Monday, September 21, 2009

Invasion of the Belly Touchers

Up until last week my belly was only big enough to draw cursory glances from other women, but it has now grown to the point that it is starting to exhibit that inexplicable magnetic pull that tempts the hands of strangers.

For the life of me, I do not understand this. I've met maybe one woman in my entire life who didn't mind strangers patting her stomach, but everyone else I know has expressed annoyance over this little side-effect of pregnancy. And yet, it's always women (and mostly women who have children) who are the the culprits, which just doesn't make any sense. If you didn't like it when someone did it to you, why do you insist on doing it to other women?

What in the world possesses someone to pat the belly of a woman they've never even met?

And as long as we're talking about invasions of privacy, why do people like to comment on and ask questions about things they have no earthly business knowing? Like whether or not you are going to try to breastfeed twins, or if you have a weak cervix that would require bedrest, or as the pregnancy progresses, how far you've dilated or why you haven't had that baby yet, seeing as you look like you were due three months ago.

Strangers shouldn't even get to those questions, not only out of politeness and a little respect for privacy, but because they should never, ever assume you are pregnant in the first place. Unless you are busy knitting baby booties, reading a book of baby names, talking about your due date and the crib you just ordered, and wearing a shirt that says, "I'm expecting", no one should ever comment on your possible bundle of joy for the simple reason that it may turn out to be a bundle of haagen daaz bars that settled just south of your belly button. And even if all those pregnancy indicators are in place, unless the woman shouts that she is in labor and needs your assistance, don't say anything. Even then it's best to wait until the baby's head is out before you comment on her pregnancy, just to be safe.

There are also certain words that should never be used to describe someone's pregnancy belly, the most annoying being "HUGE!" The laws of femininity don't change when a woman becomes pregnant and eliminate her desire to be told she is beautiful or looking fit. She is not fair game for comments that that she is going to "pop" or "explode" or that she "must be due any minute".

Just this week I had someone mention my increasing "girth". One random word and I went from feeling cute to feeling like an overstuffed whale.

But at least the person didn't touch my belly.

Whales get pretty cranky when they're touched.


Brooke said...

Amen! That was hilarious! I am currently still trying to get over my MILs comment of "Big as a Barn!" Lovely. Yes.

Like you said, some so quickly forget what it was like and politeness and courtesy suddenly disappear.

Cameron and Nonie Gay said...

When I told my doctor I was just feeling a little large for this stage of the game he replied, "Well you do have a little pooch going on there, don't you?" POOCH, really? Wow, I sure felt fat. Yes, there is a great deal of fat there, I don't disagree, but pooch? wow, only 6 months to develop it more. Good luck with the random touches, people are coming pretty close for me, but luckily have kept their distance.

Twinkies said...

Some lady at target told me I was HUGE for still having two months to go and am I sure I'm not having twins again. I was realllly close to slapping her. I had people constantly asking me if I breastfed the twins and how I did it. Just some random people off the street who started off with that question. Someone else asked me which twin was the bad twin. You'll get some really weird questions from crazy people.

fiona said...

"A bundle of haagen daaz bars that settled just south of your belly button." Hahahaha!! Boy, you sure have a way with words. And "girth" is never a good word to use in reference to a woman. And "pooch!" from Cameron/Nonie! That was great! At least your doc used the technical word, hee hee :D

I don't mind ?s abt twin logistics/bf-ing/etc., just 'cause people really are curious. Just if they can find some sort of tactful way to ask...yeah, that's the prob. I can't believe someone asked you, Mika, which twin is the bad twin?? what kind of question is that? I hope that wasn't in front of the girls. Wackos. (The questioner, not the girls) You're in for a lot of fun, Bonnie :)

overlyactive said...

I think its time for a picture! Loved this post, you made me smile.

Sara said...


And from someone who, for the life of her, cannot gain enough weight when pregnant (only when not pregnant - ugh) to make the doctors stop fussing - it's not a good idea to question if a pregnant woman is starving herself (and therefore her child).

In fact, women should just leave comments related to food, size and pregnancy alone all together - along with our tummies! :)

Megan B said...

You KNOW that I'm that "one woman in my entire life who didn't mind strangers patting her stomach," but that's probably because it has NEVER EVER EVER HAPPENED TO ME EVEN ONCE, LOL!!! Don't know why, but it never has!! Outside of Utah, pregnancy bellies are more of a novelty, I'm guessing :)

When I was about 26 weeks with the twins, I hobbled into RS, sat down next to a visitor and she patted me on the shoulder and said "awww.... any day now, huh?"

At Walmart around 24 weeks or so, the cashier looked at me in concern and said, "oh, honey! You need to go home and lie down!!"

Megan B said...

And FURTHERMORE, I was HORRIFIED at how MANY MANY MANY strangers would reach INTO MY SLING to touch my teeeeeeny tiny baby's head. I had to slap a few hands away!! What the CRAP???