Being pregnant when no one knows

Being pregnant when no one knows has officially happened. You’re pregnant. Whether you’ve confirmed your pregnancy with numerous home pregnancy tests, or you’ve confirmed your pregnancy with your doctor, you are officially in your first trimester of pregnancy. With this exciting news comes a variety of emotions: fear, joy, maybe even sadness for some. You may be wanting to shout the news of your pregnancy from the mountain tops, or due to past disappointments, you may be extra cautious and wanting to keep the news between you and your partner. Either way, there is typically a period of time after finding out you are pregnant that women wait to tell their family and friends.  Sometimes this is to ensure the baby is healthy and everything is on track with the pregnancy, other times it is to avoid the judgments, reactions, questions or even excitement. Keeping your pregnancy a secret for the time being can be bittersweet, and even a struggle for many. You are experiencing a variety of physical and emotional changes (mood swings, fatigue nausea, vomiting etc.) and some may be rather evident to certain people around you. It can be difficult to keep the exciting (or upsetting) news, and the experience of these changes to yourself. Sometimes keeping this to yourself can be wonderful, healthy, exciting, problematic or even destructive. Each situation is different.

What many people don’t understand until you are pregnant, is the second you discover you’re having a baby, everything changes for you. Your partner’s life will change in nine months, but for you, your physical and emotional life changes now. Plans you were making, the glass of wine you were looking forward to having at dinner, how you take care of yourself, and just your overall view and expectations of the upcoming months. This is a lot to take in on your own.With one pregnancy test (or five) you have changed, but you feel like you can’t tell anyone just yet. This puts you into the limbo state of being pregnant when no one knows.  You may be waiting for your pregnancy to feel more real with a confirmation by the doctor, you may be waiting because you are nervous about reactions, or you may just be waiting until the risk of miscarriage decreases significantly in the second trimester. For whatever reason you are waiting, it is okay to keep this to yourself. Being pregnant when no one knows can be your special secret that eventually will become self evident.  But for now, you and your body are going through major transitions, give yourself (and your partner) time to adjust without the worry of other people’s reactions and comments.  Take the time to listen to explore your own feelings, desires and needs and do what is best for you.

If you make the decision to hold off on telling people, recognize that you will also have to wait for some of the small perks that come with friends and family knowing about your pregnancy. When people are aware of your pregnancy, there comes a large amount of support, understanding, and forgiveness for your newly acquired behaviors. Friends and family want to know what they can do to help you while you are adjusting to the challenges of pregnancy. They also want to celebrate with you, and will be more understanding of your mood swings, sudden fatigue, and all of the other symptoms first trimester has to offer. How else can you explain why you are falling asleep at your desk, or you are too tired to go to the gym? How else will you explain to your girlfriends that you have a sudden aversion to certain foods? Again, if it is more important for you to adjust to pregnancy while under the radar of friends and family, and you would prefer sharing the news when you feel more comfortable and confident about the state of your pregnancy, that is the choice you get to make. In the meantime, there’s always using the excuse of a stomach bug, or trying to simply lay low, and rest at home until you feel ready to be out and social and prepared with explanations or excuses.

New ways of thinking that may happen now that you’re pregnant:

-How you work out and take care of your body will change: You may have been the type of person who always worked out to their maximum at the gym, but now while you are learning your body while pregnant, you may work out at a more mild pace, to save your energy for the rest of the day and keep your body safe. You may be more cautious in choosing what to eat, thinking of what’s most beneficial for a growing fetus.

-Job Performance: To accommodate the hormones that are in full effect, you may be put in less hours, and less late nights in order to get more sleep and store the little energy you have.

-Your idea of fun may change.. For now: 2 months ago your idea of fun may have been standing in a concert venue to see your favorite band, or 2 hours of walking around and window shopping. Today, your fun may be more focused on resting during your downtime, being and feeling comfortable, and eating a little extra food.

-Look both ways: Something as simple as how you cross a busy street may change. Pre-pregnancy you may been more forceful in getting across that street as quickly as possible, whether by trying to beat the oncoming traffic, or even jaywalking. Now, you have someone else’s safety to consider, it’s not just your safety you are putting at risk anymore. This realization can change the even the tiniest behavior.

Whether you are struggling with keeping your pregnancy a secret right now, or you are having doubts about keeping the news to yourself and partner, enjoy the secret while you can. There are very few times in life when we have a secret and special and exciting as having a baby. You and your partner have the very small window of time where this is just for the two of you, and no one else. All of your hopes, expectations, and thoughts around having a baby are shared only between the two of you, with no one else to interfere with your dreams. This secret is a bond the two of you share, not to mention it represents something the two of you made together. There will be plenty of time in the upcoming months when other women offer unsolicited advice on how to care for yourself and baby, as well as stories about their own pregnancies. For now enjoy the quiet between you and your partner, celebrate this time, and take care of yourself.