As a young woman just learning how to navigate her twenties, I thought my paths towards a career and a serious relationship were pretty solid. Then, one chilly winter day on a drive to my partner's place of employment, a wave of sickness ran through me with such urgency we had to pull the car over. A few hours later, I discovered I was pregnant and though we faced many challenges, there were so many reasons why I refused to hide my pregnancy.
That afternoon when my partner came home from work, we had "the talk." I still remember the look on his face because, well, that pregnancy was a huge surprise to us both. I was on oral contraceptives, which statistically has an effectiveness of 99.9 percent, so obviously neither of us saw this coming. Scared, financially free-falling, and still learning how to be responsible for myself, there were probably a lot of reasons why I would've wanted to keep my pregnancy a secret but, in the end, I just couldn't do it.
There are some who choose to hide their pregnancies and I have no doubt that's the best decision for them. However, this wouldn't have felt right for me, no matter how brief the period I'd have hidden my pregnancy and, truthfully, the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test, I knew I always wanted to be a mother. I was ready for the responsibility. So, with that in mind, here are a few reasons why I refused to hide my pregnancy. In the end, you have to do what's right for you.
Morning Sickness Wouldn't Allow It
The truth is, even if I'd wanted to hide the fact that I as growing another human being inside my body, I couldn't. I was either throwing up or hiding out in the bathroom waiting to throw up, for the majority of my pregnancy. At some point, and no matter what I'd have said to those asking, the morning sickness would've been obvious and the reason why I was puking all the time would have been unmistakeable.
It Shut Down The Haters
At the time, my partner and I were surrounded by a group of friends and foes alike. I guess you could call some of them "frenemies," as we were too young to understand we didn't have to be cool with everyone. Basically, we had enemies who honestly thought we were making a mistake.
However selfish it may or may not be, announcing my pregnancy was kind of like waving a big middle finger to all those who thought we wouldn't make it.
(Side note: My partner and I are still together thirteen years later, even after our "mistake.")
I Was Happy To Be Pregnant
Although it was a complete and total surprise, and it took some time for me to truly embrace the changes that would come, I was ecstatic knowing I'd be a mother. This isn't something I wanted to hide from people — I wanted to celebrate and decorate the room and buy baby clothes!
It was the first time, in a long time, I felt my direction changing and I was OK with it.
I Didn't Need Anyone's Approval
At the time of my first pregnancy, my partner and I had only been together about a year-and-a-half. Although we lived together and both worked outside the home, we'd already fought against familial disapproval of our love.
Hiding my pregnancy from those who condemned us not only would've felt wrong, it wouldn't have changed how they felt about me. About us. I didn't need anyone's approval to feel good about being pregnant, because I already approved of it.
I Had No Qualms When It Came To The Workplace
That moment of my life was somewhat of a strange crossroads. Just before that early morning discovery, I'd put in my two-week notice at work so I could look into going back to school. Little did I know, life had other plans.
However, even if this kismet set of circumstances hadn't happened, the employer I left would've been so on board, it wouldn't have been a question of hiding or not hiding. And now? Well, I work from home and do the mommy thing. #Winning.
I Didn't Know I Could Lose The Baby
As a 24-year-old woman, I couldn't have possibly known the miscarriages I'd suffer later in life. If I had, while I wouldn't have hidden the pregnancy entirely, I would've definitely held off on all the announcements until I heard those definitive heartbeats and knew my baby was on the path of healthy progression.
As a first-time mother, all the weird things my body went through were new and looking back, I'm happy I was so naive about the chances of potential loss. In the end, it allowed me to fully embrace the whole process without apology (or fear).
I Knew I Wouldn't Go Through It Alone
As I said, my partner and I hadn't been together a long time, but we did live together and started mapping out our futures together. I knew in revealing to him I was pregnant, he wouldn't be the type to abandon or berate me; he wouldn't denounce our relationship or wish me luck in doing it on my own; he wouldn't make me feel like this unplanned pregnancy was "my fault." He's a good one, so I felt like hiding my pregnancy would be like hiding one of the best things to ever happen to me.
Women hide their pregnancies for different reasons. Sometimes it's because they're afraid of losing a job (or at the very least being looked over for a promotion), while others fear the opinion of loved ones. For me, it was never a thought to hide my baby. Even still, I stick by that.