I lucked out when gestating my son in that I mostly got pregnant in the front. This was me the day I gave birth:
My good fortune had nothing to do with having still-visible collarbones, though. I was lucky because gaining pregnancy weight mainly in the front meant I could hide it for as long as possible at work. According to this article, keeping a pregnancy under wraps at the office is pretty common because plenty of companies will look for just about any excuse to send anyone with a bun in the oven packing.
Hiding a pregnancy at work is good old plain common sense.
What does surprise me (and maybe you, too) is that it’s also apparently very common for mamas-to-be to keep pregnancies a secret from local mom friends and even family until they’re out of what I call the Danger Zone. The first trimester being the trimester in which big, terrible tragedies are most likely to derail a pregnancy, so the reasoning goes that once you tell a whole lot of people that you’re pregnant, you may find yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to tell those same people that you’re now unpregnant.
On the surface, avoiding talking about miscarriage probably seems like a good idea. I get it. Maybe you think you wouldn’t want to talk about a miscarriage any more than things like loneliness in pregnancy and ‘roids. Better to just get over it, move on. Better to wait until the safety of Trimester 2, just in case.
I had a miscarriage years ago and the first thing I did was rush out to get a mysterious tattoo in a spot that’s usually not covered by clothing so I had any and every excuse to bring up my miscarriage in polite company. Like when the poor unsuspecting male barista asks about my ink.
There was no way I was going to go through the pain and grief of losing a pregnancy again without a support system as vast and as broad as possible from the very beginning. If history repeated itself and I went to one of my ultrasounds only to find out there was no heartbeat to scan, I didn’t want to preface my subsequent grief-infused ramblings with a whole introduction to my baby never-to-be. I didn’t want to have to explain to my mom friends why I needed a shoulder to cry on or a few days worth of hot meals or just to be left alone for a while until I feel ready to rejoin the world.
No, in the event that I miscarried again, I wanted my whole world there with me, along for the ride so there’d be someone to drag me back from the edge when I’d inevitably veer too sharply toward the darkness.
In honor of October being National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and today (October 15) being International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, I have some advice. If you’re pregnant and hiding it from people reasonably close to you, I’d suggest you reconsider. Pregnancy, whether ultimately joyful or painful, fruitful or not, is a journey best shared.
How long did you wait before announcing your pregnancy?