What Not to Say (Ever): The Pre-Pregnancy Edition!

Sexcapades notwithstanding, we’re not pregnant. Enter: Monthly period and menstrual cramps from hell compounded by the realization that this business of getting knocked up is, in the best of circumstances, going to take a hot second. And, oh yeah, there’s this.

It appears as if everyone I encounter these days is pregnant or just had a baby or wants to talk about babies and how it is that, because they’re Fertile Myrtle or their male counterpart had swimmers like Michael Phelps, it was so easy for them! (Well, gee willickers, I’m fresh outta cookies! Cough: Bitch.) And I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been reminded recently that my mother wants a grandkid and my grandparents want great-grandkids and, if I’m not careful, my little sister’s going to beat me to the baby-makin’ punch as if we’re in some sort of race to the delivery room! Seriously, enough is enough!

What is it about encountering a gal of reproductive age that invites unsolicited stories and comments and inquiries and feedback galore that, I’ve heard, only gets more outlandish the moment said gal of reproductive age starts reproducing? (Think: My best-friend’s sister’s cousin’s neighbor’s fetus spontaneously combusted inside her uterus and she knew because her girl parts started spewing this thick black smoke! It was really awful! She almost died, and she’ll never get pregnant again, but I’m sure that’s not going to happen to you!)

See, before we get to those fetal abnormality/maternal death/labor and delivery horror stories many a well-meaning chica is apt to spout to her gal pals, family, and female-type strangers, there are these butes: A repertoire of what not to say just because you’re a gal and she’s a gal and she’s got ovaries and maybe they work:

  • When are you going to have babies? Assumptious, no? Yes! It is. Because even if you’ve wanted to be somebody’s mommy since the first time you played house with your Cabbage Patch dolls, it’s entirely possible that your gal there isn’t that interested in parenthood. Or hates kids! Or can’t have any! You know what they say about people who assume, so don’t do it!

  • You’re not going to have kids just yet, are you? You’ve got to [insert projected expectation here like, for example, put some money away or own your own home or work for a few years or be a couple of years older]. Again, assumptious. Very. Not least of which an inquiry like this presumes you’re in a position to tell somebody who’s not your partner when or in what order they should organize their lives. Newsflash: You’re probably not.

  • Just wait! Kids [insert truth about children here, like, say, they’re expensive or they contribute to many sleepless nights]. Look, your logic about why it’s important to hold tight to one’s panties is probably pretty sound especially if you’re a parent. You’ve been there. You are there. You know what this involves, and you only want the best for her! Yet, dear Well-Meaning Friend or Family Member of Someone With Ovaries, trust that most of us smart, savvy, grown-up types will have already carefully considered our decision and…well, we just don’t like to be told what to do!

  • When I got pregnant it was like snap! Just call me Fertile Myrtle! Yeah, no thanks. Comments like this one perpetuate the myth that getting knocked up is as simple as flushing your birth control pills. There’s more to it than that. Don’t believe me? I present, Nova’s “Miracle of Life.”

  • “Trying” to conceive is silly. Just don’t even think about it, and it’ll happen for you. That’s how it happened for me! Good for you. And lucky for you, in fact, because women in their 20s have less than a 25 percent chance of getting knocked up every month if they’re having perfectly-timed intercourse! Women over 30? Fifteen percent at best. Over 35? Five percent in any given month! Five percent. No biggie except in that if, like me, you want to maximize your chances of having a kid, say, this year, you may prefer not to leave things entirely to chance. And what is so freaking wrong with that? Answer: Nothing.

  • I want me a grandbaby/niece/nephew/cousin. And I want me a kid, but slow your roll, Ma! Here’s the thing. First, this is a lot to ask of somebody: Have me a baby, dammit! Having babies is tough stuff. Tough on the body. Tough on the mind. Not yours, mind you. Mine. Think, for a second, what it means to have a baby. The weight gain. The sore vajajay. The drippy nips. The sleep deprivation. The raging hormones. In my case: A shot of anticoagulant to the ass once a day for nearly 10 months. (Ahem: See previous entry.) Bottom line. A. Lot. To. Ask. Some would say too much.

So are intrusive inquiries or unsolicited advice relative to reproduction ever ok?

Eh, maybe. I say take your cue from your favorite friend/family member of reproductive age. If she cares to share all the sordid details of her bonin’ for babies, she’ll share. If not, she won’t. And you won’t go there. Because you know better. Because I told you so.
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About Projected Progenitor

Projected (adj.) (prə-ˈjekt-ed): From the 15th Century Anglo-French 'projector,' from Latin 'projectus.' Devised in the mind, predicted. Progenitor (n.) (prō-ˈje-nə-tər): Middle English, from the 14th Century Anglo-French 'progenitour,' from Latin 'progenitor,' meaning 'to beget.' An ancestor in the direct line, foreparent.
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2 Responses to What Not to Say (Ever): The Pre-Pregnancy Edition!

  1. City Wife says:

    >Great post! I may forward this to my future mother-in-law, who clearly isn't aware of these rules. I recently watched "The Miracle of Life" – crazy stuff (and at points a little creepy). Good luck!

  2. >Forward away! Universal life experience, this business of being told what to do and how precisely to do it. Universally wicked annoying, too! It alllll started with "What Not to Say (Ever): The Pre-Nuptial Edition!" Gotta love it! Ha! :)

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