Friday, October 15, 2010

Look but Please Do Not Touch

As I have been sharing the news that I am expecting a baby, I am astounded by the number of people who immediately touch my stomach as soon as the words come out of my mouth. I am not sure why this happens. I heard stories from friends who had such incidents happen while they were pregnant, but I did not really think it would happen to me. I was wrong. It has happened a number of times now at work (of all places!), among friends, and other places where I have confirmed that yes I am expecting a baby and then, the other person immediately touches my stomach.
I still have not mastered how to politely say this in such a situation, but please do not touch my stomach! I am constantly caught off guard when someone does this to me, and then at that point, I feel it is almost too late to respond since a hand has already been placed on my stomach. I have, however, been able to combat a few of these grabs when I see the hand reach out towards me, and I then politely try to cross my own hands across my stomach to ward off the incoming gesture.

Does sharing the news that one is pregnant make it ok to invade what would otherwise be personal space? The baby is inside of me...not on the outside and therefore I am not sure what people think they are going to feel by patting my stomach. I do find this behavior more than a bit odd....maybe it is just me and I am too proper or formal for my own good??

Luckily, to date, I have not been approached by any strangers in the grocery store who reach out to touch my baby bump and - often I try to keep my coat on in these situations so I do not open myself up for such grabs.

If someone told me that they had a muscle twitch in their leg or just finished a great ab muscle workout, I cannot imagine I would ever think to touch their leg or stomach area just to see if I could feel either. I find it one of the stranger behaviors I have encountered since becoming pregnant....

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