Unless The Woman is Crowning...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I gained 55 lbs when I was pregnant with Georgia. After I had her, I lost 45lbs. Then, for a number of reasons, I gained back 35 of that. What some would say is "baby weight" is not. It is a whole separate kind of weight.

The point is, I am the biggest I have ever been. I have gotten over the self-loathing phase (sort of) and moved on to doing something. I bought a treadmill, set it up next to my computer and every week day, I walk while catching up on shows on Hulu and Netflix. Since I got my treadmill a month ago, I have lost 10lbs. This might not seem amazing to some, but it has made a difference to me. And sure, I am big enough that 10lbs isn't incredibly noticeable, but I notice and I have focused on that.

I carry almost all of my weight in my belly, and for this reason I have a lot of people (my whole life- even when I was skinny) ask me if I am pregnant. I used to get so bothered by this, but I usually just corrected the person and explained that it's just the way my body is made.

Last time this happened was in August, and started looking for a treadmill that day.
I was very tired of being asked that question.

I am the Junior Primary Chorister in my church organization (this means I teach singing time to kids 18months to 6 years old). I have the sweetest woman who works with me during singing time and she is always smiling and very complimentary. I was pleased when she mentioned that I "always look so cute" today. Then, right before I went up to start singing time she lovingly advised:

"Don't jump around too much up there or that baby will fall out!"

I looked around for my friend who is 8months pregnant, but she was not around.
Then I knew she was talking to me.

But this was not just a "when are you due?" or "are you pregnant?"
It was two things:

1. A comment of assurance that she thought I was pregnant
2. A comment that said she thought I was SO pregnant that if I "jumped around too much" my assumed baby would FALL out.

I did not say anything. What do you say to incredibly nice people who you realize has been complimenting you all along because they thought you looked good for a pregnant lady? What do you say when you have used up ALL of the ways to tell people that you are not actually pregnant, you are just fat?

What is amazing to me is how little this whole thing bothered me. I did not cry. I did not feel insecure in front of those loving children. I have gone about my day as normal. I am used to this now... and that is what I feel sad about.

This time it was different though. I have been working hard to never hear that comment again (unless I'm actually pregnant). And when you work hard on something and someone implies that all of your hard work is not paying off, it can be beyond frustrating. Writing this now, I am feeling more emotion about it than before so I'm going to stop.

Anyway, that is my rant. I am not begging for a billion compliments with this post- I am simply saying that unless you see the lady crowning- you should probably not mention that you think she is pregnant.


  1. So my husband once asked our waitress when she was due. This was immediately followed by probably the dirtiest look I have ever given him. Luckily, it was loud and she couldn't hear what he said and he covered with "How are you doing?" This was a family owned Thai place that we would have probably been shunned from forever. He learned his lesson to never ask!!! You could respond with something like, "Oh, I'm not pregnant, but I'm flattered you think I have that glow about me." I don't know, I have never been pregnant and I would probably just be rude. :)

  2. I totally understand. I've given birth to two kids in three years and I'm currently the heaviest I've ever been; And like you, I carry most of my weight in my belly. Just the other day my husband remarked that I still loved pregnant (our youngest is 16 months, btw) gee, thanks hun. :(
    Congratulations on the 10 pounds, that really is awesome!

  3. I totally understand. I've given birth to two kids in three years and I'm currently the heaviest I've ever been; And like you, I carry most of my weight in my belly. Just the other day my husband remarked that I still loved pregnant (our youngest is 16 months, btw) gee, thanks hun. :(
    Congratulations on the 10 pounds, that really is awesome!

  4. I agree! I wish you didn't have to feel this way.

  5. Hi! I happened upon your blog a while ago through a friend's blog. First off: I love your blog! It is so honest. I relate to you a lot and you just give your opinion. It is great! Second: I am so glad that you posted this! I am in the same boat. I have always struggled with losing/gaining weight. I hold the weight in few other places, but mostly my belly. After having my son by emergency c-section losing weight has been even harder. I have looked pregnant since having my son 15 months ago. People tend to poke questions when I say I am tired or a little sick thinking I am trying to hind that I am pregnant. Nope, just sick and fat. Know you are not alone!! I totally hear ya sister! And thanks for being honest. It makes me feel so much better to know that I am not the only one in this situation!!!

  6. I just relate sooo hard to this.

  7. That's very frustrating. I am, of course, a man and so I can't relate completely. But I was amazed at the change Valerie went through for that baby. There's such a weird celebrity culture around babies now. Celebrities have babies and spring back into shape overnight. It's such bullcrap.

    Everyone can snap back into shape if they have a personal trainer and dietician helping you around the clock. And maybe paparazzi pressure.

    Normal people take time. You'll be fine.

  8. 1. 10 pounds is a lot of weight and i'm really proud of you for losing it. seriously. and for realizing that you're unhappy with something about yourself and doing something to change it; that takes courage and gumption and i really just think you're great.
    2. i LOVE the first commenter's suggestion about saying you're flattered they think you have a glow about you, especially for people like the lady in your ward who really is trying to be nice.
    3. to strangers, rudest question EVER. i'm sorry FOR them, since they obviously don't have the good manners and common decency to be apologetic themselves.
    i love you and that's all i gotta say about that.

  9. I SERIOUSLY do not understand why people feel okay commenting about pregnancy when it's not SOMETHING THEY ARE CERTAIN OF. Because it's none of their BUSINESS. If it WAS, they'd KNOW whether you were pregnant or not. GR. It makes me so crazy.

    I love all the snarky come-backs you came up with in your earlier post about this, and I love the "I just have a natural glow" comeback one commenter made here. But I can see the challenge of someone really NICE asking you this...what the heck do you come back with? I can think of plenty of comebacks for rude strangers, but as for people you know and like? *sigh* I dunno what to tell you. Maybe during singing time, you could teach a lesson to all the kids about not ever assuming people are pregnant. ("Well, little boys and girls, today we're going to learn that you should never assume someone is going to have a baby, because it's rude and unkind and it will hurt people's feelings...")

    Also, you should know how much I admire you. I'm proud of you for going out and doing something, changing something that you want changed. I admire that in people whether it has to do with weight or anxiety or hair color. So YOU GO GIRL!

  10. Carrie, have you ever seen a picture of your Grandma DeVaul standing with all her sisters? You are beautiful and have Wood genes, if you have a vagina @ some point, even the skinnest woman will get asked this...

  11. People are funny sometimes aren't they? They don't mean any harm, but boy can their comments seem to come out of nowhere. I was at my mission reunion one year with my boyfriend and I guess my shirt (which was a wrap around shirt) made me look like I had a belly. One of the senior couple sisters asked me if I was pregnant. I was like "What?!" First off, I'm not even married, so how could you even jump to that?? Especially at a mission reunion. Sheesh.


I like to hear all of the beautiful things you have to say.