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How (and why) I Hid My Pregnancy

How I Hid My Pregnancy

How and Why I Kept My Pregnancy a Secret

I hid my pregnancy for the entire nine months. Yes, pregnancy is magical and should be celebrated. It was one of the most miraculous things that can happen in someone’s life. I know it is so atypical in today’s social media crazy world to keep a pregnancy a secret, but I did it. Is it something I would do again? It depends. However, certain circumstances made me realize that this was something I need to do. It was an incredibly hard decision to make to keep my pregnancy private. Therefore this is a challenging post for me to write, but I want to share my story.

The Backstory of Why I Hid My Pregnancy

When I found out I was pregnant, I wasn’t married. The father of my child made the decision to not be involved. Very quickly, I knew that if I was going to keep my pregnancy, I would be doing this on my own. It took a few weeks of weighing my options, but I knew that I wanted to have my baby.

Hiding my pregnancy was my way of remaining in control.

I am a part of the Russian community of Chicago, and in my opinion, we are quite the judge-y, gossipy community. While I know likely nobody would have said anything to my face, I knew people would talk once they heard I was pregnant. The stress of knowing people were discussing me, along with the natural stress that would come from pregnancy, was not something I wanted to put my unborn child through. I wanted control.

I know it’s easy to say, and think, that I don’t care what other people think about me.

In this situation, there was already enough stress involved. I made the decision that if I was going to keep my pregnancy, I would do so as privately as possible. In no way, shape, or form did I intend to hide my baby. I knew that once she was born, I would announce all of this to the community somehow. I just wanted to give birth to a healthy baby first.

I love my Russian friends, and I knew that they would never intentionally go against my wishes. If I had told them not to tell people, they wouldn’t have. I didn’t feel it was fair to put them in a situation where I was asking them to keep something from their parents or families, so I decided not to tell most of them.

How I Hid My Pregnancy Was Well Thought Out

When I made this decision, I think I watched Kylie Jenner’s “To Our Daughter” video about her pregnancy about a hundred times. Kylie is the first person that came to mind when I decided to keep my pregnancy a secret. She only told her closest circle of friends and family, and I knew would do the same.

Kylie came up with an announcement to post on social media after Stormi was born, and controlled the narrative. The thing that struck me the most about Kylie’s hidden pregnancy was how she mentioned feeling empowered. She did this on her terms, even when she was in the public eye. I wanted to do the same.

I am not Kylie Jenner and I’m not “in the public eye”, but I really followed her lead when it came to keeping things private.

I wanted my pregnancy to be on my terms. So I made it exactly that. My immediate family knew. I told my closest friends and swore them to secrecy. I told my coworkers and students because I don’t think I could have hidden my bump for long.

This was my announcement on social media. I posted the day after Sasha was born.

COVID-19 + Winter Made Keeping the Secret Easier

I think I was quite fortunate when it comes to how easily I hid my pregnancy. The majority of my pregnancy took place in fall and winter. Luckily for me, Chicago requires winter jackets starting in November and bulky sweaters are always a part of my wardrobe. I only gained weight in my stomach and was never seen out without a puffy coat or vest. Anyone that saw me could have thought I just gained weight if they suspected anything. Plus, so many people from the Russian community escaped to Miami for the winter, making it a little easier for me to run my errands around town.

COVID made it so that I wasn’t going out a lot, in general. I stayed home, other than trips to Target or the grocery store during off times. I taught from home for a number of months, due to COVID, and rarely left the house. I guess COVID-19 was a blessing in disguise in my situation.

Why I Really Hid My Pregnancy… & Would I Do it Again?

I guess part of why I really hid my pregnancy was I didn’t want people thinking negatively about my unborn child. It’s hard to think negatively about a baby once she’s born. However, it could be easier to think negatively about the child when it’s just an idea. I didn’t care what people thought of me, but I wanted to do anything in my power to protect her.

Hiding my pregnancy worked out amazing for me. I was calm and happy the entire nine months, even though there was a lot of emotionally draining stuff going on. The world was in shambles and I was about to have a baby alone. It was what I needed at the moment. Would I hide a future pregnancy? If I was in a different situation, maybe, but probably not.

I didn’t get to have an in-person baby shower. The weather didn’t allow for cute maternity outfits. I would love to be able to celebrate having a baby with all of my friends and loved ones. But if it was what was best for my baby, I would do it over and over in a heartbeat.

When I hid my pregnancy, I was a little worried my friends and family would be mad at me for not telling them. But once everyone heard about Sasha, all they could do was be happy for me.

I was happy, my baby was healthy, and that’s all that really matters anyway.

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