While most women can’t wait to tell the world the minute they find out they’re expecting, Tika Sumpter held her tongue nearly right up until the end. The Haves and the Have Nots actress didn’t make her pregnancy public until August and she’s due in October. So why so hush hush?
“She’s my first child, and I wanted to experience every moment of this pregnancy for myself and enjoy it without everybody else being in it with me,” she told Fit Pregnancy and Baby for their October cover story.
“I didn’t want to hear, ‘Who’s the dad? Are you with the dad?’ Social media can be harsh, and I’m a mama bear, protective of my family. So that’s why I waited to tell people, including some friends.
The 36 year old is showing good instinct already when it comes to keeping her news private, considering her mom’s initial reaction to the announcement.
“One of the first questions my mother asked when she found out I was pregnant was, ‘Are you going to get married?’ ” Sumpter said. “I’d love to, but maybe in a year or so. I’ve been with my boyfriend for more than a year and a half.
“Our relationship is not dependent on a ring. I love him to death, and he loves me to death, and that’s all that matters to me.”
And though the two didn’t plan the pregnancy, it’s clear from the story of how she learned she was expecting that the news was more than a pleasant surprise.
“I found out around Valentine’s Day, when my boyfriend took me on a surprise trip to San Diego. I never want McDonald’s, but I was like, ‘I need a Big Mac, fries and a Coke now,’ ” she recalls. “They were still only serving breakfast, so I insisted we wait there until they started serving lunch.
“Afterward, I immediately fell asleep,” she added. “When I woke up, my boyfriend was like, ‘Ha-ha! Are you pregnant?‘ I said, ‘Maybe. Go get a test!’ He brought back a generic-brand test, and right away it said positive. I could not comprehend it. So I said, ‘Go get a name-brand test!’ He did, and that one said yes too.
“I still have the stick. I had to show it to my mom because she didn’t even believe me when I told her.”
Now with just two months to go until the big day, Sumpter is beginning to visualize her perfect birthing scenario.
“In my dream birth, I’d maybe have some contractions and then my baby would come out with Bach playing in the background, my boyfriend holding my hand and my doula rubbing my back,” she said. “In reality, I realize it may turn out differently.
“Giving birth naturally would be great, but my boyfriend knows that if I say I need drugs, then I need them. I have a high threshold for pain, but it’s not like I win anything for putting myself through that. Plans are just plans. I know everything can change.”