I Had a Front-Row Seat for Beyonce's First Pregnancy Reveal

Kristian Dowling/Getty Images
Beyoncé performs onstage at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre on Aug. 28, 2011 in Los Angeles.

I was right there the first time. Literally yards away from a visibly pregnant Beyoncé when she rubbed her clearly pregnant belly through that one-shoulder orange Lanvin gown on the black carpet at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. I saw her sly, knowing smile and heard her tell the gathered paparazzi "I have a surprise!"

And then, just as quickly, she was gone and I was sworn to silence. You see, as a then-reporter for MTV News, I was told in no uncertain terms that we were not allowed to utter a word about the Bey-bay in our pre-show reporting. The reason, we would all learn a short time later, was because Queen B had a special surprise awaiting us when she made it official during her performance.

The possibility of a 'Yonce sighting on the black carpet inside the elaborate walkway set up in the lobby of the J.W. Marriott hotel in downtown Los Angeles that day was questionable. As my fellow reporters and I worked the press line and interviewed the likes of LMFAO, Rebecca Black, the cast of Teen Wolf and Zoe Saldana, I had the unenviable task of keeping an eye on "Gucci Gucci" rapper Kreayshawn, the channel's fashion reporter for the night. Unlike us working scrubs, she had a primo platform the stars gravitated to as they shuffled by on their way into the Staples Center.

Luckily for me, it was from that slightly elevated vantage point -- just before an unreported scuffle broke out between Kreay's crew and Rick Ross' posse -- that I spotted Bey preparing to walk. In the same way that some people describe the molecules in the air shifting when someone like President Obama or Prince entered a room, there was a palpable rush of energy that spiked before Bey appeared. Everyone in the area -- stars, crew, producers, paparazzi -- stopped what they were doing and held their breath for a moment as she slowly walked to her spot in the glittery photo area backed by a wall of old-school flashbulb-style lights.

In an almost comical fashion, you could hear a buzz of "pregnant," "is she," "oh my god!," "totally pregnant," "I knew it!" and "damn!" comments filling the cavernous lobby, which instantly felt like it shrunk down to just the few feet of space the expectant pop superstar was inhabiting. A producer rushed over to the spot where myself and two other MTV News reporters were standing just as I was texting my boss to ask about protocol for breaking the news. "Nothing," she said as her headset buzzed with instructions. "Not yet."

The reason, of course, was because less than two hours later, Beyoncé would do the honors herself while performing "Love on Top." She told the crowd, "I want you to feel the love growing inside of me," and ended the performance by unbuttoning her sequin jacket and rubbing her barely there baby bump.

On Wednesday (Feb. 1), I found out that Jay Z and Bey are expecting again, just like everyone else did: through the Instagram post that quickly broke the Internet. Sure, I had to share it with the world this time, but that last time? I can legitimately say that I (and a couple of hundred other stiffs) was one of the first people outside the Carter crew who knew it before any of you. Just sayin'.


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