I'm a huge fan of Chrissy Teigen (someone whom I've had the pleasure to interview, and who is as lovely and down-to-earth in person as she seems on screen); people like me love her because she keeps it real. And she just made some candid comments that further underscore her willingness to speak candidly about taboo topics.
On an episode of FABLife with Tyra Banks that aired today, Teigen revealed her fertility struggles with husband John Legend. And she said she just wishes people would lay off asking about it. "I can't imagine being that nosy, like, 'When are the kids coming?' because who knows what somebody's going through, who knows if somebody's struggling?" she said. "I would say, honestly, [that] John and I were having trouble. We would have had kids five, six years ago if it had happened, but my gosh, it's been a process."
Ain't it the truth, sister! Teigen's comments got me thinking about my own experience with pregnancy, and certainly also pre-pregnancy, and how people think it's OK to deprive you of all privacy when it comes to asking related questions. In fact, it was the lack of privacy and manners that was among my least favorite parts of the whole experience.
Here are the three pregnancy questions I hated and how I handled them.
1. "Now that you're married, when are you going to have kids?"
First of all, it's the modern era when plenty of couples—and singles!—eschew the traditional love, marriage, baby carriage chronology. But second of all, I waited my whole adult life to find my soul mate...and I intended to enjoy our time together as a duo! And third of all, just because a couple marries doesn't mean they ever intend to have kids—or, like Teiegn and Legend, maybe they are trying and it's not working yet. And that can be super painful. So the question is fraught with way too many assumptions. The best way to respond is to tell people that you'll make the decisions right for you on your own timeline.
2. "Was it natural?"
When I told people I was expecting twins, I got this question a lot—but I bet even non-multiples moms-to-be get it frequently these days, too. The subtext is: Did you have fertility treatments? IVF? Hello, why should anybody be expected to talk about these topics with a stranger? To me, it seems akin to gawking at someone's hair or boobs and asking, "Is it real?" It's OK to talk about these things among loved ones, of course. But if a stranger is asking in an unwelcome way, I'd point out the personal nature of the question, and hope the asker gets a clue.
3. "Wow, are you about to pop?"
Don't get me started on this one. In my opinion, this line of questioning fits squarely in the body shaming category. It's downright logical that moms of multiples would get very big bellies, even when they're nowhere close to official due date. And this can happen for any expecting mama too. In most cases, she's obviously quite aware of her size, and doesn't need your question to make her feel super conspicuous—plus, she's probably also heard it a half dozen times before lunch already today. The general rule of thumb is people shouldn't remark about strangers' massive girth. Period. So to, "You're about to pop," I just said firmly, "No. No, I'm not."
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