This past weekend I was pregnancy shamed. Allow me to explain. You may have heard of slut shaming or fat shaming, but rarely do you ever hear of people saying they were pregnancy shamed. Hubby and I went to Houston this past weekend for a baby shower. It was indeed a most enjoyable event! The last guest departed the baby shower at 1:00 am! Yes, I am a party animal.
My day started out normally, as any other day. I got up, ate an emergency breakfast (emergency because ever since I got pregnant, I have to have something in my stomach or else this baby becomes a monster). After eating breakfast and talking to some of my family members, I went upstairs to take a shower and get ready to hit the road back to Arkansas. It was extremely hot, so I picked a maternity dress that was a light and stretchy material. My stomach has gotten bigger so the material accentuated and clung to my stomach. This is the one feature that I liked about the dress because it allowed me to show the evidence of my soon to be baby Diva. I met my little sister and she complimented me on the dress; it made me smile. As I made my way down the stairs, I became aware of the distressed looks I was getting from some of my relatives. The incessant chatter ceased and the room fell quiet. I felt weird but thought I was being paranoid. I made a mental note of how I had checked and double checked my appearance before going down the stairs. So why the weird vibe? At last, one brave soul ventured out to tell me they thought it was best to go back upstairs and change. I asked if she could see my underwear or if the dress was too short. She said no, but that the dress was not appropriate for me to wear. One of her cohorts further explained that the dress would be good for someone who did not have curves, someone tall and slender. She also stated that the dress made me look more compact. I was not satisfied with this explanation. My older sister piped up and asked me to turn sideways because she wanted to see baby Diva in her full glory. She did not seem to have a problem with my outfit.
Hubby loaded the truck and we got ready to speed off to the redneck highway (remote windy two lane roads) to our beloved El Dorado. As we approached the truck my relatives kept pressuring me to go change prior to my departure. I finally asked why they found this dress so offensive. Finally, one of my shamers stated, “well, the dress would not look so bad if your stomach was not so big...you know if your stomach was smaller.” After picking my jaw off the floor, I mounted the waiting truck and sped off.
Dear reader: I. AM. PREGNANT! Yes, my stomach is big…like a mini beach ball or a round, smooth extra-large bowling ball. It is big and round, like a perfectly shaped dome. It is also beautiful and exquisite; it is carrying life! I could not help but wonder why two women who have had children (emphasis on CHILDREN) felt it was ok to shame another woman because of her glorious pregnant belly. I wasn’t being told to change because my outfit was too provocative, but because of my protruding belly. My big pregnant belly was making them uncomfortable. As our truck carried us up home, I wondered, how can a pregnant woman make her stomach less conspicuous? Should I wear Moo-Moo’s for the rest of the pregnancy? I wistfully turned to my hubby and asked him if he thought I should cease wearing the offending number. He lovingly looked at me and smiled. Then he reassuringly answered, “no babe, your outfit is great, you look beautiful.” With a huge grin on my face, I turned and looked out the window to watch the trees pass in a blur and make our way a little closer to Arkansas.
Slut shaming, fat shaming and now pregnancy shaming, what has the world come to?
Have you ever been shamed?