Knowing and Telling

First things first: no longer pregnant, self-medicating through exercise, and too depressed to eat much, I was able to comfortably wear jeans from high school to the ward picnic. Oh yeah. Fortunately they’re a classic cut and color.

My pregnancy was a carefully guarded secret. Even after seeing the heartbeat I only told a few Utah friends and close family, all because the risk of miscarriage. We figured if it happened once, it could happen again. And it did. But now that I’m here, I really could not care less who knows about my miscarriage. Provided, of course, that I’m not the one who has to tell. My closest friends in Oregon were oblivious to my pregnancy. But because I need them so much right now, they’re all aware of my miscarriage.

Even so, keeping the pregnancy on the DL was a good idea. I see a major difference between telling someone “I have a million dollars! Let’s party!” then later telling them I lost it all, versus simply telling someone “I lost a million dollars.” I shattered fewer dreams this way. And the fact that I’ve disappointed anyone at all makes me feel somewhat guilty about getting my family excited for what would have been the first grandchild (besides Em, who isn’t ours except by blood, an adoption story for another day).

It WAS selfish. I told them because I was excited and wanted them to be excited with me. And we had that brief time of general giddiness together. When I miscarried, I had their support, their soup, and their understanding. I don’t regret the decision to tell who I did. I only had to un-tell two people, and the miscarriage phone tree worked its magic.

What are your thoughts on knowing and telling? When did you tell people about your pregnancy or your miscarriage?

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5 thoughts on “Knowing and Telling

  1. I always hold my breath when people announce that they are fewer than 3 months pregnant. Chances are they won’t miscarry, but I remember all too frequently those BYU married student wards and weekly “good news minutes” where several hands would shoot up and announce that they were 5, 6, 7, even 8 weeks pregnant, and simply couldn’t wait to tell. I understand the desire to shout it from the rooftops and share the thrill will everyone, but because miscarriage is so frequent, I knew I personally didn’t want to announce until I was at least 13-14 weeks, just to be “safe” (is there such a thing?).

    With my first miscarriage, I had told 3 of my closest girlfriends, but we were keeping it a secret from our families because I would be 14.5 weeks on Mother’s Day, and it seemed appropriate to wait and make the big announcement then. I HAD to tell someone though. And then I had to un-tell them. For me, it helped to have them to help me through it. BUT, it all went down on the day of Morgan’s graduation, as in I got the official call from the doctor’s office (LONG STORY) just as my in-laws were arriving, so I had to pretend like nothing was wrong for 2 days. So I was glad I had my girlfriends.

    I also was so glad I didn’t end up like a friend who had to un-announce on Facebook because she announced it on there early. I’m a private person anyway, so I can’t imagine having all my FB friends commenting and what not.

    The second time around, I wanted my dad (who’s a doctor) monitoring me, so I told my parents at 5 weeks. Unfortunately, Dad spilled the beans to my brothers, and I of course had to un-tell them 4 weeks later. It is surely different for everyone, but it was just as hard the second time around emotionally for me, particularly when my med-student brother started asking if I was being treated for infertility since this was my second–a conversation I most definitely did NOT want to have.

    In short, I don’t know. It’s good to have people to support you, but it totally sucks having to un-tell people. Maybe for the less private people, it would be good for more people to know, because then there are more people to sympathize/empathize.

  2. We didn’t tell anyone until after the appointment at the midwife at 13 weeks when we heard a heartbeat.I think it was partially because I was shocked that it had happened, as it was a full year without so much as a day late period, I was about ready to make a doctor’s appointment, and also I knew keeping the secret would be too hard for our families. I don’t regret it. Even now sometimes I get anxious that so many people know, and have to remind myself that losses can happen at every stage, but at some point you do have to tell everyone, you can’t keep it quiet forever. If something had happened before, I would have told close friends and family then, it’s like you said about your Oregon friends.

  3. We told our parents pretty early on—maybe 8 weeks or so? In retrospect, it was probably a dab early. We were pretty guarded about it and asked the parents to not tell anybody, as the last thing I wanted was to have to untell my entire extended family. As you know, we told a few close friends around 10 weeks after having heard a really steady heartbeat at the midwife’s office. General knowledge at about 12.

    I understand the people who tell super early. It’s exciting, and you want people to be excited with you. I did have one friend who made the general Facebook announcement at 6 or 7 weeks, I think, evidently for the sole purpose so she could whine en masse about her pregnancy. Not so classy, IMO.

  4. I have never been pregnant but agree that there is wisdom in waiting to share the news with family and friends. Plus the longer you avoid telling family and friends the longer you can avoid really bad advice from people who are all of a sudden experts on your body and how it is supposed to work. At any rate, it is a personal choice of when to share the news and I think you handled it well. Oh, and you should come to Ohio. Miss you!

  5. I told my Mom as soon as I knew. My Mom has 5 children, but has been pregnant over 20 times. I knew that I needed her as my ally – I was worried that I too would have a lot of miscarriages, so either way I needed her to know so that she could be there for me through the good or bad.

    We didn’t tell every one else until I was in the second trimester. Mostly because of my fear of having a miscarriage and then having to go and retract our good news. Even though I have successfully made it through pregnancy and now have a beautiful little girl, if I eventually get pregnant again I will be just as guarded. My Mom’s miscarriages were always baby boys – so I don’t know if that is a problem I will have as well ( as my first is a girl).

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