And now for a bonus Friday afternoon post (aw yeah, I’m a rebel without a cause). Every day on average I get about five readers either asking if I’m pregnant or straight up “calling it” via comments, email, twitter, pinterest, instagram, or carrier pigeon. Which adds up to answering that question – and crushing the dreams of those calling it – around 150 times a month, and a whopping 1,800 times in the last year. The prego-chatter has even hijacked a few comment threads on posts about non-uterus-y topics like room updates and tour infographics. Holy bump-watch, batman! We haven’t seen one of those around here since 2010.
First I’ll get one little detail out of the way: I’m not pregnant. My womb is currently uninhabited.
It’s actually really cool that so many people are excited about the possibility of us expanding this little family of ours. But with the complications of my past (here’s Clara’s birth story for more on that) nothing is guaranteed. My next pregnancy will be high risk and my next child will have a 25% chance of the same life-threatening complication that Clara had. So that definitely contributes to our timing and our general state of mind with regard to any potential bun in the oven. And sometimes all the “you’re prego!” guesses can be a little tough to field day in and day out.
I completely understand that all the excited folks who are inquiring don’t mean any harm (in fact I feel like I should be hugging you while typing this, seriously I love you guys) but in general I think asking someone if they’re pregnant can be a little dicey…
- It can suggest that you think they’ve gained weight (sometimes I have a tummy – thanks burrito! – but it’s not a baby)
- It can unintentionally sadden someone who has had trouble getting pregnant or has miscarried (neither of which I’ve personally encountered up to this point, but I certainly could moving forward)
- It can put them in an uncomfortable position if they are pregnant, but aren’t ready to announce it (which eventually could happen to me for sure)
So this little uterus-centric service announcement is just to solemnly vow to you guys that when the time is right, if we’re blessed with another bouncing bean in the oven, I promise, you will know. Heck, we’ll be so freaking excited that there might be another t-shirt in it for Burger…
So sit tight and know that although you won’t be the first few people we tell (gotta give that privilege to the fam) you’ll definitely hear it straight from our perma-smiling mouths (er, keyboard?) if we reach that safe-to-share milestone. Until then, picture me sipping wine, eating sushi, and soaking up non-prego life as it is right now. With my sweet pooch, my nail-gun-slingin’ hubby, and my little miracle girl (who currently knows the words to nearly every Adam Levine song – seriously, try her).
Thanks so much for understanding, guys. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. And I hope you’ll be sweet to each other in the comments (everyone’s hearts are in the right place about this whole thing). Besides, this means we can all spend more time studying Princess Kate’s royal bump. Where is she hiding that baby? Seriously, can somebody tell me? My belly blocked the view of my feet by 20 weeks (see the second picture in the grid above), so I can only guess that superior lineage = superior baby-hiding prowess.
Amanda E. says
I think this is the most polite and gracious way possible to ask people to mellow out a bit. Good for you!
kate C. says
Well said!! Let people say when they’re ready. There’s no bonus points or extra dessert for guessing first, so yeah… chill! :)
Erin @ The Impatient Gardener says
My thoughts exactly. You are a class act!
agreed :) very well done
I totally agree with Amanda.
Having dealt with the comments for the past year and a half myself, I ended up freaking out on my family and friends (all of whom were asking because they were excited that we might have kids at some point)because it gets exhausting and, sometimes, really really tough. I didn’t put it quite as eloquently as this post did, I told them all to back off and that we will certainly let them know if/when there is news, but until then, the conversation was totally off limits, and, if asked again, I would not tell them until I was in labor. Seemed to work ;)
Agreed! That was the most polite, polite and genuine post ever.
This is what I was going to say. :)
Agreed! I don’t know how you deal with it, Sherry. (hugs)
We had the opposite problem, and people were always saying ‘another one?’ or ‘you have 4, what’s one more?’ My womb is my business, people. ;)
The state of our baby-making is no one’s business.
No matter what the future holds you already have an amazing family. :)
I will “eighth” the original comment, since someone beat me to seconding, thirding, etc. it. Well said to you and to Amanda.
karla F. says
Well said Amanda!
couldn’t agree more! unfortunately reproduction is always a touchy topic….I have 4 boys and carry a bit of extra weight around my tummy and I am constantly getting asked if I am preggo, or when we are trying for a girl….seriously it’s like MIND YOUR OWN WOMB! Kuddos to you for posting and doing so in such a polite manor ;-)
I totally agree with Amanda. I don’t think that people realize it can be really rude to constantly hound someone about pregnancy. You never know what they are going through.
Agreed! I am commenting for nearly the first time to tell you this was handled so gracefully.
Aw thanks guys. We love you!
I couldn’t agree more. I aspire to be as gracious… for now I just give people the evil eye until they hush up about it. If that doesn’t work I end up resorting to much harsher words that never seem to go over well.
Definitely. Sometimes the question can send women into serious crying fits. The worst was after my hysterectomy and people asking when I was due. It was the only time I would ever look slightly pregnant and just made it harder to deal with. Be kind, people, you never know what is going on in someone’s personal and medical life.
Oh Erica, I’m so sorry!
It’s especially hard after suffering pregnancy loss (or stillbirth or infant loss). My hardest time was a week after my second miscarriage (two pregnancies followed by two losses) and a co-worker asked me when my husband and I were going to start having babies … to which I could only reply “when they stop dying.”
It was not my most gracious moment, for sure. This post is much more polite! :-)
Oh Caralyn, I’m so sorry for your loss.
Shelley @ Green Eggs and Hamlet says
Totally agree with Amanda E. You and John are always so gracious about tackling what I imagine can be a tricky and sensitive topic (I’ve not yet had kids so don’t have personal experience). Thanks, as always, for being so laid back and upfront about the whole thing.
i think there’s a lot of talk about female plumbing on the mommyblogs, some of which spills over into the reno blogs. i think you two are supremely well-mannered with this and so much more.
i’ve only ever asked one person in my entire life if she was pregnant. her belly was at eye level. i was sitting by my mother’s bed. she was my mother’s hospice nurse. she said, no, i’m just fat.
i’m still mortified.
Nicely done, $her-dog :)
Man, I always feel for you getting asked this OVER AND OVER. People mean well, but should mind their own beeswax:). You’re beautiful. Enjoy some more wine!
It’s because Kate is so tall! Lots of vertical space for expansion . . . unfortunately short girls like us pretty much only grow out.
Yes! That must be it! Long torsoed gals for the win.
La Rêveuse says
Yep, I vouch. Not tall by any stretch of the imagination (5’6″), but very long torsoed (and short legged), and it wasn’t obvious I was pregnant until I was about 6 months along with my first. With my second? Closer to 6 weeks. ;) Just warning you. You get pregnant, and the next morning you probably won’t see your feet!
Best of luck to you if you do decide to expand the family. Or just get another chihuahua. Would you name him Fries?
Haha! How about Tater Tot? Or Meatloaf?
I think this is true, but less about being tall and more about having a long torso. I have a long torso and took FOREVER to “pop”. Which was kind of a bummer, because since people didn’t realize I was pregnant, I thought I must just look fat. :/
Yup. That is totally it. I am 5 feet 0 inches and every time I was prego (3) people asked if I was having twins!! Pretty rude, right?
No way! Wait, I think I got that a few times too… haha!
It is definitely the long torso. I am tall (ish) 5’7″ but have an incredibly short torso (my hip bones and ribs almost touch). After 3 kids, my ribcage is about 3 inches larger than it was, just because there wasn’t anywhere else for the babies to go. So it isn’t just you shorties! In fact, my 4’11” friend had a smaller bump with her babies because we are the same height when we are sitting – her height is all in her torso, and mine is in my legs (funny when we stand up). Anyhoo, more than was needed, but I have been thinking the same thing about Princess Kate!
Crystal @ 29 Rue House says
What about Veggie?? Veggie [&] Burger would be sooo perfect.
[email protected] says
Agreed! My 8.4lb and 22.5″ long baby had no where to grow except on the front of my belly (instead of tucked inside). She practically hung out at my knee caps towards the end.
Erin @ His & Hers says
I am 11 weeks and have had a pooch for the past 2 weeks. I am 5’2″ and have a short torso. :)
I’m not sure – I’m almost 18 weeks and was showing before I even hit the 12 week mark, yet a girl shorter and skinnier than me who is only about a week or so behind me doesn’t even look pregnant yet! I keep wondering where she’s hiding it.
She hasn’t had any morning sickness either. Not that I would wish that hell on anybody, but some people have all the luck.
I def. agree about the long torso… it’s not the most attractive build otherwise, but when I was pregnant I appreciated my short legs and long body! Another reason some women don’t “pop” early is a uterus that sticks backwards instead of forward– strange but true. :) Apparently having strong abs also helps!
Adore you guys! Keep on being fabulous! :)
Good for you :) Now go drink some wine.
Amen! I think you should add a disclaimer below the comment box that you’ll send OMG YOU’RE PREGGO comments straight to the trash where they belong.
And I, too, wonder where Kate Middleton is hiding that baby. Hard to tell under all her fabulous coats!
Ditto, you should spam them — they’re rude.
You’re more gracious than most would be, Sherry :)
Plein Jane says
I say Kate’s baby is in the Queen’s handbag! (She’s gotta be putting something in there besides hankies.)
Felicity @ Our Little Beehive says
Bullet #2 sucks big time. Thanks for putting out the PSA!
And seriously, where is her bump?
Katharine T says
Yeah, I can vouch about #2.
I’m so glad you just asked people to stop it, and so graciously too, Sherry! Here, I’ll pour you some more wine. :-)
Thank you for being so open and sharing your lives with all of your followers. That must have been a difficult post to write.
Thanks for this post! It is definitely a touchy topic for some people and it is good to have a reminder that everyone has different timing and struggles with it comes to babymaking!
Well said! It always amazes me when people ask really personal questions and expects an answer. As if their curiosity is more important than anything else.
I just wanted to say that you are amazing about being so honest. Thank you!
Debbie @ Pink Texas Chick says
I promise I will never ask if you’re pregnant or when you’re getting pregnant. That’s between you, John and God. :)
It stinks that you have to address this at all, but best of luck to you and your family.
Great post, Sherry! You are certainly entitled to privacy on such an issue. I know that people are asking from a good place but as someone who suffered from infertility for 8-1/2 years, I agree that well-meaning comments can sometimes be hard to take. How ’bout if we just trust you to let us know when and if? Thanks for sharing your heart – I think you’ve helped a lot of people today!
Amen, girl! Thank you for keeping it real about this! Personally, I’ve had so many miscarriages I can’t even keep count. It’s so hard to answer, “Why no more?” Or “Just one?” It makes my heart sink each time so I appreciate your post on this topic! Asking someone if they are pregnant does not seem like it’s a sensitive question, but it definitely can be!
Oh Phuong, I’m so sorry for your loss.
Here too Phuong. I sat down and figured it out once and I’ve had 13 pregnancy losses. It’s a very touchy subject for me and it can feel very lonely. As Clara’s 3rd birthday is approaching I’m ashamed to admit I was dreading a pregnancy announcement from you. When I saw your post I thought that’s what this post was going to be. I just wanted to thank you for talking sensitively about a subject that’s so painful for so many. (BTW, people always seem to want to know, I did have a bio son, and was also lucky enough to adopt a son and daughter).
Aw LisaR, I’m so sorry for your loss.
Good for you, Sherry!
Good for you. I’m so sorry you’ve had to field so many “are you pregnant” questions. Definitely kinda insulting and rude. Good luck in the future!
Love to you guys! Bullet point #3 I can especially empathize with, and I only had to worry about that from a handful of people. I can’t imagine how I’d feel handling it on your scale.
Amen! And kudos to you for saying something! Best wishes with whatever course you pursue for your family!
Way to keep your private life, private, Sher-Dog! We’ll all be rootin’ for you — whichever way your family expands. (Maybe a Dachshund named “Hot Dog”?) Lots of love to you and the fam …
Haha! We met a chihuahua named Tater Tot a while back and I still ache for him. Hahah!
Well done, Sherry.
Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete says
This makes me want to hug you all the more. You are SO right. I never realized how hurtful the “When are you having a baby??” question could be until one of my close friends struggled with infertility for years. It broke her heart everytime a (well-intentioned) person asked her. They had no idea the struggles she was facing. It really opened my eyes – and I hope this post opens others’ eyes as well!
I am in the same situation as your friend and it hurts a lot when people say that. I think the people who ask these questions have had easy pregnancies and don’t realize that people struggle (infertility, miscarriages, birthed children to die, etc.). Once you’ve struggled (or know someone who has), it opens your mind and you realize what goes on in this world and you learn to keep your mouth shut!
Thanks for putting this thought out there. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for 3 years and it sometimes brings me to tears when people ask. I know they only mean well but it can be so heartbreaking.
I’m so sorry Suzi! I hope you get the beautiful family that you deserve, whatever shape or size it ends up coming in :)
I always get uncomfortable with people constantly asking too- like you’re going to answer it in a comment!
I do feel your pain- I have been with my boyfriend for 4+ years and people are constantly asking when we are getting married! Back off!
Amen to THAT, Jen! And amen to you, Sherry.. I’m more interested in how you got back into such great shape!
Haha, that took forever! My only tip is from my mom: “in our family we don’t lose it all until we stop breastfeeding, since our bodies tend to hang onto some extra fat to keep milk production going.” It turned out to be totally true! After 14 months of breastfeeding I couldn’t drop those last lbs, but once Clara weaned herself they finally came off (way to take your time, lbs! haha!).
Jen -I totes feel you too! My honey and I just had out 4 year on Tuesday, and everyone has been bugging us about getting hitched -come on, we’ll do it whenever it’s right!
His mama is the worst about it tho. Sort of flattering, I guess, but jeez.
AMEN to this one! I’ll get married when I want to get married, SERIOUSLY PEOPLE!
Sherdog, you da best!
We’ve been dating 7 years now and I get the same question. Now that my sis has a bun in the oven, it is even worse. It is now a game between me and the BF to come up with the most retarded answers for when people ask when we are getting married. You should see the looks we get.
It took me and my bf 12 years to get engaged… so I hear ya! I definitely wasn’t in any rush, but it was still annoying to have to say “Meh, sometime down the line” over and over.
Steph H. says
I get this all the time! His sis-in-law is the worst! She and his brother just had a baby, and now it’s ‘you need to get married and have a kid so he can have a playmate.’ I just usually laugh her off but sometimes I want to scream! We’ve been together almost 5 yrs. We have a plan for when everything will/we want to happen.
love this! so true – when someone wants to share that they are expecting – THEY will share. =) as a mom of 3 3 1/2 and under, i’ve BEEN there. thanks for sharing this.
Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker says
It’s really crappy that you have to deal with that question, whether the intent is just enthusiasm or what, on such a regular basis. I think this was a fantastic way to address it . . . just too bad you HAVE to, you know? Strangely enough, I feel like women of childbearing age in general have to deal with this enough as it is, let alone if you have a gazillion blog followers!!! We’re waiting a while on #2 as well, btw. Nothing wrong with that! Have a great weekend.
My awesome boys are 5 1/2 years apart and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Both my pregnancies were high risk and I was on bed rest for 2 1/2 months with both. You and John, and only you and John, will know when the right time is for you and your family. Hugs to you! :-)
My daughter is just a month younger than yours and I remember when you posted your birth story having tears streaming down my cheeks. I still tear up about it and I don’t even really know you. Good luck to your family when you feel the timing is right, you know a whole host of us on the interwebs will be hoping and praying for the safe arrival of baby #2.
I am awed by your impressive tact in tackling this tricky subject. I think you’re the politest person I have ever met (because I have met you! and it was great!).
I usually try to go with the rule that you don’t ask if a woman’s pregnant unless you can see the baby coming out (and why are you looking there anyway?). Know that we will rejoice when you do decide to expand your family, and I hope we’re all able to be patient until that day.
Jennah's Garden says
Yup, what she said. That would have pissed me off LONG ago. Good job, $her, and gold star for patience.
Laura C. says
I’ve been religiously reading your blog for 4+ years and I’ve never commented until now. Kudos to you! As I tell my husband, a woman could be 40 weeks pregnant with triplets and I’m not saying a word until she does! :)
Ditto. I’ve been reading since you guys put your wedding on the blog and have never commented until now. I’d have lost my cool long ago, so kudos to you for addressing this so calmly and kindly.
Well put, Laura. I had a patient’s mom who was obviously pregnant, but she never said a thing, week after week. Finally, when she was full term I said “see you next week” and she replied, “oh, X won’t be here, I’m having the baby”. I then, 20-some weeks after it had become “obvious” congratulated her.
I couldn’t resist chiming in and saying how much more I love you now for calling the future Queen of England “Princess Kate”, instead of Kate Middleton. I’m glad to see I’m not alone!
My theory is that her secret is expert tailoring and a kick-butt attitude. Looking perpetually gorgeous probably also helps too.
PS – Commenting on the “please do not comment” post? What can I say, I’m a rebel. (:
Aw, you guys are great. Such a sweet and considerate way to address this issue. Good luck with everything!
Drink that wine, eat that sushi. Soldier on!
Bravo! and AMEN!!
Carolyn Williams says
Good for you. :)
AMEN SISTA!! People have NO clue what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ and shouldn’t even ask/assume pregnancy! After our miscarriage last fall, the last thing I enjoyed hearing anyone ask is “so when are you having another one?!” If they only knew!! Enjoy your wonderful (and hilarious by the way!) daughter – and when the time is right, you can do it again! :)
Great post, y’all. We had an extremely difficult birth with our son (who is now almost 9) and are pretty much infertile (he was a miracle baby!!). It was a very bad situation in which I would have died had medical technology not intervened (thank heavens I wasn’t giving birth in the 20s) – think Downton Abbey.
I, too, get tired of people asking if I’m PG every time I have a stomach ache or am tired. *sigh* I can’t imagine if I got the questions hundreds of times a month. lol.
We’re perfectly content with our little family of 3 and I can imagine that y’all might feel the same way that we do. :)
I had the Downton thing. It’s awful and has scared me out of having another one even though my doctor said it would probably be ok. Thank God for that episode- it shut my family up about asking when we would start trying for another!
[email protected] says
Sherry, I think you’ve handled this whole thing with a lot of grace. Having a whole bunch of internet strangers constantly pestering you can’t be easy.
Y’all, those of you who haven’t had a difficult pregnancy? You have no idea about the fear that goes into another pregnancy. I was pregnant along with Sherry and my daughter died at 2 1/2 months old. I’m TERRIFIED about having another baby. I don’t really feel the need to talk about my fear, usually, but this is an excellent public service announcement about why sometimes it really is better to MYOB.
Oh Tracie, I’m so sorry for your loss.
Yeah, everything you said and I am sorry for your loss. Our stories sound similar but right before our daughter passed away we closed on an awesome house in the family-friendliest town on earth. Everyone wanted to meet the new couple in town with the baby and after we got through that people would ask “how many kids do you have?” or even better, “Why’d you move here without kids?” Nobody really knows to do when they hear a story that departs from the “everything was just fine” fairytale.
Wishing you the best of luck with the future.
Oh Matt, I’m so sorry.
Kelly @ View Along the Way says
Oh Tracie… just reading this made me tear up and my heart ache for you. I’m so, so sorry.
I love this post! Seriously. So much. It’s amazing how you guys put your lives out there and I definitely agree that sometimes (although people definitely don’t mean it like that) the baby questions can feel a bit mean. I get them all the time just because of the life choices we’re making. Thank you for sharing!
Hear hear! (or is it here here? never quite got that whole concept)
Thank you for being so frank, honest, and true to yourself while still being so kind. Some things are private business, and the constant speculation and comments almost detract from the magic time (or not, ok too!) there is another bean on the way. That is your body, your life, your family, your news. Own it $herdog!! :)
As a perpetual lurker who’s never commented before, I just wanted to say you handled this with a lot of grace. Best wishes for your womb.
good for you for getting it out there! people are so excited by babies that sometimes they forget that it’s a very personal & emotionally fraught topic for a lot of people. thank you for the gentle reminder.
Thank you for saying this! I know people’s hearts are in the right place, but great that you are educating folks. The same goes for asking people when they are going to get married… #pleasedontdoit
Really, any assumption about any sort of family structure is potentially an assumption too far. My parents died when I was a child, and it was and is always so, so hard to hear people make off-hand comments like ‘your parents must be so proud’ or ‘family; can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em, amiright?’.
It’s not that I take offense, as I understand it’s *my* experience that’s thankfully outside the norm, but learning to have to anticipate getting inadvertently thwacked with pain at what should be every. joyous. moment. in your life can really drag you down after a couple decades!
I’m so sorry for your loss Kathryn.
Thank you for this. As someone who has had both a miscarriage and ongoing fertility problems, I get a little tired of fielding these questions myself. Seriously, at one point I considered creating a “please do not ask me about my fertility” t-shirt! I know people mean well, but we could all stand to think about what we say before we say things, and not just about someone’s bump or lack thereof. I hope you have a fabulous weekend with your family! xoxo
Aw thanks Katrina! All the best to you!
Julia @ Chris Loves Julia says
This is sweet and a very kind way to get folks to stop asking. I might have you call my mom…! ;)
This is one of the greatest posts that you’ve ever posted and just proves why I religiously stalk your blog. Always keepin’ it real :)
Good luck to the whole fam! Everything happens for a reason!
You’ve done such a wonderfully gracious job of addressing this topic. Kudos.
Emma (Broke Ass Home) says
Thank you for posting this. I feel bad for you guys ALL THE TIME that people are constantly watching you about it. It’s unfair! I’m glad you guys had the courage to type up a “back off”
And I must say, you did it much more eloquently than I would have. But we all know by now that I get downright cranky when people get all up in my downtown business.
Janelle @ Two Cups of Happy says
In my opinion (no offence intended!) “Are you pregnant?” should never be asked to anyone unless they look like they are quite literally about to pop! One of my former coworkers had someone ask her if she was pregnant or had just given birth and it was incredibly painful to watch. The woman just kept babbling on while my coworker didn’t know how to respond so she just smiled politely with her mouth half open while the lady talked herself out the door and wished us a good day. Afterwords, my coworker promptly said that she was never going to wear that shirt again! We had a good laugh about it, but it was “The Office-level” awkward. Haha.
That is the fastest way to get a shirt out of a non-pregnant girl’s closet!
i had that happen to me TWICE when i wasn’t pregnant… so embarrassing! and yup, erin, i have never worn those shirts again. ;)
and sherry – what a wonderfully gracious post. so sorry you had to write it, i’m sure it was hard and awkward coming up with the what to say – but it came out beautifully.