The First Three Months of Pregnancy - Keeping the Secret!
If you're within the first month of your pregnancy, or you think that you might be, you may want to see my hub on Very Early Pregnancy Symptoms.
The first three months of pregnancy are a cruel joke for anyone wanting to keep it secret.
Many women like to refrain from going public about their pregnancy until the three-month mark, when the risk of miscarriage is said to significantly reduce and they've had that reassuring first scan, which (hopefully) not only shows them that the baby's ok, but which gives irrefutable evidence that there is, indeed a baby in there, and they're not just imagining it/going crazy/getting fat!
You might choose not to tell family and friends until this point because you don't want them to get too excited until you get this first all-clear.
And you may decide not to tell your work colleagues if you have worries about how you'll be treated once people know that you're pregnant, or even about the safety of your job.
Or perhaps you just don't want people to know yet, because it's a lovely experience for you and your partner to share alone, even just for a little while.
Three whole months of having your own lovely secret, without those well-meaning relatives telling you what you should and shouldn't be eating, drinking, doing or thinking... Bliss!
Symptoms in the first three months
But then Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom; (and demonstrating a cracking sense of humour); ensures that if you're going to have pregnancy symptoms, then the ones which are most obvious and difficult to hide (except perhaps for the baby bump itself), will occur during those first three, special months. Ha ha!
Morning sickness is a most unpleasant side-effect of being pregnant. Throwing up is a terrible feeling, and if you're unlucky then you might have to do this every day of your first trimester. And of course it's not just confined to the morning (or in some cases, to just the first trimester..)
If you're working, then continuously rushing to the loo and hurling is difficult to explain away. Excuses like food poisoning or stomach bugs can only be given for so long - although a suspected, mystery food intolerance can perhaps buy you a little more time!
Preventative measures are definitely one thing to try. Try keeping some dry crackers by your desk and surreptitiously munch them to stave off nausea. Some people find that ginger biscuits are also useful for settling the stomach.
If you're not working then you can try to avoid seeing people during the time when you're normally sick, although this can sometimes be difficult to predict.
Tiredness is a common symptom of early pregnancy. Sometimes, and often at the most inopportune time (such as during a meeting or at a family gathering), you might get the overwhelming urge to sleep. Pregnancy tiredness can be shattering, and almost impossible to resist.
However, as long as falling asleep isn't a constant thing, you can always claim that it's a result of a late night out. Or if you really want to throw people off the scent, a hangover!
If you're at work and you want turn your tiredness into a plus-point, you could say that you were up most of the night working! (Although you might need to be able to provide some evidence for this, so be careful with this one..)
Tiredness is easier to explain away than morning sickness. Depending on how imaginative you are you can blame it on such things as a gruelling new exercise regime, a change of diet, a bug, a vitamin deficiency, an addiction to late-night TV, noisy neighbours preventing you from sleeping, or a family member (or even pet) keeping you awake.
Some people also experience strange food cravings during their first few months. These can be quite difficult to resist, but if you don't want them to give you away, try to keep them in check. Indulge in those chocolate spread and pickled onion sandwiches by all means - but tuck in while nobody's looking, and try to do it in the privacy of your own home!
Although most women don't start to develop a baby bump until after the first trimester, some do start to show earlier. And this is especially true if you've already had one child or more. Assuming anybody is rude enough to comment on your expanding waistline, you could try saying that you've been eating too much recently. Or perhaps that it's down to female bloating or water retention. (Hopefully this might even embarrass them into silence! Although if they're insensitive enough to have commented in the first place, then maybe not..)
You could always try dressing strategically to hide your belly. Try googling "dress to hide stomach" for some ideas. Here's a site I found with some helpful ideas.
Most people wouldn't dream of querying any weight gain around somebody else's stomach area. Firstly there's the possibility that they might be wrong about you being pregnant - which would risk downright embarrassment for the both of you. And secondly, as I've said above, this would just be rude!
For the most part, what seems to you like a massive baby mound, will go completely unnoticed by others. So don't draw attention to it, and it's more than likely nobody will notice a thing.