Growing up, I was always told to never ask a woman if she is pregnant. And, to drill it even more in my head, it was emphasized that even if I am 99.9% sure she is expecting, I still should not ask. I am now a mother of three children. Therefore, here are a few reasons why (and I will leave out the fact that I have publicized my struggles with body, diet, and exercise, and my past eating disorder).
I have held on tight to a ride that was wilder than any roller coaster that exists. I had felt a “sinking feeling” in the pit of my stomach on many occasions—waiting for test results, being told I was miscarrying, and questioning if the baby was still healthy when I didn’t feel him move—just to name a few.
I survived a roller coaster ride of emotions—excitement, fear, happiness, worry (just ask my husband and mother if you need). There were multiple occasions, and I mean multiple, where I just weeped. Sometimes I wasn’t quite sure why, but I just could not stop.
Talk about not being able to stop…my expanding belly. During my pregnancies, I went through all kinds of changes from head to toe. I admit, I had fears about gaining the pounds necessary for a healthy baby. Even though gaining weight was a natural and necessary part of pregnancy, I had a difficult time getting past the numbers that crept up on the scale. I was terrified about gaining too much weight during pregnancy, and my body never looking the same post-pregnancy.
There was one constant throughout all three of my pregnancies, and to bluntly put it, I felt fat and ugly. A feeling is a feeling, and regardless of how I actually looked, this is how I felt while pregnant.
Therefore, by asking me if I am pregnant when I am NOT is calling me fat (and ugly). When you seemingly innocently asked about a non-existent pregnancy, I couldn’t help but question my entire lifestyle—my diet and exercise mostly. Not to mention, because of the damage this has done to my body image, those around me—my loved ones—have suffered, as well. They are the ones who have to deal with my questions and obsessions.
I never ask a woman about a pregnancy unless she brings it up herself. I would be mortified if I made that mistake. There is absolutely no reason or no excuse for asking someone if she is pregnant. And, while there has been some damage to me by asking me that question (and therefore my family), I realize I have too much to be grateful for. And, because of that I will not let your question bring me down.