Monday, August 13, 2012

Awkward conversations, part 2

In the past several days I have had a number of awkward conversations each involving my "belly."  My belly (or lack thereof) is the cause of much consternation in my life these days. First off, the progesterone I've been taking to induce lactation has been causing me to gain weight.  To my dismay, very little of this weight is going to my breasts where I'd expect it to go.  Instead, it seems to be settling around my midsection.  Therefore, I've been doing situps each night to try and ward off the beast.  However, on the flip side, I clearly do not have a pregnant belly...and this keeps coming up in various unexpected conversations with strangers.  For the record, here is the non-pregnant belly in question.

Let me set the first scene.  My MIL and I went to Baby Gap this weekend to use a 40% Friends & Family discount.  She was itching to buy baby clothes, and who am I to refuse, right?!  As we're in line to checkout, the conversation with the 50's something cashier ensues as such:

Cashier: "Would you like a gift receipt?"
Me:  "No thank you."  
What I should have said:  "Yes, thanks." (This would have stemmed all further questioning.)

Cashier: "Oh, are you having a baby?!?!"
Me: "Yes in December!"  (See where I went wrong there?)

Cashier: "You don't even look pregnant?!"  
Me: "Mmm...hmm..."

Cashier: "I look bigger than you do..."  *somewhat suspiciously* 
Me:  "Mmmm..."

Cashier:  "I just can't believe how little belly you have!"
Me:  "Mmmm...."

(This continues for an agonizing 10 minutes as my MIL signs up for a Gap credit card and the woman begins to pummel me for every detail including what we're naming the baby.  I keep giving her the "Mmm...hmmm..." treatment.  She doesn't really take the hint that I'd prefer not to chat more.) 

Then today, N and I are at our second daycare interview.  This time there were two other couples there with us.  The daycare owner makes us all tell the group when we're due, whether it's a boy or girl, etc.  Everyone else was due in just a short time period (like next week/next month) and so I thought I'd be off the hook with eyes darting to my stomach.  But when I said we were due Dec 3rd the conversation went like this:

Her: "OMG, you don't hardly have a belly!"  *she eyeballs my stomach suspiciously*
Me:   Mm.....yeah.

Her:   "That's unusual." 

***time passes talking about the daycare, and as we're about to leave***

Her:  "Well, the next time I see you, you'd better have a bigger stomach!"  *eyeballs my stomach again*
Me:  "Umm...well my stomach is skinny b/c we're using a surrogate."  
Her:  *dubious awkward stare* 

(This was all the more uncomfortable because N and I really liked this daycare a lot.  And I didn't like to be put on the spot in front of strangers.  The other couples looked awkward at the exchange, and I just wanted to exit as quickly as possible.  N simply suggested that I start wearing a prosthetic belly.  Ha!)  

Add this to the fact that I am now getting requests from LONG distant facebook acquaintances to post pictures of my belly on Facebook.  I am ignoring them instead.    

Having a baby via surrogacy makes for lots of awkward conversations.  And unfortunately, I'm one of those people that gets uncomfortable easily, especially with a crowd or strangers.  It's not that I don't want to tell people, but I don't feel the need to get into the whole thing at a store, for instance....or make announcements to people I knew "way back when" on Facebook.  But the constant threat of baby belly keeps rearing it's head.  I never really thought about this aspect of the process.

I know I shouldn't complain, and honestly, as thrilled as I am about us having a baby on the way(!), I'll be glad when feeling uncomfortable around strangers is over.  Hopefully I won't be this awkward once I actually AM a mom.  :-\   I'm crossing my fingers!  

On a fun note, here are a handful of the outfits we got from Baby Gap this weekend.  Shopping for baby girls is fun b/c everything is so cute!!!

(Polka dots + Stripes!! OMG!  And that dress?!  Adorable!!)
(Can you tell I have a thing for polka dots and florals?!)
(Stripes again!!)

Anyway, words of wisdom or encouragement are appreciated.  Thankfully everyone has been super great about the whole thing.  I've had very little actual negative response to this process.   Just lots of dubious or awkward encounters.  Also on a side note, the people at Babies R Us, didn't ask any questions and were awesome.  Maybe it's because I was dealing with male sales representatives?


  1. Ugh. Insert foot in mouth. You do know that for a few months after your baby is born, you'll get the "OMG, you look so good for someone who just had a baby! What's your secret?!" people. ;)

    Oh, and that flowered sundress is ADORABLE! And those little sack-like pj's are awesome. They make nighttime diaper changes so much easier!

    1. Oh, I can't wait for those comments!! Haha! And the reason I'm working so hard on my situps now. :-)

  2. Hun, I sympathize with you. I remember all too well those awkward comments in stores when I was buying DS clothes.. But for me, I have a little pooch belly so no one really ever asked much more. I hate that we as non carrying moms have to feel obligated to share our life story just because we don't have the dang belly! lol. Although it does get better once baby is here, you will then get the labor questions or you look fabulous already after birth comments.. Aren't you excited for those !? ;-) haha
    I'm sorry you seem to be a little down about it all. Like you said, all that matters is you have a baby coming DECEMBER! OH mY!!!! That's so soon! Yay you! Love the clothes! Girls certainly have way more adorable clothes and variety!
    Thinking and praying for you and baby! :) feel free to PM if you ever need to vent or chat or anything :)

    1. Thanks girl! I'm not down really...just feeling a bit weirded out with the scrutiny. I get really weird with attention sometimes. (Probably also why I don't throw parties and hate giving presentations at work.) But yes, I'm so excited for her to get here!!! And I feel so blessed that we're this far along, and that things have been so smooth so far. Maybe it's first time mom nerves. (Plus I can't overestimate how anxious I've become with my change in meds b/c of the lactation thing. This progesterone has done a number on my moods!)

  3. i totally understand. we are also expecting through surrogacy, and whilst my closest family and friend knows, i don't think everybody else should. There is a certain level of morbosity on people trying to figure out whát is the story behind that I do not appreciate. I don't think it is fair for the babies to be born and forever be the 'anecdote' of that is the kid born out of surrogate or worse, 'rented womb'. I just give you a tip for what is worth all the best.

    1. Well, I don't mind telling people her story per se. It is "her story" after all. And I don't want to lie to her to make her think differently. It will only cause her to pain in the long run not knowing. But thanks for the moonbump site. That's pretty funny. My husband will enjoy that.

  4. Love you both and soon this will all just be a distant memory. It is all worth it and she is going to be such an amazing light amongst all the craziness.

    1. Yes, I'm sure! I can't wait! And you'll need to come visit!

  5. I think we must be psychic sisters or something, Leah! I totally get the uncomfortable feeling when people ask questions about things that are not any of their business. It's like my strategy is 1)avoidance, coupled with 2)short answer followed by quick departure. I have thought some about the phase where you are and the questions we'll get. But, I don't have a plan to deal with it in place yet. On another note, I'm also going to try and do the induced lactation thing when the time comes. I'm going to go back and re-read some posts to see if you've talked more about that in the past. But, I'd love to hear your experience with the treatment regimen and how well it's going for you. I'm wondering if it will actually work well enough to make it worth the process. There's so little information about it on the web, and I'm finding very little in books too. Best wishes for a great week! The clothes are BEAUTIFUL!!!