Log This Under “Pregnancy–What Not to Say”

We recently announced that the baby we are expecting in March is a baby BOY!! 

And I gotta tell you, we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve named him and are already talking about what his personality might be like, who he is going to look more like, what his interests are going to be… I’m daydreaming about this little man whom we won’t meet for ages, it feels like.

In case you are keeping count, this is baby #3 for us, and our third boy.

As we’ve let our friends and family know, most people have been wonderful– sharing our excitement and offering hearty congratulations and for that, we are most appreciative.

But there has been some weirdness.

It’s because of this weirdness that I want to offer some advice on what NOT to say to a pregnant woman. Especially one who is expecting her third son. (This also applies to any woman expecting her third daughter. Or perhaps tenth.)

What not to say:

“Another boy?”

Yes, another. But I’m not using that word “another” when we talk about our son-to-be. He’s not just another. He’s an individual who has been perfectly designed by a mighty God. He might be our third son, but he’s more than just another.

“Awww, I wish it was a girl.”

Then perhaps, my friend, you should have your own daughter, because we do not wish it was a girl. Would I like to have a daughter? Sure. But God has blessed me with sons and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. My first two are so adorable and awesome that I am beyond excited to have son number three. So how about you just say, “Congrats”?

“Are you disappointed?”

Are you kidding me? We prayed for a baby forever. God answered our prayer. How could we be disappointed when God is giving us a miracle?? What in the world is there to be disappointed about?

“Wow. Three boys. Do you think you can do it?”

Do I have a choice? Of course I can do it. I think the first two are pretty incredible and I’m so grateful that God has given me a third boy to attempt to raise into a godly man. The world needs more godly men. I’m up for the challenge.

And my least favorite response we’ve gotten so far… (from several people, believe it or not)

“Oh, I’m so sorry.”

Are you serious? Sorry for what? We are THRILLED. See, here’s the thing: God has designed this baby, just as he is, to bless our family as part of HIS perfect plan. Don’t be sorry. Be excited. Be thankful. Be praying for this child as he grows. The only thing you have to be sorry about is not realizing the majesty and miracle that has gone in to creating this beautiful child.

Okay, so whether a woman is having her second, third, or twelfth son (or daughter), please keep in mind what NOT to say so that you don’t end up hurting her feelings, or worse, making yourself look insensitive to her joy.

A simple “congratulations” is always appropriate.

Share with me: Anyone ever say anything weird to you while you (or your wife) were expecting?

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32 Comments

Filed under Family

32 responses to “Log This Under “Pregnancy–What Not to Say”

  1. bethkvogt

    Oh. My. Word.

    Don’t get me started … although you have to learn to laugh, even as the steam rolls out of your ears …
    As you know, I was blessed with a late-in-life pregnancy. Even wrote a book about it. Well, when I told one person I was pregnant, she said: “I thought you got your husband fixed.”
    That’s right: f-i-x-e-d.
    Ahem.
    You fix a dog.
    That’s what I told her.
    And then I said, “No, we didn’t get Rob fixed.”
    Obviously.
    Another friend, who also had a late-in-life pregnancy, was told: “Well, at least it’s not cancer.”

    WHAT?

    I am thrilled for you.
    Congratulations.
    🙂

    • Fixed??? At least it’s not cancer??? Holy moly. And I thought some of the responses I got were bad.

    • Mel

      Beth…I’m glad you mentioned your “late in life” pregnancy. As a 37 year old mommy-to-be (again) with a 20 and 15 year old, I sometimes feel bad for how I feel or how I’ve had to “deal” with feelings about having a baby around again. For the record, I love babies, I even have 2 grandchildren, I just wasn’t prepared to have another baby of my own (nor was my husband)! I read some reviews of your book and have purchased it on amazon, I can’t wait to read it:)

  2. Well, I’m no mom/wife or anything, but my mom always got dirty looks in the store because she was pregnant and had four other kids in tow. Someone even said something along the lines of “Don’t you have enough?” Those were all just people we didn’t know. But still…

  3. Lisa Williams

    Ha! I had forgotten about this, but your post reminded me. When I was pregnant with Patrick, a customer at the bank asked what I was having. I said a boy, and she (a complete stranger) said, ‘Is that what you wanted?’ Well, pregnancy sarcasm kicked in, and I looked at her and said, ‘Well no, we wanted a golden retriever. Imagine our surprise.’

    I also had the mother of a co-worker (also a complete stranger to me) ask if my mother was going to be keeping the baby. I said, ‘Well, no, she runs her own business and lives not at all nearby’. You should have seen the judgment on her face!!

  4. Mel

    I will put this eloquently. People are stupid sometimes. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Amy Leigh Simpson

    Oh, good Lord…people and their absent filters. So sorry! I hadn’t gotten that far with my third but I remember some similar comments. Brush them off, be excited! Don’t let anyone steal your joy 🙂 So happy for you! Boys are amazing!

  6. Can I share what NOT to say to someone with an only child (by choice or not by choice)?

    When are you going to have another child?
    Don’t you want more children?
    Don’t you worry he/she will be a spoiled brat?
    I guess it is good you can’t have any more children. There are tons of kids already, anyway.

    SERIOUSLY PEOPLE!?!?

  7. Becky Doughty

    Jennifer!
    Oh my goodness, girl! The things people say!
    My niece just had her fourth son and she got all those TERRIBLE comments, too. WHAT is it with the tongue, huh? Why do we let it just go flopping around in our mouths like it’s an uncontrollable beast?

    When I was 18, I got pregnant, and we got engaged (yes, my husband made a point to get down on his knee and request my hand in marriage along with a beautiful ring) and married shortly after we found out. Of course, that didn’t “right the wrong,” but we certainly were trying to do the best we could out of the mess we’d made. Okay. Most of my family’s friends knew that I was adopted. The weirdest question I got asked – not once, but many times – was “Are you considering adoption? It sure was a blessing in your life.” WHAT? We were married, in love, had repented of our sin and done the best we could to make things right, and you think we’re still considering adopting our baby out?.

    And then, being a young mom with a baby on my hip – albeit legal AND married, WITH a wedding AND engagement ring on my finger – “You girls just keep getting younger and younger, don’t you?”

    Well, I’m in my 40s now with a 24-yr-old married daughter of my own, and I admit that I worry that she’s still too young to have children of her own 🙂 but I’m excited to be a youthful grandma some day! Besides, God balanced things out by giving us a bonus baby – we have our 24-yr-old, our 22-yr-old…and our 10-yr-old. And THAT pregnancy brought a whole new round of unfiltered comments. Ha!!!!

    Congratulations, Jennifer. You are richly blessed. And we’ll all stand guard around you – just say the word, okay?

    Hugs,
    Becky

  8. Lauren

    People just don’t think sometimes!!! I remember when I was pregnant with my second, first was a boy, everyone was certain it was a girl. My husband and I just felt it was a little boy and didn’t care. We, like you, had an awesome little boy and thought a second would be great but if God chose a girl we were fine with that too. We’ve always known we just wanted two whether boys, girls or a boy and a girl. The day we found out we called family and friends and got these responses: Aww I’m sorry. You’re kidding it’s really a girl. Are you disappointed? Well you need to plan on a third because you need a girl. Wow I was floored!! We were so excited and imagining our two sweet guys together and people were saying really insensitive things. But God knows what he is doing, as always, and gave us a red headed bouncing baby boy that has a double dose of personality and fun! We couldn’t imagine our lives any other way and we aren’t an incomplete family, as some have said, not having a daughter. 🙂

  9. Great post, Jenny! I especially love your point that the world needs more Christian men–praise God for entrusting the calling to raise 3 of them to you and Brian! So excited to meet my new nephew in just a few months (that will probably fly by)! Love all 5 of you 🙂

  10. People do really say odd things sometimes! You make great points, and I agree. I do think sometimes people just blurt stuff out without thinking. I know I do…lol 🙂

  11. Shanna

    i’ve probably inadvertently offended you – and perhaps others – with ‘i’m sorry’. in which case….i’m sorry!! 🙂 hopefully the people i’ve said it to know i only say that because i was hoping so much for them to have whichever gender they were hoping for – it’s just an honest desire for them to be blessed with what they wish for. yes, we ALL want healthy babies (typical response to ‘do you want a boy or a girl?’) but isn’t it also normal to have a preference on the gender of the baby? when i was pregnant with wynn, i was hoping so badly for a girl (since i already had a son) and we were very blessed to have a girl as our second child. but had we been told during the ultrasound that our second child was a boy, i’m not going to lie….for about 5 seconds, yes, i would have been disappointed. (maybe i’m in the minority here!?!) but after that, who cares!?! we’re having a baby!!!!! ALL children are a blessing, regardless of gender. but i think sometimes when people (like me!) say things like those above, it’s not because we’re being insensitive. rather, it’s a reflection of our desire for your desires.

    • bethkvogt

      Shanna,
      I appreciate your honest — and very sensitive and kind — response. Truly. I understand your viewpoint too.
      Thanks for adding your insight.

    • Shan, Your heart was in the right place and I TOTALLY get what you are saying here and I think it’s great. You just want to be hopeful and joyful with people for what they want. Plus, your tone was a little different than some of these other folks, who seem to be apologizing like it’s the end of the world for us. That’s what I don’t get.

      I did have a moment of shock when they said “it’s a boy”– mostly because we’d already been told it was a girl. There’s no disappointment that it’s a boy, but I do have moments where I lament that I won’t ever have a daughter. In those moments, I just think about how I can love on the daughters of my friends. Especially when they are as precious as Wynn!! 🙂

  12. Oh goodness! People can say such strange things. You wrote very eloquently about this, but you are always so good with words! I’m just happy that prayers have been answered! But then…. aren’t they always? Just sometimes we don’t get answers we want. But I digress…. Can you tell I’m tired? We’ve had those conversations before about how people say inappropriate things in different situations. The only thing I will comment on at this point is how much I enjoyed it when you chose not to know the sex way back with your oldest 🙂 I love surprises! But I understand wanting to know ahead of time.

    • You know what, Sue? I’ve decided that I definitely loved the not knowing. It’s certainly helpful for planning now, but there’s something about that surprise and waiting until the moment of birth that’s just magical. 🙂

  13. Congrats!!!! So excited for you guys!

  14. Carolyn McCraw

    Okay, since I had twins, I often got comments after people found out. One lady, after finding out I was pregnant with twins, asked, “Do they think you could lose them?” I do realize that she meant, “Is your pregnancy considered high risk?” But the way she asked kind of took me by surprise. I just responded by saying, “No one has mentioned that to me.” And one lady, after finding out I was expecting twins, said, “I thought you looked kind of big.” Thanks. And in my defense, that was only midway through my pregnancy, and I only gained 40-45 pounds total. Granted, my hugely swollen legs probably made it look like more, but still….

  15. Well…we don’t have kids. We run a dog sanctuary, mainly abused Pit Bulls.

    Some of the comments…

    “Are they all in the house?” (Mostly, for their safety)

    “What are your vet/food bills like?” (Tell me yours first.)

    “Why?” (Someone’s got to care.)

    And then there’s the nice one…

    “Thank you for what you’re doing.”

  16. Erica Vetsch

    I loved the picture you shared on FB, announcing that you were having a boy. You both look so happy.

    When someone says something that catches me sideways, I try to remember to extend grace to them the way I need grace when I say something thoughtless. Sadly, my saying something thoughtless happens far too often for my comfort. Sigh. I’m such a work in progress.

  17. Big congrats!

    The weirdest comment I got was, “Number 5? You know what a condom is, right?”

    Classy!

  18. Pingback: The Question that Disturbs Me the Most This Pregnancy | Jennifer K. Hale

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