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What I Really Want to Say When People Ask How I Feel

week25

Welcome to Pregnancy Without a Filter, my weekly series in which I chronicle my life as a first-time mom-to-be. Read along for insights, outbursts, ups, downs, and the real deal about the crazy adventure of making a person.

Week 25

Remember way back in Week 14, when we kept getting the dreaded question? Well, those days are long gone (thank goodness). Now that the pregnancy is a little further along and people start chatting with me, they usually lead off with questions about how I’m feeling. It feels so much more courteous, and I’m always grateful when some kind soul acknowledges that I may be uncomfortable. But it also leaves me a little torn. How much truth do you tell when you answer that question?

See, I’m pretty much a glass-half-full kind of gal. I try to stay on the bright side of things, and I try to keep the complaining to a minimum. I just find that it’s a comfortable place for me to be. But when your body is getting rocked by hormones and crazy changes and a tiny human that gets bigger every week, the bald truth is that there is almost always something that you could complain about. And now that the baby belly is getting bigger quite quickly, I’m finding everyday things to be more and more uncomfortable.

Usually, when someone asks how I’m feeling, my standard answer is, “Pretty good!” The end. If it’s a close friend, I’ll maybe mention that I’m still struggling with reflux and that it’s driving me crazy. But if I was being completely honest, I would unleash a litany of woes — there’s the daily hot flashes, the nightly wrestling match to find the perfect pillow configuration, the exhaustion by about 7 p.m., the vigilant watch to see how long it’ll take my hands and feet to swell, the acne that just won’t quit, and the fact that I’m in the midst of having to find a new way to tie my shoes because the tummy is in the way. Oh, and as we speak this kid is kicking a part of my insides that I never knew existed. Other than that, pretty good — how about you?

Aside from all that, I’ve been wondering how much people actually want to know when they ask how a pregnant woman is feeling. Chances are my list is probably on the tame side compared to what some expectant mothers experience. And would someone really want to get into the nitty gritty of what it’s like to be pregnant during daily small talk? My guess is mostly not. Most times I consider the question to be along the same lines of “How’s your day?” or a similar benign but polite question. Which is also why I temper my answer. You don’t wanna meet an unassuming inquiry with a jet stream of honesty and send the other person running away in terror, ya know?

So if you’re expecting as well, I’d love to know how you respond when someone asks how you’re feeling. Do you gloss over it with pleasantries? Or are you the kinda gal who likes to keep it real? Do tell!