7.09.2014

the Target on my belly.

i walk around with a giant target on my belly.
my enlarged, torpedo-esque baby carrier seems to attract an onslaught of attention.
perhaps it was the same in my previous pregnancies and i've just forgotten, but none-the-less, i've experienced the commentary gamut from men and women alike.

to be fair, i don't carry babies lightly. for an average sized woman of slim 5'9" stature, pregnancy brings on a solid 50 lbs of food therapy and exhaustion induced lack of activity. i don't deny it. pregnant angie loves to eat. my backside is large and in charge and my protruding baby belly is nothing short of a basketball tucked neatly under my shirt. my babies ride way out in front, defying any maternity shirt to cover them. 
i don't glow when i'm pregnant. i don't glisten. i eat. 
and i look very pregnant. (duh, that's what i'm supposed to look like.)

(33 weeks and currently 38 weeks)

starting somewhere around week 25, the horrific display of human inability to refrain from making inappropriate and absurd pregnancy comments was unleashed everywhere i went. has anyone else experienced this? 

for a while i just smiled or made a little joke back. but how many times can you see someone grimace in horror and franky state, "i hope you don't have much longer! you look like you were due yesterday!!" (when in reality i still have 10 weeks left).

when did it become appropriate to comment on a strangers body shape and size, anyway?  pregnancy somehow makes people feel that since i'm obviously wearing a child that i obviously also welcome their comments about my size, the child's sex and clear opinions about how many more children i should (or should NOT) have.

when i have the 3 big kids in tow in conjunction with my belly target, i get the standard, "you've got your hands full!" comments and "wow, you must be exhausted" or "they aren't all yours, are they?" or "how many more are you going to have??!". no matter how well (or wild) the kids are behaving at that moment, i always respond with something along the lines of, "i love spending time with my kids. i'm so glad my hands are full!". i want my kids to know that i enjoy them, even though they clearly hear that world doesn't perceive having young children as being enjoyable.
it's very surprising to me that i get the "hands full" comments even when all three kids are walking nicely beside me in the grocery store, being helpful or playing sweetly together. it's shocking to me that even kids who aren't (at that moment) acting like wild hooligans can still be considered "too much" for a mom to handle.

what ever happened to "you look beautiful!", "congratulations!" or the old standby, "is it a boy or girl?"

_________

the epitome of my targeted status came last week while i was actually at Target. it was by far the most offensive string of comments (and strange enough, ended up being the most profitable :)
it perfectly shows just how inappropriate people can be and how pregnant woman are subjected to verbal harassment on a daily basis. i know, i know, verbal harassment may seem a little much. but take a gander. i felt quite harassed. 

picture me. 37 weeks pregnant and alone in Target (while my kids were at a morning VBS program). i was ironically purchasing two Spanx abdominal shapers in preparation for my post-baby body transformation. i was exhausted and honestly, not having a great day.
i approached checkout lane #5 and no sooner gathered my things on the convener belt when i was met with the following statement from the female Target checkout clerk:

Her: "I've seen a lot of pregnant women, but you are by far the biggest I've ever seen!!!" she stated with odd enthusiasm.

(i look up from my cart, surprised by her criticism, and said nothing, hoping not to engage her commentary.)

Her: "Seriously! you are huge!" she continued. "Are you having twins????"

Me: "No, i'm not having twins. It's my fourth child and I know my belly is sticking out." 
i answer with irritation. i'm no mood to be cute and make light of her obvious lack of pregnancy couth.

Her: "Well, you should have that double checked, because otherwise you are just having one big giant baby!! I would have it checked two or three more times! I mean, really. My cousin wasn't as big as you and she was having twins!"

(flames dart from my eyes. i literally scowl as i scan my debit card with utter disgust, trying hard to keep my mouth shut and not say something rude in return.)

Her:"You've got to be having twins! I had six babies and I was never as huge as you! I mean it, you're huge!!"

i really wish i was making it up. i wish i was exaggerating. but she was totally serious and i was totally infuriated. all of this coming from a fellow mom who did this pregnancy thing SIX TIMES and still has the nerve to comment on my apparent humongousness? has she forgotten the fragile state of pregnancy induced hormonal imbalance or the obvious fact that you just don't comment on another woman's body size in an unflattering way? ever. under and circumstances. lie if you need to. say i look beautiful. say i look great. but don't, under any circumstances, say just how huge and horrendous you think i look.   

i left Target and sat in the parking lot and did what any rational person would do. i wrote an email to every Target customer service email address i could find on their website, telling them of my horrendous customer service experience and the verbal onslaught i was subjected to. and i felt better. or at least a little bit. 

i thought about calling Action News. the Inquirer. a lawyer. my next door neighbor's aunt's husband's sister in law's cousin...anyone who would listen and hear my pain. but i didn't. 

the next day, i got a call from a very apologetic Target store manager, offering me a $50 gift card. 
at last, vindication. or at least a little. 
$50 worth of retribution and diaper money.

hopefully in 1-2 more weeks i won't be subjected to any more pregnancy related comments about my protruding belly because all will be distracted by the loveliness of my newborn baby girl :)

5 comments:

  1. oh my gosh. 37 weeks here, too. carrying a giantttt torpedo as well. 3rd baby. and i am overrrrrr all the comments. over them. praying delivery comes soon. and i totally need to be at target buying spanx!

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  2. 35 weeks with number 3 and I've been getting told I must not have much time left since 19 weeks or so! Most of the time I don't mind, but sometimes it makes me want to crawl into my nesting cave (and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who can't find shirts to cover the bottom of my belly!)

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  3. Ang..............YOU ARE Beautiful, with or without carrying your special little girl. You DO glow with a radiant smile and command attention when you enter a room. Praying for you and baby girl Weldon daily as your delivery day approaches. mom weldon

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  4. And, I love you. That is all. You are utterly and amazingly beautiful inside (with and without child) and outside (with and without child). Come on baby! Can't wait to see the new Weldon!

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  5. Angie, you are GORGEOUS! Such a gift to see how He is weaving together and expanding your family! Love from Wisconsin!

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