Kicks and Cankles: When to Announce Your Pregnancy
I have a million fun ideas for announcing a pregnancy to my family and friends, but I have now announced three pregnancies, and I haven't used a single one of my ideas. When I find out I'm pregnant, it's so hard to keep the exciting news a secret, and I usually end up telling everyone before I have time to work out the details of a cute pregnancy announcement.
I used to think I'd wait until I was well into my pregnancy before announcing it to our loved ones. I really tried to do that with my first pregnancy, but we couldn't help it--we were so excited! So we told a few people, and then the news spread. Before we knew it, half of our family and a bunch of friends knew! And then when we went in for our twelve-week appointment with that first baby... and couldn't find a heartbeat. I was so devastated. I couldn't even imagine having to tell all those people that our sweet baby wouldn't actually be joining our family. Having to tell them WAS so, so hard. It took several years after my miscarriage for us to bring home a healthy baby boy. Because of this, we had the love and support of our family and friends through our struggles with infertility, and I was so grateful. When we found out I was pregnant with our son, we were a little more cautious than we had been with my previous pregnancy. We decided to only tell our immediate family members and our very closest friends. We asked them not to spread the news before we were ready, and to wait at least until we had reached that wonderful time when I was out of my first trimester and the risk of miscarriage was much lower. And then, after I'd had an in-depth ultrasound at 20 weeks and knew everything was okay, we announced it to the rest of our family and friends. With our daughter, we knew very early that something wasn't right, and we were even more cautious than we had been with either of my previous pregnancies. We still told our parents, and, over time, the rest of our immediate family and a couple of close friends. But we waited until we had an official diagnosis of her condition to tell all of our family and friends. Waiting until we actually knew about her condition and had some time to process everything, we were much more prepared to share our news and to talk about it with others. Now that we've had three very different pregnancy experiences, I think next time we'll probably tell our closest family members and friends early, but wait to tell everyone else until we know our baby is healthy. I know some people prefer to wait to tell anyone until the risk of miscarriage is almost nonexistent, but we've decided that we want to have the support of just a few people if something goes wrong. And if everything is okay, we want to celebrate and enjoy every single moment of pregnancy...at least until I get super uncomfortable and just want to check myself into the hospital and have a baby already! ;) But this is all based on our experiences, our personalities, and what works for us. And I definitely think everyone has to decide when to announce their pregnancy based on their situation and their comfort level—if you know you're at a higher risk to have complications, or if you don't want everybody to know about your pregnancy if something goes wrong. Or some expecting mamas might choose to announce their pregnancy earlier if they're experiencing one of the most common pregnancy side-effects—morning (all-day) sickness—and they need a little extra help making it through the day! And some people might prefer to keep their exciting news private, not because they expect complications, but because they just want more time to celebrate alone. We definitely fall into this category, because we love having a couple days to celebrate together...even if it's so, so hard to keep it a secret!
So if you're lucky enough to be pregnant right now and haven't spilled the beans quite yet, I hope you're able to keep it quiet long enough to actually share it in a fun way...unlike me! But no matter how or when you choose to share your exciting news, it's still YOUR exciting news, so congrats!