Detroit news anchor-reporter Sandra Ali sets aside her journalist's role to post frankly about thinking before we speak, particularly to women who're pregnant -- or assumed to be.
The WDIV broadcaster, who has three sons and a daughter, speaks bluntly about blurting that hurts. "I remember what people said to me before I had my babies," Ali writes in an essay at the station's website.
I should have kept a diary of all the things people said to me while I was pregnant.
I have had three pregnancies full of running commentary, from just about everyone including the grocery store cashier, to the guy making my latte.
Ali and her husband, fellow WDIV reporter Shawn Ley, live in Birmingham with twin sons Tamer and Grant, who're nearly 2, and two older offspring -- Roman, 9, and Isla, 5.
The weekend anchor, who came to the local station in 2010, ticks off examples of sentences that still sting:
"Wow, you are about to go. You must be ready to burst. Is today the big day?" Not exactly, I was only six months along at the time. . . .
Complete strangers would come up to me asking: "Are they triplets or just twins?" Neither, I would say, already annoyed. It is just one.
While working at the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati in 2009, Ali stopped at a coffeeshop with her first-born, then roughly 6 weeks old. "The barista asked, loud enough for everyone inside Starbucks to hear: 'So when are you due?'"
I grabbed my latte and bolted so fast. I was mortified. Did she not see the carseat I was carrying under my arm? Or my newborn baby asleep inside?
What I wanted to shout back was: "Lady, I have lost most of my baby weight already."
Her parting thought: "Next time you see a mom-to-be, I hope you remember to be kind."