You’ve just found out you are pregnant. Congratulations! It’s a huge change, and blessing in your life, whether a planned change or an unexpected surprised. You can probably bet more than a few people are going to be excited for you and can’t wait to share in the excitement. One thing you are no doubt going to be asked repeatedly is if you know the gender? Are you finding out the gender? What do you feel like it is? It’s pretty common and no one means any harm by it. They are genuinely happy for you.
For this reason, it is such a struggle for me to openly admit I am super annoyed by it all. I’m thrilled to be able to share with everyone the great news of our amazing miracle. I just have trouble with the constant bombardment of opinions.
Dealing with the Gender Dilemma
My Side: I’ve never been a fan of baby pink or baby blue. I feel like it’s a constraint; as well as, we are planning more children and want everything to be gender neutral for the sake of our next child, which has only a 50% chance of being the same gender. While I know most will understand and respect my wishes I also know that some people will believe they are the only people ignoring my wishes and getting something super cute for the baby. The fact remains however that it is my wishes. Luckily I have a great husband who agrees with me.
How You Might Want to Handle This Sort of Situation: Ask mama and papa IF they are going to find out the gender. I can’t tell you how much better of a reaction you will get from a parent if you ask if they are finding out instead of assuming they are and go straight to asking for the gender. If they say, “Nope we aren’t finding out.” You are welcome to ask why they chose to keep it a surprise. There is no harm in asking questions but coming from a sensitive, emotional mama bear that I have already turned into, you can avoid a snappy mama by not assuming and simply asking.
I’m not suggesting that people ignore gender, I’m saying accept the parents wishes to either reveal or not reveal the gender. Don’t add grief to an already emotional situation with your opinion because at the end of the day, you are really just trying to insert yourself into a life you have no business inserting yourself in.
For me it isn’t even the baby color that has hurt me the most. Yes, it is annoying, but it’s not the worst thing. What has hurt me the most would have to be not being able to truly connect with my baby due to all of the interference from well meaning, excited people.
Please do not misunderstand me; I’m not upset with anyone. I know exactly what causes people to act in these ways. I am even guilty of this in the past. Now being pregnant I feel more enlightened as to what expectant mothers might think and feel. I also feel complete remorse for my previous, albeit, bad form.
My Side: Since we have announced we were expecting, I have been told congratulations followed by what people think we are having, then them asking what we want, and lastly what do I feel like I am having. It’s extremely frustrating because of a simple fact. I’m constantly being told what others think I am having that I am not able to really have an opinion until after they have had their thoughts pushed on me, if at all.
I’m not one of those people who can turn off the part of my brain that connects everything together. So when I tried to sit down and connect to my miracle and try to feel out what baby is and what my body is saying, I got a big fat zero, or even worse my brain started to fill with what different people think and feel for me. I can imagine having either a boy or girl, but to feel what the baby’s gender is, just didn’t exist. To have that gut feeling knowing in my heart what gender we are going to be welcoming into our family wasn’t there. I was left feeling cheated.
How You Can Approach This In The Future: This may sound harsh but it’s the reality. Just stop looking at a pregnant woman’s stomach and saying, “You look like you are carrying a…” I have heard more people tell me what I am having then actually being asked what I am carrying. I know from other mother’s that by the end of their pregnancy they wanted to strangle the next person to tell them what they looked like they were carrying. We know you are all so excited but you are keeping us from really having that time to figure our little parasite out, to really connect and bond. If we can’t bond we feel as though we are somehow letting our precious baby down.
You don’t want to feel that the person you are most connected to is a stranger, so please keep that in mind when you try to tell a pregnant woman what she is having. We don’t want strangers growing in our bellies, we want our baby.
The Ugly Side All Personalities
My Side: When asked what I feel like I’m carrying. I would honestly say “I don’t know.” This opens up a whole slew of comments. Some are pretty ugly. The worst being “I’m just trying to get attention.” It’s heartbreaking that people think this and push their thoughts and agenda in my family’s life.
Please, no pity. I’m wanting to bring awareness to this.
For Future Reference: Reign in those opinions of yours. If mama is after attention, calling out her desire for attention is giving in, and probably creating more drama. If the mama isn’t after attention you just dealt a very low blow to an emotional woman who is no doubt beginning to second guess her, thoughts, actions, and words. Our emotions aren’t always in check and Heaven knows that it’s a struggle, for sure for me. So please save your breath and the heartache to follow.
I’ve been guilty of forcing my opinions on others. As a pregnant woman who is highly emotional, I can now vouch that this is a huge struggle. I’ve always considered myself to take into account others outlooks on life and be accepting of differing viewpoints; being pregnant and going through what others say about my feelings, I can say I have had my eyes opened. I’ve completely failed in this! I’ve been guilty of saying some of the exact same things that upset me now as a pregnant woman!
It may not seem as though you are being insensitive, maybe you even mean it as a joke, it doesn’t change the fact that what you have said has hurt mama or even papa. No man is ever okay with someone hurting their pregnant wife. So if you find the expectant parents withdrawing from you, you might want to apologize and listen, without trying to justify your words. Even if your words were meant to be funny, no expectant parent wants you to argue your point right after apologizing.
This might even be why people don’t tell others when they are pregnant. We were so excited we had to tell those close to us. Looking back I wish we hadn’t. So please, let your excitement out and share in the joyous occasion just please let this time be about the family, not you.
Let the parents have a chance to feel out their emotions and their views before you force yours on them. Celebrate life and the importance of these miracles and leave the details to Mom & Dad.
To any I have done this to in the past, I am truly sorry and regret my insensitivity to your situation and beautiful moments.
Please share your stories and what annoys you most while pregnant in the comments below! I look forward to hearing from you!