People say all kinds of things to pregnant women – some kind and thoughtful, some poorly thought out, some just plain rude. But when you’re in science, you get an additional strange set of comments.
The most popular for my two pregnancies has been, often accompanied by a great sigh of disgust/relief/who knows what: “I’m so glad it’s YOU who’s reproducing!” It seems the implication is “…instead of the uneducated masses.” Which does tend to leave me thinking that someone from the “uneducated masses” would probably make a way better parent than the person I am currently speaking with.
The other day I was sick, and slipped slightly by complaining to a co-worker that being sick while pregnant was twice as bad. She replied brightly, “well, you do have a parasitic infection!”
With my first pregnancy, as this one, I didn’t actually look that pregnant at 8 months. Which led one straight-forward young male physicist to venture a compliment: “you don’t really look pregnant, you just look like you’ve gained 20 pounds!”
Wow. Thanks. And it’s 25, just FYI…
I won’t go into the conversation I had with a professor who felt the need to let me know all the statistics on infant mortality, and how I’d better make sure my husband kept a close eye on all the data at the hospital himself.
I love you scientists, I do… but before you say anything to a pregnant woman, do try and remember that a baby is more than a parasite. Just think of all the new permutations of purine and pyrimidine DNA bases! It’s amazing!
And my husband is still flattered to think someone assumes he can do Fourier Transforms in his head… while I’m screaming my lungs out.