Last week at work, someone asked me if I was pregnant.
(I wish this was an April Fool’s joke. Unfortunately, it’s 100% true.)
I wasn’t even upset, mostly because I knew it was a ridiculous question. Sure, I may have gained
a few several pounds since I saw this person last, but I’m self-aware enough to know when I do and don’t look pregnant.
For the record, I do not look pregnant.
(Unless it’s possible to carry a child in your thighs, in which case, I could pass for at least second trimester.)
The person who assumed I was with child–who is a dear friend and the sweetest person you ever did meet–simply walked up to me and said, “Katrina! Are you havin’ a baby?”
“Umm…nope!” I exclaimed with an I-can’t-believe-you-just-asked-that grin across my mug.
“Okay!” she responded before continuing our conversation.
The fact that she didn’t seem embarrassed led me to believe her question wasn’t the result of the way my belly looked. She’s could have just figured that after nearly seven years of marriage, it was time I started to reproduce? Perhaps my skin was glowing? Maybe my padded bra was looking extra convincing?
Whatever the case may be, I refuse to feel bad about it. Sure, I might be a little curvier lately, but pregnant-looking? No.
I shared this story with my good friend Cam, who was immediately horrified.
“You never ask that!” he exclaimed with a mixture of shock and laughter.
He then suggested I determine the official protocol for asking/not asking about a woman’s childbearing status, since such rules aren’t really in existence. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
If you think someone might be pregnant:
Never, under any circumstances, should you ask them directly. If you feel you must know, it’s alright to ask someone else who might have accurate information. (So long as that individual is not the person in question’s relative, best friend or significant other.) If no one knows, just wait it out. It’s really none of your business anyway, and holding out a few months isn’t going to kill you.
If someone is clearly pregnant, but you still feel weird about assuming:
Tell them congratulations! If they smile, pat their belly, and tell you how excited they are then bravo!
If they look confused, congratulate them for something else going on in their life. (It’s usually a good idea to think of this back-up compliment before you engage in conversation.) You’ve saved yourself from an incredibly awkward moment and given someone a bit of encouragement.
Cam also suggested t-shirts, which is kind of a brilliant idea.
The wine was my idea.
(And yes…that’s totally Sheila’s arm.)