I chose to keep my pregnancy to myself until the 12 week scan. I told two friends and of course, Luke knew. For me, this was the perfect amount. I knew neither of my friends would tell other people so I didn't have to worry about it 'getting out' and I knew they wouldn't any preconceptions about my decision to have a baby.
As I'm sure you will gather throughout these blog posts - I am a massive other thinker. I thought that maybe some of my other close friends may think it was too soon in my relationship or that I was too young or that I should have been married first but if you live your life based on what others will or may not even think, you will not be living the life you want. I knew I wanted a baby, I knew we were ready and I knew being married didn't make you a better Mother or your relationship any stronger. Over the past year I had tested the waters with friends by mentioning that we definitely wanted kids together some day and the overwhelming response was that I was too young and had 'too much partying that I would miss out on'. A few friends pointed out how kids was not on their mind at all and was years and years in the future for them as though that meant the same applied to me. Despite this, every single friend has been so happy for me. Those who I were nervous to tell the most - actually happened to be the most excited. I'm so glad I chose to trust myself and my relationship. I know that this was the right time for us and am so happy with our decision to start a family. Friends will come and go but family is forever.
Over the first 12 weeks it is constantly on your mind whether your baby is okay, as miscarriages are most common in the first trimester. So as something could still happen, a part of me wanted to tell as few people as possible so that if anything were to happen it wouldn't become 'gossip' but something that I could grieve/deal with privately with the support of Luke and my two close friends that knew. It was really difficult keeping it from a lot of my friends as I have a large number of friends I consider close, but to tell one meant to tell the other so I thought it only fair to tell two and just hope that the others didn't take it personally. A lot of friends live far away and only keep in contract through Facetiming/Skype or messaging and the thought of explaining I had lost the baby over the Internet was an unbearable thought and I also thought it would put them in a difficult position as some are a million miles away and wouldn't be able to be there to give me a hug if needed!
After the 12 week scan I then chose to tell those that were close to me our news as the baby was healthy and everything looked good. It had also taken me this long to pluck up the courage to tell my parents, as they had no idea we were trying. We went to theirs the day of the scan and simply took the ultrasound photos out my purse and let them do the talking. Of course it went really well but there was still a part of me that pictured them being so shocked they didn't show any happiness. Of course I knew that would never happen but I always let the mind wonder!
I chose to tell my close friends that lived away from me by Facetiming them and instead of my face appearing on their screen, the baby scan did. That was so exciting as all I could hear were screams and them losing their minds! It was honestly so exciting telling people the news as I found it so funny watching all their reactions. Most friends I met up with and told over dinner, admittedly it took me until the end of the dinner to tell them. Firstly, because I couldn't find the time to slip it into conversation - how to you mention you're having a baby amongst normal conversation? And secondly, because I already knew I didn't want to be that friend that never shut up about babies and never asked about what was going on in their friends lives - so I spent the whole dinner catching up on their news so they felt important too and then shared my news. There were loads of tears shed and excited hugs.
For the Facebook announcement, for some reason I wanted to wait a few more weeks, just to give the baby a better chance at being okay, as I was quite terrified that once it went on Facebook and hundreds of people saw it, we then couldn't take that news back. Plus, everyone is so attentive on social media these days, people always ask questions if you don't post regularly and moan if you do! I would have to have posted that we were expecting and then had something happened, I obviously then wouldn't be posting photos - so the whole world (well, our Facebook world) would be wondering why! We took a photo of both our dogs with chalk board saying 'We are getting a human' which when we posted the photo - our phones both went crazy! We were sat on the sofa watching TV and every five or so minutes would say - how many likes now? It was so exciting and we got so many messages from people saying 'Congratulations' and all our friends shared the post saying how excited they were too. From what I gathered, I don't think there was anybody that seemed upset that they had found out the way that they did. Everyone close to me knew before hand so it was just 'acquaintances' and old friends that found out via Facebook.
It was then that my friends started to piece things together about why I wasn't drinking or going out and just generally being boring. As I was always one for a drink beforehand, I knew it would be tricky to hide - especially at birthdays when the girls were going 'out out'! A few ways I hid it from them were as follows: At one meal I ordered a cider with ice so nobody was suspicious, I then pretended to forget about it so all the ice melted. I think someone then asked why I hadn't drunk it and I said 'Oh I forgot I ordered that!' Took a sip and said, 'Bleugh! All the ice has melted it tastes gross, I can't be bothered to order another one now I'll just have water!' Another time we were at a Caribbean restaurant, when they asked what drinks we wanted I said I'll have tap water and choose a cocktail later. I then ordered spicy prawns for a starter, so when the waitress came back to check on the food, I said it was so spicy I needed something milky as my mouth was on fire - and ordered just a vanilla shake. Then said I was amazed it tasted exactly like a Pina Colada but was £4.50 cheaper - so I ordered another one! As I said before, at the BBQ the day I found out I was pregnant, the girls had Pimms and chopped fruit and I ran inside, tipped mine down the sink and had a Ribena, lemonade and chopped fruit instead!
In terms of not going out, even if I wasn't pregnant I had gone off going out anyway as the nights were getting repetitive and I was sick of hangovers so it wasn't as though I suddenly stopped going out - I had already stopped showing my face in town! But it was tricky getting out of birthday nights out as these are always a big deal, so I made lame excuses like not feeling very well and felt like a totally crap friend! Sometimes I would go out for an hour or so and just drink lemonade then make my excuses and go home, but I generally didn't like doing that as I always worried there would be a bar fight and someone would shove into me and I would fall and lose the baby - so I definitely didn't go anywhere too busy!! All in all it was quite fun being sneaky. I remember the evening I told one of my friends, we went for a steak dinner and I ordered mine Medium-Well Done. I was a rare girl through and through so she knew something was up but didn't say anything, then when I told her the news she said 'I wondered why you ordered your steak medium!!!!'
It was crazy keeping it from my parents, I know they'll read this so, WHOOPS Ma'bad! I remember my Mum doing my nails and saying my natural nails had gotten long and it was so tempting to just blurt out - 'Yes! Common side effect of PREGNANCY' I had so many ideas and attempts to tell but ultimately I just chickened out every single time. I had bought, and written in, a card on Father's day saying Happy Grandfathers Day and was going to give it to my Dad, but was a complete wuss and just left it in the car. I, also, bought a frame with the same type of wood that matched the existing frames on their mantelpiece, and put an image of a baby holding its hands in a heart shape, and wrote 'due in January' in the frame. That, again, is just sat in a draw.
A few of Luke's friends found out before the 12 weeks. I had put the pregnancy test packet in a random pile of rubbish in the garden thinking that if I put it in the normal rubbish someone would see it. But, unsurprisingly, Milo our naughty dog fished it out and dropped it at one of Luke's friends feet at a BBQ. Then and there, two of his friends found out. He told a couple of his good friends but I definitely think the reaction amongst a group of 23 year old women that one of us is pregnant definitely got a lot more attention than a group of older guys, a few of which already have kids!