Sadly, he was not alone. Friends, family members, coworkers and strangers remarked, "You're huge!" or "You're gigantic!" or, quite simply, "You've gained A LOT of weight." Granted, they were right" I WAS huge, I DID gain a lot of weight, and my belly was big, but I didn't need anyone to tell me anything other than "You look beautiful."
3. You can't do all natural! Oftentimes, in response to my telling someone that I planned on having an all natural birth (as long as no crazy complications arose), they would tell me that I would not be able to do it. One person even managed to hurt my feelings by saying, "You can't do that, Xiomara! You can't even handle menstruation pain without medication!" Such comments always made me feel angry. People should have cheered me on instead of remarking in disbelief, "Yeah, right! It hurts too much. You're going to BEG for that medicine." (For all you non-believers, I did not beg for an epidural once, especially since I purposely pushed off my visit to the hospital until I was already 9 centimeters dilated - way too late for medication). Therefore, if a woman tells you she plans on having a natural birth, simply say, "That's awesome! Labor is hard, but I know you can do it." On a similar note, if a pregnant woman says she plans on having an epidural and you don't agree, choose to be encouraging and not condescending. It's HER birth plan, HER vagina, HER baby, so let HER make the decision about her body without your negative input.
4. My labor was full of complications. I don't CARE that you were in labor for longer 33 hours and the pain was so intense you collapsed on the floor. I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW HOW HORRIBLE YOUR LABOR WAS. Why in the world would you ever tell a pregnant woman about all the complications that arose during your labors? To frighten her senseless? Don't you know a woman needs all her senses about her when going into labor? Most of all, she needs confidence. Give it to her.
5. You're naming him WHAT?! Telling people my baby name ideas during pregnancy was always a gamble against my sanity and pride. Only a few people, including my best friend, were extremely supportive, encouraging me to choose my son's name as I wished. Everyone else, though, was very vocal about whether they loved or hated my name choice. I understood that people's reactions to Equis' name were based in their personal life experiences as well as social and cultural biases, but any negative commentary on my son's name shocked me. I was raised to be polite, especially when broaching a sensitive topic: it is kind to tell someone they have spinach in their teeth; it is helpful to tuck someone's blouse tag back in; and it is loving to hand a stick of gum to a friend if they really need it. IT IS NEVER OKAY TO TELL A PARENT YOU DISAPPROVE OF THEIR CHILD'S NAME (no matter how ugly, weird, non-Biblical, "un-American" or long you think it is).
Ultimately, the point of today's Top Five Friday topic is: Speak to a pregnant woman with sensitivity, encouraging her and instilling confidence in her, not insulting her size, intelligence, strength, or early decisions as a mother. Remember that your words will stay with her long after she gives birth (and then she'll have to write a blog post to complain about them).