Please Don’t Ask Me If I Am Pregnant

If I had a junk bond for every time I laughed when something happened to someone else only to find that when it happened to me, it was very unfunny, I would be rolling in the damn dough.

The latest: Oh, ha! ha! ha! someone asked you if you were pregnant when you weren’t? OUCH, but oh-so-funny when it happened to you.  However, when someone asked me if I was expecting a baby the other night, guess who didn’t crack a smile and then had a hard time eating her dinner because clearly I must look poochy (at a minimum) or fat (more likely)?

I wouldn't even ask this woman if she was expecting. (image credit: fine art photography from Atlanta-based artist Mary Grumble at

I wouldn’t even ask this woman if she was expecting. (image credit: fine art photography from Atlanta-based artist Mary Grumble at

It’s not clear to me why she asked me if I was expecting.  I was so surprised that I said, “you mean, a baby?” She nodded affirmatively.  Had I not been holding my 20-month-old son, I probably would have affirmatively shown her how I felt about her question.  I like to think I answered graciously when I mumbled something like, “No, but I would accept that blessing from the universe.”

Rest assured, I was thinking, “Are you seriously so socially awkward that you just asked someone as insecure as I am if she is carrying a child in her womb? Are you trying to make me relapse in my eating disorder?”

No, gentle readers, I didn’t say any of that.

But her question got inside of me, and I started to feel and act pregnant.  Seriously.  I felt nauseated, extremely fatigued, and irritable as only the newly pregnant can be.  This morning I almost convinced myself that I should pee on a stick.  I had decided that her comments were a sign from GOD that maybe I was pregnant even though that’s pretty impossible for reasons I won’t go into here, since my mother-in-law reads this blog. (Hi, Carol!)

I was so worked up about “probably being pregnant” that I experienced bona fide disappointment later today when I got my period. (Oops, TMI.)  I sat there staring at the situation feeling like someone who was hoping she was pregnant, but must deal with the ocular proof that she’s definitely not.

I blame the women who asked me if I was pregnant.

Maybe I missed the moment when society agreed that we could ask those kind of questions of acquaintances.  Did I?  I don’t read the newspaper enough, so maybe that social law passed while I was busy blogging or eating pudding.

But if it’s up to me, not asking women if they are pregnant is still a thing.  It should be a thing as long as I am in the category of women who might procreate– say, another 6 years.  After that, feel free to ask me because I will take it as a compliment that you still think my eggs could make a little person.

Til then– ixnay on the are-you-pregnant inquires.


44 thoughts on “Please Don’t Ask Me If I Am Pregnant

  1. Awesome is having your toddler ask her grandma (my MIL) if she has a baby in her tummy. You look so great and I’m not just saying that. You are on my envy list (or what’s the nice version of envy? That’s the list you’re on.). This woman is clearly a social moron. Next time you run into her, you could repay the favor. Just kidding. Kind of.

    • Oh that would be hilarious. And for all the years I have coveted your hair it’s hard to believe I am on your envy list! Thank you. And oh my god, my MIL is coming tomorrow. I better not see any asking her if she’s got a baby.

  2. Did she ask because you weren’t drinking? I feel like sometimes there’s such an expectation to drink in our culture that when we see a woman of childbearing age not drinking we assume she must be pregnant. And if she’s just an acquaintance, maybe she doesn’t know you don’t drink? Because I have to agree with Alyson, there’s no way she could possibly have thought you look pregnant!

  3. Oh this is funny! First of all, I agree with the ladies above: I really don’t see how anyone could mistake you for preggers. Secondly, I hope this doesn’t mean things will get awkward if and when we meet IRL, but I HAVE occasionally (very rare occasions mind you) asked when someone is due only when I am 100% – nay, 110% – certain that they are about to pop at any moment. It doesn’t happen often, though. Promise. I mean I do have half an ounce of couth. Probably. Sometimes.

  4. Last summer my brother got married and I was int he wedding party (three months post-partum with the twins). The twins totally wrecked me (they’re not getting their deposit back for sure). The groomsman I was paired up with made some comment about being lucky enough to walk “both of us” down the aisle.
    I said, “Both of who?”

    He said, “You and the bambino!”

    I said, “My babies are right there. I’m not pregnant.”

    He said, “Are you sure?”

    Yes. I am not pregnant. I have three month old twin daughters, a three-year-old and a just-turned-six-year-old. When the fuck would I even have sex with my husband to get pregnant?

  5. oh my god that would have made me insane. I would have replayed every single second of our conversation. What did I say that made her think that? Did she give you any sort of explanation? If I had mistakenly done that I would have gone on for 25 minutes explaining why I even dared have that thought. But typically I just keep my mouth shut.

  6. Wow! Everybody knows you don’t ask if someone is pregnant until they’re at least like 10 months along!!! Side note – I’m pretty sure I would have reacted in the EXACT same way. I think everything is “a sign.” Ugh. I blame my mother and her religiousness.

  7. That question is SO not ok!
    When I was VERY pregnant with The Tornado, a cashier asked me when I was due and I totally gave her a dirty look and said I wasn’t pregnant. She looked SO MORTIFIED that I laughed and said that I was 3 days past my due date…poor little thing!

  8. Um, no. Not okay.

    I once read the best comeback ever from an advice columnist. “If you’ll forgive me for not answering, I’ll forgive you for asking.” Works for financial questions, “are you pregnant” questions, “which of your kids do you love more” questions, and “seriously, how many of those are you going to eat” questions.

  9. Oh my… certainly don’t look pregnant in any recent pictures posted!

    That happened to me once at work. A colleague passed by me in the mailroom and suddenly said, ‘Congratulations!’ My confusion quickly alerted her to the error. Apparently another colleague told her I was pregnant. The crazy thing was that I had just lost weight from going gluten free. Perhaps a sweater with a princess waistline caused the problem. I thought I looked good in that sweater….guess not! Meanwhile I had been trying for at least a year.

      • Yes, gluten, lactose, and soy free. It sucks sometimes but I’ve come to terms with it for the most part. We bake muffins with a variety of flours so there’s still lots of carbs. I miss Whoppers though!

      • Someone gave me a bag of Whoppers for my birthday. I had never liked them but I get the allure now. Anyway, congrats on living such a healthy diet. I bet you have a lot of energy.

  10. I agree this woman was put in your path as a sign – a sign there are still clueless people in the world. Please. Even I learned this lesson, albeit on my honeymoon when I asked this absolutely adorable pregnant woman when she was due. Of course, she told me she wasn’t pregnant and looked hurt and offended. I didn’t believe her then and I still don’t, but you can bet I will never ask that question again. My husband would never let me forget it!

  11. I was 90% sure a woman in our playgroup was pregnant. But I didn’t say ANYTHING. Even when I saw her wearing maternity clothes. I waited until someone else was having a conversation about the pregnancy with her and THEN I acknowledged it. Because no, you just don’t. (She was already 6 months along by then, with her 2nd, so I gave her lots and lots of time.)

  12. Whenever I have any weight on me it goes to my belly. So… I kind of DO look pregnant sometimes. I never ask if someone’s pregnant, but I’m so used to being asked that it doesn’t sting. I’m just like, “Yeah, this belly is all mine.” I always think of that scene in Pulp Fiction when the sexy little South American girl is saying how much she wants a “pot belly”. She makes it sound like the cutest thing ever.

  13. Over the last six months or so I have had no fewer than SIX SEPARATE INDIVIDUALS ask me if I was pregnant. Because apparently after having my kids God thought it would be really funny for me to stay skinny, but only gain weight where other women carry babies. And yes, it has caused me to watch what I eat and second-guess food. Do I really need that fudge bar even though it is low-fat and I really want it? Sucks big time. I’m guessing it has something to do with having had two C-sections, something I can’t do a damn thing about.

    In the words of my husband, “Even if I came across a woman lying in a hospital bed actively in labor, I STILL wouldn’t ask her if she was pregnant.” A-men!

    • Your husband is a wonderful, wonderful man. Please have him teach the rest of the world this wonderfulness. Stat!

      Because I swear, if I get asked that one more time, I’m going to snap. No, I am NOT pregnant. But I *am* bloated, cramping and buying tampons, ibuprofen and chocolate!!!

  14. i’ve been asked – twice! – both times in a nail salon! So obnoxious!! and hello! I didn’t look pregnant!! maybe i had an extra scoop but come on!! it is NEVER okay to ask someone if they are pregnant unless you are in the delivery room and even then, you’d better see the head coming out! 😉

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  17. I have to admit that I find this so hilarious when it happens in a movie, but I would get really – I don’t know – angry? frustrated? sad? insulted? – if that happened to me 😉 I have to congratulate you on your openness here because there seem to be many women who have experienced that (see above comments) and have probably felt alone with this sort of awkward social encounter!

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  19. I meant to tell you this when I first read this: I was standing waiting for an airport shuttle after a dreadful business trip and I made a comment to the friend I was with about my weight and lack of physical fitness. A nosey person also waiting said not to worry, I’d lose it all quickly after the baby was born. I gave HIM the death stare and very calmly said, “Yeah well the baby is 5 months old, but thanks.” He didn’t look at me again. Hee hee. Hormonal and fat 🙂 I wonder what he’d think of me now, 5 1/2 years later and bigger?

    Why are people so stupid? Doesn’t everyone know you don’t insinuate one is with child? Sigh. Sorry that happened to you.

  20. That happened to me a few months ago. Ugh, it was horrible. I was in WalMart, and a woman was handing out samples, and she goes, “Here, take one for the baby!” When I looked momentarily horrified, she quickly countered with, “You are pregnant, right?” I said no and laughed it off, but it stayed with me for a few days.

  21. When I was pregnant, my blood pressure was very high, I was borderline Pre-e, and I was HUGE. Before I was put on bed rest at 36 weeks, we went out to eat and a woman asked me if I “needed a bigger booth”. I wanted to ask her if she needed a face, but decided against it. People are so inconsiderate. I’m sorry you went through this. I have extreme baby fever and right before very period, I swear I am having symptoms of pregnancy but then I end up just crying. :C

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