I am currently 18 weeks pregnant, and as I am starting to look pregnant I have gotten interesting responses from people. The most entertaining being from the kids at my job. I hadn’t planned on saying anything to the kids I work with, mostly because my due date is far enough out that the actual birth of my child shouldn’t interfere with my job. But I knew that my growing belly would cause some questions as it had for a coworker. When my coworker left for maternity leave I was left to field questions such as, “Do people die giving birth?” “Do you have to be married to have a baby?” “Isn’t she like 19, isn’t that too young to have a baby?” “Why do people not work for a while after having a baby?” I struggled to answer these questions in an honest and age appropriate manner. “Ummm…it’s very rare for people to die during childbirth, but it used to happen more often. You don’t have to be married to have a baby, but it is nice to be married before you have a baby. She’s older than 19, but 19 might be too young to have a baby. People like to take time off after having a baby to spend time with their new baby.”
This past week the kids have started to pick up on my pregnancy. In the middle of a worksheet on problem solving one of my students questioned, “Are you having a baby?” while staring intently at my stomach. I stated that I am. He replied, “I knew it! You’re belly keeps getting bigger and bigger.” I agreed and we moved on with our lesson.
While working with a younger set of students a similar interruption happened. When I answered that I am indeed pregnant they became extremely curious. One child exclaimed, “You’re pregnant!? But you’re not even fat!” which I decided to take as a compliment. This left me to explain that my baby isn’t due for several months still and I will continue to get bigger and bigger as time goes on. This information led some of the students to be confused and I explained to them that pregnancy lasts 9 months, but a lot of women don’t say anything until they start to look pregnant. Apparently the fact that pregnancy is 9 months long was new information because the kids were stunned. I decided that it was time to move on with my lesson.
The curiosity of young children never ceases to amaze and entertain me. I like to believe that these moments at my job will prepare me for the curiosity and difficult questions that my own children will inevitably ask.