Emily Van Do was going about life as normal when --BAM!-- she got pregnant and the people around her lost their minds. Most of us are far too familiar with the changes a woman experiences during pregnancy but, as Emily learned, the sight of a pregnant belly made everyone else forget their manners. It seemed no prying question or comment was off-limits.
So, as a subtle form of revenge and a tongue-in-cheek attempt at educating the masses, Emily started keeping track of the comments. The result is Mama Never Told Me..., a new book that combined the comments with hilarious illustrations from g.f. Newland.
LoveToKnow Pregnancy recently caught up with Emily to talk about the inspiration for her book and her advice for other moms-to-be with nosy acquaintances.
LoveToKnow (LTK): What did you do before writing this book?
Emily Van Do (EVD): Before I wrote the book, I worked as a sales executive for a ladies accessory company in New York City. Now, I am raising a beautiful son with my husband, trying to find time to promote Mama Never Told Me..., and I am still working as a sales executive in NYC! I am sure all women can relate--I have a very busy schedule!
LTK: We've all gotten crazy comments during our pregnancy. Which one pushed you over the edge and made you start writing them down?
EVD: I have to say, there wasn't just ONE comment. The best way I can describe how I felt: a HUGE snowball of invasive questions and comments came rolling down a massive mountain of snow!
Staying Sane during a Challenging Time
LTK: When you're pregnant, your emotions and attitude can change quickly. People who say something inappropriate to a pregnant woman don't realize how close they are to getting their heads bitten off. How did you balance speaking your mind with biting your tongue?
EVD: I am certain that anyone who works with me will be very surprised that I wrote this book! At work, it appeared as if nothing anyone said affected me. There was no option in speaking out against comments--I knew I couldn't win. If I did say something, I knew I would be dismissed as the hormonal pregnant woman.
LTK: What's your advice for dealing with people who touch the belly?
EVD: Try to avoid it by putting your work tote or handbag in front of your belly.
LTK: What do you think it is about pregnancy that makes people feel they have free reign with their comments?
EVD: I think that people feel that because they know a woman is gaining weight to house a child (children), they think a pregnant woman may not be sensitive to it, i.e. that a pregnant woman is gaining weight for a REASON. The bottom line is--people should keep their comments to themselves!
Plans for What Mama Never Told Me
LTK: Your book fills a void in the realm of pregnancy books since so many are health-related and have a serious focus. But, I think we need more humorous books that tell it like it is. What kind of a reception has your book gotten so far?
EVD: I am so excited by the amazing reception Mama Never Told Me... has received! People have actually emailed me to thank me for putting this book out!
The whole point of the book was to tell pregnant women they are not alone. They are not being hormonal. People are out-of-line when they make any comments or ask any questions about the changes your body endures while pregnant. My main goal is to provide humor to help you get through it!