Thursday, March 23, 2006


So I'm pregnant, and yeah, I've gained some weight, but I don't yet have an obviously pregnant protruding abdomen. At least I don't think I should look obviously pregnant to someone who doesn't know already. Personally, when I run into someone I know who may have put on a few pounds, I have a strict policy to not ask the potentially awkwafying Question unless she's wearing maternity clothes, just to be safe. So I'm always a little taken aback and mildly offended when someone blurts out, "Are you pregnant?!" I grimace. "I am, but I'm only 14 weeks. Can you tell?" Because, frankly, I think that person is walking in dangerous territory, and I want him to know that I think it was a risky question, because I don't think I look pregnant enough for that to be an okay conversation starter.

This conversation played out yesterday with a neighbor/teacher at Elliot's school. It was textbook.

"Emily, are you pregnant?"

"I am, but I'm only 14 weeks. Can you tell?"


"Really?? I know I've gained some weight, but I didn't think I was showing that much yet."

"I'm just kidding. Somebody told me."

Ah, she pulled the quick escape, just kidding routine. Then the all-too-familiar, "Are you hoping for a girl?"

But I was too distracted to respond. I was remembering that time when I was pregnant and working at BYU Mail Services. It was in the first trimester of my first pregnancy (read: I was not showing yet!). I went into the copy room to make some copies and stood patiently while someone ahead of me finished with the machine. A Chinese girl whom I did not know came into the room and stood behind me.

"You waiting?" she asked, and I smiled, gestured to the papers in my hand and nodded. Yes, I was waiting to make some copies on the copy machine.

But that's not what she had meant. "You waiting for baby?"

An internal grimace. A weak smile and nod. An abandonment of the denial I was holding onto that I still looked svelte. Good times. Xie xie.


sarah said...

If it makes you feel any better, kids (4-year-olds) ask me all the time if I am having ANOTHER baby. "CUZ YOUR BELLY SHORE LOOKS LIKE IT!"

c jane said...

Emily, when you are REALLY far along do you look like the picture of the woman on your post?

Because man, that's worth all the ridicule and awkward questioning!

Eliza said...

I was going to make some kind of joke about how "I could totally tell," but decided it might seem weird to people who don't know that I have never met you before. Congratulations!

amyjune said...

My rule is "don't ask and wait until they tell" I was horrified at work several times last year when people made very interesting comments about my body in front of large audiences. gems included " even your face looks fuller" and "wow, your boobs are getting so big." Does pregancy enable people to make comments about ALL your body parts? However, my favorite came after I had the baby and went back to show him off at 6 weeks. One male coworker told me, "wow, you're not as thin as you were before you got pregnant" Thanks dude, way to make me feel great.

ahc said...

If you happen to have any friends from South America, they are the most blunt about it. I have a good friend from Argentina and yesterday she said to me, "You've really looked good so far in your pregnancy, but now your face is REALLY starting to get fat." Thanks. . . What would you suggest that I do about it?!!

p.s. Emily, I know that it was three weeks ago that I saw you, but I thought that you looked fantastic and I never would have guessed that you were pregnant! I'm sure that you haven't changed that much in the past three weeks!

neil and diana said...

i don't understand why "fantastic" and "pregnant" are oppositional terms.

amye said...

I agree with that last statement. In my day, it was an honor to be thought very pregnant. I was proud that I carried each baby way out in front. Also proud that I gained 40 plus pounds each time which contributed to having 8 lb. robust babies. I know women who try to hide the pregnancy until the last few weeks. Are you kidding me? I wore it like a badge of distinction.
Speaking of belly fat, I was 50 yrs. old and one of my students raised her hand in class one day and asked if I was pregnant. I was shocked and mumbled something about being old and fat. I wish I had said, "Why no, are you?"