Pregnant women are often asked a multitude of questions. The two most common are probably “When are you due?” and “Is it a boy or a girl?” Although it is understandable that friends and family would want to know these things, I am often amazed by the complete strangers that feel the need to ask. In fact, I am constantly amazed that strangers take such an interest in the private lives of pregnant women and mothers. For the most part I try to be friendly, but there were other times that I found myself really wanting privacy. How you handle the multitude of questions will depend on who is asking, where you are, and how you are feeling that day.
Most people did not like my answer when it came to the first question. I am a strong believer that the estimated due date is simply an estimation rather than an expiration. I very rarely gave people my exact due date. Something about me saying “early May” was just not as satisfying to people as May 5. I did this for a few reasons. First of all, I did not want to get too attached to that date. The first few people that I told my due date to made jokes about it being Cinco de Mayo. They went on to talk about how I could have Margaritas in the hospital. Although it was a fun image, I knew that chances are I would not actually have my baby on my due date. I was certain that my first child would be born at 41 weeks. I didn’t want to be disappointed when my baby chose a different birthday.
Another reason I didn’t want to give the exact date was that I didn’t want friends and family constantly asking me if the baby had been born yet. I have seen so many other women harassed by well meaning Facebook friends as they neared or passed their due date. By being vague I was also giving a message that I did not care about the due date. I did not want to hear people say “only 4 more days to go” or “why isn’t he here yet?” I didn’t want to hear about him being early or late because babies come at the perfect time for them. Statistically speaking, due dates can be off by as much as 2 weeks anyway and only something like 2% are actually born on their due date.
With strangers I was always vague about my due date. I would often say “after Easter” or “next month”. The biggest reason for this was simply that it wasn’t any of their business. I didn’t need to know that my due date was their cousin’s birthday or that I should try for the 2nd because it was their anniversary. I also found that when people knew my due date they felt like they also had the right to ask even more personal questions. They wanted me to share his name or even ask me how much weight I had gained. We are talking perfect strangers here. I did not want to talk about weird food cravings or sciatic nerve pain with people while waiting in line at the grocery store. I just wanted to get my grocery shopping done so I could go home and take a nap. No wonder pregnant women are always tired. Trying to answer all of the questions is exhausting.