There’s Nothing Wrong With Saying ‘We’re Pregnant’
When I was still living in New York, I invited my old roommate and her new girlfriend over for dinner. I liked the new girlfriend; she was perfect for my roommate in seemingly every way. There was just one glaring thing that stood out that really annoyed me; she refused to use the pronoun “I.” Every time I asked her a question, she answered with “we.”
Me: Emily (not her real name), have you been to the new MOMA exhibit?
Emily: Yes! We love it!
Me: Emily, would you like red wine with dinner?
Emily: Yes! We really only drink red wine.
Me: That dinner was amazing!
Emily: It was. We had such a long day. We’re exhausted.
My friend, Emily’s girlfriend, actually also possesses the gift of speech – so all the “we” stuff was pretty unnecessary. When another friend of mine asked how it was meeting her, the first thing that came out of my mouth was, “She’s a we-girl.” My friend responded with, “Yuck.”
Since I’ve always been annoyed by people who speak for others, it was not surprising that the “we’re pregnant” thing drove me a little nuts the first time I heard it. I thought about it this week because Mila Kunis had performed a hilarious skit on Jimmy Kimmel, where she implored men to stop saying, “we’re pregnant.” When a couple is expecting a child, there is clearly one person who is pregnant, right? It’s hard not to get eye-rolly when you hear someone say, “We’re pregnant!” No you’re not. She is.
Then something weird happened when I started writing about my own pregnancies. I’ve written a lot about my struggles with infertility, and when I started writing about how hard it was for us to deal with not being able to hold onto a pregnancy – the “we” just fit all of a sudden. I finally got it. For couples, pregnancy is something that is collective. It’s happening to both of them. If the ‘we’ fits…
When I’m talking about my own experiences with how I felt during pregnancy or labor – I definitely don’t use we. But when I’m talking about the pregnancy as a whole – or our long, intense, collective struggle to have a child – “we” just makes sense. And I am so not a “we” person.
So while I can understand being annoyed by things like hearing, “we’re pregnant,” I can also understand why for many, the phrase totally makes sense.