I love it when a friend comes to me and quietly announces her pregnancy. To know that I am trusted to hear this information before many others are learning of the news is an honour. With her I can hope and pray and plan as a little life grows inside of her, not yet ready for the world to know.
Announcing a pregnancy publicly before the second trimester used to be so taboo. This trend makes sense. If at least one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, and 75% of miscarriages happen in the first trimester (source) then staying mum about an early pregnancy saves the possible grief of having to broadcast a pregnancy loss.
Now however, with the advent of social media and our decreasing sense of privacy, many pregnancies are shared right from the beginning. Home pregnancy tests are photographed and posted on Twitter before they are even dry. Pregnancy complaints are broadcast over the Internet for all to see.
Each time, I’m irked.
You see, I have been personally affected by miscarriage. Twice. I know that although many pregnancies are wonderfully exciting and result in a warm, snuggly baby, not all do. I know that one positive home pregnancy test does not always mean that a baby will be brought home in nine months. I know these things because I have experienced them.
So you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t swoon all over an internet friend’s early, public pregnancy announcement. You’ll have to excuse me for being reminded of each of those positive pregnancy tests that I looked at – tests that only held broken promises. You’ll have to bear with me when each completely rational early pregnancy complaint results in anger. You’ll have to overlook that I wonder and worry (but never hope) that these pregnancies will end in a loss. You’ll have to disregard the fact that I can’t celebrate a publicly announced early pregnancy.
I understand that this opinion makes me appear jaded and cold-hearted. And maybe I have built a thicker skin. But it is for my own protection. Otherwise, each pregnancy announcement would cause me to crumble. This hard exterior? It self-preserves.
I trust that these early pregnancy announcements do not demonstrate a complete disregard for the realities of pregnancy. I hope that this is simply a symptom of feeling incredibly comfortable sharing our lives – both the joys and the sorrows with the wider public.
I pray that I will stop taking this so personally.
It probably doesn’t make sense why I find so much joy in quiet, secretive pregnancy announcements and so much pain in early public announcements. But those announcements seem to demonstrate apathy towards my reality. I don’t want people to feel my pain, but I want them to recognize that it exists. I don’t want new moms to sit in panic during those first few weeks, but I also recognize that many women do.
I might keep my distance. I might offer a curt congratulation and then back off. But I will still hope and pray and plan for the little life that is growing inside of you. I might be scared that something might happen, but I sincerely wish that it doesn’t.
I am linking up with Shell’s Pour Your Hear Out.
Don’t forget to get those posts written for tomorrow’s Thinner Thursday! Come back ready to share, encourage, and work together towards a healthier mind, body, and soul.