Would You (Could You?!) Hide Your Pregnancy for 8 Months?
Regular readers of this blog will know that I got big—very, very big—during my twin pregnancy. In fact, that's me in the photo just about this week last year, three weeks away from delivery—and I was nothing short of a spectacle.
But even much earlier in my pregnancy, my bump was formidable. People started remarking that I was "about to pop" at the five-month mark. (Don't get me started on the body shaming.) Needless to say, I couldn't have hidden my pregnancy for any length of time if I had wanted to.
Most expecting mamas, of course, don't want to! After they clear the dicier first trimester, many are eager to share their joyful news. But there are plenty of reasons—both perceived and legitimate—why some people might want to keep their secret as long as possible.
Often, those reasons relate to professional concerns. Last week, I wrote about a tech startup C.E.O. who hid her first pregnancy as she sought funding for her company. (Now pregnant with her second, she's not doing it again.)
And now, another professional woman is coming out about why she hid her pregnancy—for a full 8 months! Recently, wedding photographer Vanessa Scavone wrote about six reasons she kept that secret. And while I don't relate to all of them (one reason was that she simply didn't show much, and had the choice to conceal), I do relate to some.
For instance, she wrote: "I love what I do and resented the disillusion that other people (and I, too) had about moms: that baby brain takes over, you fall in love with your child and forget and/or don't care about everything else. The last thing I wanted was to give my clients, especially potential clients, the idea that I was about to have a child and drop my high standards of customer service and productivity. That would not help build the trust and credibility that I've worked so hard with which to align my brand."
Sadly, that's one major concern I dealt with too. As a freelancer, my livelihood required that people knew I took my work seriously, delivered quality products (writing, in my case), and had no intention of giving it up. For me, this was both factually accurate as well as a critical perception issue. It was one reason I worked right up until the last possible moment, including serving on the panel of a Huffington Post Live webcast about pre-baby relationship contracts—literally 20 hours before my scheduled c-section!
As parents and parents-to-be—especially mothers and mothers-to-be with the chips often stacked against us professionally—we can all probably acknowledge the complexities that would motivate women to hide their pregnancies.
But would you actually do it?
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Photo: Alesandra Dubin