Faking It

The day we found out I was pregnant, we went to a friend’s birthday party in a bar. I asked for an alcohol-free beer, and was just about to pour it into my glass when I spotted the name on the label- “Evil Imp” or similar. Alarm bells rang,; there’s nowt evil or impish about boring 0% lager. A quick check of the alcohol volume revealed it was in fact 6%. I informed the barmaid who apologised profusely, said the labels of the teetotal beer and the super-strength one were deceptively similar,  and said “it could be worse- I gave one to a pregnant woman the other day”.  I raised my eyebrows in a “yikes! imagine that!” way, thinking, but I am pregnant. Of course she wouldn’t have been able to tell- The Bean was barely an embryo at that stage- but I did sort of feel like I was tricking myself into thinking I was really knocked up.

And thus began my career of feeling like a big fat pregnancy fraud.

For the first weeks, nothing really happens. After the initial midwife appointment, it’s a hugely uneventful time during which everyone (and by everyone, I mean the internet) reminds you frequently that the pregnancy is not a Done Deal yet and that it would be foolish to utter the words “we’re having a baby”.  Given my previous miscarriage- which I didn’t blog about, but did happen last year- I spent much of this time believing that the embryo had died and it was just a case of waiting to find out. That I wasn’t really pregnant at all. At the scan, the sonographer said “there’s the baby” to which I shrieked “but is it beating? Is it alive?”.  It’s as though I was holding my breath until that moment, feeling like it wasn’t really happening, couldn’t be happening.

On top of this, quite a few people presume that, since we’re not married, The Bean is a happy accident, when it fact this is very much a planned baby. When people express surprise when I tell them  (and believe, they do ask), I feel sort of sheepish and delinquenty, like I’m not really qualified to have a baby, or like I’m pretending.

Look, I know I am not rational. I think we established this some time ago.

And now I’m embarking on the second trimester, Bump Envy has taken hold. A friend of a friend reportedly has, at nine days further on than me, a noticeable bump. A woman in my office three weeks ahead is positively blooming.  I am jealous.  I’m certainly bigger round the middle than usual; I have a sort of pillowy, distended stomach that sort of might be becoming something like a bump, but it’s unlikely you’d look at me and think I was anything other than fond of pastry. And even though I’ve seen The Bean on screen, it makes it harder for me to believe he/she is in there.

I can’t wait for a bona fide bump . Partly because it will be exciting, but mostly because it will be visual evidence which proves to me and those around me that yes, I really am with child, and not spinning some sort of elaborate hoax in order to get free dental care and prescriptions.


4 Responses to “Faking It”

  1. 1 Monkey July 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    All in good time, mrs! Soon enough you won’t be able to tie your laces… xxx

  2. 2 Thursday July 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Oh, happy, happy news causing smiley, smiley face on someone you’ve never met.

  3. 3 Min July 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    So many huge and brilliant congratulations. Your news has made my day – absolutely wonderful!

  4. 4 pei August 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I’m so excited! But a word of warning: on our minibreak my “bump” (wine/pastry-filled) might be considerably larger than your fetus-filled one. Please don’t be jealous though. xxx

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