Fielding Those Pregnancy Queries

Smart answers to some prying questions

You’ll have to grapple with a lot of questions when you’re expecting a child  — from friends, family, coworkers, often complete strangers.

“When are you due?” is easy enough to answer when people ask you this out of the blue. But when I was pregnant with my daughter, I found myself struggling with a whole host of other questions I never imagined would come my way.

Here’s a selection — and, in case it is helpful for others, exactly how I navigated them.

“How are you feeling?”
Little did I know that our society regards pregnancy as a long-term disease. And though people asked me this question nearly every hour for months, they didn’t really want to know the answer.

If I could have answered truthfully, I would have said, “Fine … except that my bladder has shrunk to the size of a pea, between my hot flashes and heartburn I feel like I’m on fire inside and out, and I’m sprouting hair and pimples in some very unexpected places … Shall I go on?”

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Instead, I just replied, “I’m a little tired.” I figured this answer would cover me for most of motherhood, too.

“Do you have any cravings?”
I always wished I had an interesting answer to this question, like, “I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes just yearning for poached quail eggs.” But really, the answer was just: “Food. Of all kinds. At all times.”

(It might also be helpful to let coworkers and friends know that hormones have been known to induce pregnant women to find and steal chocolate, so they may as well give you theirs now.)

“Would you like my seat?”
When asked this question on the subway during my morning commute, I learned to feel no shame in answering, “Yes.” Yet I was disheartened by how often my fellow passengers failed to ask this question. My next course of action was to locate a particularly robust, sedentary commuter and plant myself in front of him so that my belly almost grazed his nose.

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This tip could easily apply to any situation in which, 1: You’re visible; and 2: You have to wait. Think taking the bus, standing in a long line, or waiting for the restroom at any public place.

“Do you need… ?”
…My old maternity clothes? A crib? A foot massage? Home-cooked meals delivered nightly?

Whoever asks this question and however they fill in the blank, my advice is do not demure. I learned that the correct answer was, YES. Repeat: Yes, I will accept offers of assistance.

Get really comfortable accepting help when you’re expecting a baby. You will need it throughout the roller coaster that is parenthood, and you might as well start practicing before your little one makes his or her grand entrance.

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