Wednesday, 3 September 2014

My Bump the Conversation Starter

I have recently noticed that if you have a baby bump you are practically public property. I welcome a little chat about my bump and I am yet to be offended by anyone. I was brought up in Cleethorpes Lincolnshire, a little seaside town with a mostly friendly population. It is the kind of place people talk to each each other at bus stops, in shops and well pretty much anywhere. I like this friendly attitude and try to chat or make conversation with people in general.

This however, did not do me any favours when I lived down South in Reading or London. I was once on the tube and someone sneezed, I impulsively said "bless you" and received the most filthy look from the sneezer! There was another occasion when someone was having a particularly bad coughing fit and I offered them my bottle of water. Again I received a silent look and I think the shock of potentially speaking to another human being on public transport was enough to cure the cough. You are welcome Mr South! 

Here in Loughborough we are in the bizarre world of the Midlands. Some people want to chew your ear off in the queue at Tesco and some people will look at you with horror if you say hello. I don't really get it. This has changed recently for me, when people notice my bump, they smile at me or ask me questions. This I can handle I am just glad no one has tried to touch my bump yet. Although I am more than happy to engage with you about the weather or roadworks just do not touch me, ever!

I think this may stem from many years working in nightclubs but I do not think it's unreasonable to assume that you won't be touched by some random member of the public. I was once browsing in Next when a shop assistant stopped me to ask if I needed any help, I politely declined. She then said "your hair is beautiful!" and without warning reached out and twizzled one of my curls around her finger. It all happened in slow motion but there was nothing I could about it. I was horrified. Needless to say I left the shop immediately without purchasing anything. 

What has taken me by surprise is how personal the questions are that people ask when you are pregnant. I also did not expect to get as much 'advice' on how to raise my unborn child. Jimmy and I were out for something to eat the other night and popped to the pub before hand (I am becoming something of a lemonade connoisseur at this point). A lady squeezed past me and said "oh you have to be skinny to get past there, I'll have to suck my belly in" to which I replied "I can't do that anymore" and pointed to belly and we both laughed. That was when I expected our exchange to end. It didn't.

The lady got the attention of her friend and said "aw look, she's pregnant!" I was told I looked lovely and very stylish, which was nice. They said "ohh I love how women these days are so proud of their bump and show it off" I am not sure what they used to do? Wear a sheet? The the barrage of questions begun

"Are you going to find out what you're having?
Yes we can't wait!
Don't it will be a lovely surprise! (Thanks for your input)

You are having a girl anyway, you are carrying high. (I love that scientific evidence, could you reference that?)

Are you going to breastfeed?
Umm I'm going to give it a go yeah.
It's best for baby and I am so pleased I did. Both my daughters are grown up healthy and at university now. (Right ok so if I don't my child will be uneducated?)

Are you married?
No we are not, not yet anyway.

How long have you been together?
About 5 months (HA! I couldn't help myself, you should have seen their faces!)
Not really 9 years

You should get married in Greece!

By this point I switched off but she went on to say what kind of dress me and my daughter should both wear, something about matching tutu's!?

I wasn't offended by these half pissed ladies in the pub but I was surprised at the details they wanted. I think it's funny the advice people offer you when you are pregnant. I know it's something most women of a certain age (ahem) can relate to but not everyone wants to hear it. I am excited for the next instalment of 'advice and questions' the pub addition, as long as they stay at arms length. 

photo credit: <a href="">Marc Wathieu</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>