Sometimes it’s easier to tell a lie. “I’m fine thanks” is a good one, not many people see past that. You see, when people ask you how you are, they don’t really want to know. They don’t want to hear that you spent the day in your pyjamas, curled up in a corner of the sofa trying to drown out the thoughts with insipid daytime TV. And they most certainly don’t want to hear it if you are pregnant. What they want to hear is gurgles of joy about movements and mittens and ideas for names.
So what do you do if you don’t want to talk about it? You can play along with it, gush about how wonderful you feel and how excited you are, and then pay the price. Because the constant pretence is exhausting. And that is why we often hide ourselves away – because that way we don’t have to talk about it, and we don’t have to find the energy to pretend.
Tonight I told a lie. To my best friends. When one asked me if I’d felt any movement yet I said I hadn’t. Made sure the conversation had nowhere else to go, and moved on to other things. I have felt the baby move. Not a lot, but enough to know it is there. To me those movements are a silent form of communication between me and this little life inside me. I’m not ready to share it (I suppose I just have). It is not a source of excitement for me yet – it is the baby’s way of telling me he’s there, and I’m not quite ready to answer him.