she mean? Did she mean "accidentally" having kids close together in age?  "Accidentally" having more kids than two, or three?  Why do you assume that this is something that just, uh, happened?  As if the preceding act between a man and a woman just happened--miraculously.  What am I supposed to say?  "No, the conception of this child was not an 'accident.'"  Really, it's none of her business how "it" happened.  And it's really wrong of her to assume that it just happened and that we did not mean for it to happen.  Just because she does not want anymore children does not mean I do not want any more and especially not close in age.  Oh the fallacies in her little statement and in her sigh.  We are really happy to have another child on the way.

I went home and told my husband and laughed.  He laughed too and said I should have replied, "Yes, it does.  A few times a week with my husband."

A friend of mine, who has six children, always has cute quips for such comments.  I can hear her now, "Yep, it sure does happen.  It works every time.  We have intercourse during ovulation and the sperm and the egg meet…"  At this point, someone starts blushing and she stops.

I do not mind, "You have your hands full."  It's not really a comment on anything more than they observe that I am busy with small children, which I am.  I do mind the tone some people say it with.  Whatever happened to "Unless you can say something nice, do not say anything at all."  Whatever happened to, "Congratulations."  "We wish you many blessings."  Why can our culture not just enjoy the beauty in the creation of new life? Choose life.


priest's wife said...

Sorry about strangers being jerks... you are MARRIED and have beautiful HEALTHY kids- why wouldn't you try for another?????!!!

But as uncomfortable as it is- a medical professional does have a reason to ask- a woman with a surprise pregnancy is slightly more likely to have depression and maybe she wasn't physically taking care of herself to prepare for a pregnancy- so there might be a tiny red check mark for people to give you extra care. Just smile and they will leave you alone

and congratulations!!!

Sandi said...

Wow. Those people should have met me when I was expecting my third. ME--the lady who planned none of her children, but who was BLESSED BY GOD with the awesome experience of motherhood. A joy that defies description, but which I was not planning. God,in his infinite wisdom, saw that I NEEDED children in my life to give it meaning and purpose when I was wandering aimlessly through life.

You and Andrew are a loving, Christian couple who want a large family. You CHOSE to have these blessings in your life. It is truly no one else's business and I don't understand why people feel the need to comment.

When we received the news, we rejoiced with you, for you, and for the child who will be coming into this loving, nurturing family...welcomed as a gift from the Lord. Congratulations--AGAIN!

Renee Clayton said...

I have to say, though our pregnancies have not been a "surprise" to my husband nor I. Even though we do not plan the precise timing of our children, we know fully what we are doing and expect to be expecting when we are together during fertile times.

The "medical professional" that I was dealing with had no reason to think I was at risk for depression. She was just being nosey and shallow. You had to be there.

Michelle M. said...

I'm sorry you have had to go through this, but I can very easily commiserate! I had my four (with two miscarriages mixed in) in five years. Most people have no ability to relate to or understand why anyone would purposefully have so many children so close together. A lot of the time, the "you have your hands full" line is more of a reaction to their shock. I've gotten much crazier reactions when we admit that we would love to be blessed with more children... now those reactions are completely different. :)

Blessings to your beautiful, growing family!