|The Wee Boy is so surprised!|
Partly, I didn't share the news because I wanted to make sure all was well. Then, I didn't really show until around 6 months along. And I've just been holding on to the secret because it seemed anti-climactic at that point. BUT...
The biggest reason for not sharing this exciting (and, yes, it was on purpose) news is because I work in an incredibly sexist industry. A longer essay is in the works, but know that I also learned this lesson last time:
The music business is not interested in pregnant women unless you are massively famous. Otherwise, promoters, bands, even fellow musicians you've known for years just assume you won't want to or won't be able to gig.
I don't believe anyone is being purposefully sexist or exclusive. I had one promoter, upon seeing my belly, actually apologize for booking me, as in: Oh, I'm sorry! I would never have booked you if I'd known.
Yep. And that's exactly why I didn't say anything. I mean, I don't get any paid maternity leave (Yay, America!), so I need to hang on to all the gigs I can get.
When I was pregnant with The Wee Boy, I went on a 6 week tour during my second trimester, before I was showing. I did not tell my tourmate, even though she was a woman, because I did not want to be treated differently. I did not want to create resentment or other issues.
A few weeks into the tour, I had to fess up. We were in Bath, England, at the geothermal pools, and a big sign warned that pregnant women could not go in a particular pool. At that point, I just couldn't lie. Also at that point, the tour changed. My tourmate insisted on carrying all the gear. Insisted on me getting the bed every night. It was incredibly kind of her, but it did lead to resentment that I wasn't pulling my share and that I got the good sleeping arrangements every night.
Anyway, as I've said all along: I'm not sick; I'm pregnant. But check out me, seven months pregnant with the Wee Boy, playing at a BBC station on the remote Isle of Lewis with Scottish singer Adam Holmes:
I'm already worried that this announcement will have a devastating impact on getting bookings for Derby Week and summer festivals. But know that I am 100% capable of doing my job both while pregnant and with a newborn. AND I WANT TO PLAY FOR YOU! I can bring a nanny and a newborn if the gig is in Europe. I can also do that if the gig is down the street. I am pretty good at my job, and I intend on keeping it after this baby comes.
So there we go. Now I can exhale and write the occasional blog about that one time when I sewed a knock-off Boppy made out of the innards of Marianne-the-Crafty-Granny's couch. And how completely messed up maternity care is in America (remember how The Wee Boy was born in Europe? Sigh.) I'll save it, but know that it weighs on me.
Apologies to dear friends who were in the dark on this secret. I swear, I'll let you know when it's born.
I'm co-hosting a house concert for the wonderfully-talented Jason Wilber, whom you know as John Prine's guitar/mandolin/multi-instrumentalist/sideman. The show is Friday March 25. It's at the beautiful home of some friends, so the tickets are limited.
I admit I feel a bit guilty describing Jason as John Prine's guitarist, when he's an incredible singer-songwriter in his own right. But I'm also kind of a John Prine superfan, so ... also, looking at his 2016 tour schedule, you can see that he's playing places like the Ryman in Nashville in the weeks before he's playing a HOUSE CONCERT IN LOUISVILLE. He's also sharing the stage with people like Iris Dement and of course John Prine and... well, I babble...
Anyway, if you'd like to come, please email me: brigid @ brigidkaelin.com so I can get you the information.