I was always afraid that, because I’m skinny and petite, I would start showing early on. I was lucky winter went on and on into March that year since my warmer, winter specific dresses tended to be looser than my summer dresses. My closet was also full of colorful scarves my mom had made me over the years, which made it easier to shift attention to my neck. Between them and my coat, no one who didn’t already know knew.
Originally, I had intended on telling my classmates once I passed the 12 week mark, but, having miscarried, I was afraid I would lose this, too, if I shared my happy news. Irrationally, I decided to wait until 14 weeks. And then 16 weeks. And then I figured I may as well just wait until 20 weeks after the 20 week scan so I could also announce the gender. Not finding out the gender wasn’t something my husband and I ever considered. We’re two people who really, really, really want to know everything.
My 20 week scan was, of course, at the start of my 20th week. Since it had to be that week and since the weekend was coming up and since my husband had a tight schedule, I had to miss my afternoon class. I, faithful and dutiful student I was, cringed at having to miss class, but at least I would have a fun story to tell the following week when the class met again (each class only met once a week) and I would finally tell everyone I was pregnant.
I was nervous, afraid something had happened to my baby. Even the movements I felt couldn’t reassure me. Ever since I’d hit 14 weeks, I had been singing the same set of songs to my baby every night, wondering if I carried a girl or a boy. I couldn’t wait to find out, but was also afraid I’d been singing to a baby who could no longer hear me. Fortunately, we saw our little boy kicking around and mostly being good. I must admit I was a bit disappointed we weren’t having a girl. As a girl and firstborn, I had part of my heart set on a girl, but, 5.5 years later, that little boy tickles me silly and I’m so glad he came first.
At 21 weeks, I walked into that afternoon classroom after having carried around a platter of blue sugar cookies all day. I’d carefully carried it around, draping it with whatever I had on hand so it would at least be half hidden. I was actually a little terrified of telling everyone I was having a baby, but I was getting to a point where the weather was warming up and my belly was showing. Luckily, I’d run into my friends (we all had different classes in the morning) and they helped me break the news and provided the excitement I needed to go through with my announcement.
I can’t tell you how relieved I was to finally get that weight off my chest. Pregnancy had been become increasingly more difficult to hide. For the past two and a half years, I hadn’t been one to snack during class, but now I felt like I was constantly hungry. My feet were starting to hurt whenever I had to stand too long. My back was just a couple of months away from wanting to kill me. And I was just looking forward to being able to dash off to the bathroom in the middle of a lecture.
For a few weeks, not much changed. I was happily snacking away while taking notes. Then I started getting hot all the time. For two years, I’d spent every fall and spring slowly freezing in every classroom. That year, I felt like I was in the furnace. I was constantly fanning myself with something and gulping down water. My adviser even commented that he hoped I had a good air conditioner at home. Thank goodness I did! I felt like I was melting.
As nervous as I had been about telling everyone, I couldn’t have done it at a better time. I’m just still amazed I was able to hide my little bump for so long!
For more about my journey into finding magic in motherhood, or for my parenting posts, stop by the Mother’s Corner.
12 thoughts on “Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 12: The Relief That Came From Telling My Secret”
Great post!! I had a miscarriage before our son, and I remember the fear of telling everyone I was pregnant again. I also remember the hot flashes and the “joys” of pregnancy. I miss it now that I had to have a hysterectomy though. This post was great!
Thanks! Pregnancy is certainly a different kind of experience, and then there’s always another layer to it after a loss.
That’s so very true.
I don’t know if I could have handled being pregnant and going to college at the same time. I did work full time but our campus was all uphill and stairs. I probably would have been in the hospital. After our blighted ovum miscarriage we didn’t want to tell anyone when I got pregnant with my youngest. We had told my husband’s sister about the pregnancy that ended in miscarriage and they ignored us because they thought it was a joke. When I miscarried they didn’t even check on me so when I got pregnant the third time we never even told them. they picked up and moved 600 miles away and never spoke to us so we just never told them. They found out when she was born and my husband announced it on Facebook. Later on, when her highness decided to talk to her brother she yelled at him for never telling her I was pregnant. But, she’d never cared before so I couldn’t figure out why she did then. Anyhow, I get not wanting to tell anyone. We were so nervous about it and it ended up being a nice surprise instead (well, for some people..others were just bitter they didn’t get told).
People can be very…odd when it comes to pregnancy announcements and miscarriages. My sister-in-law was a bit like yours: rolled her eyes when we told her as soon as we found out before I miscarried and then basically lectured us about why people wait until after the first trimester to make an announcement. It’s incredible how people think they have any say in how someone announces or talks about their pregnancy. While I wish I’d said something earlier with both my kids, surprises can still be a lot of fun, though I do remember hearing, somewhat accusingly, “I didn’t even know you were pregnant!” Gosh, some people. Haha, if I could, I wouldn’t have said anything and instead presented a bubbly little baby. It’s not as though anyone is entitled to know…
Yes, people aren’t entitled to know but it’s nice when they are happy with us!
Aww. Lovely lady. xx Beautiful story, and such relief in the end! A great big deep breath to release all the worries and the stress. All the love hearts, Mama Kat. xx
Aw, thanks so much, Brooke! It was such a relief, and the best part was just getting to enjoy the pregnancy without worrying about hiding it.
Nice post. Thank you for sharing it.
Thank you so much for reading.