Here I am, 27 weeks pregnant. While most people we see regularly know, I still have not told a number of other people. I continue to fear that the moment I confess it all will turn bad. Out of the groups of 7 college and 5 high school friends who were so supportive after Natan’s death I have only told 4 of the former and 2 of the latter that I’m pregnant again. An elderly relative who I haven’t seen since I’m not sure when wrote the kindest letter expressing deep sympathy and hopes for the future after Natan died. I especially appreciated that she referred to hopes for a “next child” in her note – acknowledging that we’d lost a child, not “just” a pregnancy as some others of her generation seemed to imply. I haven’t written to her personally either, although she’s probably heard through my mom or others. I’m not sure.

Deep breath – because I’m having trouble with positive thinking again today – but will I be unfairly and unnecessarily alienating people who cared enough to reach out if they next hear from us via a birth announcement?

16 responses to “Questions

  1. In my opinion, no and the answer is simple: you chose to wait to make the announcement. I don’t think any additional explaination is needed. They should be able to put two and two together especially after what happened with Nathan. The fact you are sending them a birth announcement means you do want them to celebrate with you and your family. But then, this is a guy’s perspective! 🙂

  2. I agree with previous poster. They will understand. You can always included a message that you appreciated their support with Natan’s loss, and are excited to share your new son with them as well. I really doubt that anyone will give you grief for it. Good luck.

  3. I’m going to disagree only because I’ve been there and people will want to share the joy as well as the sadness, and they may even surprise you with their support.

    Telling won’t change a thing, but not telling may become a burden that makes you feel like you have to hide, like you are carrying a secret, and every encounter with others who don’t know will increase your stress.

    Instead of verbally telling them, why don’t you try emailing them? Include a note about how you are feeling very nervous and so you have held off telling people until now, and because you are high risk, could everyone just not discuss it? Maybe even designate a point person they can ask questions of? Like…your Mom?

    At minimum, realize that you cannot hide a stomach that big, and everyone who sees you will know. Not a chance, if you are like me, because even my face and neck became fat. So what will you say when they find out by running into you, or seeing a family photo, or hearing it through the grapevine? You need to have a rehearsed answer.

    By the way, you don’t actually believe that as soon as you told one person it didn’t really spread like lightning throughout your family and friends do you? Even if they pretend like they would never tell, etc etc., a pregnancy after a loss is news that the whole world tells about twenty times faster than a regular one. (Mostly because people will all be desperate to hear good news, and they naively view a pregnancy as equalling a live baby…yes I know….)

  4. Weird, this blog is so Orwellian.

  5. Thanks all.

    Aurelia, I couldn’t possibly hide from anyone at this point – My face and neck are staying pretty much the same (I think) but the belly is sticking out WAY beyond my chest. And unfortunately, my butt is getting larger than I wanted. I look kind of like a Weeble. So I’m not hiding it from anyone I know – in fact, I’m not really ‘hiding’ it at all. Anyone I speak to or see regularly knows, I’m thinking more of people I don’t talk to regularly at all and would have to make a particular point to tell. As for running into any of them – not a chance. I’m more likely to run into a random friend (that doesn’t live here) or relative on a boat to New Zealand than my town. I’m sure the news spread, but I feel sort of lame for not telling them myself.

  6. Beruriah, you know how I feel about this. I’m terrified to tell anyone, because I think it will jinx things (irrational, I know). I think Aurelia’s points are all good and valid and believe me, I listen when she writes the same things to me. Wise, that one. But, I still can’t bring myself to tell anyone. Even when I had to tell my friend S. (who I see every week and stuck by me after the twins died), I couldn’t even say the word pregnant. She sorta had to yank it out of me. So, I say you do whatever you want to do and they will (or rather should) understand.

    I talked to my therapist about this and she explained that in my case (though I know it is different for you), that I see telling my in-laws as somehow contaminating the pregnancy. That their negativity and hurtful comments (that will happen) will take away any happiness I have had from this (yes, it’s only a little happiness, after all, and I need all of it). So, now I get what’s going on in my head a little more. Also, I do not want to make those phone calls (to say that something has gone wrong) and my fear of those phone calls outweighs my guilt at not telling.

    Anyhow, somehow that diatribe turned into what’s going on with me. I do think you should do whatever you feel comfortable doing. I think you have handled this amazingly well (wish I could do it better myself). So no matter what you decide, be a little proud of keeping it together so well. It inspires me to keep trying.

    And congrats on 27 weeks. It’s a good place to be–32 weeks is not that far away now and it’s a much better place than you were 6 weeks ago!

  7. I cannot imagine that anyone would hold a “huh, why didn’t she tell me” sort of grudge whatever the outcome of this pregnancy. What sort of person would really do that? I would actually tell people whenever you feel like it (even if that is not until at a happy birth announcement). I don’t think there is an “unfair” in this for anyone but you and your husband.

  8. I have no idea what you’re talking about Josh. :)-

    I wouldn’t be able to tell your inlaws, either, Meg, honestly. I couldn’t care less about the folks who will be unsupportive – I’m wondering at my own inability to tell people who would be supportive! I need to confront this…agh…

    Hmmm. But now Rosepetal has a much more comfortable perspective.

  9. On behalf of unperceptive dorks like me, what ARE you talking about Josh?

    Ok, so I get that you are talking about people far away, not in your town, but I’d still go with the email idea. Only because I know a number of people who have used that tactic in the past and it helps to remove the stress. I think that like Meg you are trying to protect yourself from anticipated disaster, but they really can’t hurt you. And I doubt they will.

    They might even make you feel loved and cared for, even more than before.

  10. You know, if it has to be via the birth announcement, it’s ok. In case of these particular people, maybe you could include a note with the announcement (or an addition to the email, if that’s how you are planning to send the announcement out) where you say that you appreciated their support a great deal, and still do, but that the subsequent pregnancy was hard on you in many ways, and it was hard for you to talk about until then. This may help you feel better and would hopefully make them see that you did think of them, but had to do what was right for you.

  11. If I were in your shoes, I might let them know via email when I was looking for donations for my son’s college fund. LOL.

    When I was pregnant with the twins, everyone knew when I was 5 weeks pregnant. I was also non-stop bleeding for the whole first trimester with a subchrionic hematoma. So many people would come up to me to wish me well. But for my own peace of mind, I had to tell them that I appreciated their well wishes, but I had not announced the *high-risk* pregnancy, because I wasn’t passed the first trimester and that I hoped they understood because I had no interest in discussing the pregnancy at the current time.

    Then again, I can be rather unfriendly at times.

  12. I wish there was a way I could say to someone, “I’m sorry. I really don’t want to discuss it.” Especially now that I’m very visibly pregnant and all types of random people want to talk to me about it. It’s because I’m around so many different people everyday at work and in public. The “due date” question is the worst for me. I’m really thinking, I’ll be lucky if I bring home a baby.

    I haven’t talked to my dad much about my pregnancy, I think because of the same fears you have. I’m afraid talking about it too much will jinx it. Well, hopefully word of mouth will be enough for some of these folks. It’s your life and you aren’t obliged to involve anyone or everyone.

  13. like you, i said nothing to people who weren’t immediately, physically around me for the longest time, particularly those who fell into the “acquaintance” category because the conversations were just so hard. but when at 25 weeks i landed on hospital bedrest, in Halifax again, away from Dave, i sent out a mass email because, basically, i needed support and i didn’t have a blog yet. 😉 and more, i knew at that point that even if everything went to hell, i wanted people to know, to be pulling for this baby – to know he had been there, i guess. and i was afraid that if i didn’t tell he might be erased, somehow.

    but that was for ME, not for them. had i not had to go to Halifax, i might have just sent triumphant birth announcements. and i think that would have been more than fine.

  14. I’m going to take the easy way out and say that you should do what makes *you* (and Josh) feel most comfortable. If it makes you feel unhappy not to tell the people who’ve been supportive, you should tell them. If you’d rather wait, you should wait. I think you should worry most about your own feelings, not about how you worry that other people might feel. But that’s easy for me to say.

  15. The most important thing is your peace of mind. If it freaks you out too much to tell people before the baby is born, then there is no reason to. When you share your happy news, they will be happy for you, no matter what.

  16. I do believe the whole point of a birth announcement is to announce your pregnancy ending in good news to everyone you know. If you don’t see them everyday do not let it cause one moment of stress or anxiety. You do for you, that child and J. If anyone holds a grudge then I suppose with hindsight being 20/20 you were right not to disclose the info in the first place…
    relax and concentrate on you.

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