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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Baby on Board

The one concern that many women have when registering for a costume months in advance of Carnival is not whether or not they will loose the pounds (though that is another concern some may have) but what happens if you get pregnant! With bands starting registration as much as five months in advance of Carnival anything can happen, even with the best precautions and contraceptives. Fact is this is a blessing of our sex and no one can predict to an exact science when conception will occur. Some of us will take lots of caution to avoid the “accidental” impregnation but what happens if despite all your efforts you find out you are pregnant after registering for the costume you fawned over for days before deciding THAT was the one that will adorn your body come Carnival?

This was the situation for a friend of mine in October of 2005, after registering in TRIBE she found out she was a few weeks pregnant. To be honest with you I have to say though she looked forward to having the baby she was a bit disappointed that her hopes of playing mas were slim to none. Friends we have in common thought she was crazy for even having that thought, but no one can really fault all the emotions that come with being pregnant and I for one did not judge her for feeling that way.

So, the plan for her was to wait until the very last minute to decide what she was going to do come Carnival Tuesday/. By that time she would have been 3 months pregnant and the possibility of still playing mas was very real to her. The practicality of such a move, however, became a concern after our first all-inclusive fete, Amnesia, where she did not have the energy to survive the fete and had to retreat to a seat for the night. That cemented in her mind that she simply did not have the endurance for playing mas in a pregnant state and she sold her costume. Suffice it to say she was annoyed when sitting at home on Carnival Tuesday she saw Wendy Fitzwilliam in all her resplendent pregnant glory playing mas in Harts! Usually an individual Wendy that year was a regular masquerader in her yellow whole suit playing mas not only in Harts but also Peter Minshall’s Sacred Heart.

Of course the decision to go ahead and play mas in spite of your pregnancy depends on many, many factors and I am not a doctor so if you find yourself in that position at the moment and really have that desire you can consult with your physician and see what the verdict is. Many women go to the gym and do walks while pregnant so we know exercise is not ruled out for some, and what is Carnival but one long marathon anyway. Now I am not advocating that you push for playing mas, nothing is wrong with sitting out one year as Carnival will always be there. Personally I would be very remiss to playing mas if I found out I was pregnant for fear of dehydration, people’s rowdiness and the inability to make that Carnival hike. Surely I would be taking full advantage of TRIBE’s resting bus if that were the case! I might add that there was one pregnant lady in my section this year who got her costume modified with a sheer piece of fabric covering her somewhat pronounced belly and she looked quite beautiful!

I know several ladies who got pregnant unexpectedly this year, one ruled out the possibility of playing mas from early on since she found she was pregnant just before band launching began in fervor, the other one recently found out and decided against playing mas and finally, we have Ms. Carnival superstar who went ahead and registered for a costume WHILE pregnant! And, she insists that she is going to be playing mas to her fullest as well. To each of these ladies the decision was a very personal one and kudos to them for dealing with their pregnancy in the way that suits them best.

If you are a masquerader who got pregnant after singing up with a band, take comfort that you are not alone, this happens to many women each year, do not let anyone make you feel guilty for being sad at missing Carnival and if you are playing mas while pregnant do all that is necessary to be safe on the road. The best way to get your costume sold at this point, if you need to, would be advertising on and if you are with TRIBE check with the mas camp as well since there is a waiting list of persons wanting costumes. To all the expectant mommies congrats!! This must be an exciting time and I am sure you are all looking forward to the amazing months ahead.

Though some of you will be missing out on Carnival next year, lucky you have a chance to review all the bands for 2008, including the many new ones and will be in the position to pick among them for 2009! And since you are missing out on a fab costume for 2008 make sure for 2009 that you are a frontline H.O. in all her splendor! For my lovely super mommies playing mas with the baby on board, I salute your tenacity and see you on the road!

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