Exit: excitement, enter: hush mode. The part that everyone usually fails to mention about early pregnancy is that it’s exactly that – too early to celebrate. I received fair warning from my doctor and had witnessed the heartbreak of others, sharing their news with friends and family only to find out a month later that they had lost the pregnancy. I’ve always been an over-thinker and a worrier, so wanted to play it safe by keeping quiet until we were out of the first trimester and into the “safe” zone.
Therein lied the problem – we had a string of upcoming events to attend, all of which revolved around drinking and being around a lot of people. Our first challenge was a wedding with an open bar. We already had our strategy mapped out – I would order either a glass of wine or a cocktail, and simply carry it around as a prop. I could gesture with it in hand to nip any “where’s your drink?” questions in the bud, or spill it clumsily on someone’s shoe or down my dress to create a diversion when asked to take a shot. Problem solved! A plan that would work perfectly – if the reception was ten minutes long. Over the course of a 3-4 hour party, the sweating cocktail glass with completely watered down whiskey & coke might have well been a sign posted to my forehead that said “I’m fake drinking!”. With the failure of this excuse came the next best thing – the headache. A headache is internal, invisible and impossible to prove or disprove. Add a dash of bitchiness and even if someone thought I was lying, it wasn’t worth it to have to deal with my attitude. As a by-product I definitely had to embrace my new wet blanket persona, and found it hard at times to catch a glimpse of my husband’s friends (and sometimes my own) giving him the “geeze your wife sucks!” looks, but I told myself it was only temporary.
This worked fine and well until about 9 weeks in, when I had to attend an early-screening of a movie premiere for work where, of course, I was met with another open bar. Settling in next to my almost 7 months pregnant co-worker with my extra large glass of water in tow, I should have known that I could try to fool everyone, just not anyone pregnant. She stared knowingly at my alcohol-free beverage and then at me. “You’re not drinking? It’s open bar!” I replied with my usual spiel, “no, I have a headache and I’m super tired”. She locked eyes with me, smiled and cocked her head as I squirmed uncomfortably in my seat. “Headache? BULLSHIT.” It was over after that. I was outed, and didn’t even try to lie when she asked me point blank if I was expecting. Luckily she had only wanted to confirm her own suspicions and promised my secret was safe. We had a good laugh about it and I somehow managed to make it through the rest of the month without anyone else noticing.