It was just over a year ago when the second pee stained stick finally convinced me I was pregnant. Recently I've been reminiscing about the roller coaster ride that was my first trimester and, to be honest, marvelling at all the women who go through it. With all the changes to your body and mind, the first three months of pregnancy really test your mettle, almost like a practice run to see how you will respond to the complete upheaval of your life that is parenthood. On top of that there is the added Brucey Bonus that most people like to keep their news hush-hush until the all clear after the 12-week scan. Using my own experience, I've come to the conclusion that in order to get through the first trimester, you need to be able to keep secrets and basically be a damn good liar.
Lie Number One: Everything is normal and I don't feel as sick as a dog, honest.
I'm convinced that no sooner did I see the positive pregnancy test, my morning sickness kicked in. And boy did it kick in. The constant nausea was draining and the only relief was when I was asleep. If I could sleep. And it's not like you can call in sick to work either because if I did, I would have been tempted to do it for the entire three months. Instead I mustered up all the strength I had and dragged myself in every day, regardless of whether I'd been on the porcelain phone to god or not. I was knackered. People noticed I was quieter or different than normal so I feigned I was suffering from a bout of insomnia and hoped that was a good enough cover up.
Unfortunately for me, I'd been on a fitness spree for quite sometime before I fell pregnant and my work colleagues were used to me regularly going for walks at lunch after my healthy meal. During my first trimester, the only thing that didn't make me want to hurl were carbs. They were surprised to see me tuck into coronation chicken sandwiches, crisps and daily portions of cake, and the only lame excuse I could come up with was that I'd fallen off the wagon and couldn't be bothered being to healthy any more. I know this was my one big giveaway that aroused suspicions with my work friends.
Then there was the snacking. As much as I didn't fancy eating, I found my morning sickness was worse on an empty stomach or when I started to feel hungry. Like a secret eater, I binged on dry crackers when no one was looking, wiping the crumbs away with fury before getting caught.
Lie Number Two: I've got another doctor's appointment
I have been very fortunate with my health and prior to falling pregnant it was very rare, if none existent that I went to the doctor's. All of a sudden I required a few appointments for blood tests and midwife appointments. Rather than lie I often had the appointments during my lunch hour or even booked annual leave for some of them.
Lie Number Three: No alcohol for me thanks, I'm driving
I know this has been the tell tale sign for a few friends who suddenly were going sober when previously they would drink the bar dry. Rather than pretending to be on antibiotics or some other medication where you have to abstain, I simply made myself the designated driver for all social events for three months (and then the remaining six months after that). One of which, was Hubby's birthday meal with the In-Laws and they didn't even bat an eyelid.
Lie Number Four (and probably the biggest lie): Mexico no go
My first routine Midwife appointment went really well until she asked in passing if I was going on holiday. Hubby and I were all booked to go to Mexico but when I told her, her face dropped. She looked at her colleague then looked back at me, had a very sympathetic look and said 'I'm not saying you can't go, but I strongly recommend you don't because of the Zika virus.' I felt even more sick than normal. We were due to go in three days time. Shit. What do we do now?
Luckily the tour operators were very good and after some frantic searching and phone calls, Hubby managed to change our holiday from Mexico to Cyprus, so at least we still had a holiday, but we had a real conundrum on our hands. What on earth do we tell people? Should we tell people? Cyprus is lovely, but what sane person would change their holiday from Mexico to Cyprus in the eleventh hour?
We decided we had to let our family know, just in case of any emergencies and so we lied with Pinocchio proportions and I'm afraid we threw the tour operator under the bus saying they had double booked us in Mexico and as we were limited by the dates we could fly out and come back, all the other hotels we liked were fully booked. We told them the only other option that met our criteria was the hotel we chose in Cyprus. They believed us. So did everybody else we told later. I felt awful, but as with most lies, it then required us to spin a complete web of deceit when answering all the questions they all inevitably had. It was exhausting.
I hate telling lies and my first trimester was physically and mentally draining. I couldn't wait to tell people I was pregnant. Mainly because I was so excited to share my news, but also because the secrets and lies would finally be over.
So to all the carb eating, cracker munching, sofa dwelling, toilet inspecting, appointment attending, sober ladies; I salute you with a knowing smile and hope you are better than me at keeping secrets and telling lies.