When I was pregnant with my first, I could hardly contain myself. I tried hard to keep it between myself, my husband, and our immediate family until 12 weeks, but it was rough! I slipped up a lot and told people. I documented the whole pregnancy closely with belly photos and kept a pregnancy journal.
This time around, I didn’t tell most people until I was already 20 weeks. My husband, my parents, and my doula found out right away, but I held off on telling most other people. I’ve had people ask why I waited so long to share the good news. In the day of the Duggars, it’s starting to become commonplace to announce pregnancies as soon as the two lines emerge on the pregnancy test. I had my reasons for not sharing though.
First and foremost, I was not ready to be excited about the pregnancy. With my oldest at 9 months, I was still very much in the trenches of being a new mother. I was starting to get a feel for it but I was still very overwhelmed, and the prospect of being responsible for two little humans was so overwhelming that it brought me to tears. For two weeks, I could not stop crying. I felt this huge weight on my shoulders. I realized that I needed to give myself some space and time to feel all the things that I was experiencing: panic, frustration, guilt; before sharing the news with the world. I just wasn’t ready to hear “Congratulations” or “Aren’t you so excited?”. At that time, I just wasn’t ready to be excited yet.
I was exhausted and felt like I was failing at mothering my oldest. As morning sickness started to kick in, my “standards” started slipping. While before I would never let my daughter watch TV, all of the sudden we were watching Daniel Tiger and Martha Speaks together in bed every morning so I could rest just a little bit longer. I should say that she watched it and I listened. I had such bad nausea that looking at any screen (TV, iPad, computer, even phone) made me sick. As a freelance blogger/social media person, you can imagine how that impacted my work. I really regret not telling the people I was working with what was going on and why I suddenly turned in to such a slacker, but I just wasn’t ready.
Another reason I was afraid to tell people is that I wanted to protect myself from all the nasty things people say (usually without realizing it). I didn’t want to hear “You know how that happens, right?”. I also didn’t want to deal with the questions “were you on birth control?” “Well you know if you are really trying to be a good Catholic you shouldn’t really plan your pregnancies, right?”. Or my favorite “so how many are you going to have?” Well guys, that’s all pretty personal. It’s between me, my husband, God, and when medically necessary my doctor. So, trying not to be rude, but it’s not really any of your business!
Lastly, I didn’t want anyone calling my baby an “oops baby” or an “accident”. She was definitely not part of my plan yet, but I believe that she was planned by someone much wiser than I. The timing may have been a surprise, but she is a blessing.
I finally felt ready to announce my pregnancy after our 20 week ultrasound (yes I realize, that’s a long time. Some of you may have noticed my bump way before that and just not said anything, and I appreciate that). I don’t want anyone to think that I waited to tell people because I didn’t want or love this baby. That is simply not the case. I realized that my pregnancy brought up some really strong feelings, and I needed to acknowledge them and face them before I could face the rest of the world.