The Pregnancy Inquisition

January 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Posted in Married Life, Pregnancy Fun Time | 11 Comments
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Thought things would change in 2012?  Sorry, folks!  I’m going to continue my habit of complaining about something fairly insignificant and then soliciting your advice.  Because that’s how to start the year on the right foot.

What’s got my knickers in a twist lately?  Pregnancy!

Or rather, the overzealous, overwhelming, overabundant questions regarding my hypothetical (and at this point, purely fictional!) pregnancy. Friends, family, colleagues, frenemies, even random baristas, stylists, salespeople and hobos (true story) are prying into my obstetric beeswax!

I know I’m not alone in this. It seems like the questions start the second you get hitched. But now that the hubs and I have been married for over a year, the frequency and intensity of questions has become more like an Inquisition.

My question is: how do you deflect these questions?

While I usually answer: “I’m birthing a house!” because, as you know, dealing with our little fixer-upper has been akin to creating new life (and going through a really, really, really long labor), there must be a better way to do it.

Most people ask out of love (or what I assume is love).  People seem to think an Andrew + Sarah combination is just what the world needs, so I don’t want to be insulting – because that is actually very flattering.

But at the same time, it’s a LOT of pressure and, quite frankly, nobody’s business!  So how, dear reader(s), do I handle this?

P.S. I am also aware that some folks are assuming that my “winter padding” is actually a bun in the oven.  Frankly, I’ve been so stressed over the past eight months, that if there was an actual bun in my actual stainless steel oven in my actual kitchen, it wouldn’t last long.  Eating one’s feelings isn’t the same as eating for two.  But here we are.

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  1. I think an innocent “why do you ask?” is the way to go here.
    Or, for those you know more intimately, a sly little smile and a “when I have news to share, you’ll be the first to know. Well, maybe not the FIRST…”

    I believe it was Dave Barry who said, “you should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she’s pregnant unless you can actually see a baby emerging from her at that moment” and Miss Manners who says that the only acceptable way to ask a women if she’s pregnant is to politely inquire, “Darling, is it possible that you are about to make me a proud father?”

    Which is of course to say: ARE you about to make me a proud father, or was that the other Sarah this time last year? I get so mixed up.

    • Dave Barry is a wise, wise man… though why my frenemies, neighborhood barista and a random hobo would be in my hypothetical delivery room is beyond me! And scary. Very scary.
      But I think your comment gets to the main problem here – there are VERY few instances when it is okay to inquire about this without creating a tremendously awkward situation for everyone involved. And as we all know, I do NOT do well in awkward situations…
      P.S. While I think it was the “other Sarah” who did you proud last year, the position of gender-neutral-non-godfather to my imaginary-baby is still available, and has your name on it 😉

  2. Lately, I’ve been using the “we plan to start a family in the next couple of years or so.” Seems to work well as it conveys we like kids but not having our own for a long time. My other plan is to ask people in return when their sex lives got so boring they were willing to give up a lot of it for kids. Not the nicest route but I feel it could be effective.

    • That’s the ticket, Emily: maintain that you enjoy little humans, but have other priorities (like deployment!) at the moment. Work it, girl!
      But let’s be honest, I can be trusted not to make a snarky comment, as you suggested 😉 Effective, though most appropriate for nosy strangers. Can’t promise I won’t use that line!
      PS When are you and Justin… ummm… coming back to visit? 😉

  3. This post reminds me of a story about your Greart Grandfather on your Dad’s side – Zaddie.
    He was at a bar once and showed someone a photo of his family. The person expressed surprise to see so many children. Yes, Zaddie said, I have 11 children… but thousands of times we got nothing!!
    Many years later my Dad counseled me to not rush to have kids… to get used to being married for a while first. He kiddingly suggested that we practice for a while before conceiving. Several years later, when he came to meet my new born identical twins he looked at them in astonishment for a while and then mumbled something that sounded like “maybe you practiced too long”!!!! LOL!
    Yea, I know that didn’t answer your question… but maybe it will make you smile the next time some rude moron asks you a question that is totally none of their business!!

    • Bunny, that did make me smile 🙂 And also reassure me of our familial fertility AND sense of humor 😉
      What a great comment from your dad! Since Andrew and I were, OF COURSE, pure as the freshly fallen snow before we got hitched, practicing is probably the first step here. Not to mention birthing that house…
      XO

  4. People are nosy and rude, that’s all there is to it. You should tell them to bug-off. And when you do have children you will see the questions only get more annoying and worse. (My non-favorite question is, “so, are they normal twins?” NORMAL? As in you see something that makes you think my children are abnormal? C’mon… since when did how I conceive my children become any of anyone’s business!)

    • Normal???? Mary Ellen, how in the world do you contain yourself? If someone said that about my future children I’m pretty sure I’d look something like your monster gravatar as I attacked 😉
      People, it’s time to mind your obstetrics beeswax!

  5. Sarah, the best way I’ve found to silence the questions is just to get pregnant. That’s what Shauna and I did, and it worked like a charm :o)

  6. My mother-in-law once told me “Tell them you’ve just had a miscarriage. That’ll shut em up quick!”

    • I’ll bet!!! But heaven knows I don’t need to jinx myself 😦


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