A Friendly PSA to Help Your Very Pregnant Friends
I posted this message on my Facebook page yesterday, and I think it bears repeating here:
Have a friend who is near or past her estimated due date? Call her today and say NOTHING about babies, pregnancy, or labor. Invite her to lunch, or to a museum, or out for a pedicure, or for coffee (SCANDALOUS). And if she’s not picking up the phone, make sure that your message doesn’t include the phrase, “WHEN’S THAT BABY GONNA BE BORN?!”
Because when you have an eight pound bowling ball in your abdomen (and let’s be clear, it’s not just that the bowling ball is “under your shirt”–it’s rather in your abdomen and on your bladder and kicking your ribs and stretching your skin) you are more than aware of the fact said bowling ball has not evacuated your uterus yet. And the last thing you need is a bunch of presumably well-meaning jokesters (or presumably well-meaning and inquisitive friends and family members) drawing attention to the fact that YES, YOU ARE STILL PREGNANT.
Trust me, when a woman is still pregnant, she knows.
To avoid the stress or anxiety sometimes caused by these conversations, some people take to screening all of their phone calls during the last weeks of pregnancy. Some even create an answering machine message proclaiming that “No, the baby isn’t here yet, but we’ll call you when s/he is here.” And still others report due dates that are one or two or even three weeks “off” to prevent these “are you still pregnant” calls.
(Many also send their inquirers to the enormously helpful website, Have have you had that baby yet? Try it. You might love it.)
But what most women prefer at the end of their pregnancies–what they might even love–is a diversion from the fact that they haven’t had their baby yet.
A day out with friends. A conversation that doesn’t revolve around their uterus. An outing that is affirming and fun and, if they so desire, a celebration of the impending arrival of their baby. A respect for the fact that babies come when they’re ready, and that many arrive after their estimated due dates.
So try it. Invite your very pregnant friend out for tea or a hike or a movie or whatever is it that she loves doing, and don’t mention anything about babies, pregnancy, or labor unless she brings it up.
She (and you) might love it.
* Image credit Tilemahos Efthiamiadis on flickr.