Much to our delight, my partner and I found out we were pregnant with our little pickle three days before our wedding date. There were happy tears, cuddles, and an immediate feeling of “we need to go celebrate!” Usually for us this means cracking open a bottle of bubbles or a few beers… and in just three days we’d have five cases of wine, a dozen cases of beer, and six bottles of rum that people were going to expect us to celebrate with. So how was I going to get out of drinking on this special day without dropping this huge bombshell?
Not to mention if we wanted to keep our pregnancy a secret till the recommended 12 week mark, that meant not drinking on an overseas trip to visit friends, office holiday parties, barbecues, birthdays, and New Year’s Eve! Yikes! We needed some tactics. Here’s what worked well for us:
Think up good excuses
If you can work in a legit excuse to stave off drinking, this will at least buy you some time. “I don’t want to drink before the wedding — nerves!” or while overseas “I’m so tired from jetlag, a glass of wine will put me to sleep!” Whether you’re the designated driver, fighting off a cold, or taking it easy after last night’s bender, just make sure you don’t over-do it within the same group of friends or they may catch on.
Invent a few mocktails
How I’ve grown to appreciate a well-made concoction of deceptive fruit juices. The trick to this one is arriving at the bar first, or getting your partner or trusted friend to discretely order or mix you up a non-boozie bevvie. You can even joke “Ooh, I can barely taste the alcohol in this — this could be dangerous” and wink to yourself. This one only works if you’re the type to order pink fruity cocktails.
Just fake it
There are a few ways to go about this. Empty a beer bottle (into your partner’s mouth if you’re worried about wasteful beer crimes!) and re-fill it with water. Grab a beer, wine, or cocktail and take fake sips — sneak it to your partner to take big gulps to help you finish it off. This tends to work better later in the night after people have had a few. Just carrying around a glass or bottle with you can stave off the people who want to buy you a round, even if you never sip.
Have a posse of people who know
Besides fetching you mocktails and gulping your Chardonnay, your partner or a friend who’s in on the secret can help you keep up the illusion. I told a close friend when overseas and as a big group up of us were leaving the bar he proceeded to yell at me for not finishing my cocktail and demanded that I chug it. Later on the Subway I reminded him that was just a $2 Sprite and he said “I know, but it would be out of character for me to let anyone leave a bar without finishing a drink.” That’s what friends are for.
Of course if you’re not much of a drinker these things may be non-issues or you can abstain in a much less elaborate manner. But my group of friends has a dreaded combo of heavy partiers and excellent baby-dar. So these tactics, well-combined helped (mostly) keep my secret safe.