Hey you! Yeah, you! This is written about you. Don't squirm, or wriggle uncomfortably in your seat. Don't look around, paranoid that someone has spotted you reading this. Can see through you. They know. The can tell. You're pregnant. Not big, fat, give-up-your seat-for-me pregnant but the silent, secret, nobody-but-very-close-family and possibly-my-best-friend -knows pregnant.
Life as a 'high flyer' in the City is not for girls and certainly not for girls doing what only girls can do. NOT on the agenda. Well not if you work on the trading floor and want your bonus. That is the least you might end up forgoing in this man eat man world.
So, men: How do you spot her? Who's the weakest link? Who's bonus can you steal? Well, you are reading the handiwork of one. You don't know me and you are unlikely to have ever met me. If you did, I was probably too drunk to remember you despite your being my new best mate that Thursday night in Corneys; and dancing on your table in the VIP at Mahiki that time at 2am before my 6am start the next day (you can tell I'm a bit behind the times with my choice of club, having had to hang up my party shoes for now). Well, even if I'm missing the partying and my clients barely remember what 'socializing' with me does to their livers, my husband is happy to: a) at long last be on the way to starting a family and; b) actually see the woman he married all those years ago most nights and sober. For me, it's hell. Well, living life to the full is all about partying isn't it? Burning the candle at both ends. Letting off steam after a stressful days trading is a necessity, no? I'll leave you to decide.
Anyway, back to the telltale signs and seeing through those little white lies. What are they, eh? I'll give the full monty and talk you down the IVF route because most of us citygirls end up getting so caught up in our careers that nature needs a bit of help or even worse still, we don't actually have the time for sex, not every day anyway and at our age you really do have to go that extra mile!
1) This is the obvious one that any idiot could spot but this one alone won't be the giveaway. I'm cutting down, drinking less, going teetotal, my liver function has been impaired and the doctor has told me I'll need a transplant if I don't stop. In order of the severity of the drink problem that one needs to extricate oneself from! Maybe there's just an excuse every time a client function is on the horizon, maybe the husband wanting a divorce 'unless he sees me more than once a week' gets pulled out of the bag. Personally, for me, that's the most believable because it's true.
2) Swapping the coffee for the mint tea. This can be done very early on for the well organised. Months before, actually, if you're really serious. Me, again personally, I don't like coffee anyway so this was one less thing I had to worry about.
3) Sloping of at 'lunchtime' to go to the 'dentist'. Easy to spot once it happens more than twice in a month and believe me, having IVF entails going for scans, blood tests and ultrasounds almost every day. There's no getting out of them and they can't be done 'out of hours'.
4) Are your female colleagues even more moody than usual? Well the cocktail of hormones is to blame for that. Either that or maybe you really are just that annoying.
5) Taking holiday. Yep, we have to use up our precious allocation lying in bed at home hoping that that miracle we call an embryo does its stuff and stays put.
6) Then when we've rested at home, lying in bed scared to move, we then have the dreaded 'two week wait': and if the miracle that is life occurs, we
spend the next ten weeks being very careful. No gym, no swimming no stress!!
And for those of you still drunk on last night's champagne paid for with your six figure bonus, or too busy on the Top Marques website looking for your new Porsche to notice these more subtle signs, perhaps the bump might just give it away. Fellow citygirl, good luck. It's worth all the effort and more! Your secret's safe with me.