Now that I’m visibly pregnant to one and all, people are finding it within their right to a) comment on whether I’m the “right” size, and b) regale me with the horror stories of strangers. A few days ago, an older woman who lives across the street expressed her surprise--nay, her dismay--that I could possibly be seven months along. “I would’ve said four months,” she said. (For the record, I am, indeed, the “right” size. I confirmed this with the midwife on Monday.)
Yesterday, while I was captive in the dentist chair, the dental hygienist spent the entire appointment telling me about her own miscarriage as well as the miscarriage—and late-term infant death—of a friend of hers. I don’t know what would possess someone to casually tell a pregnant woman about the horrible way her friend’s baby died in utero two weeks before term. I just don’t know. It’s one thing to hear a story about a friend or relative. It’s another thing entirely to hear a story about a stranger from another stranger without any clear moral or purpose. The story had no possible lesson (“And that’s why you shouldn’t eat granola or chicken in your eighth month!”) except to let me know I should be afraid, very afraid.
She, too, raised her eyebrows when I said seven months—“You’re so tiny!” I said I had a long torso, which our midwife suggested as a response. (She also suggested just denying I was pregnant in order to humiliate the inappropriate commenter. I like this midwife.) Two more months to be amazed at all the crazy things people say.