Transport yourself to last Wednesday afternoon, a point in time in which only three people at work knew about my pregnancy because I was afraid my "condition" would result in a harsher critique of my performance.
(In that respect, men really do have it easy. Luke was able to spill the beans to his co-workers shortly after we found out because he doesn't have to worry about anyone keeping an eye on how many trips he makes to the bathroom or how many days he has to work from home because he can't make the twenty-five-minute commute without dry heaving behind the wheel.)
Anyway, I'm sitting in a meeting for which I was the last person to arrive. We're making traditional small talk about the weather and local construction and what not, preparing to outline a production schedule for some promotional videos, when suddenly my boss is mentioning that the wife of one of my co-workers--the co-worker himself being in the room--recently received a horrible sunburn at the beach while on vacation, and she's eight months' pregnant. Then he turns to me and chuckles, "But you don't want to hear about that," which sends a ripple of subdued laughter throughout the conference room.
HOLY CRAP HE KNOWS. He knows! I could feel the redness in my cheeks as my mind raced to pinpoint a time when I might've given myself away, eventually concluding it must've been the previous Monday when he used the extension in my office, the day I ripped off the flap of my sample box of prenatal vitamins and positioned it by the phone so I would remember to contemplate other options with my ob/gyn nurse. What other possible reason could he have for directing that line to ME? What does this mean for my job? I knew I had to broach the topic with him as soon as possible, but he left the meeting early, and by the time it was over, he was gone for the day.
Crap. Crappity crap crap.
The next morning, I decided to nip the problem in the bud and asked him to have a seat in my office during his morning rounds, requesting that he please close the door. I took a deep breath and donned a "knowing" smile.
"I have something to tell you, but after a comment you made in yesterday's meeting, I think you already know," I teased. He wrinkled his brow in confusion and looked at me, obviously intrigued. "No, what?"
And at that point I realized he didn't know, had no clue, but it was too late to come up with something else on the fly. I was about to out myself for no reason.
"That I'm having a baby?"
"No, no, I had no idea! Congratulations!"
"But," I sputtered, "that story you told about John's wife..."
Turns out that had been a topic of conversation just before I walked into the room, so what I interpreted as a sly administrative tactic informing me the jig was up was really just an inside joke he didn't want to relive twice. How a pregnant woman's sunburn becomes small talk during any company meeting is another matter entirely, but the point is, I'm an idiot. Thanks for playing.
So, ladies and gents with children, how did you break the news to your bosses? For the singletons (men and women alike), how do you think your employer would respond if you announced you were expecting a baby right now? Do you work in a family-friendly environment? Would you be able to pursue your career goals without any major obstacles?