Health,  Passions

Why you should NEVER ask a woman if she is pregnant

*Disclaimer:* I needed to get out some emotions and frustrations today. However, I do think this is an issue that needs to be addressed. Feel free to skip to the Public Service Announcement at the bottom. Just doing my part to educate the masses. 🙂

At church this past week, I got asked not once but TWICE if I were pregnant. I’m indeed not. I’m pretty sure there is a cardinal rule out there that you never, and I mean NEVER, ask a woman if she is pregnant. You might as well walk up to her and say, “how much do you weigh?” Tisk. Tisk. (See update below for offender #2)

The fact is that I get asked if I’m pregnant a lot. I can recall for you each and every time, where I was, who asked me, and what I was wearing. The reason I can remember what I was wearing is because I have never worn those outfits again. Even my little (ha!) black dress from the most recent incident is in danger of going down in flames.
The problem is that I know how my tummy looks. Trust me, I see it every day. The bigger problem, it isn’t going anywhere. Even when I was 10 pounds lighter (at the end of my breastfeeding era), the tummy was still there. I’ve been doing hot yoga regularly since last October. Still there. It will always be there for a couple of reasons.
  1. I have a hideous C-section scar that is indented down to the muscle thus making the upper part of my tummy stick over and out. Basically, I have a surgical muffin top going on. How’s that for a visual?
  2. I have a rectus diastasis, meaning that my abdominal muscles are separated, never to go back together again.

I suspected that I had a small diastasis before I was pregnant. Why? Because the first time I was asked the infamous question was before I was married. I blame it on the coach in high school who made us hold leg raises every day for 1 minute. If one person dropped their legs then we had to start over. So we all struggled to get it right no matter what the cost. If you don’t do abdominal exercises properly, they actually do more harm than good. After gaining excessive amounts of fluid in the last months of my pregnancy and delivering my nearly 10-pound daughter, there was no going back for my poor abs.

I didn’t even know that there was a proper name for this until I started working for a plastic surgeon’s office. You know what? This diastasis issue is pretty common. Lots of women come in with this exact problem. At least I’m not alone, right?! I always thought that a tummy tuck was just removing fat. Nope. In fact, the main thing they accomplish is sewing your stomach muscles back together. It’s kinda like when you suck in, because that forces the muscles back together for a second. The surgeon does that permanently for you. Nice, huh? Sign me up. Seriously, it’s next on my list. Not kidding.
The reason the pregnancy question offends me so much (other than the fact that it is just plain RUDE) is because I don’t necessarily want to have other children. That’s not to say that I won’t change my mind (MUCH) later down the road, but it’s not even on the horizon for me right now. Mainly because I have my heart (and hands) full with the child I already have. I don’t think I could cope, mentally or physically, with another one. Also, if you haven’t noticed, pregnancy was not kind to me. My delivery was less than ideal to boot. In fact, the whole thing was a nightmare and the exact opposite from what I wanted. Agreeing (or being forced) into that C-section is quite possibly the worst decision and event that has ever happened to me. It still haunts me. So, every time the “are you pregnant” question is raised, my mind automatically reflects to all the negatives that I experienced. Naturally, the every day Joe can’t possibly know this about me but the effect happens just the same.
Asking someone if they are pregnant, when they are indeed not, is the kind of thing that could make a woman jump off a bridge. It can be detrimental to her self-esteem. Luckily, I’m in a good state of mind these days and I have a decent sense of humor. Plus, I’m pretty forgiving. In all honesty, the pregnancy question is getting quite comical. I mean, each and every time is emotionally scarring and inflicts insecurity, but sometimes you just have to laugh to keep from crying.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Do NOT ever, ever, EVER ask a woman if she is pregnant!
*Update: One of the folks who questioned my midsection did approach me today (before this post went live) and apologized profoundly for what happened. Said they have felt horrible about it since it happened and generally always follow the above rule. Since I’m a nice gal with a good sense of humor, and because they were genuine and sincere, I forgave them. I guess there is hope for humanity after all. 🙂


  • jean garrett

    1)what surgeon do you work for? 2)I will happily volunteer my inner "Brad Goreski" to style your wardrobe so you won't ever hear that question again!

  • Rebecca B.

    Yep, I too have had that asked to me many a time! I have this "pouch" that is genetic, I have 90lb cousins that share the same frustrations- so there is no hope for me at –lbs (not 90lbs!). I feel your pain!

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