On Saturday we went round to dinner with a couple of mates.
Good friends. Old friends. They have a daughter who is a year and a half.
Within moments of entering their house my pregno-dar was off the hook, beeping like a Geiger-counter at Chernobyl.
It wasn't so much the refusal of wine, as the protruding stomach that gave it away. I'm guessing she is 3/4 months in.
We chatted all night, about work, mortgages, student protests, the state of the nation, Nigel Slater, the voice over man from Come Dine With Me - normal middle-class London chatter. What we didn't talk about was our infertility (they know, they've known for a couple of years - although don't know about this blog), or their pregnancy (I don't think they thought we'd clocked it).
It became almost a challenge. I engineered several openings for them, from asking how her work was going and how long she thought she'd stay where she was - the perfect opportunity for maternity-leave talk. To a discussion about their two bed-roomed house and if they were thinking of moving, she even went as far as talking in vague terms about if they, as a family, expanded. This, as she was expanding before my very eyes.
For me, the whole night was dominated by this elephant in the room. (A metaphorical one, she isn't that big).
It was almost painful. I wanted to say "So have you any news ... " trailing off and leaving a pregnant pause for a pregnancy announcement. But I've been at the other end of that kind of statement so I didn't. I just waited. And waited.
And they said nothing.
I presume they feel awkward telling us, knowing full well that we had already been trying for a couple of years when they (easily) conceived their first. But they must know we'll find out soon enough.
Obviously what they should have done was emailed or texted in advance. But as they hadn't I was a bit lost as what to say or do. Which prompted an idea. We need a James Bond-style code, one that is revealed on a strip of pregnancy test paper with the application of urine imbibed with the hCG hormone, (a which would denote a positive test, for those not in the know).
So we'd say, "The Salmon are migrating."
And if they are pregnant they'd respond with the revealed response "Yes, they return to where they are born to spawn."
And if they aren't pregnant they say, "What?! What the fuck are you going on about? You don't fish do you?"
So GSK, Unilever, and other manufacturers of pregnancy tests, do you reckon you could sort that one out for me?