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By the time I get to court, my maternity tights have fallen down

Pandemic Pregnancy: Clothes, walking and not yet telling your colleagues about the baby

After months of working from home, in my uniform of leggings and oversized jumpers, I’m due in court (in person), and I am quite excited to be dressing up, brushing my hair, maybe even putting on make-up.

I dig a maternity dress out of the attic to wear with a jacket and some recently purchased maternity tights. I live only 2km from the Four Courts so decide I’ll walk.

This is a mistake. I’m not quite maternity enough for my maternity tights yet, and by the time I get to court they’ve fallen down... a good bit. Blessing of blessings, however, the whole campus is almost entirely empty, with most of the Law Library logging on remotely.

I have a corridor to myself and – hoping to go unnoticed – hoick them up.


The walk home does not go as well, however. With public transport or taxis no longer really an option, I’ve little choice but to walk. I’m in my own personal hell. Only five minutes from home I call my husband and tell him: “You have to collect me.” He asks if everything is okay, and I tell him my thighs have been chafed into oblivion. Immediately recognising the gravity of the situation, he asks no further questions and says he’s on the way.

It has been three whole months since caffeine or alcohol has passed my lips, but between the exhaustion and the nausea I'm absolutely not feeling the benefit of this detox

I lean against a pub whose doors have been shut for eight months as casually as I can. When he's a minute away he rings to ask if I can "run round" to Tesco, because it would be "easier" to get me there. No. There will be no running. Get me where I am.

It has been three whole months since caffeine or alcohol has passed my lips, but between the exhaustion and the nausea I’m absolutely not feeling the benefit of this detox. The baby is starting to let us know she’s there by revealing herself through a small bump, but part of the joy of working from home (apart from lunchtime naps and not really having to dress) is that I have yet to tell my employer that I am expecting. There is absolutely no reason not to tell them, but to be honest I’m getting a kick out of keeping it my little (growing) secret.

An office Christmas party would typically be the perfect place to pass the Irish pregnancy test (refusing a drink), but the pandemic means our gathering is going virtual this year. A “Quarantini” box full of vodka and lots of lovely mixers and garnishes is delivered to my door. A cocktail lesson is to be delivered to me and 120 colleagues, but it is just me alone at my kitchen table: nice top, jammies and slippers down below.

No trying to nab a taxi or contemplating the walk home in heels. If worst comes to worst, I decide, I can log off midsentence and feign a dodgy internet connection. Ideal.

And while I could more easily than ever pull off not drinking at my own kitchen-table Christmas party, I decide that now, in advance of the party, and at 19 weeks pregnant, it is time: I tell work that I’m with child.

Part 1: This is all getting a bit Angela's Ashes
Part 2: We got bad news at the first baby scan
Part 3: What's the oldest woman you've delivered a baby to?
Part 4: Not yet telling your colleagues about the baby