Throughout my pregnancy, I had A LOT of conversations with my husband and one of my best friends about my feelings and thoughts regarding my pregnancy and work environment. There were times where I’d literally call either of them crying during my lunch break to just vent about being treated differently at work.
And the crazy thing is, I wasn’t being treated badly or anything remotely close- I was being babied and favored and things were being made easier on me- something I should have been overjoyed and more than happy to accept, right?
Well, if you know me, you probably can already guess how it really made me feel. It made me feel weak and like those around me didn’t think I was capable of continuing to do my job at the highest level while pregnant. And with more than your fair share of hormones raging through my body, it definitely ticked me off.
Let me kinda set the stage here- I’m a very competitive person and take my job very seriously- which might make me a little OCD at times, but I like things done a certain way and if that means I have to stay a little later to finish patient charts or I leave for lunch a little later to stock things for a procedure later that day- so be it. It doesn’t bother me and having the time to do those things actually makes me feel better and more prepared, which lessens any stress or anxiety I would otherwise have.
SO how was I being treated differently? I was being told to take my hour lunch (which was usually actually 30 minutes for me pre-pregnancy), a half hour early. So I was being given an hour and a half lunch, people wanted me to sit and stay still instead of running around our clinic to get things (like I usually did), and being told to go home early/on time- even if our clinic was running behind. Now that I’m writing this, I feel like an idiot for ever getting so upset the way I did- like take the break woman, you’re growing a human being and these people care about you and are looking out for you- not trying to make you feel like shit. I’ll chalk it up to the hormones, that’s fair, right?
But in all honesty, why does being pregnant make people look and treat you differently? I understand the gravity of what a pregnancy is and I whole heartedly believe its a VERY, very big deal, I mean heeeelllloooo I went through the damn thing- but for those around you/acquaintances- what makes them want to coddle pregnant women?? I can understand your partner wanting to baby you (mine certainly did, and hallelujah because I needed it), I can also understand your friends and family- because they have a reason and are in close proximity to the pregnancy as well. But like, coworkers and people you don’t see very often?!? And strangers?!? What’s up with strangers wanting to touch pregnant women’s stomachs? Like seriously, I need to know.
I’ve never been a big “baby” person and while I’m completely obsessed with Avery, I’ve never been the type of person to obsess over pregnant women and newborn babies. I mean, when my older sister was pregnant I never once had the urge to touch her stomach. It’s definitely an odd sensation and now that I’ve been through it personally, is one I can say is quite strange.
IMO, the only time it’s acceptable to touch a pregnant woman’s stomach is after you’ve asked her first and she’s said that it’s okay. AND even then, maaayyybbbeee only ever ask if it’s for a photo (I was more than happy to do the “pregnant” pose) and if you’re a friend/family member. People in the grocery store/parking garage, like get out of here.
I guess there’s just something about pregnancy that makes people want to talk to you and be close to you. I can’t tell you how many times I was in a grocery store and someone came up to me in an aisle to ask how far along I was. Obviously that sort of thing wouldn’t be happening if I wasn’t pregnant. It’s such an odd thing, but hey- being pregnant is definitely something to celebrate so I always went with it generously.
Back to the whole workplace thing- looking back, I should have just went with it and seen it as a blessing rather than a slap in the face (which is totally how I interrupted all the generosity I was being given). BUT at the same time, if a girl wants to carry on working like normal, let the woman. I certainly didn’t need to be babied and catered too the way I was- maybe leaving early for lunch would’ve been nice here and there, but when it’s everyday, it really made me feel like everyone thought I was struggling when in reality, I wasn’t.
Well, what are your thoughts? Anyone out there pregnant, feeling the same?