Usually, when a woman announces her pregnancy, people are filled with joy, happiness, awe, and there are tons of happy tears. Mothers of the mommy-to-be, waiting on pins and needles for their daughters to make this kind of announcement, bring out the knitting needles already hiding away in their Dooney & Burke's. They hastily begin making bonnets and booties for their soon to be arriving grandson or granddaughter. Husbands that have been getting busy on the clock (or the ovulation timer app) are happy to know they may soon have a son to toss the pigskin around with, or a girl to protect ferociously from anyone with the mindset he had back in college.
Giddy friends, who already guessed their BFF was with child (because she was sipping apple cider at the NYE party) are excited to see one of the group take the plunge into the unfamiliar terrain of pregnancy and parenthood. There is usually so much happiness at the thought of the new little person growing away inside the mommy-to-be's belly and so many people thrilled at the thought of meeting the baby girl or boy. There are instances, however, when the announcements do not go as planned. Whether she is telling an unsuspecting boyfriend or husband, or catching her “friends” and family off guard, people have been known to say some down right awful things and ask some terribly timed questions to an already overwhelmed woman. Here are 15 people who had the worst reactions to pregnancy announcements…
15 The Gritty Granny: “That Figure Will Be Ruined!”
This person, usually older, and of the been there done that mindset, is probably ecstatic about the pregnancy but refuses to carry on like everyone else. She will probably talk about how she used to be shaped like a coca cola classic and now has to pry her breast off the ground and smash her widened waist and hips into a corset just to fit through the front door. Maybe a grandma or great aunt, this sprung chicken is typically someone who knows mommy-to-be well enough to be candid.
Good thing that women these days are rocking their bodies after baby. Have you seen Mila Kunis or Stacy Keibler, lately? And it’s not just the celebrities, mommies are fitter and more fabulous, and with all the new aerobics classes for new and expecting moms, like "Oh baby" and "fit4mom," not to mention what mommy-to-be can find online that can be done in the comfort of her own home - mommy will be just fine.
14 The Jealous Girlfriend: “But You Aren’t Really The Mothering Kind…”
This “friend” probably makes those terribly snarky comments like “You can’t bring a baby to the club, you know.” Listen, there are always going to be certain people in life that don't like to see others advance, especially when they feel they're being left behind. They're the same people who couldn’t make mommy-to-be’s graduation party. Who didn’t say much when she showed up with an engagement ring. These folks are good for one type of thing, saying goodbye. If they aren’t happy about the direction mommy-to-be’s life is taking, then she should leave them where they are, stuck in the past.
Maybe one day, when life starts happening for them, they will understand that the best thing a pregnant woman can get from a friend, is support. And as reformed party girls across the world will tell you: pregnancy (and kids) change everything. According to recent evidence, pregnancy may even change the way a woman’s brain works to better support mothering!
13 The Dreamer: “Weren't There Things You Wanted To Do Before Having Kids?”
This person probably means well. They had hopes and dreams they were looking to see mommy-to-be accomplish before she had a totally dependent little person to care for - for the rest of her life. They wanted to see her travel and take French cooking classes and on and on. Here’s the cool part, mommy-to-be can still go to all the places she wanted to go, she can still take those French cooking classes.
Mommy doesn’t even need an extra plane ticket for baby until they hit two, and sometimes they even let families board first (except AA, boo!) For anything else, a great sitter can come in handy, and if mommy isn’t cool with strangers watching her new little tyke, grandma will happily watch them for free!
12 The Scared Sister: “Life As You Know It Is Over!”
She was okay with mommy-to-be getting married, but a baby? A baby already? She thinks she won’t ever see her sister again. She doesn’t mean any harm, she's just majorly caught off guard and as soon as she stops thinking of herself and starts to consider mommy-to-be and the delicate situation her sister is in, she will probably come to her senses and congratulate her sister like she always does.
Sisters are great for their blatant honesty. But sometimes it can sting. Thankfully, sisters have a life of memories and strong bond to fall back on when there's a hiccup. After all, mommy-to-be can’t forget that her sister is the reason she got the nerve and finally dumped the last loser she thought was “the one” and allowed Mr. Right to take up residency.
11 The Dummy: “How Did This Happen?”
Believe it or not, a lot of women get asked this question when they tell people they're expecting. While some moms-to-be may be tempted to pop off a bird and bees type analogy, the thing people are usually asking is: how did she let this happen?! While it’s still not a particularly encouraging response, people that are trying to avoid pregnancy don’t see how one can get pregnant with the hundreds of ways to prevent it.
Well here"s a news flash, accidents happen, and furthermore the only 100% proven way to avoid pregnancy is to avoid intercourse. Also, many women, millions and millions of them, WANT to be pregnant and they are turning cartwheels and drinking pineapple juice to make it happen.
10 The Body-Shamer: “Whoa, But Are You At A Healthy Weight?”
This person will either admonish her for being over or under weight, basically leaning to the perception that she is not healthy enough to carry a child or support a growing baby. They bring up the goals mommy-to-be may have shared to shape up or slim down in the past. Maybe they even stoop to using Google to illuminate how overweight or underweight women seem to have more problems with pregnancy and delivery than women at a "healthier" weight.
Here's a news flash: it’s too late for her to do anything about her pre-pregnancy weight at this point, and to discuss it is just plain ugly. Mom’s-to-be, do however have the option to modify their weight gain during a pregnancy if they started above or below the healthy average weight for their height.
9 Debbie Downer: "Wow, Good For You, But…”
(The conversation should stop there, thought it rarely does).
"…I just had a miscarriage/abortion/found out I can’t have kids..." While mom-to-be definitely cares about the struggles other people face and wants to be supportive and helpful, the moment she announces her good news is a terrible time to share bad/terrifying/negative stories with her. It’s a crazy phenomenon, but as soon as a woman finds out she's pregnant, it seems that people come out of nowhere to tell her the most horrific stories.
Lisa, 34, in Texas, said her mother-in-law told her of how she "bled and bled and almost died" after the delivery of her son (Lisa's husband), right after Lisa and her husband announced they were expecting! Lisa was so terrified about delivery she almost begged her doctor for an unnecessary C-section.
8 The Bargaining Boss: “Congrats. Now, Are You Going To Be Using The Whole Six Weeks?”
This person may give the illusion that they have mommy-to-be’s best interest in mind but carefully listening to the questions asked might lead one to a different conclusion. Asking a pregnant woman leading questions or trying to push her into coming up with answers she may not have yet, isn’t only wrong, it may be illegal!
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grants moms and dads up to 12 weeks unpaid vacation to be taken in the event of childbirth even starting before the delivery. This act also allows for changes in the work schedule to help the family get adjusted to the new arrival.
7 The Nosy Neighbor: "You Don't Have Room For A Child!"
So many pregnant women and expecting dads have heard this one before, and truthfully, most of them have probably thought it themselves. An already crowded apartment or a tiny house can seem like an impossible space to try and make room for a baby. However, truth be told, babies don’t really need much room. One woman told her expecting daughter that all a baby really needs is a stroller and dresser drawer.
Newborn babies like to be cuddled up with mom or dad anyway, preferably skin-to-skin. So just because she doesn’t have a spare room to paint blue or pink, doesn’t mean she can’t turn a corner of her room into a baby’s dreamspace. There are tons of ways to make space for a baby in a tiny home.
6 The Scrooge: “You Can’t Afford A Kid!”
This is another one that mom and dad-to-be were probably already thinking about when they were faced with the reality of a new baby entering their lives. Kids do cost lots of money. Some estimate raising a child from baby to 18 years old can cost as much as 250k! But as many of us know, most people don’t have a quarter of a million dollars sitting around at any given time, and people are still starting families with multiple children every single day.
Families make do, they make ends meet, and their children grow up with everything they need and most of the stuff they want. Mommy-to-be should ignore this naysayer because if everyone had the big bucks that children cost before becoming pregnant, most of us wouldn’t be here.
5 Disappointed Dad: "But You Aren’t Even Married!”
Most dad's want their daughters to be locked down before they get knocked up. But sometimes life deals a different hand, and mommy-to-be must play the hand she was dealt. These days, some folks choose to raise their children as friends, partners, or under several other titles that all signify the lack of nuptials.
While tons of research heavily supports that children with married parents tend to do better in life, work, and their own marriages, children can thrive in any caring environment whatever the title of the arrangement between mom and dad may be. Dad will come around, with or without her getting a ring. Disappointed dads usually become the most supportive fathers and the sweetest grandfathers.
4 The Ageist: "Aren't You Too Old?"
This nagging ninny is obviously missing the fact that she IS pregnant. Therefore, the egg factory must not be closed down yet. Women are conceiving in their 30s, 40s, and sometimes (although rarely) into their 50s, and having healthy children. Contrary to popular belief, the reproductive system doesn’t shrivel up and shut down the morning she turns 35.
It's true that women in their mid to late thirties are at increasingly greater odds to have trouble getting and staying pregnant, and are more likely to have complications during pregnancy. There's also a slightly increased risk of giving birth to children with chromosome abnormalities, but the rate at which these matters increase is small and slow. There isn’t a time-warp at 35 and dad's sperm may play a key role to some of these issues as well.
3 The Unsuspecting Boyfriend: "Is It Mine?"
Watch out for a slap. She will probably need time to shake this off affront. In most cases, women do not announce a pregnancy to a man unless she is sure he's the father. Now, we do have those extenuating circumstances where the poor guy has every right to ask the poor girl this question BUT he still shouldn't. At least not at that exact moment. First, he should quietly and quickly do some math.
For instance, if she has a positive pregnancy test then she is at least two weeks pregnant, and he and she would have had to have done the deed around two weeks ago for him to be the culprit. If he was benefiting from a friendship around that time, BINGO. If, however, mommy-to-be and he only hooked up once 6-7 days ago, Lucy may have some 'splainin to do....
2 The BIG Idiot: "Are You Going To Keep It?"
This one almost tops the list. Karen, managing a massage facility in Colorado, announced her pregnancy during a front staff meeting, wanting to inform her employees she would be hiring a new assistant, as well as tweaking her work schedule a bit as the pregnancy went on. She remembers vividly when one of the youngest team members, a goofy greasy-faced teenager, raised his hand in the middle of her speech and asked if she would be keeping the baby she just announced she was having. She said she responded angrily, pregnancy hormones ablaze, "No, I was looking for a ride to the abortion clinic! Of course, I am keeping it DUMMY!"
People, if she is telling you about the baby, if she is announcing to the world that she is pregnant, she is more than likely planning to keep it. Women that chose other alternatives rarely make announcements. We’ll leave it at that.
1 The Silent Gut-Puncher: (......)
This muted mongrel tops the list because when she shares her news, they don't say anything! What could be worse than that? Whether it’s an angry boyfriend feeling he has been "trapped" (even though he had as much to do with the baby-making as she did). Or perhaps an angry mom and dad, giving the cold shoulder to a teen mom to be in her greatest time of need. Or even, the married guy (sneaky snake) that never intended for the affair to get this serious.
Whatever the reason, the silence can be deafening. Pregnancy can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But a woman announcing a pregnancy deserves one thing and one thing only, the support of her family, friends, and coworkers.