Is it Undignified to Waddle?

By Nana Malone

Picture this, Sicily, 1946….Okay, so I’m not exactly Sofia from the Golden Girls, but as I waddle and roll into my eight month of pregnancy, I find I have a few words to share….

To the kindly woman at the grocery store….I know my belly has the gravitational pull of Saturn. Yes, I understand that I vaguely resemble an alien being and you almost can’t help yourself. Nevertheless, I must ask that you refrain from touching my ever growing bump. I promise you won’t like it if I have to go all Buffy on your well meaning though cruising for a bruising behind. While we’re at it, I’m going to ask you to refrain from squealing too. It’s loud and it’s piercing and it frightens the little one in my belly.

To the teller at the bank, I know you mean well, but I can do without the unsolicited advice, especially when it’s clear I’m in a hurry. Of course you have a sister, mother, friend who insists a glass of wine daily is good for the baby, or bourbon in the breast milk will help baby sleep. Unless your name is Doctor Bank Teller, I don’t want to hear it. And you are likely to earn yourself an annoyed look. I’m very capable of asking when I want advice and heavens knows I'll need it, but probably from mama or someone who spent a whole bunch of years in school learning all about babies.

And finally, your opinion on my baby’s name, or my reluctance to share it, while interesting, is highly irrelevant. I know you would love to offer up your name as an option or tell me how you’ve always loved the name Peyton, or Apple, or Snuffleupagus. I know this will sound harsh, and I’m sorry, but I, Don’t, Care. Yes, that’s right, I said it. I. Don’t. Care. It has to be said. When you have your baby, you can name her/him whatever you like. Stop stealing my baby naming thunder. If my heart is set on naming my baby Stripper Devine or Alien Baby, your opinion doesn’t matter. Mommy, I hate to say this, but this means you too.

The constantly kicking alien parasite inside my stomach reminds me hourly that in about two months or so, my life is going to undergo a ginormous change. Some changes, I’ll probably love, like the anticipated smiles and giggles and baby smell, cause, let’s face it, who doesn’t love that smell? Some changes, I can probably do without, like the sleepless nights, incessant crying and changes to my body, cause I’m keeping it real, I’m vain enough to care. But all in all I’m up for the adventure and I can’t wait. I just hope I get to do it in style, wearing a fabulous pair of

Christian Louboutins and riding in a Bugatti Veyron.

Pictures courtesy of,,


  1. The woman whose daughter I used to take care of as a live-in nanny used to have people reach over and pat her pregnant tummy even though they were complete strangers. She was freaked out by the lack of boundaries people feel when there's a pregnant woman in the room.

  2. Pregnancy seems like such a private thing to me. I would hate it if people touched my belly. I remember touching my mother's belly (her idea) when she was pregnant with my sister, and I thought it was weird. Why do people insist?

  3. Thank you ladies! It's one of those weird things that admittedly I was warned about, but I thought people were exaggerating. But oh no, perfect strangers think it's okay to come on over and have a rub, like I'm the official town Buddha or something...Sigh

  4. Hey, there, Buddha. ;-)

    Being pregnant definitely has its ups and downs. I never minded people rubbing my belly, but once the babies (I had twins) came, I hated people touching them everywhere we went. In the grocery store, at a restaurant, even at the doctor's office. The mama lion in me would get pretty aggressive.

    At the time, I wanted to develop some sort of force field to wrap them in. A stranger reaching out to grab their hands or touch their chubby cheeks would get a big ZAP!

    So, Nana, since I can't rub your belly, will you rub it for me? I promise not to suggest any names for the little one growing there!


  5. Too funny! I've never had kids but I can imagine how I'd feel if everyone was offering me unsolicited advice.

  6. Exciting, Nana! Congrats on your upcoming "release"! (Sorry, couldn't resist) Wishing you speedy delivery, including from unwanted advice and pats. Why do women find it necessary to tell horror stories that apply to less than a quarter percent of all births to pregnant women? It's a phenomenon that should be explored - in scientific study and fiction too.
    I actually used to love getting up in the middle of the night for feedings for that reason - I had the baby all to myself, and it was so peaceful. When the baby's born, you'll know what it's like to fall head over heels in love with a tiny person!

  7. I would love to touch your belly, Nana:-)Having had 2 babies myself I understand what it's like to wish to return to being anonymous, especially near the end when you're exhausted and have just had enough of people's comments. However, once you have had the baby and it's been a year or more, you see a pregnant woman and you remember just how amazing it all was and before you know it you find yourself doing the unthinkable--your hand goes for that belly. Don't know why, but it just makes people happy when they see a pregnant woman and I guess they participate by 'touching.' So sorry, but we've all been there--we hate it while we're pregnant and we become perpetrators after we've had the babies.

  8. Hi, Nana! I agree with Cate -- I think the MOST taboo thing should be telling your horror birth story to a pregnant woman! I always avoid this, because it only scares them, and it's not like your story has ANYTHING to do with their possible situation (every birth is so wildly different)! But AFTERward, then ... that's when the new mother can join in!

    Also, I didn't mind the unsolicited advice prebirth nearly as much as I minded the unsolicited advice when I'd be strolling the baby around! What kind of milk, nursing or no, pacifier or no, blanket or no, shoes or no, naps at that time of day or no, etc., etc. ... Hang in there!

  9. Soon after the baby is born, when you are still recovering, people will start asking, "And when are you having the next one?"!

    BTW, people tell you the horror stories, but nothing can prepare you for how utterly wonderful it is to have that child in your life!

  10. I guess I'm going to argue the other side. Giving helpful hints, patting a belly, etc., are all parts of sharing the joy of birth. I have 3 sons and I loved those little moments. Strangers become friends. One time in my whole life when I truly felt special, not just to my family, but those strangers too. Love that side of it as well. Its a time of joy.

  11. Welcome Nana! Oh, my - funny post! Hmm - perhaps some intrepid entrepreneur should create a line of leather belts with little spikes at the front that pregnant women could wear around their bellies to discourage that "belly pat". ;) I'm sure with your sense of humour you'll have great fun with your baby. Good luck! And looking forward to more engaging posts from you! Cheers!

  12. LOL. So I have post pregnancy to look forward to, when I too lose my mind and want to rub a belly. I pray I'll be able to restrain myself and at least ask permission first.

    I totally agree with Kate and Laurie, no horror stories allowed. Save them, till I've had my little bundle of giggles, tears and poop, then I will be more than willing to commiserate.

  13. Nana,

    Great post and very funny. This took me back to when I was pregnant with my oldest son many moons ago.

    Instead having people wanting to touch my belly, I remember one day I was waiting for the bus in front of the doctor's office and I'm sure the elderly lady standing next to me meant no harm when she said, "Baby who did this you."

    I guess my 4ft 10in height and I was all baby, must have given her the wrong impression.

  14. Congratulations, Nana. I'm short too (5'1) and I spit out two kids that were 8.6 and 8.7 pounds. But in that woman's defense, us old mums can't help it. We've had our kids and we like to give advice. It spews out our mouth before we even think. We mean well.

  15. Simply DIVINE Nana!! Loved it and thanks for sharing your humorous thoughts with all of us!

  16. Thanks Nina! Hopefully I can continue to bring the funny :)

  17. Too funny, Nana!!! *snort*

    Okay, my advice:

    Definitely name your baby. I know, it's a crazy notion but it just seems that without a name there will be no way your kid will know that you're upset. It would really help if you can say, "NAME NAME NAME, get your freaking butt over here and clean up this mess!!!"

    Now that I think about it, this also makes a middle name quite useful.

    Other unsolicited advice:

    Breathe. Oh, those hipsters might tell you the latest fad is to give it up but in my opinion, without oxygen life is pretty much over.

    More: In order to see clearly, it's always best to open your eyes. Trust me on this. I've tried to walk around with my eyes closed and I just bump into everything. Argh.

    Finally, keep writing these posts so I can keep reading them!!! :-D

    Great article!

    --Chiron O'Keefe


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