Baby on Board

I will be relieved by the time I get to wear the badge. “Baby on board” will, at least, be my ticket to the occasional seat on a train. Travelling into London is no fun when you are overwhelmed with queasiness.

I can smell everything: your perfume, your partner’s perfume, your shampoo, your fabric conditioner, your lunch. I don’t want to smell your lunch.

The badge will let people know why I look a little off colour while I try not to communicate the disgust and discomfort I am feeling in my face. Generously applied perfume blocks my airways and threatens to bring up the little breakfast I managed to get down.

It will say the words I can’t get out just yet, my eyes instead begging you to offer up your seat, before I feel so dizzy I feel forced to sit on the train carriage floor, with my head between my legs.

I can finally excuse myself for not drinking without being shamed as a bore, too sensible, dull. I can stop lying about being on a health kick, that just isn't me. I can attend the leaving drinks, maternity leave drinks, the birthday drinks, the promotion drinks and the Friday drinks without fear of my secret being uncovered. I can say I long for that prosecco they are drinking; I’d love to celebrate too.

Twelve weeks in and the alien-like blob will wriggle on the screen in front of us. Its mouth opening and closing, blowing bubbles in my uterus. It will suddenly feel real.

I will finally feel like I have joined the club. I will officially be pregnant.

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