I’ve heard so many horror stories from a lot of moms that have had an encounter that was just so incredibly bizarre during their pregnancy– they almost don’t believe it happened. The stranger in line at the grocery store that just casually begins stroking your bump and telling you all about how you WILL kill your baby by co-sleeping and that bottles are Satan’s cups with a nipple. The total stranger who asks when the baby is due, and you’re seven weeks postpartum. I’ve been blissfully living my life for the last seven months with absolutely none of these weird instances happening to me directly. I thought that, surely, I had made it without any of this super weird conversations and would continue to month 10 with the same blessing.
I never realized that my RBF (Resting Bitch Face) was going to come in clutch during pregnancy. Sometimes I feel like people are SO close to asking me things I don’t want to answer, and then the RBF just does the job of letting them know just how unapproachable I am. Something about having anxiety in public situations, having zero medication to help cope, and then having a stranger tell or ask things I’m not wanting to answer just seems unimaginable. Which leads us to today’s post.
Before I explain to you the most ridiculous encounter that happened to me on Monday, you have to understand one thing. The only other thing that I hate worse than going to the dentist, is going to the dentist without Xanax. For some reason that is my thing. Like, I would rather have a broken bone than get my teeth cleaned. BUT my mom worked in a dental office during my formative years, and oral hygiene is something I’ve known is a necessary evil for a LONG time. Sadly my worst nightmares of uninvited oversharing and dental torture married each other for my Monday afternoon.
I get to the dentist to be told that my hygienist (who I love, and gives me a neck massage and tells me jokes and how awesome I am for 45 minutes while she cleans my teeth) was out on maternity leave. Immediate panicking. In my mind, I had driven the 50 minutes home from work knowing I was seeing her, having a crappy thing done but by a really great person, and I was cool(ish) about the whole scene ahead. Her temp seemed nice enough and took me back to the
torture chair room for my cleaning. Immediately she stares at my clearly rounded protrusion and says,
“Well you are due for x-rays, you’re pregnant and not just pudgy there, right?”
I’m pretty positive that my jaw nearly hit the floor. I sputtered back some version of. “YES, I am pregnant!” and she proceeded to tell me all about how over the next two months I’m going to be as big as a whale. “One day, you’ll just wake up and BAM you’ll be so fat you’re miserable. You just wait.”
Thanks, lady. Just what I wanted to hear when just this morning my favorite One Size LuLaRoe leggings stopped fitting under my belly bump.
“So when’s it due?”
I replied with my standard answer of, “probably the beginning of February!” as any excited mother to be would.
She didn’t like my non-committed-to-a-date-answer, apparently. Which honestly, annoyed me quite a bit. Babies are not on a timer. A super tiny percentage of babies are actually born on their due date, and over half of first time mothers go PAST this arbitrary date by almost one to two weeks. THAT is the normal. We were off to a great start.
I truly don’t give off a very inviting or conversational vibe in my panicky state of being, but this woman was missing all of my body cues. My shoulders were almost to my ears, I was rigged all over, and I couldn’t make eye contact with her. She just kept going.
(Side note: Laying INVERTED when 7 months pregnant EFFING SUCKS.)
As she begins to get wrist deep in my mouth she shoots the following statement/questions at me one after another.
“You HAVE to get the Stadol. Stadol is the best drug. Then get the epidural. Because that’s going to save your life. I got the Stadol. I wish I had a pump with that stuff. It’s fucking great. Then they gave me the epidural and my contractions stopped, so they had to give me the Pitocin, then his heart rate dropped but he came out just fine don’t you worry.”
I’m not entirely sure she even took a breath. Once she clearly was waiting for me to respond to her string of statements I informed her that I was preparing for a natural childbirth and hoping for a good outcome with that.
“There’s no pot of gold at the end of that fucking rainbow, Darlin’. Get the drugs. You’ll be begging for them by hour two, I promise.”
Honestly I get this type of reaction quite a bit, but from FRIENDS or FAMILY that I kind of expect it from. Not from a complete stranger that I will likely never interact with again.
As if I wasn’t already annoyed with this conversation to begin with, she proceeded to tell me what diapers to use, that the cry it out method is the only method, that in order to get sleep I should send the baby to her crib the first night she’s home, and that bottle feeding is the only way I’m not going to get depressed so PUMP PUMP PUMP, and that I should just commit to staying home for the first three years or my child could end up emotionally damaged.
Then I went past uncomfortable and got pissed.
Because she grabbed my left hand, and said “OH, whew. You’re married. That’s important. Gotta be married.”
First of all, not true. Second of all, what gives you the privilege to judge ANYONE based on any of these assumptions? I know plenty of single mothers that are out there, everyday, doing the damn thing all by themselves and have better adjusted kids than I see daily in my job from a two parent household.
As upset, offended, and anxious as all of this was making me I sat there completely silent. Which, if you ask my husband, is a miracle in and of itself. Usually I’d start spouting off about how rude she was being, how uneducated her research was, and how if I wanted any advice from someone I would call my mother and get it from someone who I…I dunno…KNOW!
The diapers that I chose to wrap my baby in are none of your concern, just as my desire to safely co-sleep doesn’t even remotely effect you or her ability to you know–live.
After some self reflecting and counting to ten approximately forty times I’ve come through the other side. Surely this encounter will not be the last in the upcoming two to three months, and then I’m sure it’ll be followed by a whole swarm of ugly afterwards with parenting advice.
The next time a complete stranger offers such ramblings, I think I’m entirely entitled to tell her that my pregnancy, my birth plans, and parenting endeavors are personal. Thanks for sharing, but no thanks. I’m happy that motherhood seems to be a bond that just brings people together enough to have all kinds of discussions, but I’m just not ready for all of THAT quite yet.
What’s the worst dose of unsolicited advice you got when you were pregnant? And better yet…how did you react to it? I’m working on a blog post with REAL stories from REAL moms and want you to be a part of it! If you have something to share (feel free to change any names etc., or I can even leave you anonymous) please email to me at