Monday, March 15, 2010

I love my church, BUT...

Sunday was a wonderful day at church. We had speakers {a few were friends of ours} talk about their mission work in Haiti with orphanages {and I cried and wanted to go to Haiti}. We had 6 Baptisms, with three being a grandpa, his son and his grandbaby {and I cried}. The sermon and music were inspired and fantastic {and of course, I cried}.
I usually cry at these things, but I think being pregnant- especially with a girl this time- has sparked more of a hormone-fest than usual.

There are few other things about being pregnant that drive me crazy like the hormones.
I hate to admit it: it sounds politically INcorrect, ungrateful and selfish- none of the qualites that you would write on your profile {not that I need one}. [And I need to add appropriate caveats here: I am so thankful to be pregnant, we truly feel like we are taking part in a miracle and I hope everyone who longs to be in this state gets there someday.]

With all that said, here’s my beef: at church, well-meaning, cordial, polite people stop you all morning to ask questions like, “How are you feeling?”, “How’s that baby doing?” and- my favorite- “You sure are popping out there!”. Jason plays my wing man to get me out of these lovely situations, but in 2 short hours yesterday morning I had dozens of people say those exact things.

And they all expect you to be happy, gracious and kind as if walking the pregnancy red carpet- stopping and giving a profile shot to each one. Unfortunately, I was yanking a 4 year old’s arm socket out most of the morning and trying to keep his shirt tucked in at the same time {which doesn’t work}. I wasn’t quite in the happy, gracious and kind mood and wanted to hide. This is a horrible attitude to have on Sunday mornings, but have you ever heard of “losing your religion to get to church”? Yes- that happened to us yesterday morning, despite my prep on Saturday {who the heck started this stupid time change on Sundays?}, so I didn’t start out in a worship-like state of mind. It was more like a I-might-kill-my-family-but-we’re-here state of mind. And I’m sure that makes God really happy.

I have compared this societal phenomenon to what it must be what it’s like to have a cast on your arm and have people ask you all day long, “What happened to your arm?”. At least with that you can start making up stories about rescuing small handicapped children or saving a cat from a burning building. But everybody KNOWS how you get pregnant- no public dissertations needed there- but they want to know about every other part of your pregnancy.

Which is fine. In a nice normal setting, I don’t mind talking to people about being pregnant. But in a barrage, surrounded by people you know and love {and I do love them, too, really, I do}, trying to get from point A to B, it is annoying as all-get-out to be asked your due date, your current state of “feeling” and your bodily function level a dozen times. I wanted to scream, “What did you talk to me about before I was pregnant?”.

So there is my ungrateful rant. I’ve already counted that there are 16 {or so} Sundays left before the baby gets here. I’ll just have to mentally prepare, pray and start taking deep breaths before church {I guess you should probably do 2 out of those 3 anyway}. After all that, I’ll find a back entrance to hide my ballooning self and waddle on in; I’m sure that’s just what Jesus would do.

Has anybody else every felt this way?
Am I being completely horrible? {I realize all these people love our family and it's not so bad to be surrounded by them}
And do you think they make T-shirts that, “Yes, I’m aware I’m pregnant. I'm due at the end of July. I feel fine.” that would be appropriate church attire?


Emily said...

you are not being horrible! i remember feeling the SAME way, hill. even thought people have good intentions, it just gets old! hang in there. not much longer. when are you due, again? just kidding...

Michelle said...

It was the belly touchers that made me a crazed maniac during my pregnancy. I mean really, I would be ok with fielding questions, I'm not ok with someone TOUCHING me unless invited.

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

You sound perfectly normal to me, Hillary. I remember those same questions. I think I walked in the back door and out the back door as quickly as possible so that I could avoid all those questions. Grrr. And going to church tired is just the worst--I remember one time putting my head back on my husband's arm and FALLING SOUND ASLEEP in church when I was pregnant. There was no way I could keep my eyes open one more second. Oh, the fatigue of it all!

And don't get me started on crying in church. Being pregnant I'd cry all the time in church. Now that I'm peri-menopausal I cry too. And if we ever sing "Great is Thy Faithfulness" my girls just all look down the row at me, knowing I'll be a blubbery mess by the time the song is finished. GAH!

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

I love the T-shirt idea! Seriously. I had 3 difficult pregnancies, so excuse me if I didn't have that rosy glow of growing huge & uncomfortable. I had toxemia with 2 and gestational diabetes with the 3rd. The "You are getting so BIG!" comment really translated "I was getting so FAT!" I would mentally check that person OFF my friend circle. At least while the hormones raged.

Jamie said...

Bless your heart. You went through pregnancy it twice I'd just say "ditto". Sure it's a horrible Ghost reference but I don't think they really care what you say for your answer.

They just want you to know they care about your well-being. So make stuff up or employ your children to take some for the team. Or fake a nasty cold...for 16 more Sundays.

dawn said...

Oh, Hillary, I'm sorry your morning was THAT morning. And I love that Tshirt idea!

And none of this has anything to do with how happy you are to be pregnant.

I must admit I might have asked you the same things if I was there. Yikes! I try to remember when people are due at least, but I do ask how folks are feeling, especially if it's the end. I guess I figure it's the main thing on their mind--so I'll talk about it. Small talk.

I just think it's important to remember that we remember that this lovely lady is a person--not just an incubator and there is more to their life than carrying a baby.

Now I'm off to review in my head the conversations I had with pregnant people yesterday morning... heehee.

Great post, girl.

The Incredible Shrinking Woman said...

Yeah, as I was reading it, I thought about those blinky belt buckles that work like a ticker machine. You can load up your message of the day. And since you are popping right out (NOT my opinion... your churchies said it first) I suppose you could hang the belt around your neck. OR- strap it to the back of your head, then sit in the front row of church, and by the time you leave, no one will care to see or hear one more word of information from you and your blinkie. Whadda ya think?

Laura said...

You should totally make the shirt. I would have loved to have one when I was pregnant with my son. I had a bad pregnancy so I really did not like to be bombarded with questions OR have my stomach touched (Not even by family except my husband of course). It is just weird to have people touch your stomach all the time. So NO you are not horrible. I think you sound like every other pregnant women out there.

Rochelle said...

LOL! I haven't been pregnant yet so I don't know how this feels, but given that I'm overweight and I've had people awkwardly ask me when I'm due... I can imagine there are similar "grrrrr" types of feelings that go through our minds. I hope for your sake they do make a t-shirt like that, haha! :)

Don't feel bad, I'm sure that's totally normal to feel that way. *hug*

Jennifer said...

I saw a shirt in Chattanooga that said "ask, don't touch!" and so wanted to buy that for my pregnant SIL. I hate touchers and the stupid questions. As for the less than holy mood upon arrival at church....we are the masters of that and are seriously trying to work on it. For some reason I don't think it is good preparation for worship to be yelling 'get out of the darn car and hurry b/c we are late!' at the top of my lungs while feeling like I could run over the next human who gets in our way. ha

Ivy said...

I had someone ask me ther other day if I was having twins...and it was a lady that has had two babies so she knows what a pregnant lady is supposed to look like!

Harriet said...

I love your post and your T-shirt idea. I think it is perfectly appropriate for every day wear and I wish I had had one when I was pregnant with my son. You are not horrible, just normal! I'm sure you know, that is going to get worse. Hang in there!

Elizabeth said...

There are some Sundays where I would welcome a standing ovation as I walk in the door. Some mornings it is that bad and I feel terrible growling to my children that "we are going to be late for CHURCH if you don't hurry it up!". People are funny and church doesn't keep the crazy ones out. Even now I forget everyone's due date and since I remember how annoying it is to be asked repeatedly EVERY SUNDAY I just don't ask. Or try not to. Hang in there and cry all you want:)

Shana said...

PLEASE get that T-shirt made. I'd walk proudly beside you :) you're hilarious.

Allison said...

You should totally get that shirt made. I bet you could do it on

I remember feeling the same way when I was pregnant. People that I saw almost every day, but rarely talked to, all of a sudden wanted to know everything about my pregnancy, including rude comments like "you're ready to pop any day now". It's annoying, irritating and sometimes mean.

Just brush it off, they are only trying to be polite. And in a few months, they won't be asking about how you're feeling. Instead, they will ask how the baby is doing. :-)

Jennifer said...

We currently have 10 ladies pregnant in our church of about 220. I'm not sure if that makes the question asking worse or better but at least I know that I'm keeping company with at least 9 other ladies every Sunday. And I like the shirt idea!

Stephanie B said...

I promise to only ask you about the weather EVERY time I see you until that beautiful little girl is born. ;-) And if you happen to sit close to me in church, I have tissues stashed in my purse. And you should totally get the Tshirt.

Christina said...

Aw! I remember that everyday all day from everyone and I just wanted to hide until I had my son! :) And yes, they have shirts that you can customize...I kept promising to get one that read "yes, I'm pregnant, I'm feeling fine, I'm due in July, it's a boy, his name is Jax, and yes, I'm ready for it to be over now"
just so no one would have a reason to ask me anything!
Looking back, I can laugh now but I remember very clearly how it felt.
I wish you a healthy and happy pregnancy with a lot fewer questions! Blessings and smiles! :)

Melissa said...

Aww I'm sorry they drove ya nuts at church. But you know how people are about babies...even ones still in the tummy. Its just such an exciting blessed time we can't keep our mouths shut!
BUT! You do have options, the t-shirt comment seems to be a popular one, I vote for sitting in the back of church and running as soon as service is over. Cuz you know its only comments now, its hands-on-tummy next! There is the embarassment one too...when they approach and ask how ya doing? say something like, "well ya know, my hemroids are busting out all over"..something on that line? That should keep 'em quiet next time! *oh j/k.*
I always tried to look on the bright side, just suppose they all ignored you and baby and never said a word!
I am so happy for you. I had a little girl after 2 boys. What fun! Bows, ruffles, lace, tiny dresses and sweet bonnets. Its a whole new world!!! Enjoy!

Bobbi Janay @When did I go from a kid to a grown up? said...

Dude I hate when that happens.

Maria in Lewis Land said...

I've asked a million pregnant women how they were feeling and how the little one was doing. It never occurred to me that it might be annoying. My only pregnancy ended in miscarriage. But during our adoption journey, I longed to have people ask about me and the process. I didn't have that obvious sign of pregnant belly, but I too was an expectant mom.

And there are plenty of those types of questions that drove me nuts in relation to adoption. I guess I've tried to challenge myself to be patient and kind - especially since so many women are so desparate and would give anything to have these things to complain about.

May your next 16 weeks be filled with much grace and many blessings :)

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Oh yeah, I bet somebody makes that shirt, somewhere. Pair that with a cute little jacket, and you're absolutely church-ready!

Mommy and a Ministry said...

I just got over this same thing! it wasn't just church it was everywhere! I said several times I needed a shirt! But at least you haven't had anyone ask "are you sure you aren't having twins?" and I even got the "are you sure there aren't triplets?" Towards the end I really hated being in public because I got the "stare" from everyone! Hang in there! and post a picture of your shirt when you get it! ha!

Dawn said...

oh my gosh! and just last night i ws thinking about asking you how you were doing- don't answer me and pretend i didn't even write it!!

Anonymous said...

oh, my goodness!! i was so right there with you with both of mine. if you find the shirt, buy several. then you can wear them ALL WEEK LONG. my favorite (read: most annoying part of my pregnancy BAR NONE) was people coming up to me in the grocery store - people i'd never laid eyes on before, natch - and not only asking those same mundane and none of their business type questions, but TOUCHING ME at the same time! i was so ready to buy a shirt that said "if you touch my baby belly, i will rip your arm off." my mother used to have one in the 70s that said "you toucha my body, i slappa you face." if only i could have made THAT fit over my bulbous belly, i would have. and you know what? three years after the pregnancy, even though i remember those things, when i see a pregnant woman (although i usually have to know her first), i immediately ask her those same questions and - shamed as i am to admit it - once she's reached 30 weeks or so, i can't stand not touching the baby belly.

oh my gosh, you blogged about me and didn't even know it. i promise never to touch your belly, and i'll even try to keep all questions related to school and not pregnancy.


LizzieV. said...

Even more awkward when I was pregnant with DLG was that I didn't make a big deal of it, and being, oh--FAT-- most people didn't know I was pregnant until I was really showing. (I think I got someone at church saying to me, "I didn't know you were pregnant" a month AFTER DLG was born.)

And then there's the entire loss of identity when the baby arrives. I stopped being "Liz" and became "the Baby-Bringer." There are many people at my church who know me as MLB's mom.

Sigh..... (But you'll always be wonderful Hillary to me.)(And I don't have to ask how you're feeling; I'm smart & read your blog!)

Amy J said...

Ha! Too funny! My husband hated all the comments when we were pregnant so much that he began to answer for me!! "You haven't had that baby yet??" Him: "Oh yeah, we just left her at home..... (once he even added "to vaccum") "Let me see that belly" Him: "Let me see yours first" "Are you going to video the birth" Him: "Nope, we got some footage of the conception!" I almost died!!! The majority of these comments were made at church! He is usually so laid back but it just irked him for people to ask what he considered "personal" questions! We still laugh about it. He also told the doctor when asked if dad wanted to cut the cord "It's that what I'm paying you to do??"

{ L } said...

How are you feeling? ...hehe, just teasing! ;)

I remember having a lot of those same feelings. XO Your writing is always so entertaining to read too by the way.

Also, I have a favor to ask: I'm trying to win a party contest and would love your help! Would you go here: and leave a comment at the end of the article? Your comment will give me a vote. Thanks so much! I appreciate it lots. <3

Beverlydru said...

A sign is what you need. FlashCard style. I bet if people saw you use that once, they'd get the idea. ; )

Can I say this was a great post? Funny, real and all that good stuff.

nicole said...

I do get a little tired of all the questions, but mostly I like that people take an interest and are supportive of our family. It certainly beats the lame comments about the number of kids we have. And we go to church on Sunday afternoons, which means no rushing out the door in the early a.m. I love it. ;)

Elle said...

I've had those days (a lot) and I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one. People are like that and I do not understand for the life of me why. I'm a naturally very inquisitive person BUT I do my questioning silently, not aloud. If you give a few mins, you can answer the question for yourself. I've always held back from asking a random stranger what's wrong, how far along they are, why do they look like that, yada yada yada.

Personally, it irritates the life out of me when people say stuff about my hair, job, where I got my shirt, how much it was, etc. Can we say rude? Yes, we can. Some people need to learn when and how to shut it before they say it.

Ok, I'm off my soapbox :)

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