Pregnancy (ke) Side Effects

When I announced my pregnancy to the world, little did I know that I was opening myself up for unsolicited advice and the vilest of comments. There are basically four types of reactions I got, which I thought should document for posterity.

You? A baby? Seriously?

This young girl in my office tells me, Ha ha.. your life is over. Congratulations! This, btw, is a twenty-something equivalent-of-bonehead who has never been married.

Another reaction from someone I share my workspace with was Really? I never thought you were the family type of girl! This, mind you, was the same person that once told me I didn’t look vegetarian “because you are so outspoken and you drink and like bikes also”. The worst was this – Wow, I thought you were too old to have kids! Did you have to get some special treatment? Bitch please. I’m 33, not a fossil.

Let me tell you how it’s done.

You should put up pictures of bal gopal (baby Krishna) in your bedroom, she said, and I laughed so loud I spat out the coconut I was munching on. I’m not putting up pictures of a random baby in my bedroom hoping that my kid will look like them. Well-meaning relatives and colleagues have been directing advice and criticism (mostly criticism) my way. You shouldn’t be sitting/eating/breathing like this is now part of my life, whether I like it or not.

You have no idea how much your life is about to change.

There were people who wanted to make sure I realized the gravity of the situation. I got comments ranging from What if you have twins to Labor is painful, you know. More painful than you can imagine to beware, you’re going to put on a lot of weight, don’t panic.

Clearly none of these people understood how anxious I already was about the changes that my body is going through.

Your troubles are nothing compared to what I went through, so stop whining.

People are hell-bent on telling me horror stories from their childbirth experience. I have heard heart-rending details about how a woman who had a tattoo on her lower back got an epidural and some infection spread, leaving her “weak and immobilized” for a whole month. Another well-meaning woman  described in great detail her breastfeeding experience. And believe me, she kept saying the same things over and over again, and it’s worse than listening to Arnab Goswami’s relentless badgering on TV.


What about you? Have you been on the receiving end of such “advice”? Or worse, have you ever given such “advice”? Do I seriously look like a drifter or “not the family type”? How would you react to these things?

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63 thoughts on “Pregnancy (ke) Side Effects”

  1. Unsolicited advising is a ‘cultivated hobby’ of many people. I’ve received them and dodged them. Eventually, I became what I was told was reclusive and asocial after my first trimester. A few trusted friends and family was enough to guard me from this stupidity. And heavens forbid I do something like that. I hope I haven’t done that! But escaping is my way of dealing with things. Yours might be something else. Just figure it out. It will be along the lines of “I don’t want to give a shit about these bugging people” 😉

    What exactly do people mean by “family type”? Do let me know in case you come across the revelation! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my opinion, what this person meant by family type is someone who wakes up at 6 to get breakfast and lunch ready before she leaves for work, then comes back in time to make and serve dinner. Someone who is subservient and has only one hobby – pandering to the wishes of her in-laws.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What such people fail to understand is that doing this does not make a loving family. But there’s no point putting this across to their sanctimonious selves, right? Just let them ride on their high horses! They’ll never get down in their lifetime.


  2. Ohhh, Anawni! I started laughing from the first reaction you mentioned on. It is unbelievable how everybody knows so much better than you how this adventure is turning out for you and what you are supposed to do. You know what? Just do the same and laugh about it. It is ridiculous. Yes, I too did get “wonderful” advices, mostly from people who had kids 50 or more years ago or from those who never had kids. Some I laughed about and some were hurting, most of all from my in-laws. Anyway, in the end ignore that. Enjoy this all your way and as Paul said: Give ’em heck!


      1. Hahaha…. keep that up and drive them nuts!!! When my last child was on the way my sister in-law want to find out what it’s gonna be but that was my private information. She simply doesn’t know when to stop and knows no privacy of others. Anyway, I know exactly how she functions and withought lying I talked her into circles until she was totally convinced about the wrong option… lol


  3. Don’t listen to them! I remember how much unsolicited advice that I got when we were expecting. Everyone becomes an expert. Smile and ignore them. You will find your own way. And for the record? My life did change having children – for the better. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hate to say it Ana, but the families will continue to give you advice about how to raise you child. My come back was “its my child and I will make my own mistakes with him/her.” Some advice is good and a lot isn’t. God bless you Ana (you and your child).


      1. I’m sure there will be lots of advice for you. But it will be there, because they love you and the child. I always listen to it then I did my own thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pregnancy definitely brings forth the crazies who think they know all there is to know. I hope you can find a way to just tune these people out and enjoy your pregnancy. News, by the way, that I somehow missed! So, congratulations! I wish you all the health and happiness!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh you wait until you start showing 😐 People will not only advice you but also will try to touch your belly. Once baby comes, they’ll have advice about everything from breastfeeding to co-sleeping to starting solids at 3 months(shudder!) to how long you should wait until another kid. IGNORE THESE PEOPLE. You stay alive, keep baby alive and try to remain married. That’s all you need to remember 😀

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Do it! One of my coworkers tried touching my belly. I touched his beer belly right back. He walked away all embarrassed and sent me an apologetic email. That showed everyone that even if I’m pregnant, my belly is a part of my body and touching it is just as bad as say grabbing my boobs.

        About the “You stay alive, keep baby alive and try to remain married”, it is THE TRUTH. It’s not just a true statement, it’s literally the mostest truest thing 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. The best advice I ever heard (or gave) was this – do what works for YOU.

    I just hope you have a textbook, very unremarkable, completely successful pregnancy 🙂 That’s my only wish for you 🙂



    The Bitch please comment reminded me of this article!

    Oh the unsolicited advice they will keep coming, just roll with them.
    The one I remember is, “Let the baby cry, you will spoil him, if you keep picking him up” For crying out loud, he was 6 weeks old. I ignored and carried him all the more, he is a normal, healthy, smart independent 7 year old today and may I add cute as a button 🙂


    1. That article was such a delight to read! Most of it (except the bit about being 44) resonated with me. I sometimes feel like I’m too old to be a mom, but then I realize that with age, I’ve only grown wiser, and that’s a wonderful thing.
      I think you’re right – it’s important to do what YOU think is right for your baby.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m thrilled beyond belief! I was going through some older comments the other day and ran across the one where you told me you were pregnant. It makes me smile every time.
    I have a feeling you got this, sister! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. People just have this ridiculous habit of telling pregnant women about their pregnancy and birth horror stories. I have no idea why. Just take care of yourself, your hubby and your baby. There is never a shortage of ignorant comments out there. The pregnancy will go by faster than you think.


  11. Don’t you wish you’d get to spend your pregnancy in a nice, quiet, hill-station-like place without such douches around? Then again, people won’t stop with unsolicited advice even after you’ve had the baby or, for that matter, even when your baby’s about to have a baby. ‘Kuchh toh log kahenge’ and all that. Now that you’ve done your job of informing them about your pregnancy, I hope you get to put on your earplugs, tune them out, and enjoy this time while the others go take a hike.


    1. Yes. I wish I could just run away and only return when my baby is having a baby (if, god forbid, I’m still alive). ‘Log kya kahenge’ has ruined more lives than any other pestilence! 😀


      1. Here’s my deductive reasoning (from reading your posts and comments) – You think for yourself. You are rational. You are empathetic to the email writers on IHM’s blog. You don’t have all the answers yet. You write original posts in creative ways. You are funny sometimes. You are sensitive. You have an equal marriage, therefore your husband will do his fair share of parenting and you won’t be burnt out. Ergo, you’ll make a great parent 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Met a very close cousin this weekend and she was also the same. I saw her mood swings also 🙂 and I guess, the changes are for the good and all will be good. Sometimes, I give advice also but will think twice or may be thrice before advicing because I know many people advice and it’s good that at least I can spare you the same ramblings 😉 Take care.


    1. Thanks Darshith!
      Mood swings haven’t happened to me so far, so my family has it easy! But when someone gives me advice, they see a whole other side 😉
      But you’d know that!

      Also, sorry I got to your comment so late. The notification bar isn’t working quite as well as it should. I don’t get notifications anymore, and when I do get to see the orange highlight, clicking it does nothing. I have written to WP about it, so I’m hoping this will stop happening!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, the same thing happened to me before for a particular theme and hence I changed it but it then again happened for the new theme and then it worked fine as before after a few days 🙂 Hope they fix this soon 🙂 Mood swings are uncontrollable but we gotta make sure that we don;t do any such thing which we will regret after we are in control of our senses 😀


  13. I have no idea what it is about pregnancy especially that the advice mongers come out of the wood work. I had many of them and ashamedly have jumped on that bandwagon once or twice and felt awful about it later. Geesh..each person is different and the pregnancy will be your OWN individual experience. And after my 7 months of morning sickness I actually enjoyed it even though I felt huge. 😀 That IS not unique to your pregnancy. Everyone feels that way. lol…I think you will be an awesome mother. And there are times my kids had come later in life when I was more grown up and calmer/settled. Enjoy your this time it is a wonderful and sometimes frustrating adventure, but an adventure it is. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has been fun so far, Pavanne. I didn’t have too much nausea. the only thing that’s bothering me is the general discomfort with the growing weight, the pelvic ache, and the fatigue. You know what, I wish I’d met mister a few years earlier. That way I could’ve had a baby earlier – I don’t know if have any energy left for after childbirth!

      Liked by 1 person

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