As we await confirmation from Isla Fisher that she and Sacha Baron Cohen are really expecting baby #2—and that her sudden bump isn’t a Borat-esque stunt—I’ve been thinking about how she managed to keep her pregnancy a secret for so long. That’s not something that happens only in Hollywood. Real moms, especially us worry-wart real moms, often try to keep our pregnancies to ourselves until at least the third month.
I’m a pro at this. I didn’t reveal my pregnancy to friends until week 17. This says a lot about my skills at subterfuge, and a little about my friends (clueless, unobservant sorts). For those of you who, too, are trying to keep your early-stages bump a secret, I offer the following tried-and-true strategies:
1. The Clothing
Here’s what works: sweaters one size larger than your norm; silk tops that end at your hip, paired with jeans (unbutton them if you must); peasant shirts; men’s-style button-downs (but not men’s-sized!); mini-dresses with a straight cut; shirt-dresses belted just above or below your bulge. Here’s what doesn’t: Anything oversized and tent-like; anything too oversized, period; bathing suits; anything with too-obvious an empire waist; lycra; anything you would never have worn in your pre-pregnancy days.
2. The Not-Drinking Thing
You’re still going out at night, but you’re not drinking. Flat-out refusing that glass of wine is a sure pregnancy giveaway. Lines like, “I’m getting over a cold”, “I’m on antibiotics”, and “I’ve already had too much” are also giveaways. They’ve been used by too many other pregnant women, too often in the past. The only thing to do is to fake-drink.
Ways to fake-drink: 1. Get to the bar/restaurant early and order a virgin cocktail. NOT a soda water (claiming it’s got vodka/gin in it)—no one will believe you. Get the bartender to mix you a virgin mojito, virgin cosmo, something that looks like a cocktail. Tell the bartender about your predicament, so that he doesn’t spill the beans to your pals. Or 2. Enlist husband/partner as your accomplice. Both of you need to order the same drink and sit/stand next to each other. Every few sips (his real sips, your fake ones), surreptitiously switch glasses. He’ll get tanked, but it’s a small price to pay for keeping your secret. Or 3. At cocktail parties, get a glass of wine, and then, every 20 minutes or so, go to the bathroom and pour a third of it out. Trust me, if you’re pregnant, you’ll be needing to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes anyway.
3. Your Expanding Breasts
Some women’s chests explode very early in their pregnancies. If you’re one of these women, you are going to get a lot of suspicious looks from suspecting friends. There’s only one way to respond to them. With a sly smile, say:
“They were expensive, but they’re worth it.”
How about you? How did you keep your early-stages pregnancy under wraps?