So this is another catch-up post, written a few weeks ago but still not an issue that is out the other side of therapy…
Almost straight after finding out I was pregnant, we had an intimate dinner party to go to; one that would normally have involved lots of booze and carefully constructed cuisine without much chance of hiding a sudden teetotal habit.
I wanted to tell Charles & Laura who were also going to the dinner party and thought by having three people to swap drinks with I might just get away with it. I suggested it to Fred, but he was adamant that we should tell no one before the 12 week scan (at this point I fessed up about telling my Mum but decided to keep that I told my friend at work to myself!).
There began a 12 week struggle between us, as I was desperate to tell our close friends that we see regularly and he was equally desperate to keep it quiet – resulting in a particularly awkward Christmas party (a post for another time I think – when the psychological scars have healed). I felt it was ridiculous I couldn’t tell them – these were my friends, they were people who I would want to be there to support me if I did have a miscarriage and instead I was confined to silence and a very private tragedy if it came to that. Fred wanted to keep it that way – very private. He didn’t want to have to tell people I had miscarried, as he would if we had told people, he wanted it to be between him and me, just us.
Then the 12 week scan came, and all legs and arms were accounted for. We could tell everyone – not just our close friends but the world. The tide was turned and with it me. Suddenly allowed to tell everyone, I didn’t want to. I wanted our close friends and family to know, but no one else. I wanted it still to be a private thing, still to be a secret.
And a few weeks later, I still feel the same. It was getting harder – with my waistband expanding and wearing baggy clothes, I was at the stage of not looking pregnant exactly but certainly like I had have been indulging in some pie consumption! It’s at the stage where I feel I should wear my “Baby on Board” badge on the tube to put the poor people, who are looking at you wondering if you are pregnant or just fat, out of their misery. But I don’t want them to know either.
Once people know there is no going back. So what happens if something is wrong at the 20 week scan? What if something goes wrong generally? I would have to tell people what had happened. And now, when it’s come this far and the belly has started to bulge then it would be devastating.
I am also worried it will change my identity. Rather than being Elly, I’ll be “the pregnant lady” with my food, working hours and mood judged against what they think I should or shouldn’t be doing while expecting. I don’t want that – I want to still be me, not just a giant receptacle for the baby.
The belly is getting larger. Even with all the large oversized jumpers and waterfall cardigans in the world, I don’t think the secret can remain secret forever. I need to get used to a new identity – “Mother”, that will not just be identities like Me and “the pregnant lady”, but all part of an intertwined identity, a new Elly.