On Monday, April 27th, I donned my new maternity clothes to wear to work for the first time: my new navy floral palazzo pants, & the ivory Shirley K blouse I had bought when my mother visited the previous month.
At that time, I had been with my department for almost 12 years. I was sharing a cubbyhole in the back corner of our office with my office best friend & confidante -- an older, childless woman I'd worked with for the past 7 years. She was already at the office when I arrived (we actually took the subway one stop up from the commuter train station all that week as a precautionary measure), & I took off my coat & gave her a little "ta da!" flourish. "Ah ha," she said with a smile. (I rather think she suspected, since I had recently switched from my usual tea to drinking herbal tea or juice during our daily morning coffee break together.)
Next, I presented myself with the same "ta-da" flourish to my boss (another slightly older childless woman), & explained that this was why I had called in "sick" on Friday morning. She grinned, asked me when I was due, & shepherded me into the office of our senior manager. "Look at Lori!" she said with abig grin. I did my little "ta-da" flourish, the senior manager did a double take, then burst out laughing & congratulated me. Our assistant (yet another older, childless woman) arrived & I said, "Guess what?" She gave me a sharp look & said, "No, I want to hear you say it!" "I'm PREGNANT!" I sang out & she threw her arms around me & hugged me & said how wonderful it was to finally hear that from me.
I've saved my datebook from the office for 1998, & recently pulled it out to look at it again. I only remember directly telling those four women -- the people I worked with the closest, and had for several years now -- but I had forgotten until now about how quickly the news spread: on the page for that date, I jotted down the names of 11 (!) people from other areas of the department who dropped by my office that day to congratulate me -- plus another four the next day, & several more in the days after that. At that time, I belonged to a lunch hour Toastmasters club, & I managed to turn my one-minute Table Topic of the day into a pregnancy announcement there too.
So my secret was finally out!