You’ve made it past the dreaded first trimester. You can hold down your lunch and have stopped slowed down Googling how all the things you eat/touch/do will hurt the baby. Maybe most importantly, you can finally tell your friends and coworkers why you’ve been such an a*hole the last 13 weeks. “Remember a month ago when you asked me for an opinion and I stared blankly then walked away? Yeah, it wasn’t because I didn’t care. It’s because my sense of smell had taken over the duties of all my other senses combined and the seafood surprise someone was heating up in the kitchen was talking over you.”


The weight of secrecy is lifted and then, the next thing you know, your coworker asks if the pregnancy was planned. Well…There are only two answers to that question and both relate directly to my lady bits. Let me translate for you:

Me: “I’m pregnant.”

Miscellaneous coworker/acquaintance: “Oh wow! Were you guys trying?”


  • “Yes.” – In other words, my partner and I have been calculating hormone surges like insider trading and having physical contact in places, positions and timeframes that would make you dizzy. The inquiring individual is now picturing my home as something between a meth lab and a sex dungeon. Cool.
  • “No.” – Oh my. Are they going to ask me if I’m keeping it now? Do I need to say it was a happy accident? Pretty sure I’m not supposed to use the word “accident.” I’m a terrible mother already.

Inevitably, either answer will require some level of qualifying detail that takes the conversation to a deeply personal place and everyone walks away with sweaty hands, traumatizing mental images and a sincere desire to reverse time. End scene.

The main reason you shouldn’t ask if they were trying is that the answer doesn’t matter. Whether or not the person expecting was planning it or not, the simple fact is that you are likely being informed because your support will be needed in one way or another in the coming months.

I should also caveat that there are plenty of people in my life who wouldn’t offend me by asking this question and I’m sure that’s the case with many of us. Most of the time, receiving this kind of news is cause for celebration. However, if you find yourself in a situation where the mama-to-be is terrified/shocked/unsure, a simple response of “How are you feeling?” can go a long way. It opens the door for whatever else she is willing to share and shows you’re interested in her wellbeing.

Finally, I leave you with a challenge. If you are the mama who finds yourself in this situation, I encourage you to embrace the awkward and maybe answer with a more colorful option:

You: “I’m pregnant.”

Miscellaneous coworker/acquaintance: “Oh wow! Were you guys trying?”

Alternate Options:

  • “Absolutely.” Say nothing else but maintain lingering eye contact. Possibly wink but hold steady in your silence.
  • “No, and I’m not even sure how this happened. Can you explain it to me?” Stare anxiously. Start pacing.

If you do attempt either of the alternate options please a) inform me immediately of the reaction/result and b) do not direct your HR department to this blog post when you’re called into their offices later.



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