Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Help This Woman: What Do I Say?

We got this letter from our friend Miss T and we had to share her dilemma with you. The issue is something we've all dealt with.  You get pregnant and you want to wait to tell people.  Kate and I are BIG SUPPORTERS of people taking their time when it comes to spilling the beans.  It's your baby, your body and your business.  But keeping it a secret is hard.  How do you do it without lying? Without hurting people's feelings? How do you do it when the people who know you best are exactly the people you don't want to tell  - until the second trimester...

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Dear Kate & Lydia,
Other than dealing with the ‘holy whuck, I’m pregnant’ feelings and the all-murther-furking-day sickness and the sleepiness; learning that you are pregnant brings its a special can worms for me.
 My particular dilemma is that my husband and I have decided to break the news to our families at Christmas. ‘Where’s the dilemma in that?’ I hear you ask, why it lies in the fooling of the people who know you bestest. The rub of the problem is not my husband’s family but my family. My nosey, curious and unfortunately highly intelligent family. My mother in particular. I have seen this woman pull the truth out of thin air based only on a random sniff, the way you smiled and something which we will call ‘gut luck’. My mother is scary like that. (Hmmm, need to ask her how she does it...) plus she knows me really well, the best of my family in fact.
Did I mention that my parents are wine drinkers. No, not drinkers... connoisseurs, specialists, experts and lovers of all things winey. And it’s something that they have passed on to their kids, especially me. I love wine and they know it. And if I refuse even a single glass my mother’s gut luck will immediately kick in and... bye bye Christmas surprise. 
Now in normal circumstances I could just avoid dinners with them from now until Christmas since dinner’s when the main drinking takes place but unfortunately November is a terrible month for sobriety. Multiple family functions including Thanksgiving, a big birthday, and a weekend trip staying in the same house with everyone.
And before I hear the ‘one glass will be ok’, let’s just say that I’ve decided not to have any alcohol (except the sip I get in church on Sundays!) for the first trimester. Plus my husband vigorously endorsed my decision so yeah... I’ll go with it.
So like any good grad student I’ve been researching enthusiastically on Google, excuses for not drinking. And here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
1.       Tell them you’re dieting and it’s a detox for the first few weeks/months
2.       Don’t tell them that you’re not drinking, vodka is ‘invisible’
3.       Since it’s wine I’m avoiding I could drink non-alcoholic wine with nobody the wiser
4.       Tell them you’re on anti-biotics or other meds
5.       Tell them you’re sick
So those are my options. Option 1 is out because if you knew me you would be laughing so hard right now at the thought of me on a diet. The only thing crazier is me going to the gym! So no, it won’t work. Drink ‘not-vodka’ instead. I don’t really drink vodka and if I suddenly show up to this weekend with a bottle it will be noted and it will be questioned. Ditto with gin. Non-alcoholic wine! Genius idea! Sure it is, for any one whose family aren’t nosey, like to try new things and are wine lovers. The moment a different bottle appears in the kitchen it will be looked at, the label read and some tried. The moment it is noted to be zero alcohol, the cat and the bag are no longer acquainted. And no, I can’t keep the wine in my room.
The final two options are the most likely, nobody questions meds, right. Nobody except people in the medical profession. Did I mention my mother and my sister both work in that field? And they just love to talk about everyone's ailments in detail? 
Sigh. So I’m probably going to have to go with option number the 5. Play sick. Well, not necessarily play what with the all-damn-day sickness and the tiredness but remember what I said about my mother and pulling truth out of thin air? Well, she’s likely to take ‘stomach nausea’ and ‘tiredness’ and ‘not drinking’ and come up with ‘OMG! You’re pregnant!’ Now she might only say it jokingly at first. But like I said, she knows me best and knows when I’m lying. I’m hoping to distract her with more wine.
Even if by some weird luck I do get away with it this weekend there’s always next weekend. Next weekend is something else. I can only be ‘sick’ for one weekend. If I stretch it out there will be eyebrows quirked, medical opinions given and yeah... not good.
So if anyone has any genius idea or six (so I can keep the excuse fresh) for not drinking in front of a nosey as heck, medical, wine drinking family then I’m all ears. Actually, I’m on my knees! Please help!
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Leave your advise for Wendy below and help this woman out!
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

101 comments:

  1. My husband and I always played the great switcharoo. Basically, we'd make sure we were always drinking the same thing and every once in a while we'd put our glasses down next to one another and then we'd switch when we pick them up. It really makes it look like you're drinking and no one ever caught on, especially at social gatherings.

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  2. for weekend 1 tell them you are trying to get your teeth whiter for christmas photos i used this because it also prevented me from being forced coke and rum and all sorts of things also i doubt they would notice if your glass never emptied just pretend to sip that is weekend #2

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  3. I have been in your shoes three times....actually four, but the first one ended because it was ectopic. Actually, it was because of that first pregnancy and the way it was handled that we told with the other 3 much sooner.

    We, too wanted to wait to tell anyone until the first trimester was over. Our main reason was to make sure everything was okay with the baby. So when the first pregnancy was over because of the ectopic, I was really sad and called my mom to talk about it, only she was shocked because I never told her in the first place. While she was supportive, she had little to say because her heart wasn't all in it, like mine was because I'd known for a few weeks prior.

    From then on my husband and I realized that telling them (only our closest family and friends) soon after we found out was still a huge, exciting surprise for them. Whether we were only 6 weeks along or 12, they were completely overjoyed and supportive. And I knew they were routing for us, but that they would be more understanding and supportive, had we lost another one. Thankfully we went on to have 3 perfectly healthy pregnancies.

    So my suggestion us to go ahead and surprise them with your wonderful news when you see them this weekend. Maybe remove the label on a favorite bottle of wine and glue on one of those ultrasound pics in its place and make a cute label to go with it and they can all toast your little one and you don't have to worry about your secret being spilled in a way that you didn't plan.

    PS. Congratulations!!

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  4. I have been in your shoes three times....actually four, but the first one ended because it was ectopic. Actually, it was because of that first pregnancy and the way it was handled that we told with the other 3 much sooner.

    We, too wanted to wait to tell anyone until the first trimester was over. Our main reason was to make sure everything was okay with the baby. So when the first pregnancy was over because of the ectopic, I was really sad and called my mom to talk about it, only she was shocked because I never told her in the first place. While she was supportive, she had little to say because her heart wasn't all in it, like mine was because I'd known for a few weeks prior.

    From then on my husband and I realized that telling them (only our closest family and friends) soon after we found out was still a huge, exciting surprise for them. Whether we were only 6 weeks along or 12, they were completely overjoyed and supportive. And I knew they were routing for us, but that they would be more understanding and supportive, had we lost another one. Thankfully we went on to have 3 perfectly healthy pregnancies.

    So my suggestion us to go ahead and surprise them with your wonderful news when you see them this weekend. Maybe remove the label on a favorite bottle of wine and glue on one of those ultrasound pics in its place and make a cute label to go with it and they can all toast your little one and you don't have to worry about your secret being spilled in a way that you didn't plan.

    PS. Congratulations!!

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  5. I have been in your shoes three times....actually four, but the first one ended because it was ectopic. Actually, it was because of that first pregnancy and the way it was handled that we told with the other 3 much sooner.

    We, too wanted to wait to tell anyone until the first trimester was over. Our main reason was to make sure everything was okay with the baby. So when the first pregnancy was over because of the ectopic, I was really sad and called my mom to talk about it, only she was shocked because I never told her in the first place. While she was supportive, she had little to say because her heart wasn't all in it, like mine was because I'd known for a few weeks prior.

    From then on my husband and I realized that telling them (only our closest family and friends) soon after we found out was still a huge, exciting surprise for them. Whether we were only 6 weeks along or 12, they were completely overjoyed and supportive. And I knew they were routing for us, but that they would be more understanding and supportive, had we lost another one. Thankfully we went on to have 3 perfectly healthy pregnancies.

    So my suggestion us to go ahead and surprise them with your wonderful news when you see them this weekend. Maybe remove the label on a favorite bottle of wine and glue on one of those ultrasound pics in its place and make a cute label to go with it and they can all toast your little one and you don't have to worry about your secret being spilled in a way that you didn't plan.

    PS. Congratulations!!

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  6. Tell them (your medical relatives) you have "colitis" a colon infection and are on Flagyl for it. Flagyl plus alcohol equals the disulfram reaction which is severe flushing and vomiting and possibly high blood pressure; this is the same reaction most Asians get when drinking alcohol too. This is a well-known side effect and can be used as a cover story for 2 weeks. Plus colitis as your illness can cover for any nausea and vomiting and overall first trimester yuckiness. (And you could even a rebound illness and require another round, giving a month or more.)

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  7. How 'bout... "Were trying to get pregnant"?

    Maybe or do the non~alcoholic wine in a bottle of wine you know no one likes... No sharing and its still disguised... You just need a way to re seal the bottle.

    I drank water out of a bud light bottle at my BFFs bachelorette party. The unbelievable amount of bathroom breaks hid well under the "broke the seal" excuse.

    Bladder infection, alcohol makes it worse, antibiotics, cancels out birth control... Next weekend turning into kidney infection... I know they are in medical field but those are legit illnesses. Just make sure your meds are correct. Call the OB for the right meds. They would prolly be happy to play along. Might even give up some ideas.

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  8. Put the glass up to your lips and pretend to swallow but don't actually drink any. When your family is out of the room, dump a bit into your husband's glass or the sink so it looks like it's gradually being drunk. That's the only thing I can come up with! OR you could just make your announcement a Thanksgiving present :) Good luck!

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  9. Is there some way you could pull your mother aside and tell her in advance and KNOW she'd not tell everyone else? If she's going to guess anyway, why bother with the song-and-dance?

    As for medications - you could tell her you're trying to be pregnant (note the wording: you're succeeding pretty well, too!) and on Metformin - you shouldn't drink while taking it. It's pretty commonly prescribed for a number of things (diabetes, insulin resistance, wonky cycles, PCOS, and so on.)

    Or you could claim that you're giving it a pass this year because you had such a headache from last year. Or had too much to drink last week and really want to balance everything out before you have more than a glass (and A. NOTE SINGLE. JUST ONE. glass won't hurt you or the baby.)

    I still vote for telling her earlier if she's going to be so hard to fool, anyway, and swearing her to secrecy. Tell her if she tells anyone, she will be the LAST to see the new baby - she can see the new baby after everyone else does, since she was so eager to tell them all about it.

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  10. I'm a nurse so I can only think of medical reasons:
    Antibiotics are for 10 days, usually, so you could fake an ear infection, and take care of both weekends.

    Bacterial Vaginosis will do the same thing, and they aren't likely to prolong conversations about it. You could pull Mom and/or sister aside before dinner and say "I don't want to discuss this at dinner, but I am taking Flagyl for BV, so I can't drink. You have to help me avoid the wine." Then you've enlisted them in your cause, and they'll understand your reticence to discuss it at length.

    Third, you could say you've been experiencing GERD, and the doctor told you to cut out wine, caffeine, chocolate and acidic foods and take a daily antacid. There are a few that are okay for pregnancy and you could have some of that particular brand lying about (ask your doctor which are best for you). This one keeps you from enjoying some of the holiday foods, though, but the symptoms of GERD are subjective, meaning the only person who can measure them is the patient, so Mom & Sis won't be any the wiser. You could embellish with a story of stress at work, which made the previous trifling heartburn symptoms worse. This one could get you all the way through the holidays. You could also ask Mom & Sis for diet advice related to GERD.

    Good luck! and Congratulations!

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  11. You know, I had the DIVINE luck of setting myself up for this situation perfectly. Here's what happened: I had gone to a party with some friends in June 2009 and gotten EXTREMELY drunk completely unintentionally. Something about the combination of what I drank did not go over well and I, to my deep horror, threw up. A lot. After PROFUSE apologies to the friend who's bathroom I "redecorated" and then blacked out in, I made a deal with myself not to drink ANYTHING for some time so that I could make sure I didn't have a "problem" and to let my liver really recover. So. When I found out I was pregnant some months later, everyone around me had already heard the "I'm not drinking at the moment because I had an EPIC night that I'm atoning for" spiel. I hereby give you this spiel, a necessary but singular lie to cover your condition until Christmas. xoxo Shannon

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  12. Apple or white cranberry juice = Pinot Grigio
    Plum, cran-raspberry, or grape juice = any of the big bold red wines

    No need to say anything. Just pour into a wine glass (from the bottle you've filled with "just enough" for only your glass)... and sip.

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  13. I can see your predicament! The only excuse I can think of is that in addition to the being sick thing for one weekend, maybe at another event you can just tell them you had a rough day yesterday, drank an entire bottle (or two) the previous night, and now just the thought of a glass of wine makes you sick to your stomach...and continue the ruse as long as you think they are buying it. ;) Good luck!

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  14. My husband and I played the switcharoo game... I would always have a half-empty glass in front of me, and my husband would drink from if. Downside, other than the sneakyness factor, husband always came home very drunk.

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  15. Why are you so invested in waiting until Christmas? Surely it would be easier to just tell your mother and ask her to keep it a secret. If I were her and knew that you were asking total strangers on the internet how to lie to me, I'd be heartbroken.

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  16. Make White sangria with sprite. Fill your cup with sprite and fruit. Worked like a charm for me

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  17. Can you pull a Coyote Ugly and put the drink up to your lips and only pretend to take a few sips? I did that with my in-laws several times when pregnant. My husband was actually instructed to drink at a faster pace and then at some point we would inconspicuously switch glasses so it looked like I had nearly finished my entire glass. This would work well with wine, too, since you're supposed to take tiny sips and no one is expecting you to chug it. I suggest practicing at home in front of mirror to perfect your fake-drinking method.

    My in-laws totally figured it out when I said I was on meds one week and then the next week said I had an early meeting and didn't feel like drinking. I wish I had just stuck to fake drinking--it was a better method than lame excuses. Good luck!

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  18. Hmmm, tough situation! Would it be possible to accept a glass of wine and pretend to sip it, while casually carrying your glass into the bathroom or kitchen or front porch and dumping it out a bit at a time? Can you get away with "drinking" only 1 glass?

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  19. Is it a secret that you would even be trying? In this kind of case, it might be worthwhile to dance as close to the truth as you can--we were thinking about how long before getting pregnant I should stop drinking, and we haven't decided yet.

    Or tell her in confidence, and have mom help you keep the secret from everyone else? That is probably what I would do.

    Incidentally, we told the ILs pretty close to when I got pregnant, for a very similar reason!

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  20. Here's the facts, at the first dinner, say that you are on Keflex (antibiotic) because you have this rash on (some place inappropriate to show even to family). It's weird because it just itches like a bug bite, but after 4 days it went from a dot to 2 inches around. So you went to your Dr and they're checking it for MRSA. Say you started the antibiotic that day to give you more time...

    At dinner 2, here's your story: So you were on Keflex for 4 days when the results come in saying it's actually a Psudomonas infection and if the Keflex isn't working (it's not, you feel OK, but it's still a bit itchy and and the diameter of the rash has gotten to 4 inches) you now need to go on Cipro for 10 days. You 'could' drink wine with it, but Cipro totally makes you dizzy!

    Your last dose of Cipro could be on the night of dinner 3 if the timing is just right for your story line. Oh, and maybe by dinner 3 you have developed an annoying complication in another unmentionable area and you are just tired of feeling like schmidt and are continuing to abstain to not make matters worse.

    All that time being sober, maybe you are just feeling so good being sober now, that you are giving it a try for your health until New Years... OK so that may be taking it too far...

    But the above is a true story.

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  21. Migraines
    You can say you have been to the doctor they aren't real bad yet which is why you haven't said anything but you are keeping a diary of food etc to see if something might be triggering them. You doctor has warned you away from Wine as they can lead to a head ache which can escalate to a migraine it's only for a few months you hate it it stinks but omg the headaches are so much worse and they make you so tired and they even make you throw up!
    Heck lying to family is a pre request around here you gotta be good and think on your feet of you will be in trouble faster than you can blink...

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  22. My advice: tell them at Thanksgiving. What better way to celebrate your thankfulness? Otherwise, accept the glasses of wine, pretend sip and dump them little by little in secrecy.

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  23. I think an elaborate story about meds would be too hard for me. I LOVE the ultrasound on the bottle of wine idea. Plus being pregnant at Christmas is amazing! I never had to keep it a secret because I show right away. Congrats and good luck!

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  24. I agree with Mel, why wait until Christmas? You're only prolonging your own agony.

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  25. We did the switcharoo through the holidays but my failed trip to have Lasik ended up giving it away...

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  26. I have to second the "We're trying to get pregnant" suggestion. Better safe than sorry on the alcohol front, and if you tell them you've *just* started trying then there's really no reason for them to suspect you already are.

    Whatever you do - good luck with your cover. AND, more importantly, CONGRATULATIONS!!

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  27. yeah they're going to figure it out. the best you can hope for is that they keep their mouth shut until you say something. that has been my experience with pregnancies so far at least.

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  28. Take a glass, take a sip. You tasted it, you can talk about it, there ya go. Then you and your husband just put your glasses down next to each others, and when he's 2/3 or 3/4 done, he picks up yours. You walk around with the 1/3 glass so no one tries to refill you. If your folks are connoisseurs, no one will dump more wine in on top and risk mixing two different types.
    So your husband has to drink more wine and you have to drive, but I bet he will throw himself on that grenade for you.

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  29. Having had a miscarriage I can only say that I'm glad my family knew during the short time I was pregnant so that we were able to have happy memories of the pregnancy as well as the sad ones that followed. Years later I can now look back on the joy and the sadness of that pregnancy.

    Can you not just say you're the designated driver?

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  30. I tried all of those excuses when I was 7 weeks pregnant on a drinking/business trip.
    All of them failed miserably due to my myth-busting boss.

    The only one which kind of worked was my saying that I was getting over my air-sickness and drinking would exasperate it.
    I suppose you could say that you just got over "that bug that's been going around" and you don't want to jinx getting better during this hectic time of year.

    I also used the medication-interaction excuse at the office when I switched to decaf.

    Good luck, BTDT.

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  31. This is exactly why I couldn't keep it a secret from my family. "What? You don't want a beer? Are you pregnant?" Dammit. I just gave in and told them to avoid the stress of worrying about NOT telling them.

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  32. If your mother guesses, just ask her quietly to keep it to herself until Christmas. She won't want to ruin your fun, and it is a whole lot easier than lying . . .

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  33. I'd go with number 4. Strep and ten million other "passed around daily at kids' schools" sicknesses abound that require antibiotics for 10 days and are invisible to others. Unless your medical professionals are going to swab the back of your throat, you're safe to use that one.

    The migraines - yes! Wine also has sulfates which can cause issues.

    Then again, my side of the family shares absolutely nothing with each other, so I've never had such an issue.

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  34. GOOOOOOOOOD Luck with that one! hahahaha! My mom knew i was pregnant before i did. she would take one look at me, and "youre pregnant aren't you?" sure enough, she was right. I tried hiding it from her one time, (out of three) she guessed before i could say one word. "when are you due?" if she's not as good as my mom, then you'll get away with the fake drinking. maybe.

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  35. I was also going to suggest the GERD story. Acid reflux is the perfect excuse not to drink. No outward signs, subjective symptoms, alcohol and caffeine are huge triggers. Call your ob to find out which over the counter meds are safe in pregnancy (there are a lot) and tell your family you are trying to get it under control now so you can enjoy the holidays. Every once in a while, fake an attack, go "take your medicine" and lay down for a bit. Takes care of all your issues and gets you a much needed nap!

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  36. Tell them that you/ve recently developed stomach problems, which will also cover your nausea, if they pick up on that. Explain that you are being tested for a number of allergies (late onset, obviously), and that the doctor believes it is very likely an allergy to tannins, so until the tests come back, no wine for you. To stretch it for several weeks, just say that the first round of tests were negative, so they are testing again for other foods and you still need to avoid some triggers because, as someone suggested above, you may have GERD and not allergies. So, avoiding wine, nuts, spicy foods and acidic foods should be on your agenda.

    I'd keep it in perspective, though. If your family figures it out, they will either stay silent about it until you are ready to tell and you'll be none the wiser, or they'll be ecstatic and in the long run, it won't matter much as long as you have a healthy baby at the end of your pregnancy.

    Good luck!

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  37. Honestly(and I know this won't be helpful to you), I think I would just go ahead and tell them at Thanksgiving. I personally HATE, HATE, HATE being put in a position where you have to deny that you're pregnant. Call me superstitious, but it just makes me feel funny to say "Oh no, I'm not pregnant, you're crazy!" when I AM pregnant.

    I think it's actually one of the rudest things you can do, to make a big fuss about how you know someone is pregnant before they are actually ready to tell them. I'm sure it's coming from a happy, excited place from your family, but still. The wife of one of my husband's friends did that to me when I was pregnant ("OHHHHHH, you're not drinking???? Hey everyone, Amanda's not drinking!!!! HAHAHAHA, wink wink! I know why you're not drinking!!") I kind of still want to punch her in the face for it, 12 years later. Seriously, we haven't even told our parents yet. YOU sure as hell aren't going to be the first person we tell.

    But anyway. It sucks to have to tell before you're ready, but trying to hide and deny it all just sounds like too much work to me, in addition to making me feel weird.

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  38. I like the migraine idea. You can set the lie up now by casuially talking to them about how you made an appointment because you've just been in SO much pain. Maybe even throw in a sick day from work because the headache was so bad. Then call and update after whatever day you decide the appointment is. That way when the dinner comes around Mom and sister have already heard the migraine story and it won't be new information to them. You could even say you thought the no wine thing was a bunch of BS and had a glass at lunch a few weeks/days (whatever works for you) ago and OMG you were down for the count for the rest of the day.

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  39. Can you take your mother aside, tell her you're pregnant and then explain to her that you don't want to tell and your reasons why, asking that she please accept that and play along? Get her to be your ally rather than foiling your plan. It will make her feel included, and give her a job to do - which is always helpful with nosy people!

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  40. I would tell them you two want to start a family and you have already stopped drinking and taking any medication in anticipation of conceiving so the future embryo will have the best start possible.

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  41. I probably totally suck for doing this, but I told my sister before me husband :/ I did that because she had 4 children by that time and I wanted a really good idea for how to tell my husband and I figured she's "been there, done that". I am a chef so we decided that I should bake him some baby cookies (I used a gingerman cutter) wearing little diapers and deliver them to his office. He always loves when I surprise him with treats at work, but he couldn't figure out why I baked him cookies in the shape of "dudes wearing speedos". When I broke the news to him we had a really good laugh. :)

    Anyway, I fully support the early delivery of the news as many have said above. But, if you and your husband are set on waiting I would probably take the wine and do the glass switching with your husband or pouring it out little by little. If your family is as nosey as mine is, the whole "colitis" thing or any other illnesses wouldn't work because then they would start asking technical questions that I couldn't answer. "what doctor did you see?", "how come he didn't mention it to me when I saw him the other day?", "why didn't you tell me sooner?", etc etc etc and just trying to cover the story would become a huge battle. Good luck and congratulations to you both!

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  42. Maybe not what you want to hear, but....I say tell your mom, and no one else. It sounds like she would be an excellent "sidekick" in keeping your secret! That's what I did, and it was actually a very sweet bonding time between my mom and I, and she helped keep everyone else from finding out until the right time.

    PS- I think the "switcheroo" idea is pretty smart, too!

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  43. My husband I did had an agreement that when my in laws poured me a glass of wine (b/c like you I'm a HUGE wine lover and was sooo sad to not be able to drink it anymore) so once they poured the glass my husband would take sips out of it once in a while like he was "sampling" what I was having. I would have a small sip here and there but he would drink the whole thing basically and no one even really seemed to notice. Good Luck!!

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  44. That new study just came out saying that even casual drinking (3 drinks a week) can increase your chance of breast cancer. I would play that up and just say that you are detoxing all together. Just plant the seed now - send mom a link about the study and freak out about it.

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  45. All of the above ideas are Great! if your mom is not like mine. Migraines? You've never told me about headaches? When did they start? etc... Rash? Why didn't you tell me when you got it? I would tell my mom and ask her to not tell the others, then she will help you cover. Sister says "OMG I think she's pregnant" Mom says. "nope" and with her superpowers they won't doubt her lol! good luck with whatever you choose to do and CONGRATS!!

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  46. Thanks for the post and all the great ideas!!! Hubby and I are on the same situation! We dont know if we are going to"ruin" thanksgiving or christmas this year, as our families are extremely unsupportive of us having any more kids =/ guess they'll find out when I'm on the way to the hospital..

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  47. Lots of people are saying "TELL!" or, "DON'T TELL!"
    Here's my advice: if you miscarried, who would you tell? THOSE are the people you tell about the pregnancy now.

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  48. I can't think of a good enough reason not to tell them. Especially if you are close to them. Other than Christmas just being a really fun time to tell them it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me to wait. Seems like you are close to them and they would expect to be told early/ be sad that you lied to them at Thanksgiving. Maybe you could do a "I wanted to wait and give you this presents at Christmas but... (and think of a lie -if you are excited about lying to them) and then give them a box with the ultrasound pic in it (and something heavy and unrelated- perhaps a bottle of non-alcoholic wine.) Or whatever other Christmas plan you had just make some Thanksgiving revisions to it. Then instead of sneaking around you are the happy, best part of this years Thanksgiving. And... Christmas won't be any less special.
    If you left out some huge important detail that would make telling them really bad (like your brother's wife just had a miscarriage and you want to give it some time because they will be at the party, etc. then i take it all back.)

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  49. I go with telling the family right away.
    Yes, it's your body and your business. But these are the people who love you most in all the world and are in the best position to support and encourage you. And if there are any downs with all the ups through the pregnancy, they can't support you if they don't know.
    That, it sounds like your mom will see through any of these flimsy plans. And lying or tricking people is (almost) never a good idea. And once the family is in the loop, get them in on the excitement of keeping the secret until you say to release it to the wider public.

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  50. We wanted to keep our pregnancies secret because I'm high risk and we just didn't know how they'd turn out. But I got insanely sick with both (I'm 31 weeks right now and still vomiting daily) and couldn't get by without a lot of help, so the cat had to come out of the bag at least a little bit.

    We opted to let just a couple of very close individuals in on the secret. They helped change the subject, deflect attention, cover for me, etc whenever anyone we weren't ready for yet started sniffing around.

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  51. Tell them you are having a dry month. We have Dry July, where one can donate money that would have been spent on alcohol to charity (or just don't drink for the month)......you could pick any month you want to do it in....tell them you have just heard about it & want to see if you can last the whole month without drinking. I do it sometimes just to prove to myself that I can.

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  52. Similar comments!
    I'd either tell your mom and have her help you keep the secret, since that way it won't completely bust wide open, or say you are trying to get pregnant and are holding off on alcohol for awhile...
    If you are looking for a legitimate sickness, say you have gastritis. I got that a few years back and made me sick to my stomach, lots of heartburn, flushed fevers, basically morning sickness. Because the lining in your stomach is inflamed, you spend a few days eating food that's easy on the stomach, and you take anti-biotics for a week or so, but you cannot have alcohol for several months because of the damage. Gastritis also manifests itself in several different ways and symptoms and its a basic antibiotic that takes care of it, so you couldn't be diagnosed differently by anyone in the medical field.

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  53. I like the teeth whitening suggestion, and actually, my hubby had to keep from drinking wine and coffee and whiten when he was having a cap done on a front tooth (it was something like a 10 day process - whiten, whiten, whiten, go to dentist, not white enough, little more whiten, ok, great, don't stain your teeth until I get this bad boy in on Tuesday) - it was only for a slight chip on the back side of his tooth, so there are some technical details that you can use in your excuse.

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  54. I agree with the tell your mom folks. If she knows you so well that she is liable to guess it and blurt it out in front of everyone, you might as well let her in on the secret. Then she can help run interference when other folks start asking you questions. Or, maybe, if you are far enough along, you can make it a Thanksgiving surprise and cut the wait in half.

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  55. PAELO DIET! Everyone's doing it.

    Pros: No questions asked.
    Cons: You will actually have to put up a reasonable facsimile of someone on the paleo diet. No cake, no stuffing, no pie, no grains, no sugar, no alcohol.

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  56. I also vote for telling your mom, if she can keep a secret. My mom knew after my husband, and she helped me keep my pregnancies hush hush by covering for me at times. It was also very nice being able to turn to her when I had a weird twinge, or strange symptom. Yes, you can find that been there, done that help online, but it was more reassuring to hear it from my mom.

    If telling your mom is completely out of the question, then the drink swapping is probably your best bet, combo'd with fake sips and pouring a little bit out when no one is looking or you're out of the room (just don't leave the room too often or they might be on to you!). Then you aren't telling lies that you could potentially get caught in the middle of, and you'll have a better shot at controlling the moment you decide to share the big surprise.

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  57. I'm all for the medical excuses.... When I was expecting, we wanted to wait tilt he holidays as well, but my own excitement got the better of me and I spilled the beans at 8 weeks.

    Ear infections or sinus infections are easy for me to fake, and require antibiotics. Some even give the 10-day variety for this. The benefit though, is that you really can draw it out forever....you can have a nasty cold one weekend with an appointment to see the doc on monday, get your antibiotics, have to be taking them the following weekend, and then have a relapse around christmas. Medicine head and pregnancy exhaustion look very similar, too, so even over the counter meds could cut it for the first weekend while you build up your story.

    Also, I love the switcheroo idea. This one would have been a good tactic for me and my husband, as we frequently hold each other's drinks for various reasons, and our families don't pay very good attention. You could even pull the "which one is mine?" thing if people start paying attention.

    Filling a bottle with water only works for beer, and if you have a no-traffic place to dump and fill. And also assumes that you aren't going to have relatives circulating with full glasses/bottles for those who are getting empty (like we do)

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  58. If you want to try the medication trick I take Topamax for my migraines. It makes soda and wine taste terrible. I mean really, really terrible. I take it every day and it keeps the migraines away but there is no chance I will be drinking a coke or a glass of wine. And on the plus side it makes you kinda tired when you first start taking it and it makes you lose weight so it could cover for that in case you drop a few pounds like most women do in early pregnancy.

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  59. I would try to pledge mom to secrecy. We were able to keep it secret for 4 out of the 5 pregnancies and it didn't matter that the families didn't know for two miscarriages. Everyone was still very supportive. But, if you know she can't keep a secret, I would use the "trying to get pregnant" or the migraine issue as work around. Even if you use one and then the other, it should work. Congratulations and good luck!

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  60. We lived with my in-laws at the time. I'm big on keeping it under wraps for a while, especially since I have two other children I'd like to protect from devastating news, and a huge family that can't keep a secret. What I'm NOT big on is lying, so I was sure we'd never make it through the first trimester undiscovered. As luck would have it, also living with us (BIG house) was my sister-in-law who was six weeks ahead of me with her first, and had told everyone in town (almost) the second the test came back positive. So the spotlight was on her, and that helped. Except for the whole, Debra-shouldn't-lift-heavy-things-so-Stephi-could-you-carry-that-end-table-up-the-stairs? But our secret made it through the first trimester, and our six-year-old son was the first one to know, instead of the last, and that made it pretty special.

    So, do you have any prego friends you can bring to dinner? Good luck, and congratulations!

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  61. Get a bottle of dealcoholized wine and peel off the label. Slap on a label you printed yourself, and call it homebrew! Better yet, bring a few bottles so they can all try it. Just make sure to peel off the tinfoil over the top and hopefully the cork isn't printed with anything identifiable!

    Good luck and congrats!

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  62. We have the same mother. The night we were going to tell them, but before we were ready to do it, the waiter took our drink orders. As soon as I ordered water, my mom knew (am I that much of a drunk?!)

    I vote for telling your mom and swearing her to secrecy, and doing the switcheroo with your hubby.

    Having had a miscarriage for our first pregnancy, I completely understand why you wouldn't want to tell them yet.

    Good luck, and CONGRATS!

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  63. For at least one of the days, you can tell them that you are having blood/urine taken the next day for life insurance underwriting (or some other reason).

    And I support you waiting until the time is right for you to make the announcement. I had a MC at 7 weeks. We hadn't told anyone that we were pregnant. When we got pregnant again (6 weeks later), I announced to everyone, shared my story of the MC and asked for extra prayers for my new little bean. It was the way that I felt best dealing with everything - you have to go with your gut.

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  64. My family and I have a tradition where at Thanksgiving, we go around the table and share what we are thankful for. It would be at that point, I'd say something about being thankful for the new baby - And watch the reaction. :-) Congratulations!! I don't think I'd be able to sit on the news until Christmas - And I've experienced infertility and multiple miscarriages, so I totally get wanting to keep it a secret...But I'd still be too excited.

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  65. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but...

    I'm all for the whole "its your body, your decision" thing...but after what happened to me, things have changed.

    I decided to wait to tell my family about my first pregnancy until Thanksgiving...which was only about a month after i found out. Great idea, right? Except that my sister-in-law was involved in a motor vehicle accident and passed away a week before and i never got to tell her. it's something i regret even today, 13 years later.

    I say DON'T WAIT. You never know what can happen between now and Christmas. You don't want that regret.

    Congrats on your pregnancy. BTW...Don't you think its ODD that a bunch of strangers know about your pregnancy BUT YOUR FAMILY DOESN'T?!

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  66. In January, I started suffering from migraines ... All the time. The number one thing I couldn't do was drink alcohol. As I have a 8,6&4 year old, everyone assumed I was just pregnant. BUT, when I stuck with it (now for 9 months) everyone believes that it's the migraines. Worth a shot!

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  67. Up late doc...Colitis is a serious inflammatory bowel disorder that doesn't go away after two weeks...telling her relatives in the medical field that will set off alarm bells that she does not want!!

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  68. Migraine medicine, topomax or Amitriptyline are a few that you take daily that you shouldn't drink with. This is going to be my go to. Good luck and congrats!!

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  69. OMG! Do we have the same MOM?! Meanwhile, that woman is going to take one look at you and just "KNOW" with her all-seeing know. You don't even have to reject wine for her to KNOW. My best advice is some I have heard from other ladies. Have a glass, pretend to sip, and then when DH has gotten some of his down- SWITCH. Then it looks like you are drinking, but it's all him. In this scenario, he will probably get pretty drunk. LOL I like the idea of drinking non-alcoholic. Can you do that with no one the wiser? You could even bring your own bottle of fake, with a different label on, as long as no one wants to try it. OR, you could put some fake/Welch's in your purse in little bottles or whatever, pour the real stuff, go potty, toss the real stuff and fill 'er up with juice....

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  70. My family would never buy the "antibiotics" excuse. I just pour the glass and stay near my husband and he drinks both. Just hopefully no one notices that he's twice as intox as he should be! Not one person has noticed, and I have a wine-loving, ESP-having and ultra-noticing mother myself. Best luck!

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  71. I'm a bad person to ask because literally the day we found out at 6 1/2 weeks we told EVERYONE because we had tried for so long to have a baby. Maybe what you could do is wrap a "present" box with an ultrasound picture in it and say it's an early present...think about it, if they know at Thanksgiving, you'll have presents for the baby at Christmas! :-)

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  72. I personally drank "vodka" while trying to hide two pregnancies - and when given a glass of champagne to toast a victory, kept the booze in my mouth until going to take a sip of "water" from a cup, which I filled with the entire contents of my champagne glass a little at a time.

    Good luck, and congratulations!

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  73. You have a cold that you just can't shake and wouldn't you know it? It turned into a severe sinus infection and you've been given the heavy dose antibiotics (which last for ten days). And gee, the doctor gave them to you Friday, so you started them on Saturday, and that's three whole weekends without being able to drink wine.

    For the next week your stomach just so happens to be upset from all the sinus drainage when your sleeping (which explains the nausea). And so you don't really want a glass of wine because your stomach has been so upset and you can't taste much with the sinus issues anyway.

    For the two weeks after that.... umm... Find any and all excuses possible, like you're whitnening your teeth and can't have wine or coffee during that time. Or you want to do some last minute xmas shopping and can't have wine because you'll be driving and you heard something about a police dui station set up on one of the roads you'll need to take. Or in relation to the sinus stuff, you're going in for some bloodwork done to find out about your allergies so you can avoid future sinus infections, so you shouldn't be drinking. Or maybe you agreed to drive and it's your husband's turn to drink the wine. Or maybe you find a sneaky way to avoid drinking your glass of wine throughout the night. You carry it with you into the kitchen or the bathroom and it just so happens to hit the sink, then you carry out an empty glass and nobody is the wiser?

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  74. Empty a bottle of new wine, replace contents with non-alcoholic wine, drink only that kind and offer to share, etc. Maybe bring more than one for backup ( in case non alcoholic wine is popular)

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  75. These are all great dupes - but here's the thing. Christmas Day, big announcement, yay!, congrats, hugs... (pause) "So, you were lying to us at Thanksgiving?" Or "So why were you drinking so much at Thanksgiving?" You know your own family, but might that put a damper on the announcement? I vote for a pre-emptive "We're thinking of starting a family, don't pester me about it, don't jump to conclusions, just know that if and when we succeed we'll tell you before we tell anyone else!" And then refuse to talk about it anymore - claim superstition or ignorance or whatever.

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  76. For my now 5 year old, I also decided not to tell my family until Christmas, when I was going to be about 4 months. I had to hide it very well becuase not only do I brew beer and drink a lot of it (when I'm not pregnant), but at the time, I lived next door to my family so they would totally be able to tell. My mom doesn't sound like she's as observant as this persons, and I was able to fool her and everyone by "fake sipping" and waiting until nobody was looking to dump some beer down the sink, in a plant, or into someone else's glass. It was able to be done, but I don't know how one would go about it with someone that nosy around. Go on vacation for a few months and skip Thanksgiving. =)

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  77. I am just over 22 weeks with our second child( and third pregnancy- thus my extreme reluctance to share)and am still hiding in plain sight from many people, neighbors and friends. My Dad and stepmom are like your parents with wine flowing like water and lots of no no foods. So we told them at 10 weeks, because it was really frustrating to be hungry and have to pretend I was not while picking at a chip. But we did not tell my Mom until I was 20 weeks. Because she is the Town Crier and I might as well rent a billboard. Fortunately my Mom is completely self involved and did not notice a damn thing. The best way to avoid telling is to wear the MOST unflattering clothes possible so that people think you are packing on weight in general and not baby weight. I looked awful for months, but also successfully hid our news. Good luck, it is your right to reveal your news in the way that seems best to you. If I could get away with it I would tell no one and just send a birth announcement.

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  78. Pretend you broke an arm, wear a sling and say the alcohol might hinder the healing process and your want it to be healed asap!

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  79. Either way try to keep the fibbbing to a minimum. Either fake the drinking or tell them you are trying, that should take the pressure of instantly.

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  80. Listen to the excuses (lies) people are suggesting. They all make you sound like a martyr.

    I've got a migraine: Poor you.
    I'm dieting: Let's support you and your fake diet.
    I have an ear infection: Poor you.
    I have colitis: Poor you.
    I have a sinus infection: Poor you.

    However, if you tell them the truth...

    I'm pregnant: We're so happy!!!

    Just remember, there's more to Christmas than YOU.

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  81. I am like your mom. I "just know" things by a slight tone of voice, things NOT said, any reaction that is the slightest bit off and I am in "aha" mode. So only fake drinking and living it up as usual would work to fool me. Maybe a sudden conversion to some type of cleansing diet or eating would work. I am a huge piggy of all foods but sometimes go health insane. Just get a book and read it so you know your stuff. Eat For Life would work well (no alcohol or caffeine) and you could always bore them to death with health statistics and such so they will change the subject. This would also cover a lack of appetite if you are feeling queasy or picky. Also, if I know my wine drinkers, a little antibiotic is not getting in the way of trying out some new wines.
    My bet is if you even hesitate at a bottle of wine your mom will know.

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  82. This is not at all helpful, but it made me giggle to think of it, so hopefully it will make you giggle too.

    Sorry, I'm not drinking. I'm trying out being Mormon for the holidays.

    Congratulations!

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  83. My comment earlier didn't post but I was gonna say -nevermind anyway. If your mom is truly this good (and I am the same way). She may figure it out just by hearing your voice on the phone or looking at you-she may ALREADY know! Sometimes I figure stuff out but just don't let the person know I know. Once for several years.

    If you want control of the situation you should tell her at least-these types are usually geniouses at being in cahoots.

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  84. To keep my second pregnancy from my girlfriends (at a wine tasting party), I confided in my best friend, arrived at the party early, and poured a bottle of n/a wine into an empty bottle of real wine and stalked the bottle to make sure no one drank it but me. If your husband will be with you, he can be your wine wingman. Maybe get a twist off that you know people have tried before, that way there will be no curiosity to taste and put it in a strategic place where people wouldn't just grab it.

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  85. You made a monetary bet with someone that you could give up all alcohol for a stretch of time.

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  86. I say tell her. I know you aren't me, but I decided to tell our parents and my best friend early on for various reasons, one of which is to avoid the lying factor. First, the stress of it all is insane. Second, trying to keep stories straight and somewhat believable is a chore, especially with someone such as your mom who can sniff a lie out of thin air. Thirdly, (is that even a word?) if you think there's even the slightest chance she'll figure it out on her own or suspect why not just spill the beans now to her and let her help you keep it secret from everyone else. She'd probably be tickled pink to help keep your secret from everyone else. Otherwise you risk the chance of her making a big deal of why you aren't drinking, etc. which is making me feel stressed just thinking about it and I don't even know you or your mom.

    My other reason, which doesn't really apply in your case now, was God forbid I lost the baby early on I wanted people to know why I was a hot mess and I didn't want the reaction of, "oh, you were pregnant? Oh, and you lost it..." Dealing with just losing it and having a built in support system, even if just a few ppl, was what we thought would work best for us. Or on the other hand if you chose not tell anyone you were preg or lost the baby than thats a lot to deal with by yourselves. If we ever got pregnant again, I'd do it all the same.

    Take everything into account and listen to your gut. You'll know what to do.

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  87. There's an antibiotic prescribed to women for bacterial infections of the va-jay-jay that CANNOT be combined with alcohol, or the patient will be VIOLENTLY ill. NONE. Not a bit. Ask your pharmacist, or your OB, for the name of it, claim that one, and be done with it. I've not known I had such an infection (and I'm observant of my own parts) and twice after a routine Pap, my doc has called me up to tell me I must go through this again. See? No tell-tale symptoms on the patient's end, but the doc sees stuff under the microscope and thinks it's for your own good. I LOVE WINE and I HATE THIS MEDICATION. I think it will work for you for this purpose. You even have to wait for at least a day, but I think 2, after you finish it before you can drink again. Maybe your OB will even write you a scrip for it, for your nosy mom to be able to look at the bottle...?

    Good luck!

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  88. Be careful with the hubby switcheroo, unless he can handle it. It will be suspicious if he is wastey and you are sober after the same number of "drinks."

    I'm on the "just tell them" bandwagon, but at the end of the day that's between you and your husband. Good luck with whatever you decide, and congratulations!! :)

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  89. I would really discourage drinking something non-alcoholic and passing it off as wine. Sure, it'll fool your family for a couple months, but when you finally spill they might think, "You're 3 months pregnant? But you DRANK AND DRANK during Thanksgiving!"

    I don't know... If it were me, I wouldn't want to have to explain that deception, and I wouldn't want anyone thinking I'd touch alcohol when pregnant, ever.

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  90. Lyme disease = 30 days of antibiotics so your month would be covered. Plus Doxycycline, the one most often used for Lyme disease and is just about the WORST antibiotic known for ripping your gastrointestinal tract to shreds, or at least that is how it feels. So you would be covered on the 'feeling like crap' and not eating much front too. Seriously for me it feels like from your mouth to your anus is on fire. I know this is an extreme reaction but you could definitely fake a less severe one and be alone in your nausea and exhaustion. Congratulations! I'm at 21 weeks now but I was SO THERE this summer.

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  91. I'm with the posters who say to just tell your mom.

    I noticed that you said you won't drink in the first trimester, but I hope you meant for the entire pregnancy. People, say one drink or little sip won't hurt anything, but everyone metabolizes alcohol differently. Who knows how it will affect an unborn baby, so why chance it on purpose? Congrats to you from a mom of three little ones!

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  92. If I could, I'd give you my disease without the actual disease. I'm with you, I love wine, I like a fine whiskey better. But I have Ulcerative Colitis, and in addition to all the meds I'm on, alcohol puts me in SERIOUS, GUT-WRENCHING pain. On both occasions I've tried and even just had a little it's been horrible. So no one ever looks at me cross-eyed for passing up my dad's mead or sighing wistfully at the whiff of Jack Daniels (Shut up, it's FAMILY) or drinking water instead of champagne (I HATE MY DISEASE). But...it's an auto-immune disease and short of that diagnosis and all the lovely (and literal) shit that goes with it, it won't help you, sad to say.

    I know what you mean about Moms O__O! I have one like that. On the other hand, people complain that *I* do it to them and I'm not even their mothers! (we don't get into my daughter who is eleven and sprouting hormones from her ears)

    I second the Flagyl suggestion; you CANNOT drink while on it. I've taken enough of that in my time to be sure of it. Cipro is also good for that, and so are any sulfa drugs. I wish you the BEST, HEALTHIEST pregnancy and baby! And a SHORT but EASY delivery! Bright Blessings!

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  93. I don't envy your situation sweetie. Luckily, all my inlaws are outta town and my parents are naive and clueless. I had no problem waiting til Christmas to tell everyone. I like the switcharoo idea with the wine glasses. As much of an Oscar-winning liar as I can be, I hate trying to keep up with them. So pour a little wine at a time into the sink/plant/hubby's glass, and just carry on like you're not committing a party foul by doing so.

    And DEFINITELY keep the Mommylanders updated on things! I'd love to hear how this works out for you. Hopefully all goes well because I understand the desire to keep things private sometimes. ;) Good luck!!

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  94. I went through this over thanks giving up here in Canada (so mid-October) and I took my glass of wine with dinner and carried it around all evening, occasionally I slipped into the bathroom or kitchen still carrying it and dumped some out so it looked like I was drinking it. I also work in a bar and you can't stop drinking with co-workers and customers after work and not have it raise suspicion, my answer there was I told everyone at work I had a bet with a friend, he'd bet me $1000 that I couldn't stay sober until June (I'm due end of May) so I've explained my abstinence that way.

    Of course the other option is to just come clean to mom and tell her to keep it under wraps until you make a formal announcement. which in my family would mean if I told her over dinner she'd have told everyone else anyway by desert but it's an option for some people.

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  95. =( I like your mom...at least she waits to *see* and hear a few excuses to guess pregnancy.
    My last pregnancy (and possible my last last!) my mom answered my call, asked me when I'm visiting, I said oh let's see maybe next week and she goes, why? Are you pregnant? OMG you're pregnant!
    *sigh*

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  96. Just tell them, the probably noticed some differences anyway, mood swings or what have you.

    I've never understood the waiting actually, I told everyone as soon as my pregnancies were confirmed!! The earliest was 5 weeks :)

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  97. What does your husband drink? If he is a gin and tonic kind of guy, make him drink "not-vodka" and then accept the glass of wine and make him gulp sips on the sly so that your glass gets emptied. He can suck it up, you are growing a baby! If he is a wine drinker - even better!! Choose the same wine and have him switch glasses with you all sneaky-like so that yours keeps emptying.

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  98. First...Congratulations!!! Woo hoo!
    Second...this is only an opinion. Between our first and second I had a MC. We had told EVERYONE from the time the stick showed a plus sign! Between my hubby and I we had to call all those people and tell them our sad news. After I was pregnant again, I realized it was so healing to say it over and over, and to hear all those people love and support us. When I got pregnant again we waited the full 12 weeks to tell. Everyone already knew! Seriously, everyone could tell. It was a huge let down. I wish we had just told everyone right away. So I love the bottle of wine labled with your sono idea. In the end, whatever you do, you will bring your family immense joy!

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  99. While it might be nice to tell them all at Christmas, you will be the source of much talk before then. throw a family dinner for those closest, and swear them to secrecy. I can assure you, if something does goes wrong, you will want them and need them, and you mother will be very hurt to have not been confided in. so let her at least share your joy- and this way you can control it. If want 'something just for us', do what we did with our daughter- tell everyone we don't know the gender- we did, but it was our special special secret until she was born. Congrats and enjoy and enjoy your family's love and support.

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  100. okkkkay do this medication one... if your family is nosy just tell them you have bacterial vaginosis.. totally not your fault.. same concept as a yeast infection except well its bacterial but people get em all the time.. totally normal... not interesting to discuss. at all... who wants to talk about gardenella... I'm a microbiology major and it sure as heck isn't interesting as far as disease goes..and the plus? you have to take flagyll for a week and you can't drink for three days after you finish the course of medication... it makes you super sick ad anyone that knows meds knows this one and alcohol is a big fat no no!!! problem solved!

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  101. Ok - here is an excuse no one would dare to refute:

    "I have a friend (I know you will not ask her name) who has just decided to get sober, and in solidarity with her I am not drinking for her first year of sobriety. I want to be able to share her moment by moment decisions and support her in this way. I can not believe how incredibly awkward and difficult it has been already this week, and I am not even fighting addiction, so I know it is harder for her. Do tell me about the wine, as I miss it!"

    If you feel this is a lie, then get online and find a person who is getting sober for 'realsies' - for life! It shouldn't be hard to connect with someone you can email once a week. There might even be a mommy here who would love to have your back in this charade. Congrats to your preggo self!

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