Monday, March 9, 2009

Telling

When do you tell people? You know what I mean—you get the pregnancy test: you know, your spouse knows, your chosen baby-catcher knows (or will soon)...but do you wait to tell your family? Mom, dad, siblings? What about your older kids (the soon-to-be-big-brothers and sisters)? Friends? Neighbors? Do you bring it up? Do you mention it if the topic comes up? Do you wait for them to notice the belly (or the morning sickness) and ask? Do you tell everyone right away? Or are you one of those women who even waits a while to tell the new daddy? (Once I waited a whole day to tell Hubby--I will definitely not do that again!)
With my first pregnancy we told our immediate family within a few days of when we found out, but we held off on telling anyone else. We figured that the smart thing was to wait until the end of the first trimester—after all, that’s when the danger of miscarriage is past, right? So at 13 weeks gestation I finally, gleefully, sent an email off to the extended family and friends, telling them our happy news…and less than a week later I had to send them another email telling them that I had miscarried. Few of them had time to share our joy, and some congratulations even arrived after they were obsolete. Since almost no one had known about the baby, almost no one was there to grieve with us.
With my second pregnancy I had a different perspective. After all, it’s not as though there are degrees of pregnancy—either you are pregnant or you are not—and if you are, then it should not matter whether you are 3 weeks or 13 weeks or 30 weeks along when you tell people. It should be whenever you want it to be—because when you make the announcement has no bearing on whether you are going to miscarry! (This seems so obvious in theory, but when you’re in the situation somehow it’s a lot fuzzier.) Anyway, with my second pregnancy I started telling everyone right away. At 13 weeks along I miscarried, but this time I was not alone.
Based on those two experiences, I have concluded that I am definitely in the “tell everybody early” camp. I may not tell everyone the day I get the test, but they’ll hear about it within a few weeks. There are those who will argue that telling the world sooner will make the pregnancy seem longer. Um, a pregnancy is going to be the same length whether people know about it or not. I also think that the family and neighbors are going to feel like those weeks go by a lot faster than mom is, and mom already knows!

13 comments:

Becky N. said...

The only time I didn't want people to find out right away, it was because I had *just* started a brand new job, and wasn't expecting to find myself pregnant so soon. I didn't want to make my boss feel badly about me, or at least, the future of my job working for him. So I waited until I couldn't hide it anymore. However, it might have been easier to tell, because it definitely affected my brain function some days, and I made some pretty embarrassing mistakes.

I've kept it from my husband for two whole weeks!!! That was a somewhat hilarious nightmare, made more tricky by the fact that it was constantly on my mind, and then we found out his sister was also expecting, so I kept having lovely thoughts of cousins the same age, and almost blurting them out loud. But I found out just two weeks before Christmas, and really wanted to make it a special surprise. So I waited and shared the news in a gift. In the meantime, I told one of my closest friends, just so it wasn't bottled up quite so long. It was a relief to tell *somebody*!!

I'm all about people knowing early - but how do you tell people? Just walk up and say, "Hey, guess what, I'm pregnant!!" I had the hardest time telling people with my last pregnancy - it just never came up. Finally it was beyond obvious that I was huge with a baby, and people were *still* nervous about asking. And I kept losing track of who I had told and who I hadn't, so... awkward!

TopHat said...

I think I'm going to be in the tell everybody early camp. Maybe.

You see, I don't want to tell my parents. When I told them I was pregnant, their first question was, "Was it planned?" I never got a congratulations then or even after she was born. My sister has since had a baby and they didn't congratulate her either. It's almost like they don't want grandchildren or something- and it makes me less-inclined to let them know. I'd like to share it with everybody (re: blog) but they read the blog.

Now, things like our RS's "expectant mother's" list will be informed early. I didn't sign it until the day after my due date (lol) mostly because I was in primary and didn't get the list when it got passed around in RS. Some people in my ward didn't know until I was 7 months pregnant because of that. I think I want to be more open in that situation next time.

Christa said...

I'm in the tell everybody boat too. The support I got from my family and friends during my miscarriage was what I needed. I wouldn't have been able to bear the pain alone.

Janeen said...

I'm also in the tell everyone early camp though part of that too has to do with the fact that good news DO travel fast. Some people I won't tell though like my husband's best friend, he was kind of a jerk about it. But yeah, most people were great and one of our friends from church, after we told him, told EVERYONE else! That was cool though, they all sent emails of congratulations.

My sister had a stillbirth at 28 weeks so it really doesn't matter when you tell some people as a loss can happen at anytime. I think I may be more prone to wait though if I had so many miscarriages in a row.

katef said...

I'm a tell no one kinda girl!

In reality I seem to tell one or two very close friends, people who I can share the joy with and people who I know will respect the way I deal with loss if needed. Which is usually on my own... quietly looking for a meaning and a way forward.

My first pregnancy we didn't tell the masses until about 13 weeks, till we were sure how many there were and that they were both pretty sure to be staying. With my last pregnancy we told a few friends but no family until 17 weeks... I would have waited longer if I could have! With my losses a lot of our family members still don't know about them... it's just the way I choose to deal with it all I guess.

I like to keep my baby's close, and quiet and secret for just a little while before I have to share them and the news with the world.

E and G said...

I will definitely tell my husband right away - but I do want to "surprise" him...I like the gift idea. I will wait to tell other people, especially my mother-in-law, if for no other reason as that's ALL she can talk about right now, and it's really starting to get annoying. I like the idea of having this special secret with my husband for awhile before everyone else knows.

Mallory said...

I like to tell everyone early. I like how you stated it-you are either pregnant or you are not, and it doesn't matter how far along. Also, I like the support, both in pregnancy and what I would have if I were to miscarry. Plus, I am the WORST secret keeper...EVER! lol

Petit Mouton on Etsy said...

I am a selective news sharer...
You are right for saying that it is nice to have support when you miscarry. But on the other hand, I’ve also experienced people just not believing in the joy of the next pregnancy because of the previous miscarriage... My mother is like that. It is hard. So I prefer just not telling her rather than being surrounded with her negative attitude. Heck, at my first miscarriage, her first reaction was to ask me what I did wrong. Ouch!
I also cannot stand people watching every single of my moves, every single thing I eat, and it gets worse after you have miscarried. So even though some of these people are very caring friends, they don’t know until I have no choice but telling them.

This last couple of times, we’ve been sharing news to only a few close friends, the ones that I knew I would also call for comfort if things did not go right. And also the ones who just figured it out, I never lie to someone asking if I am pregnant.

Samurai Mom said...

I don't understand waiting. The first 3 months are sometimes the hardest and when you need the most understanding as in "excuse me while I run away from the smell of your _____ I have to puke." and the other multitude of tough things in the fist months. Also, I think waiting until a certain date is creepy, assuming that it won't be a successful pregancy? Who came up with that stinkin' thinkin'? Besides, if you miscarry you need all the love and support you can get, so I see every reason to telling early and few reasons for waiting.

MagdaleneJewels said...

Oh Momma Bee - the best time to tell people is when you feel comfortable telling people. After years of trying to get preg, and fertility tests and pills, I finally got pregnant with my daughter. I was so excited I think I told everyone 2 minutes after I conceived! TopHat don't feel bad - you will love this - when I became preg with my 3rd and called my mother - I got a lecture on morals!!!!!
My daughter is now pregnant - although no one is supposed to know until her 3rd month which is 2 more weeks - I think I have told 1/2 of NY State! well the guess the whole country is you are all reading this.

throwslikeagirl74 said...

I'm in the tell early group. :) But then I've never had much of a reason to keep secrets. Most of my life is just out there. :) I think that all babies should be celebrated, even the ones that don't get to stay with us on earth. When people know what's going on with you, they can respond appropriately. When you don't tell, you can't expect people to understand. I suppose this also goes for cancer as well as babies. :)

Mother Goose said...

I tell immediately because my pregnancies never go 9 months. I want all the sympathy and all the excuses I can get for as long as I can get them.

natalie said...

I guess I'm in the middle... I like at least a week or so to just savor the secret, and then start telling family, then after a little while expand that to church/others.

I think with #1 we told family at 7 weeks and church at 9, this time we told family at about 5 weeks and church at 7 or so.

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