Soon after you share the “good news”, questions or advice start to pour from all quarters. Some of it is indeed helpful but most of it is downright intrusive and makes for good gossip. Here are some I received or heard during my nine month journey. Hope they bring a smile to your face.
1. Was it planned?
I always think, in India the word “Family Planning” is actually the entire family (with a liberal dose of friendly neighbours) planning a child since everyone appears involved in what strictly should be a decision of the relevant couple. So get ready for this question whether you have a baby immediately after marriage or after waiting for some time. That’s also not where it ends. If you say yes, the next obvious question pops up “Oh really, how long have you been trying?” And if you say no, then there are knowing looks exchanged saying, “oops baby?”
2. Did it happen naturally?
This is likely to hit those who don’t have babies in the first couple of years of marriage. With so much of information (or should I say misinformation) about IVF, everyone assumes that conception after a few years cannot be natural and has to be through aided means. Also, since twins are less common in India, anyone having twins is generally thought to have used IVF (where chances of twins are greater). I am at a loss on how people conveniently assume such things and worse say it out loud to the pregnant mother. I have friends who conceived twins “naturally” after some years of marriage. They face this question frequently and the mother, tired of it, has some fun of her own by saying “Yes, but he’s not the father!”
3. Food advice
Everyone you meet will have views on what you should eat and what you shouldn’t. If you hear it all, you will likely end up being hungry since one set of people will say it’s good and the other set will lecture you on harmful effects of the same item. You will also have some well-wishers advising you to be cautious of how much you eat while others will tell you to eat more since you are now “eating for two”. Either way, it’s best to consult your dietician / doctor to understand what your body needs and follow their advice.
4. Labour scare!
It’s common for people to narrate stories of other deliveries (normally the more complicated ones). They don’t realize that a first time pregnant mother, already scared of the process, does not need this description. Each delivery is unique and every mother will have a different experience. Just ignore the stories, remain calm and plan your “babymoon”!
5. What’s inside is too big or too small?
The size of your stomach is an obvious topic of discussion. One of my friends with a rather large tummy was asked if she was having twins and she said, “If I indeed am, it’s surprising my doctor forgot to tell me!” On the other hand, I did not show in terms of tummy, till about the 5th month and many people asked me if I was indeed pregnant. Why would I make up something like pregnancy? When I raised this concern with my doctor, she laughed it off saying the baby’s growth is perfect and there is no need to worry.
6. What are your cravings?
Can a pregnancy be without cravings? Don’t worry, I and many people I know, had no cravings all through pregnancy. It’s perfectly normal. Yes I was always hungry-much like the famished Nibbles (Jerry’s cousin) from the cartoon series “Tom and Jerry”. But there were no cravings as such. Some people even try to guess a baby’s gender based on the craving like if you are enjoying sweets, then it’s a boy! While these can be entertaining, the last time I checked, the odds of having a boy or a girl were still 50:50.
7. The pregnancy glow!!!
Pregnant women appear breathless and sweating most of the times, burping and farting in the most un-ladylike manner, waiting eagerly to pop. It’s surprising to imagine the word “glow” go with that picture. If someone talks about your “pregnancy glow” and it helps cheer you up, that’s great. But the truth may be far from that.
Pregnancy is a beautiful journey with an exciting destination. Ignore all unwanted advice and intrusive questions. Go through it happily for you will forget all of this when you see your little one(s) for the first time. The pregnancy phase will last for only nine months, whereas the joy of being a mother will last forever!!!
This article was first published on Momspresso (erstwhile mycity4kids).