To The Person Who Asked If I Was Expecting

I knew you didn’t mean any harm when you asked me today if I was expecting. But, your question hurt me.

I’m experiencing an uncomfortable side effect of a new medication I’m on – bloating and gas.

I looked in the mirror today and saw this.

And, it bothered me for a couple reasons. I have body image issues I have been struggling with for years. It also bothered me to “look” pregnant when I clearly can’t be. I was trying to talk kindly to myself and not let this temporary food baby ruin my whole day.

Then I was asked if I was expecting. And, then I realized that it wasn’t just my distorted eyes but that I really must look that bloated.

You meant well. However, it crushed me. Not just because I look pregnant but because when I’m asked that question I have to say no. “No, no baby. Nope. Just bloat.” While I say those words with a smile inside I’m crying.

I’m crying because I can’t have a baby. I probably physically can but because of all my mental health issues we have decided not to. And I know this is realistically what is best for our family as most days I can barely take care of myself.

But, the maternal instincts are so strong and is so painful.

I try to be OK with it. And, deal with it by being an “aunt” to other kids. And, I’m usually OK doing that. But, when asked questions like that. It makes the pain more real.

Questions like that are usually a bad idea. For the reasons I listed and probably many more.

No, I’m not pregnant. I’m bloated. And yes, I’m going to focus on being the best me I can be.

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