Recently I've had several people ask me when I'm due.
And not just people but women. And not just women but skinny women. I don't know if they're so thin that they're not getting the nutrients to help their brains think through things but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. They're probably not bad people, it's just they're starved and can't think clearly.
Because I'm not due. I'm fat. Just fat.
Thank you, Skinny Woman, for looking at my body and assuming that there must be a gestating baby in my womb because my belly is so round. And I know, I know that I'm still wearing maternity jeans and dresses so it's almost like you're being set up and it's not fair. But let me explain something to you:
Some women have the horrible genes that make them carry their weight in their mid section. We few, we unfortunate few, are known as apples. Or barrels. Or squares. Or constantly 6 months pregnant. Or fat.
And when you encounter us you should NEVER ask when we're due.
In fact never ask any woman ever when she's due with two exceptions:
1 - If she just told you she's pregnant.
2 - If the baby is crowning. But even then it's not a good idea.
When you, Skinny Woman, ask me when I'm due and I have to tell you that I'm not it's embarrassing for both of us. And I can tell by the look on your face that you feel really, really bad and probably you should. The remorse you feel for having asked such an innocent, well meaning but completely thoughtless question means you will probably never again ask another woman when she's due. So I'm glad I can help out my fellow Apples.
Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking at a local moms' group, sharing the story of my son's alleged miracle. They wanted me to provide a bio for them to use to introduce me. I gave them this:
Bonnie Engstrom is from central Illinois and lives in G----- with her husband, Travis, the physics teacher at --- High School. They have 6 kids, one in Heaven and then 5 aged 5 and under. Bonnie is currently NOT pregnant and therefore drinks a beer almost every day.
Please notice the last sentence. I didn't include that to be funny. I included that so everyone there would know that I am fat, not pregnant, and they shouldn't ask me when I'm due. It's too bad that as women were gathering and therefore before I had been introduced a woman asked me when I was due. If only she waited five more minutes...
And I know, Skinny Women, I know that you're just being nice and trying to carry a conversation. And you can probably guess how I feel about my body.
I pretty much hate it. I am embarrassed of all the weight I've gained over the last 6 pregnancies. I'm ashamed of the way my body so boldly communicates my lack of self control. I am ashamed of how I look and it's getting to the point where I sometimes consider skipping out on social events because I want to be unseen. I dress in the dark or in the closet so my husband cannot see my naked body. I don't like my kids to touch my soft, round belly and I'm afraid of the day when they learn that in our culture their mom is not beautiful because she is fat.
That innocent, well-intentioned question of "When are you due?" runs me through all those feelings and thoughts and it's a perfectly good way to ruin an otherwise perfectly good day. Just don't do it.