1. New male colleague (fresh from China): “How many months pregnant are you? [Gleeful look] So…you weren’t married when you got pregnant!!!”
I was legally married six or seven months before we started trying. Our traditional ceremony was delayed due to my mom’s cancer diagnosis. We started trying to conceive a couple of weeks after that ceremony–and we were remarkably lucky. I’d have been perfectly delighted to get pregnant after the legal wedding though. I’m not religious.
2. Female colleague (also from China): “You are pregnant?! If you don’t mind my asking, how old are you?”
Turns out she was older than me and worried about her own fertility–but still, it made me uncomfortable.
3. “You don’t look pregnant! Are you sure you’re eating?”
4. “Do you have a preference for a boy or a girl?”
I don’t. I want a healthy baby. But supposing I did have a preference, would I really go around announcing that? How would it make my kid feel, for its entire life, knowing I was hoping for him or her to be something other than he or she was?
I want what I get and I will love what I get. Been waiting for it an awfully long time.
5. [This is a remark, not a question] “I knew an Indian couple once. I had been married four years and they kept asking me when we were going to have kids! No wonder you had them fast.”
Gosh, I’m sorry you had to listen to that. We Indian folks aren’t always known for tact.
Our culture is family oriented, but it’s not like I consider procreation the sole purpose of life. Before I got married at 33 I did a PhD, became a professor, etc. etc.
I didn’t delay after marriage. That had nothing to do with being Indian. My mom has cancer and I am 34. I spent an awfully long time alone and working hard, and when I finally found the right person, I was delighted to start a family with him.