Expecting a baby can make even confident women feel at their most fragile and sensitive. Their bodies are out of control, hormones are doing a number on their frame of mind and even well-intentioned individuals can come across as tactless. So even though pregnancy is often depicted as a wondrous experience, it can also be fraught with stress, worry and various incidents of awkward embarrassment.
But as with most things in life, it’s fleeting. The joy, the fear, the pain and of course, even the embarrassment. As mortifying as that moment in time feels - it too shall pass. Life goes on and either a woman will come to appreciate the humor in her situation. Or else she’ll continue to flush red at the thought of it and take her secret humiliation to the grave.
In order to lighten the mood up a bit, 15 real live women have opened up in order to share some of their most embarrassing moments relating to pregnancy. For all women out there, no matter the situation - whether struggling through a challenging pregnancy, sailing through an easy one, hoping to soon become pregnant, or even long past the days of raising young children - enjoy these confessions and the fact that when it comes to pregnancy, a bit of embarrassment seems inevitable. So sit back and have a laugh or extend a bit of sympathy but no matter what, thank all that is holy that it happened to someone else!
As Emma Darby can attest to, the mortification does not end after child birth. In her case, that was just the beginning.
“After spending 22 hours pushing out a baby, you can imagine the train wreck that my lady parts had become. Going to the bathroom afterward was an ordeal - I remember wiping my bum and thinking my insides were falling out. I grabbed my camera and took a few bum selfies to see what the deal was and promptly discovered I had a nasty case of hemorrhoids.
"Fast forward to hours later and family members have excitedly arrived at our home to meet the new baby. While I attempt to freshen up, my husband hooks our camera up to our 60-inch tv and begins a presentation of our various photos. There’s a snapshot of my son’s face, a nice family shot of the three of us and then suddenly the screen displays a close up of my purple grape-like hemorrhoids for all to see. Hubby fumbles to stop the show - but he’s not quick enough and before he can shut it down everyone in the room has been privy to my eight (yes eight!) bum selfies!"
Camryn* - mother to three young sons was in labor with her second when her moment of humiliation occurred.
“I ended up heading to the hospital much later than I should have. Of course the hospital was busy, so the nurses basically hooked me up to a contraction machine and left me alone in a room with my husband. About an hour passed before a nurse came by, had me remove my clothing and checked on me to discover that I was fully dilated. My water broke with a gush all over her and she told us it was time.
“She quickly threw a sheet over me and started wheeling me down the hall. Somehow, a sheet corner got stuck under one of the gurney wheels and whipped right off. There I was, knees in the air, fully exposed giving everyone in the halls a full-on show. Did I mention that it was busy?! Thankfully, I was in so much agony that the embarrassment didn’t even register until much later.”
Mother of three young daughters, Claudette* opted not to know the sex of her youngest two after the debacle she experienced during her first pregnancy.
“My husband and I were arguing because I really wanted to know the sex of our unborn baby and he wanted the surprise. We finally compromised with the deal that my doctor would tell me in private and I would keep the secret from him. My husband was leery at first because he said I had a ‘big mouth’ and he was certain I’d blow the surprise for him. Of course I vowed to keep mum.
“For the most part, I was extremely careful. I only referred to the baby as ‘it’, I was very conscious about the baby clothes I bought as well as any toys. And when we talked about names, we discussed them for both genders.
“Then one day, the baby surprised me with an extra hard kick and I yelped and without thinking said to my husband: ‘Wow - this girl’s gotta mean foot.’ I tried to cover up by immediately referring to the baby as a ‘he’ but the damage was done. To this day, my husband still calls me ‘big mouth’ and I kind of agree with him!”
Linda* is mother to twin daughters and a son. She was pregnant with her son when she experienced a bit of embarrassment thanks to one of her daughters.
“I was heavily pregnant - probably around the eight month mark and was at my daughters’ school to pick them up from kindergarten. Class was dismissed and I saw one of my daughters’ holding the teacher’s hand and bringing her over to me. Before I could even say ‘hello’, she points to my stomach and says to her teacher: ‘My daddy put the new baby in there through my mommy’s bum’.
“To this day, I have no clue where she got this idea from. But it was the most embarrassing moment of my life! The teacher sort of giggled and patted my daughter on the head before moving away. I’m pretty sure a few of the other parents heard it all as well. The worst part was that I had to wait for my other daughter to finish up her artwork before I could pack them both up and get the heck out of there!
“Thankfully, we moved cities the following year. So I never have to run into anyone who was witness to this moment of humiliation ever again.”
Mother of two boys, Ingrid*, recalls a moment during her first pregnancy that proved frightening, hilarious and embarrassing all rolled into one.
“I was about seven months into my first pregnancy when I woke up in the middle of the night feeling very crampy. I quickly woke up my husband and the two of us rushed to the emergency room. The nurses there immediately hooked me up to a bunch of monitors and left the two of us alone. I was upset and worried that something was really wrong. My husband was doing his best to lighten up the situation and he said something funny that made me laugh out loud. At the same time, I passed wind that could have sailed a boat . . . and instantly felt better. The look on my husband’s face was so hilarious that I laughed again and I peed the bed just as the nurse returned to check on me. Needless to say, I got sent home wearing clean and dry hospital scrubs.”
Mother of one daughter, Lola Diakow has always fancied herself a bit of a practical joker and she didn’t let pregnancy get in the way of her prank-pulling.
“I’ve never been the type to get embarrassed. But eight years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, I did enjoy having fun with well-intentioned strangers which ended up causing them some awkward moments.
“When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy and just about ready to pop - anytime a person would make a comment to me or ask me how far along I was or if I knew whether I was having a boy or girl - I would feign confusion and then say something like ‘Oh - I’m not actually pregnant’. There would typically be a moment of dead silence. And then the person would start stammering and apologizing. At that point I usually couldn’t keep a straight face and then we’d have a bit of a laugh.
“But one woman did not find my little gag funny at all - she was actually quite pissed and told me that I wasn’t ‘very nice’. I guess she has a point.”
Switching things up a tad, Cathy L. who is mother of three recalls a funny moment during her third pregnancy that left her husband a bit sheepish with confusion.
“We had two boys already and were heading to the ultrasound for our third pregnancy. Of course all I wanted was a healthy baby but I did have my fingers crossed that this one would be a girl.
“The ultrasound technician is doing their thing, I’m laying there excited and hopeful and my husband is by my side. The technician points to the screen and says ‘I see labia!’ I was so excited and happy that I got teary and couldn’t say anything at first. My poor husband - he had no freaking clue what ‘labia’ meant. Then he looks over and sees my tears and assumes the baby has some sort of defect. Sigh. It makes for a hilarious story now...and all at my husband’s expense.”
Mother of one son, it was during her baby shower that Gwen* felt at her most awkward. And all thanks to her favorite cousin who concocted a party game designed to cause a bit of mom-to-be embarrassment.
“My cousin Sabrina has always loved to tease me - generally in a good-natured way. And I’m sure she thought it was hilarious to cause me a bit of discomfort during my baby shower. From the sounds of it, everyone seemed to enjoy it although I am sure I was beet red.
“I was told that a questionnaire had been downloaded from the internet that would help determine the personality of my soon-to-be-born child. So in front of all the guests, Sabrina asked me the questions. They started out tame enough - things like: what month did you conceive; how long had I been trying. But then they got steamier and much more personal like: What sexual position helped achieve conception? And did I orgasm during.
“Everyone at the party was roaring - including my mother, mother-in-law and my 92-year-old granny. But I was squirming with embarrassment!”
Jeanne* is a mother of four, but it was during her first pregnancy when she experienced a particularly humiliating incident.
“I was over the hump and finally feeling good and like my old self. My best friend and I planned to have a girl’s day together and I had been looking forward to it for weeks. I did my hair, wore a new outfit and felt like a million bucks. We headed out for lunch to a fancy little bistro I’d been meaning to try and after enjoying a wonderful (and quite expensive) lunch, we headed out into the sunshine for some retail therapy.
"We hadn’t even walked a full block when I was overcome by a wave of stomach-churning cramps. I knew I needed a bathroom and fast - but there was nothing nearby except for a few high-end stores. My friend urged me to run into one and ask to use the restroom but I realized I wouldn’t be able to make it. I ended up ducking into an alley and emptying my bowels behind a pile of cardboard while my friend stood guard. Even now (more than 13 years later), my face still goes red at the memory!”
Pregnancy was one of the most difficult experiences of Anne McFadden’s life. Despite this fact, she went through it four times and has four boys to show for it.
“For some reason, pregnancy never agreed with me. I felt awful for all of them but my fourth was by far the worst. I had such bad nausea that I had to take some time off work. Plus, my hair was limp and greasy no matter what I did to it. My face was covered in acne and to make matters worse, I had a blotchy mask of pregnancy across my cheeks.
“I went back to work and was sitting in my cubicle when a woman from my department walked in to get something. She practically gasped when she saw me. To cover up her shock she said: ‘Oh Anne. I didn’t realize you were back. You look great’ but it was so obvious that she did not actually mean it.
“I was embarrassed for the both of us. She basically avoided me for the rest of my pregnancy. Only now (four years later) can I look back and smile on this incident. But frankly, it was probably more mortifying for her than for me!”
Sandra*, mother of three, found herself in desperate need of a diaper during her second pregnancy, but funny enough - not for her baby.
“I was five months pregnant with my second and was driving home from my ultrasound appointment. My daughter was in the backseat and my husband (who had met me there) was in his own car heading home. I found myself stuck in a bit of traffic and having to pee. When it became apparent that I could not hold it, I fumbled around for a diaper from my daughter’s diaper bag thinking I could sit on it and save my car’s upholstery. To no avail.
“I ended up soaking myself as well as the car seat. To make matters worse, when I got home, my neighbors came straight over to find out how the ultrasound went. There was no hiding my little mishap. I ran inside to clean up while they got my daughter out of the car for me. When my husband pulled up and asked where I was, my neighbor said ‘she had a bit of an accident’. My husband panicked thinking I had been in a fender-bender, to which my neighbor replied: ‘No - she just pissed herself’."
Sue M., a single mother to two boys, describes her pregnancy incident as embarrassing but also very humbling.
“Early into my first pregnancy, I was over the moon at how clearly defined the baby was - especially when lying on my back. I could see his little head and bum pressing up through the skin on my stomach. My partner, Richard*, would lovingly read “Oh, Baby, The Places You’ll Go” to our little bump. At work, I remember lying down on the floor to show off my baby’s perfectly defined form to a few of my female co-workers.
“It wasn’t until I had a routine checkup with my OBGYN that he immediately diagnosed the little bump as a fibroid - just by looking at it! He explained that while there was definitely a healthy baby in there, the outline poking up through my abdomen was too spherical to be the baby. All this time, I had been showing it off, lovingly stroking it, Richard had been reading to it...and it was a benign tumor!”
Mother of three, Joanne Spiller, was no stranger to bouts of morning sickness during her three pregnancies. Yet it caught her by surprise in one particular instance, making for a moment of complete mortification.
“I was pregnant with baby number three and driving home from the grocery store. Just as I pulled the car into my driveway, I threw up all over myself. Before I could even get my bearings, let alone clean myself up, my male neighbor from across the street (who happens to remind me of Pierce Brosnan) was at my passenger side window wanting to talk to me. How he stood there with a straight face and carried on a conversation is still beyond me - the smell was revolting!
“I’m fuzzy on the details of our conversation - but he was such a nice guy so I’m sure he said something witty yet reassuring. A year later, he and his family moved away but we still keep in touch. And even though that moment in time was over 12 years ago, I’m still taken back every so often.”
Marlo* is a self-described introvert as well as mother to a boy and girl. Her embarrassing pregnancy moment is thanks to a somewhat impolite and definitely politically incorrect man she ran into while grocery shopping.
“I was pregnant with my second baby and having a pretty bad day. I felt like crap, I was wearing sweat pants and a baggy sweater, I’m not even sure if I managed to take a shower that day. I was trying to grab what I needed to throw something together for dinner that night when an older man approached me and commented on my pregnancy. I was immediately uncomfortable but just smiled and moved along down the aisle.
“As I moved farther away, he yelled out after me: ‘I can tell by your butt that you’re having a girl. Thought you’d want to know!’ He was smiling and waving like he was gracing me with the best news imaginable. I was mortified especially since there were other shoppers nearby watching everything unfold. I just took off as fast as I could waddle. And for the record, I had a boy.”
Brady Schmidt, mother to one 10-year-old son, recalls an embarrassing moment when she was approximately four months along.
“I was working as a Canadian Art Specialist and was at Hotel Vancouver trying to sell Group of Seven paintings to private collectors. My pregnancy was a bit rough and I was nauseous throughout which is why I found it helpful to snack every couple of hours rather than sit down to a few meals each day.
"I was showing some collectors the artwork when I knew I was going to be sick. I quickly excused myself and made it as far as the elevator before I threw up in my mouth(cherries I had eaten earlier in the day). There I was in a Calvin Klein suit, killer heels, in a swanky elevator with half-digested cherries in my mouth.
"I got to my room, fumbled with the key and made it inside where I finished the job of vomiting into the sink. Afterward, I realized that there could be real issues with cherries going down the drain of an ornate and antique sink so I ended up scooping them out and flushing them down the toilet.”