Friday, February 17, 2017

Pregnant in NYC - an expat’s story

The truth about being pregnant so far away from home.

I remember my first pregnancy back home in England so well, I knew I was pregnant right away and after a mini celebration with the hubby three months of secret sobriety began as we waited to reach that critical 12 week point. I’d offer to drive, fill wine bottles with fruit juice and wore all sorts of baggy creations to hide the growing bump and boobies .

At work I waited even longer to share my news (I’d just recently taken a secondment) so a couple more months of ‘oh I don’t drink at work events’ and running out of conference rooms feeling sick and ironically blaming a hangover ensued.

Sounds like a nightmare but in all honesty I think every newly pregnant mum secretly loves the dance. You are literally hiding the biggest and best secret you’ve ever had, and by the time 12 weeks rolls around you are fit to burst with excitement and can't wait to tell your loved ones.  

Sure some people guess or suspect but most people know the code… you wait until mum reaches 12 weeks and then reveal you knew all along….

Fast forward a few years and we are living the dream in New York, my latest pregnancy is progressing well and quickly. But  I must admit it took some time to actually ‘feel’ pregnant this time. Why? There was no dance at the start; no suspicious colleagues over hearing the morning sickness, no girlfriends wondering why on earth I turned up for a night out with the car so couldn't drink and nobody ‘just knew’ by looking at me. 

Any of the lovely new friends I’d made in the city were far too polite to comment that I had started putting on a few pounds and in regular Skype calls home it was easy enough to show only my head and hide my body. 

It really was completely surreal. 

With all the hormones pumping it sometimes felt like nobody cared. And even worse than that because we weren’t doing the dance and life just waltzed on as normal I sometimes forgot  that I was pregnant myself!

Schelping around groceries, the endless walking inevitable with NYC living, carrying my four year old about… no wonder I was constantly exhausted!  

I think I was so tired that I sleepwalked my way through the first scan and rounds of tests. Sure I was pregnant, but I honestly didn’t feel or act pregnant. Then at 16 weeks we had a scan that revealed the gender and things suddenly got very real. 

I felt very responsible for the little person growing inside of me and the need to blurt out I was expecting to anyone and everyone suddenly became very overpowering. So a little later than scheduled I finally had a little dance, a crazy mum dance at that! 

So now seven months into the pregnancy, just like the first time around in the UK I am super excited and in supersonic nesting mode, the only difference now is I need to navigate the US healthcare and insurance system, but I’ll save that for another day. 

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