Wanting to share the biggest secret I’ve ever had

I was lying on my yoga mat doing deep belly breathing but my mind wouldn’t settle. I’d been so tired and hungry lately and I was sure my bra seemed fuller than usual. I jumped up, grabbed my keys and drove to the supermarket where I headed straight for the pregnancy tests.

I popped the test on the coffee table and waited for my other half to come home. Friends had told me not to get my hopes up as it could take a good year or more. No-one said it could happen first pop - but it did. We spent the evening giggling like two teenagers sharing a private joke.

Keeping quiet till the recommended 12-week mark was a bit of a joke. It’s long been an unwritten rule that you don’t share your pregnancy news until 12 weeks when the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically. For many women, including me, the first 12 weeks are a mixture of hope and excitement as well as worry and uncertainty. I told my mum, of course, and my three closest friends long before the 12 weeks because I wanted their reassurance that it would all be ok, and if it wasn’t, they would be the people I turned to for support. It really helped me having a small circle of people I could talk to and annoy with all my first-time-mum questions, just knowing they were there for me was enough. We did wait until we had the all-clear from the scan and the blood tests before we shared our news on social media. I respect that other couples choose to keep their silence longer as we all deal with things differently, however, I wonder if we, as a society, need to relax the 12-week rule.

I found it hard lying to my friends about why I wasn’t drinking and why I didn’t want to have sushi for lunch. Finding out you’re pregnant is one of those life-changing moments and you’re expected to pretend that everything is normal. To me, that’s not normal! The hardest deception was keeping our pregnancy from the triathlon group we trained with. All of a sudden I was struggling up the climbs on my bike and my new curves couldn’t be disguised in swimming togs. I made all sorts of excuses, such as ‘still getting over that nasty cough’ and “slowing down for Winter hibernation’ - which was true to some extent.

Then there was the tiredness and the morning sickness. I filled my drawer at work with ginger nut biscuits, ginger beer (I didn’t even really like ginger beer) and anything that might help me feel less nauseous. Fortunately, I did find some relief with acupuncture. I’m surprised my work colleagues didn’t cotton-on sooner when my usual lunch-time salads were replaced with sausage rolls and hot chips. By the time the 12-week scan came along I was more than ready to give up the excuses and share our exciting news.

Tracey Chatterton

Did you tell anyone about your pregnancy before the 12 weeks? What are your thoughts on this?