I’m tallish (5ft.10”) and size 12–14. Often referred to as a ‘fine strong girl’. I barely showed most the way through my pregnancy to the point I was asked by concerned strangers if I was ‘quite sure’ of my dates up to month 7. It was great. I didn’t get special treatment in work as clients simply didn’t notice most of the time and I wasn’t subjected to the routine pregnancy questions over and over. On the flip side if I needed a taxi or to use a toilet urgently I could stick out my bump and use it to my advantage at will, and I did.
I live by a small village. It has a little shop which is equipped with the standard nosey auld wagon behind the counter. Lets call her Mrs. Nosebag. This woman’s idea of a conversation is holding your change hostage in her hand until she’s satisfied she’s extracted as much news from you as possible before loosening her grip and letting you get on with your day. My usual method for playing her dance of gossip for freedom is to lie. Harmless stuff usually, nothing too mad, just enough to get a raised eyebrow and my change.
At month 8 of my pregnancy I made an emergency Terry’s Chocolate Orange & Rennie trip to the shop. As I approached the counter I felt a very large penny drop, I was eyed up and down thoroughly and a realisation came on Mrs. Nosebag’s delighted face. Her eyebrows started going ninety under her glasses as she spluttered “well now! …I had no idea! and how far along are we?!”.
I didn’t miss a beat, this woman was NOT getting accurate information if it killed me: it would simply be against the rules of the game. I glanced down at my small bump as if I was searching for something and asked “what?”. The display of lips pursing in panic and blushing was epic — it was delicious to see what happened on her face. I was committed now so I had to keep charging into the lie “Ah I just had a big curry last night, it’ll be a while before I go back there again!” was my response. I precurred my chocolate and Rennies as efficiently as poor shaken Mrs. Nosebag could manage.
Baby arrived early, only a week after our exchange. I’d loved to have been there when she heard. I have never been squeezed for news, gossip or information by the her since.
I have absolutely no regrets.