To Tell or Not to Tell

Some of you may think we’re crazy to tell people as soon as we know we’re pregnant, and maybe you’re right.  Most couples wait until they have solid news to report: a heartbeat, the completion of a successful first trimester, and ultrasound picture…  We don’t wait because we never know if we’ll have anything other than a positive pregnancy test to report, and we don’t want to wait for you to start praying.  Less than 1% of the population experiences recurrent miscarriages (three or more), and we are the 1%. (Insert Occupy joke of your choice here…)

The average couple doesn’t have to face the thought that they probably won’t have a successful outcome, even if they’ve experienced a miscarriage.  We do – every time.  Given that we want the troops out in force praying for us, we always talk about it but come to the same conclusion to tell immediately.  Plus, we’re very bad at keeping secrets about ourselves, so if someone asked about my switch to half-caf or decaf, I wouldn’t think before responding that pregnant people shouldn’t have too much caffeine.  I probably risk sharing too much most of the time, but I’d rather over-share than find myself in the miserable place of a few years ago where I was too afraid to talk to anyone.

Besides the prayer support, I would rather people know that we have loved and lost than wonder why I’m being such a crank.  Not telling people about the pregnancy and possibly the subsequent miscarriage would feel a lot like losing a close family member and never telling anyone that they even existed.  I prefer having the emotional support and understanding when I feel like I’m losing my mind during the grieving process than leaving a wake of emotional outbursts behind for people to wonder about.  At least now if I burst out crying at a Lego commercial (it’s happened) you can chalk it up to grief rather than mental defect (I have plenty of those, too…).

The down side of telling everyone immediately is dealing with the aftermath if things don’t work out.  News travels pretty fast, but in our situation there are people who will find out about the pregnancy a month after we’ve already lost it.  It’s awkward to tell someone who’s congratulating you that there’s nothing left to congratulate.  I also tend to feel ridiculous for telling everyone we’re expecting only to tell them a week later that it’s over.  There’s no reason for me to be embarrassed about it, but that’s always my first reaction.  I always think that people will think we’re silly for sharing so soon.  That feeling evaporates almost as quickly as it appears because of the wonderful support and encouragement we get from our family and friends.

For us, telling before we have solid proof of a viable pregnancy is the best option, but it may not be for everyone.  If you find yourself in a similar situation, you’ll have to decide what you’ll be comfortable with.  I find it easier to share now than I did a few years ago, and the openness has helped me tremendously.  But there are plenty of folks who just aren’t comfortable with sharing personal details, and that’s perfectly fine.  Just make sure that you have a small network of friends you can trust and who will support you.  Do not attempt to deal with the grief alone; even superheroes need help on occasion – you are no exception.

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