If you're anything like me, there are so many wonderful things about telling people you're pregnant. For example, you can usually look forward to their excitement, your excitement, the anticipation of a new arrival, plus the numerous things you're bound to experience as your pregnancy progresses. However, there are also so many fears. As a result of that fear, there are at least seven people I hid my pregnancy from, and I'll tell you why.
The truth is that our society tells us pregnancy should be a happy time, a magical time, a time you can't wait to share with anyone and everyone (even strangers) about your future bundle of joy. Hell, that was my experience during my first and second pregnancies. But that's not everyone's experience. Pregnancy is fraught with anxiety, possible perinatal mood disorders, and high-risk health situations that aren't generally thought to be appropriate topics for casual conversation. Even when the stakes aren't complicated by high-risk health complications, in the U.S. we also have only about eight months to plan how we are going to withstand and survive an unpaid maternity leave or, in many cases, no maternity leave at all.
Let us not forgot the unparalleled requirement for working pregnant people to share their protected health information with their employers. Seriously, have you ever thought about how f*cked up that is? What other private health information are we required to share with our employer? Answer: none. We're even demonized depending on how and at what time we disclose. Who can blame pregnant people for wanting a little privacy to process all this heavy, life-altering changes, as well as the complex emotions that go along with them?
Making things even more complicated during my last pregnancy were the three miscarriages I'd had immediately prior. Still, people often questioned my decision not to disclose that I was expecting for so long. Though I previously felt guilt about my decisions to keep that information to myself, I now stand proud of my former self for standing up for her needs and hiding pregnancy from these seven people for these totally valid reasons: