Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Do you think you might be pregnant?

There comes a time in every woman's life, especially if she is equipped with a boyfriend/husband that this question seems to be on everyone's lips. Well, let's be honest, other women's lips.

You only have to look a bit pale, report feeling queasy, or come over a little faint, you will be asked "do you think you might be pregnant?"

Obviously the reason you're feeling ill is not because of the dodgy curry you ate last night, or even the fact that everyone else in the office is coming down with the flu. No. They can have the flu, but you, my 30-something friend, must be up the duff.

Photo by Arjan Richter via Flickr Creative Commons
Unless you're a medical professional, there is almost no situation where asking someone if they are pregnant is a good idea. Here's why:
  1. Yes, she's actually pregnant, but if she wanted to tell you, she would. There may be lots of reasons why she doesn't want to discuss it. Shut up and wait until she's ready to tell you. 
  2. She's not pregnant. She doesn't want to be pregnant. Can't people leave her alone and stop telling her she's supposed to be reproducing, just because she's over 30? Mind your own business.
  3. She's not pregnant. She wants to be pregnant, but isn't. There are lots of reasons why this may be the case. Your question is an unnecessary reminder. 
  4. If she was pregnant, it probably would have occurred to her before it occurred to you, making your question pointless. Since she's successfully reached her 30s without having children, she probably knows a thing or two about contraception (and is in a far better position than you are to know if she's had unprotected sex recently).
  5. Congratulations, you just made a bad day worse. She was already feeling shit, and now she's feeling pissed off at your stupid questions too. 
Women over 30 also catch colds, and drink alcohol, and stay up late, and forget to eat breakfast. All of these can be confused with the symptoms of pregnancy. That doesn't mean they are.

The assumption that you might be pregnant, spoken or unspoken, gets to the point that some of my friends regularly state "I'm not pregnant" during normal conversation, to keep the speculation at bay. They feel they have to explain themselves. "I have to be up early tomorrow so I thought I'd drive to the pub." It is absurd.

"When you have children"

Is there a more irritating statement? As above, there are lots of reasons why you might never have children, mainly that you don't want to, or can't. It is never good for people to assume that you are going to.

Those of us that have children do like to assume that everyone who sees them instantly falls in love with our little angels and are inspired to reproduce (because why wouldn't they want one like mine?).

But no one is fooled by your son's angelic appearance. They know that sometimes he screams at you for no reason, throws food across the kitchen, that he broke your favourite ornament, and that his very presence in your life means you have said good bye to wild Saturday nights and lazy Sunday mornings. Maybe she is not pregnant and isn't going to have children, because she doesn't want to be like you.

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