April 7th, 2014

planet

when should you tell people you're pregnant?

When I posted all my pregnancy advice on one thread I said I'd do a series of follow-up posts where we could debate the controversial stuff, or basically anything anyone questioned in the comments... so this is one of those.

The original advice:
Wait until you're 3-4 months along to tell people you're pregnant. Not just because of the loss risks, but because people get really annoying when they know you're pregnant.


Now, I stand by the idea that people are annoying when they know you're pregnant. You can't eat a pickle without someone winking at you about a craving. They stop asking about your life and ask "how's that BABY!?" They act like morning sickness is cute. They might even touch you.

But all that aside, I am questioning the practicality of holding the news in for weeks. I've always readily admitted that I felt really alone and isolated my first week of pregnancy because I felt like I should get my mind wrapped around it before I told my immediate family, and that was just not happening. When I finally did tell them, they didn't think I was a bad mom for not feeling a "bond" yet with my seven week fetus. The women who'd been through it said my feelings were totally normal.

We see too many pregnancies in "sitcom" format. You know how they work on TV... there's the "she's pregnant!" episode where everyone finds out or doesn't in hilarious ways. Then the next episode is "she's huge and getting kicked all the time!" Then the third episode, she goes into labor and out flies the baby in 30 minutes... maybe an hour if they're turning it into a season finale.

In reality:
1) You do not get to feel reassuring baby kicks 45 minutes after you find out you're pregnant.
2) A high percentage of pregnancies, maybe even up to 20%, are miscarried in the first few weeks.
3) Morning sickness can go waaaaay past "cute".

Maybe if us women were all more honest about what we go through, the world wouldn't be able to get away with thinking that pregnancy is so simple. And hey pro-life movement, I'm talking to you... pregnancy is a vague, iffy, in-between stage of humanity. You should not be showing pictures of full-term babies with perfect feet to justify bills that force women to get ultrasounds to look at their fetus at 6 weeks. That is not reality.

And everyone else, maybe we need to calm down with the giant announcements and pressure to be perfect moms the second we see two lines on that stick. Maybe passing the test should not be treated as "BAAAABY! We're ready to nursery shop NOW!" it should be a time to calm the hell down, be supportive, talk very honestly and not 100% optimistically about how we feel.

I'm back to feeling 50/50 on this one. A lot of women have to talk about their pregnancies to friends and coworkers for health reasons, but for the rest of us do we tell early too, to show some solidarity with the sick, and illustrate to the world how long pregnancy really feels? Or do we keep it to ourselves and not bother the population with our lady problems? I could be convinced either way on this one.