Walking around town with a big belly gets a lot more attention than I ever anticipated. And I have to say: I am loving it! Strangers stop me nearly every day to inquire when I’m due (October 15!), what I’m having (A little boy!), if this is my first (Yep! First one!) how I’m feeling (Great!), or sometimes even just to smile and say, “Congratulations” without stopping where they’re walking. One woman even held the door open for me on the way into the restroom and let me go first, saying, “I’ve been there three times myself, mama. You go right on ahead!”. It really is just so sweet and every time someone goes out of their way to be nice to me simply because I’m pregnant, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with sappy gratitude and joy.
Sure, I’ve gotten some questions or comments directed my way that haven’t been as nice, like being called crazy for any number of reasons, including (but not limited to) wanting a natural birth, wanting to cloth diaper, or for being determined not to let my house get overrun by plastic baby things strewn everywhere. (To be fair though, most of those comments haven’t come from strangers, but from closer acquaintances and family members, which brings to mind – why is it that strangers can be nicer than the people who actually know you? I digress…) But for the most part, people are so kind and so excited for me that it makes it easy to stay in a positive state of mind.
At 31 weeks (I’m 33 weeks now), people started telling me I looked like I was literally about to “pop any day now” and I would just smile and say, “Oh, I still have two more months. You ain’t seen nothin‘ yet.” I know a lot of women get sensitive with comments regarding their size or how big they are, but even those don’t bother me because I know they don’t mean any harm. People just like big pregnant ladies!
Every week I go to Whole Foods around lunchtime, grab something to eat from the salad or hot bar and eat in the cafe before starting my grocery shopping. One day I grabbed the last seat left next to a man who struck up a conversation, congratulating me and asking the usual questions (see above) and we ended up talking the entire meal. He, sharing stories and passing on important tidbits he had learned from fatherhood, and me taking note, trying to remember it all but knowing full well that exhaustion and a real live BABY will likely cause me to forget a lot. Before he left, he congratulated me again and said, “Just trust your instincts. You’ll be a great mom.” and I was left staring at my salad with big elephant tears threatening to drop any second. The kindness of strangers. It’s really something, isn’t it?
Did you have similar reactions when you were pregnant? Did people stop you everywhere to congratulate and ask you the usual questions? I wonder if it is cultural or if people everywhere are generally enthusiastic about seeing a (very obviously) pregnant woman out and about. And I wonder if it’s because I don’t have any other children with me that makes them assume it’s my first and if that is somehow more exciting. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments!