Body Talk

An otherwise typical playdate last week resulted in some great blog fodder. We were at the preschool playground, getting the kids together before the new school year (FINALLY) starts. A friend and I just met a mom who is new to the school. Her older one is in DD1’s class and she mentioned she had a two week old at home.

At this point, we’d known her about 90 seconds. I couldn’t have told you her name if my life depended on it.

My friend remarks on how good this woman looks, she  said she herself looked so butt 2 weeks post baby.

I echoed the sentiment, I was so fat and bloated and blah blah, she looked great.

Abruptly she says “I should let you know, I had a surrogate.”

Dead silence.

My friend’s mouth gaping open a bit.

AWKWARD is the only word fitting for this situation.

Now, let’s get a few things straight. I am in full support of surrogacy, have a baby any way you can get one. There is no judgment going on here. It was just so unexpected and awkward and seeing as how I couldn’t even remember her name, it just seemed strange that she busted out with that statement. Why not just accept the compliment and move on?

So I tripped around saying how she still looked really good, not tired at all, my eyes were so puffy and swollen 2 weeks home with a new baby.

Meanwhile my mind was racing with the following questions:

How did you find the surrogate?

How much did it cost?
Is your older child also from a surrogate?

Same one?

How come you chose that route?

Did you buy the woman a gift for delivering you a healthy baby? (recall: i am not a minimalist. i like things. if i’m ever your surrogate, i want a nice present. and a personal trainer.)

I mean, if she’s going to offer up something so personal, can I follow up with equally as personal questions? Naturally my equally nosy older sister has tasked me with finding out the answers to these questions as soon as possible.

But see, I think  there was so much more to this exchange than the awkward moment and wondering if she shared  just a bit too much information 90 seconds into meeting one another.

It’s about our need to comment on women’s bodies. Aren’t we all guilty?

The chorus of anger towards those who comment on our bodies and growing size while preggo can be heard loud and clear here on KT. We want to pillage the homes of the offenders. We want to respond with mean comments on how much bigger they’ve gotten since the last time we saw them too. We want to claw their eyes out. We hate them. Those commenters.

But what about after we’ve had the baby? Do the same rules apply? I, for one, love being told how great I look post baby – even when I know the person doesn’t mean it, because I crave my old body so much. You know, because my old body is so hot.

Seriously, I hope someone will compliment me. I’m open for business and practically soliciting body comments. Many of us love to show off our cleavage post baby because our boobs are big and round. We are screaming out – comment.

So all it takes is our placenta coming out for our perspective to shift?

Did we have a right to tell this woman she looked great? It’s really none of our business, we were just saying what we like to hear 2 weeks later.

And how fascinating that we assume that because a woman has a newborn, she has just given birth to that baby. We all know dear friends, if not ourselves, who have had trouble getting pregnant and had to take many paths to get to this point, so why the assumption that she has given birth?

Do we have a double standard with body comments pre and post baby?

2 Responses to Body Talk
  1. MrsinMay
    August 26, 2009 | 2:26 pm

    Fascinating! OK, putting the older child aside and not knowing if she used a surrogate for that one, I bet the woman herself is expermimenting with when to tell people and if she should at all. Having only been 2 weeks old if this is the first time she did this it is probably on her mind ALL of the time and meeting new women she probably just wanted to blurt it out and then move on as opposed to it being like a big secret. Like, if your children are about to go to school together and eventually you will all be friends she figures- hell- why not just lay it out there. I go both ways, not that I have any big secrets or anything interesting, but, sometimes I feel like I am extremely private and other times around women I just want to lay it all out there! Either way- good topic.

  2. lbp
    August 31, 2009 | 9:57 am

    Great post, KT! Entertaining as always and interesting topic. I’m sure I speak for lots of KT readers out there who are also now dying to get answers to the same questions so don’t leave us hanging if you learn more!

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