Sunday, April 27, 2008

Monday, April 27th, 1998: The secret is out

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!


  1. It's a wonderful memory. Or perhaps a strong memory of a wonderful day. Good to have those, though I wish I could manage them better.

    I threw out my little sim.ilac pg calendar with my beta days, and whom I announced to when. When the morning sickness began...

    Thank you for commenting on my blog. I appreciate your support.

  2. It is a lovely memory - the excitement & happiness. I am sure Katie felt your joy.

    i wonder about the childless women you mention ... were you aware of their stories, if they were without children by choice or chance? Did they know much about your story?

    It also sounds like a very different work place to what you have today - doesn't sound like there are many childfree/less people in your workplace now.


  3. What a wonderful memory, the day you feel confident enough to let others in on your happy secret.

    How does it feel to go through these memories, 10 years later?

    I am hoping it brings you some resolution and peace.

  4. I too was wondering about the childless women you mentioned and how they took the news you were pregnant. I don't know how to respond to your posts but something about your memories keeps drawing me back.

  5. Thanks for your comments. These "10 years ago" posts are more for me than anyone else, but I'm glad if you like reading them too. I'm finding it therapeutic to write it all out. I also wanted to get down some of the details before they vanish from my memory. Already there's a lot I thought I'd never forget that is getting hazy... but at the same time, I will find a detail written in my datebook, etc., that I'd forgotten & it brings back a flood of memories!

    I was very lucky for a very long time, in that most the people I worked most closely with were also childless. (There are still childless people in the office, but most of them now are still in their 20s & unmarried...!) Why, I have never asked & they have never brought it up. I believe two of them (my office friend & our assistant -- both of whom are now in their early 60s & retired) would have liked to have had children, but both had marriages that fell apart. The senior manager (who is still my boss today), I am not sure.

    My office friend & cubiclemate at the time had two stepchildren land on her doorstep when they were still relatively young, so I'm sure they kept her busy for quite a few years, until her marriage broke up. The funny thing is I think they (still) get along better with her than either of their birthparents. She was my confidante & a huge source of support for me all during my infertility treatments. Katie was actually born on her birthday, & she was one of the few people who came out to see me while I was on leave afterward.

    All three of these women have lived very busy, rich lives, full of friends & travel & interests. They've been great role models for me!