Monday, March 19, 2012

Announcing your pregnancy

Who knows that you are pregnant?  Before you should decide to tell anyone that you are pregnant, there are a few things for you to think about.  There are two main reasons why it is suggested to wait until your second trimester to announce your pregnancy to the public.

Testing for problems
If you choose to do any tests to check that the baby is healthy, you will need to think what you would do if the test results show potential issues.  Yes, all of these tests are optional even though many caregivers forget to tell their patients that.  Personally, I have not had any sort of blood test or the down syndrome ultrasound done on my pregnancies because I had already thought through that I would not terminate the pregnancy if there was an issue.  Other moms want the test results so they can prepare themselves if there is an issue.  This is something to really think about.  I know other moms who have waited until their test results came back okay before announcing the pregnancy.

Most women that I know never thought that a miscarriage would happen to them.  Well over half (perhaps 3/4) of my mom friends have miscarried at least one pregnancy.  This is a high number and I am not sure if there is something in the New York City water (well now the New Jersey water), all of the pollutants in our modern lives, or if it is that these women have chosen to have children at an older age than a generation ago.  The published percentages of pregnancies that end in miscarriage differ greatly since no one really knows how many early pregnancies there are.  Most caregivers do not see pregnant clients until they are 10 weeks.  My first pregnancy (meaning that my current pregnancy is really my 4th!) ended in an early miscarriage at 7 weeks.  I had known that I was pregnant for 3.5 weeks and I felt like screaming it to the world.  It felt like I had been pregnant forever and I was so excited.  Thankfully it was only my parents, brother and sister-in-law that knew.  When I miscarried I wanted to crawl into a hole of my grief.  Thankfully no one at work knew so I was able to go there and submerge myself in a lot of work and busyness.  Then I went home and cried... for months.  Even a year later, I would be overwhelmed with grief at the thought of my miscarriage.  And now with my (technically 4th) pregnancy, I did not get excited right away and I still did not want anyone except my parents and some close friends to know until I was 14 weeks and in the second trimester.  I wish you all luck and wish that no woman (or man) has to grieve a miscarriage or any baby loss.

1 comment:

  1. I am sharing an email story with permission that just came in my inbox:

    "I just wanted to say thank you for sharing about your miscarriage. I lost my first pregnancy, too, and didn't know enough to keep it secret before the second trimester. When I had the miscarriage, I then had to go and tell everyone what happened. I was really depressed and upset for a over a year - every time I saw a baby in the subway or bus, I'd break down and start crying. I really felt like I was losing it! And then, when I got pregnant again, I didn't tell anyone aside from close family until I was 20 weeks along and still didn't feel comfortable 'celebrating' my pregnancy until the baby actually arrived.

    I remember feeling so frustrated that there wasn't much information out there about miscarriages, yet when I had one, so many women came up to me and told me they had one as well. Why is having one such a 'secret'? Perhaps deep down, part of my pain was the feeling that I was somehow guilty for having a miscarriage, like I did something wrong to lose the baby. My doctor assured me that that wasn't the case - that it just happens and is normal - but still, the feeling of guilt ate away at me. And the fact that there's not much out there about miscarriages and the secrecy surrounding them somehow adds to the whole guilt - i.e. if I'm not guilty or at fault, why do I feel like I have to hide having one?"