When I was six weeks pregnant, my best friend got engaged. Her fiance, Drew, enlisted my help to surprise her, and after he popped the question on top of a bridge with a killer view of downtown Nashville, we whisked her off to a restaurant where his parents and her parents were waiting on us (unbeknownst to her.)
The plan went off without a hitch, Jaime was in shock and awe, and I was completely relieved. Until the champagne bottles started appearing at the table. Pre-pregnancy I would have been the girl who ordered the first bottle, stuck a straw in it and said, "What's everyone else drinking?"
But with a developing embryo inside me, that wasn't gonna happen, and it was going to be noticeable that I was abstaining. I couldn't very well announce that I was pregnant to the whole table (hello, thunder-stealer, thanks for coming), but I hadn't really prepared for what to say instead.
So when Drew's dad put a glass in front of me, I waved my hand and said quietly, "None for me, thanks."
A silence fell over the table. He stared at me, probably trying to decide why Jaime would be best friends with a Mormon. I didn't know what to say. I began to feel like the Grinch Who Stole the Joy Out of My Best Friend's Engagement Celebration. Jaime piped up, "Guys, she's pregnant." Everyone breathed, congratulated us, and resumed drinking. But I felt like crap. Now I was the Grinch and the Thunder Stealer.
The first three months of pregnancy are tough. You don't want to tell everyone in case something happens to your baby (20 percent of women miscarry in the first 12 weeks), but it's tough to hide when so many changes are taking place in your body and your lifestyle. So I bring you Sneaky Tricks Other Women Have Used -- if only I had talked to them before the engagement party.
"I had my 10-year high school reunion when I was only a few months pregnant. It was at a local bar and everyone was drinking, so I ordered a club soda with lime and told people it was a vodka tonic. I also wore a babydoll shirt to cover my growing pooch."
-- Sara, 30, Roanoke, Va.
"When I was eight weeks pregnant, I went to a wedding and drank water out of a Miller Light can all night. I also avoided my best friend Shannon for six weeks because I knew I couldn't hide it from her." -- Ashley, 34, Atlanta
"On nights when we were out drinking, I would order something alcoholic, then slowly pour it into a separate glass when no one was looking. My boobs also grew at an unbelievable rate, so I had to wear three shirts (a tank top, a shirt over that and then a sweater over that) to hide them!" -- Lisa, 29, Miami
"I told everyone I was on a cleansing diet -- all natural fruits, foods and veggies. I could avoid alcohol without suspicion." -- Kara, 31, Boston
"Both times I've been pregnant it was over the holidays. I enjoy both wine and beer, so my friends would know something was up immediately if I was sticking to a non-alcoholic beverage. This past Christmas, while at a party in my hometown my husband drank a bottle of beer then rinsed it out, and poured apple juice into it. It worked like a charm!" -- Chevonne, 31, Victoria, British Columbia
More on Pregnancy:
+ Men More Likely To Be Pleased By Unplanned Pregnancy
+ The Surly Rantings Of a Pregnant Woman -- Will I Be A Loving Mother?
+ Why You Shouldn't Fear You'll Be A Bad Mom