After finding out we were pregnant and immediately telling our family, our first decision, and most couples first decision, is determining when to publicly announce the pregnancy. Do we wait until the “critical” time has passed? Or do we embrace the moment and scream it to the world?
This choice is a very personal one for everybody. For Vaughan and I, the decision to share our news so early was one that was pretty easy to make.
Becoming pregnant is such a momentous occasion. Your life is changing and you are responsible for bringing a new little human into this world. There are so many emotions and so many paths that have to be decided on. One of the first is who am I going to tell and how long and I going to wait?
Many new moms wait until 12 weeks have passed (the 1st trimester), to announce their pregnancy, sometimes even withholding the news from their families. Why? Primarily because of the fear of miscarriages:
- According to the March Of Dimes, 50% of pregnancies end in miscarriage
- Most of these occur relatively quickly, even before mom realizes she’s pregnant
- About 15% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage
- 80% of those are before the first 3 months or the first trimester
- Risk of miscarriage is 12 – 15% for women in their 20s
- Risk for women in their 40s rises to 25%
Many moms to be are fearful of a miscarriage and hold off announcing their pregnancy until they are out of that statistically high period. It seems they not only carry this fear, but anticipate keeping it secret if it happens. In some way, maybe society has shamed women into believing its a faux pas to lose a baby during pregnancy and is not to be shared. Or were we taught somewhere along the line that a miscarriage makes other uncomfortable so we should keep this information to ourselves?
Living under that kind of fear is not natural. There is a reason the old adage, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ has stuck around. It rings true in every society. It also takes that same village to help a pregnant women through that beautiful and crazy time in her life. So why in Hell should we not lean on those around us for support just as we do in times of celebration?
Pregnancy goes by so fast, isn’t it important to enjoy each moment of it? By the time many women decide to share this exciting news, a 1/3 of their pregnancy has already passed and a beautiful celebratory time has slipped away. If I were to fall into this statistic, I want to know I have friends and a support system to lean on. It is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. My heart breaks for the women who keep their pregnancy quiet, endure a miscarriage, then cope with that grief by themselves. We are all connected and here to share in this crazy and beautiful life we live. As humans, we celebrate with each other in times of joy and are amazing at lifting each other up and becoming a support system in times of grief.
A baby that miscarries is one that was going to struggle to survive and thrive. It’s the Universes way of ensuring a healthier baby at the right time. As women and mothers we are not here to suffer. We are hear to breathe life into the world and grow as individuals and as a community.
Vaughan and I publicly announced my pregnancy at 8 weeks. We would have done so sooner but he wanted to find a creative way to make that announcement. I refuse to live in fear. I refuse to live this life without my village. My hope is that many more women feel the same!