I had a rough pregnancy. Some of you know that, and some of you don’t, but unless you’ve ever witnessed a truly horrific pregnancy (or been unfortunate enough to experience it) you don’t really know it. 

I’m not talking about those pregnancies where the unfortunate mother is hospitalised. That is certainly one kind of horrific and I’m not suggesting it isn’t. It’s just not the kind I’m talking about.  

The kind I’m talking about is the lesser known kind. The kind where every minute of every hour of every day of the better part of nine months is sheer misery. Where getting out of bed becomes almost (or not so almost) an impossibility and shuffling down the hall to the toilet an act of torture and you can’t get in and out of the shower without assistance. Where you can’t pick up a glass or read a book or cut your meat because of the damned pregnancy related carpal tunnel in your hands and it doesn’t matter if you sit, stand, walk or lie down, something (or everything) hurts and getting to the end of the day is no relief at all because you can’t bloody sleep, owing to the fact you can’t lie on your back or your stomach and half an hour on one hip is enough for the damn thing to seize up and inflict sweet excruciating agony.

I had a few things said to me by unwise – or, to be blunt, just plain stupid – people. So here is the Idiot’s Guide on what not to say to a pregnant woman. Ever. That’s E-V-E-R. Did you get that?

  • You chose to be pregnant – No, actually, she probably didn’t (even assuming the pregnancy was planned). What she chose was to have children. Unfortunately, getting those children means the woman has to get pregnant. No choice involved. Funnily enough the man’s choice to have children does not involve getting pregnant. Lucky him. If we could choose, we’d definitely choose the man to get pregnant. Hands down, every time. So don’t tell me I had a freaking choice.
  • Think about the miracle of the life you are creating– This really doesn’t make you feel any better. It doesn’t make it any easier to get through the next minute, hour, day and whatever you’ve got left of those nine months. It doesn’t put your hips back together afterwards. You hear women say they’d like to get their figure back after pregnancy. I’d settle for having my back the way it was and not freaking out every time I get a strange twinge in a finger.  Funnily enough, I noticed this comment was only ever made by men. I can’t imagine why!
  • You’ve been pregnant forever – She knows this. Her forever feels a damn sight longer than your forever. She doesn’t need you to tell her.
Any one of the above is liable to get you attacked by the pregnant woman in question. If you’re lucky, you’ll merely be savaged verbally by the hormonal, mood-swinging feral beast she has become. If you’re unlucky, she’ll take your head off with a half-brick in a sock. Whether you’re lucky or unlucky may depend on whether you’re the first or the hundred and first to make that comment to her. Today. 

So tread wisely…