Saturday, May 5, 2012

Are you pregnant?

My co-worker asked me two days ago. Point blank, at 14 weeks, 5 days.

We were meeting in her office, her door open to some cubicles where other administrative co-workers of mine sit.

I'm leaning over her desk looking at some stats on her screen, and without thinking, I put my hand on my stomach.

"Are you pregnant?" She asks.

Reflexively I say no.

She starts profusely apologizing for asking me that, saying how sorry she is, how inappropriate she was to ask.

I feel really awful, because she feels so awful. Especially because she is right. I am pregnant. I try to reassure her as quickly as possible and move back to our work.

But she feels terrible. And I feel terrible. We end the interaction.

Afterward, I try to sit with my discomfort over how bad she is feeling, to just tolerate it.

But a couple hours later I call her into my office. We go over some other work-related stuff and then at the end, I say I have something to tell her. That I'm not going public with this yet but that I am pregnant. That I didn't want her to feel badly for sensing it, and that I wasn't comfortable being dishonest with her.

She was over the moon happy for me. She is very discreet and said she wouldn't tell anyone. I trust her with the information, although I think in the next couple of weeks I may have to come out with this.

I look pregnant. (Thanks, prednisone!) I saw my very pregnant (37 weeks!) psychologist friend on Friday at a bagel store and she had a post-doc with her from her institution. My friend said the post-doc asked her later if I was pregnant. If even strangers are wondering, this information isn't going to keep for long.

So I'm processing that. Trying to figure out if I can handle people knowing. It's scary, but maybe it is almost time.


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  1. Pregnancy is definitely not something you can keep secret forever. Once that belly pops people start figuring it out. But somehow when it becomes more obvious it gets just that more real, in a good way.

  2. I think it's time to come out of the closet! Will we get to see any belly pics?

  3. I think it is normal to want to hide it as long as possible with your history but time is ticking. My technicians all knew but were classy enough to just gossip behind my back until I was ready to admit it (it is hard to hide when you both show early and work in a lab with toxic chemicals that you all of a sudden are getting extra technician help for). I am sorry that you aren't ready to be outted. This study gave me some solace perhaps it will help you?

  4. I definitely agree with you about hiding it for as long as possible. I am 14w6d today and still not sure when I will be comfortable either. We might just be forced into it at some point when I bellies start giving us away.

  5. We wait so long to be pregnant and then we're terrified to tell people because of what has previously happened to us. When people ask, and they're not trying to be insulting, but know we really want to have kids, it's so hard to look them in the face and lie. It comes out easily, but then there's the whole feeling guilty.

    I had people asking when I was literally 5 days pregnant. I had just gotten my positive beta test. We didn't even reach the second test before people were asking or spreading rumors...I hated it.

    Then I was so close to the magical 12 week mark and had my horrible bleeding episode. I didn't actually tell people until I was 16 weeks. One person said her feelings were really hurt because she knew I had lied to her, but once I explained why lied, she was a little more understanding.

    So tell when you're comfortable. If people's feelings are hurt because you lied when they asked you, explain how your previous experience lead you to be more judicious with who you told and when. Hopefully they'll understand.

    It's really scary, I know. It makes it more real with people knowing....

    Sending hugs!!

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. Marriage and pregnancy suddenly become such a public event and yet their so personal too. It seems you're doing a great job of balancing both of them.

  7. its a real milestone, telling.

    especially for a RPL & IF vet.

    and, you know this, you don't really HAVE to tell. you can go stealth- but that is difficult in a public job where you have to see people and they see YOU.

    we simply did not feel comfortable telling with our most recent pregnancy (that ended well). people assumed i was pregnant but knew our history and didn't say a word. the people that don't know your history, they will ask, and you can keep it simple and move on.

    or, you may find that telling is a great feeling- you never know! what i wish all RPL & IF women could have, could experience, is the regular moments of a fertile woman's pregnancy, free from fear and anxiety. so, sometimes you just have to make those moments happen. for me, i did this with strangers. the cashier at target. the postman three towns over- people who didn't know me and i wouldn't have to see again. i stepped into the role of a regular ole' pregnant woman, and smiled, patted the belly a couple times, made some baby/pregnancy jokes... lived it up in the non-loss, non-IF world for a few minutes, and felt that freedom. then, i went back into stealth mode, hiding at home with my doppler and my thick, baggy overshirts.

    i think you did an amazing thing to call back your co-worker. very healthy behavior! there is no manual fr pregnant RPL/IF people. you just wing it the best you can and keep hoping for the best.

    i am hoping for the best for you and your little bub. the bub with the cute spine and properly growing organs...

    you're doing great, mo! congratulations to you and will!

    btw, i'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to see a post from will?! what is he thinking about all of this? does he have anything to say? i understand if not, but really, his perspective would be so helpful to some of our own husbands & partners. maybe? pretty please?

  8. There comes a time where the 'not telling' does not do any more good than the telling might or would. As I have been saying and you know I do not say this lightly, but at some point, you have to work toward getting your head around the fact that you are in your 2nd trimester of pregnancy. And, as you also know, you never know how many future pregnancies you'll have.

    I felt robbed of so many things with my pregnancy with my son and resulting 5 mos + 1 wk of home bed rest. I never got to interact with the public, no one ever got to ask me if I was pregnant or when I was due or if I knew what I was having. I was sequestered and isolated and fearful.

    This current pregnancy will be my last, no matter what happens, and knowing what I missed out on, I'm having a hard time not telling and I'm not even 6 weeks yet! I've managed to be around a lot of people who are close to me and not say anything, but it is very hard to do. I want to share the joy and the fear this time. I learned that trying to protect myself, and not telling and then my resulting bed rest, robbed me of the ability to ever do so.

    IF takes so much from us that we deserve to share the happiness, not matter how fragile and sometimes borrowed it feels.

    The more people you tell, the more you respond 'why, yes I am pregnant' to, the more normal you will feel.

  9. That's a tough situation. I can understand your reluctancy to 'come out'. That was very nice of you to share with her though - even though it was scary...I'm sure it will become easier as time goes by.

  10. I hear ya. I'm lucky - since I'm a teacher I'll be on summer break from week 12-20ish. I don't plan to announce at work until I return to work at the end of August. No need to announce any sooner than I need to.

  11. I started off by telling complete strangers, which became good practice until I was ready to tell people close to me!

  12. If your friend's postdoc is asking (and it's only getting warmer, so fewer and fewer clothes; so much harder to hide it, honestly) it might be time to share. You'd be surprised that most everyone then wants to help you do things, carry things, spoil you... which, really isn't so bad. It made me a bit crazy ("I'm pregnant, not sick!") but given how very hard fought this pregnancy is having people fall all over themselves to help you might not be a bad thing. FWIW, given that your OB has given you such positive feedback at each turn, it might be time to take the deep breath and share. You're well into your second trimester and while nothing's a given, I think that it's pretty common to 'come out' at the beginning of the 2nd trimester, which you are in by all accounts. I'm so happy that you're at the point where you're considering coming out at work-- stop for a moment and revel in that awesome statement... Sending smiles and hugs!

  13. Oh dear! I had this happen to me at 17 weeks pregnant. It was AWFUL because I hadn't told my inlaws yet, and they were at the party I was at. Two seperate people asked me, when are you due? And I had to look them in the face and say, "I'm not pregnant" because I couldn't tell them and have my inlaws not know! Not at the same party where it could come up infront of them! I was mortified. Later, I pulled a lady aside like you did and I told her I was but I hadn't said anything yet to anyone. The other girl left before I could do the same and I've always felt bad about it. . . :( So great that ou were able to let her know discreetly before too much time passed and how nice to start getting those happy happy joy joy responses that you deserve to hear!

  14. After my first loss I never made a big announcement. Of course people eventually figured it out, but I just waited for them to ask me before saying anything. I think I was almost 26wks before the last of my coworkers finally got brave enough to ask. It was a lot less stressful for me than making a big announcement like I did the first time.

  15. Part of why we told around 13 weeks is because people were guessing, and also I was so barfy that I felt almost obligated to tell, as an explanation! haha!

    Your thebump tracker says your baby is the size of a navel orange now! That's pretty big!

  16. After going through multiple m/c and 4 of them ended at 13-16 weeks, my advice will be not to tell until baby starts kicking. I know it is hard, get some baggy clothes........

  17. this is hard when you body is moving ahead and your emotional self has not had a chance to catch up. I hope you find a way to do this in a way that is most comfortable for you, before this baby moves forward and does so for you.
    thinking of you often- thank you for all of your support

  18. If I were you i'd probably try to keep it to myself as long as possible too. Because pregnancy after infertility can be scary. But with that being said, if you're already showing it might be time to tell! I Just found your blog and I wanted to congratulate you on your pregnancy and wish you a happy, healthy 9 months = ]

    Btw, I have an infertility blog as well.

  19. With Tiny Boy, I told my boss and a couple colleagues at ~15 weeks. Otherwise I relied on the gossip mill.

    What's been surprising is that many people in my neighborhood--including folks who saw me within weeks of Tiny Boy's birth--didn't realize I was pregnant. I mean, Tiny Boy was small, but I still gained about 35 lbs!

  20. Oh dear. I never ask, because ... what business is it of mine? That said, I don't think there was any way I could have not told to 14 weeks; I'm quite sure I looked noticeably pregnant by then. I do think "coming out" is probably the right thing to do, not only because -- what option do you have? But also because, truly, people will be overjoyed for you and obviously it is unfortunate to miss that, though I do of course realize there is a downside/sensation of risk with being "out" also.

    I had a member of my extended family who I knew was PG after loss and I was sworn to secrecy ... then at some gathering or other suddenly she was 8 months PG and everyone was flabbergasted. She hadn't intended to keep it secret (that long) but neither had she told, nor told me that it was OK to share the news. It was pretty funny seeing folks' reactions at that point, and the official line was just that life is hectic and somehow she had thought people knew/she had told people.

  21. We also went through IF and RPL. I waited to tell people until 18 weeks. We did not tell my in laws until 14 weeks, only my closest IF friends and my family knew, because I could not keep it from them. In hindsight, I thought I was super sneaky wearing baggy clothing, but I think people were just too kind to mention it to my face.

    I told people right after our 18 week anatomy scan and I had to go back in to the doctor a few days later because I was convinced I had somehow cursed our pregnancy by acknowledging it. So, it is hard. Telling is hard, the whole thing is hard. I did not feel secure that we were leaving the hospital with a living baby until I was in the car driving home with her in the backseat. Try to take the joy you can from the experience, but it is so so hard.

  22. I know that you don't want this out, but I'm kind of excited that you look pregnant, Mo. I guess all of these instances of guessing your status will nudge you toward making a plan for the telling. It must feel scary. But I know you will find a way that feels (at least somewhat) comfortable for you to start telling people about your reality: YOU are pregnant. VERY pregnant. :)

  23. Pregnancy is definitely not something you can keep secret forever. Once that belly pops people start figuring it out. But somehow when it becomes more obvious it gets just that more real, in a good way.


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