This article originally appeared on People.Beyoncébroke the Internet on Wednesday when she announced in a record-breaking Instagram post that she and husband Jay Z are expecting twins. But while the Beyhive were shocked by the news, the 35-year-old singer had been working hard to keep her growing baby bump under wraps.
According to a source, Beyoncé — known to drop a surprise or two — had been disguising her baby belly with a series of dark outfits and loose-fitting dresses.
She wore all black on Dec. 11 when she and daughter Blue Ivy hung backstage with Mariah Carey after her Christmas show at New York City’s Beacon Theatre. (Carey’s 5-year-old twins, Monroe and Moroccan, were there too, as was a friend.)
“She looked amazing,” a source tells PEOPLE. “There were hints of a baby bump, but no one mentioned anything.”
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Eight days earlier, on Dec. 3, Jay Z celebrated his 47th birthday with a private dinner at Republique restaurant in Los Angeles. There, Beyoncé’s belly was once again incognito.
“Beyoncé wore a flowy dress and hid her baby bump,” the source said.
There were signs of a bump on Dec. 17 too, in a holiday video Bey posted to Instagram. She could have been giving hints of her pregnancy throughout the celebration as well, especially in one moment where she held up two fingers — a gesture originally interpreted to be just a peace sign.
Wednesday’s big reveal came as a huge relief to Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Lawson, 63, who celebrated the impending arrival of her grandbabies with a post on Instagram.
“WOW I don’t have to keep the secret anymore,” she captioned Bey’s already-infamous pregnancy announcement photo. “I am soooo happy God is so good twin blessings. Thank you for all your well wishing beautiful messages. I appreciate them soo much.”
Now that the cat’s out of the bag, Beyoncé won’t have to hide her belly under big winter sweaters and heavy coats. Then again, she won’t need to do that where she’s going.
Over the past two years, the Carters have been spending their more time in Los Angeles rather than their long-time home in New York City. According to another source, the family is looking to make the move more permanent.
“Beyoncé and Jay Z seem serious about living in L.A. full time,” the insider said, adding that the parents are currently touring private kindergartens for Blue, 5, in Los Angeles. “When Beyonce and Jay Z are not working, they live a very quiet life in L.A. They seem to prefer private gatherings to public outings.”
Yet another source told PEOPLE that Beyoncé and Jay Z are “actively looking for the perfect house for their expanding family.”
Their No. 1 priority? “Privacy,” the source said.
Last spring, the couple was plagued by cheating rumors after Beyoncé’s emotionally explosive visual album Lemonade featured themes of infidelity. While the artist herself has never commented on the inspiration behind the work, Lawson shared some thoughts soon after the Lemonade‘s release.
“It could be about anyone’s marriage,” she told ABC13 in Houston.
“I think that everybody at one time or another has been betrayed and lied to. It’s about the pain and it’s about the healing process and it’s about how do you get past that and move on.”