weighing heavy

I have a pooch. Well it’s more than that, really, it’s a belly. I’ve put on quite a bit of weight over the past few years, and it all landed in the region between my boobs and booty. Sometimes I’ll walk past my reflection and not even recognize my own body

I spent the majority of the last two years ingesting hormones to prepare for and recover from various surgeries, being inactive for periods of time, plus I retained the bloat from all of the medicated cycles. I work at my desk or sit in meetings all day, and my metabolism has slowed with age. And let’s not forget eating for comfort. I have little inspiration or motivation to do more than a bit of stretching, hiking or (more recently) biking. You could say I’ve gotten pretty soft around the edges. That would be putting it nicely. 

One thing you wouldn’t want to say, however, is “you’re expecting?” Like someone said to me today as I was just about to go into a two-hour meeting. I fucking hate that. It was a relatively young guy I met once about a year ago (though I was behind a table). “Excuse me?” I wanted to be sure I heard him correctly. Or maybe I was subconsciously buying time and hoping someone would interrupt and redirect the oncoming trainwreck. “Are you expecting?” he asks again, smiling, obviously excited to share. Ah, yes, I did hear the little fucker right.

What I’m thinking is no, just fat, or fuck off, or I wish, or long story, or no, but it sounds like you want to talk about your new baby, or no, and why is my body up for discussion?  What I say is “no…” (hard to convey the tone here). “Oh, I’m so sorry,” he says. “We just had one seven months ago so I just assume everyone is, you know, having one too.” Hmm. Nice try, but lame recovery, and whatever. Babies on the brain, I get it, me too. Only mine is dead and I haven’t been able to have another, and yours is safe at home.

Aside from speaking before thinking, albeit tactlessly, he happens to be a very nice and intelligent guy. Just not so smart in the don’t ever ask a woman if she’s pregnant unless you’re really fucking sure department. I realize I have some seriously unresolved issues here that are not his problem but mine. To be clear, I do not covet his child. I want my own.

Luckily I have the ability to compartmentalize, so I was able to focus my attention and our discussion on the task at hand instead of my infertile body during our meeting. But these interactions always leave me cold, and well, resentful I guess. 

Three times in my life someone made the mistake of asking me if I was pregnant when I wasn’t. The first time, it was a young female college student and I was wearing a loose-fitting dress. Understandable. The second time I was at a baby shower of beautiful people and hardbodies. Again, I was wearing a loose sundress and one of the husbands asked me when I was due. Presumptuous bastard. We were still in the first year of trying. I chalked that one up to the fact that the guy had never seen a woman with some extra meat on her. But still, rude. And depressing. That was where the “no, just fat” response first entered my mind, but instead I just let it simmer and upset me…

This time it was particularly annoying/depressing/frustrating because of how far I’ve come since then, yet still I am no closer to actually having a baby of my own. I was also at work, where I try to maintain a separate and fulfilling existence, apart from my infertility. But in moments like these, it’s not just my body that’s weighing heavy. 


~ by luna on June 2, 2008.

26 Responses to “weighing heavy”

  1. Not fair.
    But know that you are gorgeous.

  2. Since I’ve gained weight, I regularly have people ask me if I’m pregnant. I am happy to tell them that I’m just packing some extra pounds rather than a pregnancy because then they feel bad – and they should! I’m not upset with people for thinking I might be pregnant, but it’s an inappropriate question they need to learn not to ask.

  3. I think you handled this guy’s wholly inappropriate comments and questions far better than I would have!

  4. Q: Are you expecting?
    A: I’m expecting to knock the shit out of you if you don’t get the hell out of my face.

    Q: When are you due?
    A: I’m due to open up a can of whoop ass in 2.5 seconds. Run while you still can, you little fucker.

    Q: (pointing, and said in a coochie-coochie-coo voice) Is that a baby in theeeere?
    A: Is there a brain in theeeere?
    [I once got hit with that last one.]


  5. “I was also at work, where I try to maintain a separate and fulfilling existence, apart from my infertility.” Ditto. My blog aside, I really do make an effort *not* to dwell on infertility. But how do we get away from it when people are constantly reminding us of their fertility? sometimes I want to shout from the rooftop: Ggaargh! It’s maddening enough to work through people. You don’t have to make it worse!

  6. Kymberli’s responses are making me laugh.

    Crap, Luna. Just crap. That interaction was all sorts of crappy.

  7. (((hugs))) I’ve had that happen to me too (although not in recent eyars — guess I’m getting too old for people to think I could even BE pregnant!!). It’s so hard, especially when it comes soon after you WERE pregnant & are desperately hoping to be again. I weigh more now than I did when I was pregnant. Trying to lose the weight, but as you said, when you work in a cubicle all day, ingested all those hormones in an attempt to have a(nother) baby & have an aging metabolism, it doesn’t come off like it used to. You are not alone!

  8. Having had my body altered in similar ways from being pregnant in October (and after the miscarriage you think it might have bounced back but no….) I feel your pain. I’m terrified that someone will say the same thing to me because I do look pregnant. As usual you handled this all with grace. I think I would have strangled him but that could just be my current frame of mind! 🙂

  9. UGH — that happened to me about 8 months ago too and I could have screamed! I have gained about 20 pounds in the past year thanks for IF treatments and failures, and pregnancy lost. So my belly really does stick out and I walk around in fear of being asked again. Sigh.

  10. Sweetie, those are the worst. I had a parent ask me before a parent-teacher conference about their child. He came up to me (I was standing in a group) and said, “Congratulations!” I laughed and asked what for and he said, “on the baby.” I was bloated from stims and I have put on weight, but still. I just smiled and said, “I’m sorry, you must be thinking of someone else. I’m not pregnant.” Then the father said, “you clearly are!” I denied it again and he KEPT INSISTING.

    And then I had to sit through a conference with him.

    I saw the Dad a little over a week ago. The saving grace–he had what literally had to be the smelliest dog in the world. I only looked over in that direction because of the stench. And he has to live with that stench every day. Serves him right.

  11. How do people make it in this life without knowing the basics, one of which is you make no comments about an alleged pregnancy until you actually see the child being born? Assholes.

  12. Ugh, can we beat him up? You never ask a woman if she’s pregnant unless you SEE the baby emerging from her.

  13. My god — I’m especially surprised a guy would say that. Most guys I know are sorta oblivious. That or they know to keep their mouths shut! Jeez.

    The weight gain part of this is soooo cruel. I especially feel angry because I spent so many years trying to become more and more active — trying new exercises, becoming a (slow) runner, etc. But then I’m scared to move because I don’t want it to be “my fault” I screwed up a pregnancy. Yet then it’s also “my fault” for being a fat immobile blob.

    One thing that’s helped me lately is giving myself permission to buy all the clothes I need to get through this. Within reason, of course, and generally cheap stuff. But to put away stuff that doesn’t fit, get myself a few things that make me feel good. Accessories to take attention away from the yuck parts. And it really, really helps!

  14. I cant stop laughing from Kymberli’s responses–definitely gonna use some of those–trust me, Im carrying around a pooch too. And not the “ruff, ruff” kind.
    Im sorry you had to deal with that arse.

  15. I can’t believe that anyone, male or female, would ever assume a pregnancy — MUCH LESS say anything about it to the woman — unless it had already been a topic of conversation or it was extremely obvious (like watermelon obvious). What a crappy thing for him to say. The fact that he’s clearly oblivious and didn’t mean any harm by it is not much consolation.

  16. Ugh. People can be sooo ignorant!

    I absolutely relate to the weight gain and bloating. My waistbands are tight, I’m starting to get those bruises on the sides of my breasts that are caused by underwires ‘cuz the bras are too snug, and I think I’m developing back fat! Oh, the horror. Oy.

    So sorry you had to deal with Ignoramus. You were much more gracious than I would have been.

  17. Happened to me three times too. As Jerry Seinfeld says “You do not ask a woman if she is pregnant unless you see a baby coming out of her just then.” or something to that effect.
    Love Kymberli’s reply. I should learn to use it.

    Couple of friends mentioned it does not stop even after you have kids. When they failed to bounce back in shape like Hollywood mamas, they were asked when they were due too.

  18. Kymberli’s got it. Why does everything think potential pregnancy means they can toss aside all social rules and notions of personal privacy?

  19. Oops, I meant “everyone”. I’m a bit tired today…

  20. I once heard a male comedian say that “unless a woman’s feet are in stirups AND the head is crowing, do not EVER assume she is pregnant.” :o)

    Somedays, I just hate people.

  21. OK if I just put some of Kymberli’s responses on a t-shirt in advance? I NEVER got mistaken, I was little miss hardbody. Until last year. I have the baby pooch and I’m unable to take it off because I can’t fucking run and sit-ups and biking ain’t doin’ it. (not to mention all the time I’m chewing up in PT for my foot.) And yes, a few months ago at a party, a neighbor asked me the same thing. It hurt like hell (I said “NO! FUCK NO!”), but I have a feeling the neighbors are eyeballing me especially close to see if I’m going to try again. And I almost hate that more, the thought that I’m in the fishbowl.

    I’m so sorry. People are just asses.

  22. I’ve had that happen three times in the last three years. (But never by a man.) All by supposedly nice people. I put on my weight in my belly, always have. And one of the biggest things I hate about my body it its tendency to look pregnant.

    I once thought there was nothing so horrible than being asked if you’re pregnant when you’re not. Then I learned what it’s like to be asked when you’re not and it’s the thing you want most in the world and everyone else seems to have it handed to them and all you do is suffer loss after loss.

    Yeah, that just fuckin’ blows. I just hope he was embarrassed enough that he will NEVER ask someone that again.

  23. Wow, I hope that he feels good and stupid!

    So sorry that happened to you Luna – what a crappy thing to have to endure. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to speak. Seriously.

  24. Yep, had that happen to me a couple of times. I just said, nope, it’s fat. And stared them hard in the face. You can be sure as hell no one will be asking that question again. I pooched up too after all the hormones, the ovarian hyperstimulation, the emotional eating after all the BFNs, etc. And all I had to show for it was a pooch, but no baby. One can only pray that his wife will tell him to keep his mouth shut from now on.

  25. Good lordessa, luna, you definitely handled that better than me. Although I am picturing the look that probably accompanied your answer. I loved Kymberli’s responses, but obviously, you’d have to choose when and where to use them – Board rooms and work meetings are tricky spots. I thought that sharing some of my IF story with some of my co-workers would make it easier to bear, but now I get emails with little baby feet in them when they know I am preparing for a transfer and baby talk when I express the least amount of optimism for the next cycle.

    I can’t decide which is worse.

  26. Oh my goodness. I would have clocked the b@stard. Bet he’ll never make that mistake again.

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