The Timing of Pregnancy Announcements

Pregnancy Announcements:  Why To Wait

I don’t know if you’ve heard or not, but William and Kate had a baby this week.  I know, I know, this is shocking news.  I’m not sure how they hid her baby bump this whole time, with all of the normal media attention and all.  But my inside sources say that a royal baby has been born.

Ha!  I don’t think there’s a person in their country or ours who didn’t know that a little bundle of royalty was on his way.  We knew as soon as Kate found herself hospitalized for dehydration associated with hyperemesis gravidarum at seven weeks into the pregnancy.  She had probably only found out that she was pregnant three weeks or so before the world did.

We see many celebrities who are “outed” as pregnant before they can announce it themselves.  Usually when someone like Jessica Simpson or Drew Barrymore declares they are expecting it is old news.

They have little control over the timing of her pregnancy announcement, but most of us do. Here are the most common times to announce that you have a bun in the oven.

 

The Most Common Times to Announce Your Pregnancy

 

Before the pee dries on the stick. 

Some people choose to announce their pregnancy the moment they see those two important pink lines.  Some choose to only tell a select few at first, but I’ve seen some pregnancy announcements on Facebook as early as 6 weeks into the journey.  I have to say that I cringe a bit when I do.  More on that later.

When saying “Ciao!” to the first trimester. 

Many couples choose to wait until the first trimester has passed before updating their status with, “We’re Prego!”  Not only are most moms-to-be done losing their lunch (and breakfast, and dinner) daily, but the risk of miscarriage lowers significantly.  Ten to twenty-five percent of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage, and 80% of those happen in the first trimester.  If the worst happens, it is hard to announce your pregnancy one week and then have to follow-up the second week with bad news.  But some people feel that they would rather have more people know so they have plenty of support should the worst happen.

Post in-utero photo shoot. 

Nearly every pregnant woman has a 20-week ultrasound to check the baby’s growth, health status, and to see if it’ll flash a little something so that you can start planning the gender reveal.  This timing makes for an easy announcement (“It’s a GIRL!!!”) and still gives enough time for people to get excited about your growing belly.  Also, by this time there is a greatly decreased chance of losing the baby.  In fact, your cutie-pie fetus is only four weeks away from being viable (having a chance of surviving should she be born).  And if there is any kind of problem diagnosed in the ultrasound, you have time to process that information before telling your friends.

After it’s all done.  

Some couples skip the pregnancy announcement entirely and let people know after the baby has made her arrival.  In fact, this happened in the celebrity world when Jimmy Fallon’s wife gave birth before the public even knew they were expecting.  I’ve also had a few friends take this approach.  The couple tells only few important folks before the due date, like the grandparents, a few close friends, and their boss.  But we less-important folk find out with a baby announcement card, phone call, or Facebook status after the fact.  It makes it easy for the couple to keep away from prying questions and unwanted advice, but it may make people feel out of the loop.

 

Why I Think It’s Best To Wait

 

I have some strong opinions on the subject of when to tell people about a pregnancy.  They have nothing to do with research and everything to do with personal experience.  To explain, let me tell you about my first pregnancy four years ago.

Moments after we discovered we were pregnant for the first time, we began telling family.  We were beyond excited.  We had been trying for a while with no luck.  But we were suddenly pregnant and over the moon about it.

After a couple of blissful weeks, I began bleeding.  Panicked and crying, I called the doctor and was sent to the ER.  An ultrasound tech took me into a darkened room and began searching for signs of life.  She paused.  Looked at me and then again at the screen.

“I have to talk with the doctor,” she said suddenly, and left.  I felt like I was going to throw up.  What was taking her so long to get back?  Why did she leave so suddenly?  What was going on?

The tech came back with the doctor.  We were not having a miscarriage, the doctor explained.  However, a previously undiagnosed large fibroid tumor was attached to the outside of my uterus.  But the embryo (it wasn’t even a fetus yet) was safe.

A few days later, my doctors, an amazing team who work with high-risk mothers, arrived at the conclusion that the tumor would most likely just be uncomfortable throughout the pregnancy.  (Their words.  I would have gone with “really freaking painful”.)  But it would not much change the course of the pregnancy, they said.  Other than having regular ultrasounds and a planned c-section, that is.  So, when 12 weeks rolled around, we began telling everyone about the pregnancy, including making a Facebook announcement.  The baby preparations were in high gear.  My hubby’s office was moved upstairs to make room for the nursery.  We chose paint colors, folded baby clothes, and read all the books about baby necessities.  My frequent doctor appointments were uneventful.  Besides the frequent discomfort, life was grand.

But the doctors were wrong.  On the day I reached the 20 week mark, I felt a little sick at bedtime.  I hardly slept that night, feeling too uncomfortable.  When I woke up I felt really sick and in pain.  The pregnancy had been painful in general, so I sent my worried hubby off to work and cuddled up on the couch to rest.  I started feeling worse, but I told myself that I probably had a stomach bug or something.  Then I started feeling that I couldn’t keep still or I would be sick.  The moment I knew something was really wrong was when I almost passed out from the pain.  My hubby picked me up and we drove to the hospital.

Little did I know, I was in labor.  As they pumped me with medications to stop it, I kept dilating. They couldn’t figure out why I was in labor or why the drugs weren’t working.  Then my water broke.  Suddenly my white blood cell count was skyrocketing.  Not only was I in labor, but I had some sort of infection.  When there was no more use trying to stop the inevitable, I delivered our son.  He was four weeks too premature to even have a chance at survival.  They wrapped him in a blanket and I held our tiny boy tightly.  It was the worst day of my life.

What followed was difficult too. Because we had told so many people that we were pregnant, we had to now tell them that we weren’t.  When I was released from the hospital, we had to make calls, send emails, and even make a Facebook announcement about what happened.  While I wanted to crawl into a hole and scream, I instead had to rehash the story over and over.  Some people misread the posted Facebook note and sent their congratulations.  Everyone was supportive, but it was too public for such a personal moment.  It was awful, awful, awful.

For our next two pregnancies, we were tight-lipped until that 20-week ultrasound.  We knew what could happen.  And that’s why whenever I see those announcements before even the 12-week mark I shudder just a bit.

Of course, most couples remain blissfully ignorant of the dark possibilities as their pregnancies and births go by without a hitch.  But for those who know the other side, we wait.

Are you planning on getting a prenatal massage during your pregnancy?  Make sure you know these risks.

 Photo courtesy of Brooke at flickr.com

60 Comments on The Timing of Pregnancy Announcements

  1. Becca
    July 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm (1 year ago)

    This post brings back so many memories for me. While my experiences never made it to the point of delivery, I suffered several miscarriages. Luckily, we hadn’t told anyone the news at that point. I wasn’t supposed to have kids…so when I became pregnant with Ema we knew that there was a huge possibility that I would lose her. We told family and friends…and I ended up having to tell everyone when i had to inform work that I was pregnant and an at risk one at that. I was lucky and had very little trouble. With Anna we waited until I was a few months along to tell most people. Close family knew but that was all. I spent a lot of time in the hospital and it was far from an easy pregnancy. I started going into labor when I was about 3 1/2 months and tried to several times after that. She ended up making it to pretty much full term and both of my kids were born perfectly healthy (even though Ema was 2 months premature) and no NICU was needed. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I agree that while the excitement is there and you want to share..it is best to wait in most cases.
    Becca recently posted…Rescue Me! Country Acres Pet Resort & Animal ShelterMy Profile

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      July 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm (1 year ago)

      It’s amazing what we have to go through for our kids, even before they are born! I’m so glad that they didn’t need any time in the NICU! Especially with Ema arriving so early. I have copious experience with the NICU, but that’s a story for another day. :)

      Reply
    • Ashley
      August 5, 2014 at 10:17 am (3 months ago)

      it will be so unfair of me, after what priest Obom have done for me and my family, I didn’t post of his good works on net for people to see, priest Obom helped me to get pregnant, after 8years with no child, I have search every means for me to have a baby of our own. but all to no avail, then one day I came across priest Obom mail and contact on how he has help people to get pregnant, then I decided to try and see if he can also help me, so I contact him and he told me that my problem was solved, him say that i will have my baby soon, if i did everything him ask of me. I doubted him at first but I decided to believe him and see if it will work. to my surprised and just as the great man said it really happen. And me and my husband are living happily like never before. All the thanks goes to priest Obom. His mail: solutiontemple220@gmail.com

      Reply
  2. Growing Up Madison
    July 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve never suffered a miscarriage but all my pregnancies were very high risk. With Madison being born 8 years after my last and with all the problems I was having I didn’t tell anyone until it was almost time to deliver. I almost delivered early and was placed on total bed rest only allowed to go to the bathroom and to the hospital once a week for fetal monitoring. She was still delivered almost a month early but luckily with no issues. I really do agree its best to wait but some are so over the moon that they can’t wait to tell the world. Can we say Baby North West! :)
    Growing Up Madison recently posted…July 2013 Bluum Toddler Box ReviewMy Profile

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      July 24, 2013 at 8:05 pm (1 year ago)

      I can’t imagine being on bed rest for fear of delivering early. I’m sure you were so worried! I’m so glad that everything turned out okay in the end. Maybe she was just ready to make an early appearance for her blogging debut! :)

      Reply
    • becca
      August 4, 2013 at 9:25 am (1 year ago)

      I know what you mean about bed rest. I was on it for 5 1/2 months with Annaliese. It was awful and I felt so helpless.
      becca recently posted…MMMMM….It feels soooo GOOD!My Profile

      Reply
  3. April @Pixie Dust Savings
    July 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm (1 year ago)

    So sorry for your loss. I completely understand. I have been trying to conceive for over 7 years. I have had only 1 miscarriage- probably even a chemical pregnancy. I didn’t even tell my husband until a year later. I think IF I ever do get pregnant, I will probably tell at the 12 week mark, just because of my particular diseases, I need the support of family and friends. My husband and I are going to try foster/adopt after he finishes school. We will probably say foster kid right up until the court papers are signed.
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    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      July 24, 2013 at 8:09 pm (1 year ago)

      Trying to conceive can be such a roller coaster. I always was so jealous of the women who seemed to conceive immediately when we were having such troubles. The fact that you’re considering adoption is awesome! Good luck with everything!

      Reply
  4. Carin Clark @Mrscpkc
    July 24, 2013 at 7:51 pm (1 year ago)

    I can relate in more ways that I want to remember; and I am so sorry for your loss…I lost my first-born when I was 37 weeks…he had a rare chromosomal disorder, ring 21, and I had eclampsia…I had seizures and was rushed to the ER…they took him by C-section so they could give me the medicine needed to save my life…he lived for 9 hours and 33 minutes before my mom (I was out of it) told them to end medical intervention…I still remember all the questions and everyone’s well wishes…I told that story so many times within the first week of coming home from the hospital it was like I had a script…and just kept repeating the same thing over and over…with my next 3 I waiting until I was showing…so, about 4.5/5 months…I wanted to get past the AFP test (which was the test the revealed the disorder my first had).
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    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      July 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm (1 year ago)

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Your story just breaks my heart. I hope that you got to meet your son before they ended medical interventions. One thing that I regret is that my son had already passed by the time he was born. It’s always amazing to me how many mothers have lost children. It’s such a terrible thing, but mothers rarely speak of it.

      Reply
  5. Pam
    July 31, 2013 at 11:44 am (1 year ago)

    After two healthy children, I had an ectopic pregnancy that ended before I even knew I was pregnant.

    I grieved for the child and had to beg to get to see it for even a few minutes, but at that time (30 years ago), the prevailing wisdom was “You’re young. Forget it. You’ll have more children. Let’s pretend this never happened. Don’t talk about it.” That loss still makes me sad. And, no, we never did have another.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous
    September 7, 2013 at 11:59 am (1 year ago)

    Thanks for this. I am still kicking an announcement on Facebook around. I have had two largely uneventful pregnancies but both of those were pre-Facebook and so this whole discussion is a little weird to me. After reading what you posted here, I’m thinking I’ll probably wait.

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      September 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm (1 year ago)

      First of all, CONGRATS! Wishing you an easy and healthy pregnancy!

      You’re right, Facebook has really changed things. It’s a wonderful way to stay in touch, but it makes it so easy to share too much too early. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  7. Steven @ Howtomakemoneyasakid
    September 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm (1 year ago)

    My wife and I usually forget and are late at sending out announcements. I think for our last baby it was 3 or 4 months after. People were still excited to see the pictures and it worked out. Better late then never.
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    Reply
  8. Anonymous
    October 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m sorry for your loss. I didn’t know any better and told people immediately with my first which I then miscarried. With the next 2 we waited until 12 weeks. There’s no way I could have kept it a secret until 20 weeks…..I was very obviously pregnant to a casual observer by that time!

    Reply
  9. Anonymous
    October 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm (1 year ago)

    I say start telling people whenever you want. Please don’t cringe when people choose to announce at a time that you feel is too early.

    My thought, is if you miscarry, you will probably want all the support you can get. If you don’t tell anyone, it will be harder to get that support. No one is going to chastise you for telling too early. (…and if they do, they are not a real friend)

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      October 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm (1 year ago)

      The risk of announcing early is not that someone will chastise you. And it is nice to have support during a loss. However, if you do tell *everyone* early (Facebook), you will run the risk of having to retell your story repeatedly to acquaintances. As someone who has gone through such a loss, it is exhausting and almost sickening to have to relay details of an event that you have only begun to grieve.

      But please, do what you want to do. It is just a story from someone who has gone through it.

      Reply
    • Anonymous
      March 29, 2014 at 7:31 pm (7 months ago)

      I absolutely agree with you. I can’t beleive one would cringe at the thought of someone else’s excitement and personal choices.

      Reply
    • Anonymous
      April 8, 2014 at 3:56 pm (7 months ago)

      I don’t think she meant cringe like she thought they were bad. I think she meant cringe like nervous for them. That’s how I feel too. After having experienced a loss I hear others announcing very early and cringe thinking “Gosh, I hope they experience everything wonderful and don’t have to go through what I did.” It has nothing to do with thinking they are bad and wrong. Every time someone asked about my pregnancy I had to re-live the pain of the loss and frankly that did nothing for me. The support of a couple close friends was perfect, but explaining to my tax person and the random person who saw my registry online was heart breaking. Anyway, I just think you are taking what she said wrong.

      Reply
    • M
      October 24, 2014 at 2:05 pm (1 week ago)

      Actually, a lot of us would NOT want “all the support we could get” from FB acquaintances. I cringe, too, and not because I’ve had a loss. I cringe because someone I barely knew announced as soon as she peed on the stick, and then when she announced the m/c a couple weeks later it was extremely awkward and uncomfortable for a LOT of us. Maybe you say we “weren’t real friends” and you’d be right – we weren’t, yet she told us anyway. I would never want to put others through that.

      Reply
  10. Keri
    October 30, 2013 at 11:40 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I suffered a mmc at 8 weeks followed by d&c. I had announced at 5-6 weeks so everyone knew. I had the opposite experience. I was glad to have told everyone early, my family and friends were wonderful, dropping off food, sending nice notes, cards, flowers. Nobody asked me to rehash the details, how insensitive! I am now 6 weeks along and we have told family and friends, since they were such a great support last time, I will count on them again. I also have a very different attitude about life now. Since my mmc I have gone through a double mastectomy and 7 months of chemo. I’m just thankful I could even get pregnant! I can’t control what will happen tomorrow, but today, there’s a baby in there (: I will celebrate today and the people that love me share that with me, just as they will share my tears if I lose this little one. I think it’s a very personal decision and whether you choose to wait or not, I wouldn’t cringe at anyone’s else’s choice.

    Reply
  11. Melissa
    December 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm (10 months ago)

    While I can support your decision, I have been on that other side and lost a baby. I am now pregnant again and refuse to hold it back because if something were to happen I want the support from everyone instead of having to tell people at that point what I was pregnant. every pregnancy is special and deserves to be celebrated.

    Reply
  12. Katrina
    December 24, 2013 at 2:13 am (10 months ago)

    Don’t cringe every time someone announces a pregnancy, be happy for them. You are too bitter about your history and let it cloud your vision.

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      December 24, 2013 at 10:42 am (10 months ago)

      You are right that my experience does alter my view of the situation, but that is not unlike anyone else’s positive or negative experiences. I would say that visions are more “clouded” by the illusion of things rarely going wrong with pregnancy and childbirth than my experience-based viewpoint.

      Mothers who have lost children are often told to “just be happy” for others, basically to ignore their feelings and experiences for fear of upsetting anyone else. Interestingly, it is one of the only situations of death that we are told to “get over and be happy for others” quickly. If someone lost their sister to cancer and she warned others about the dangers of the disease, she would hardly be told that she was bitter and to just be happy for other people who have sisters. But I digress.

      Of course, I am always very happy to hear of an impending birth no matter how early it is announced, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t worry for each family with every pregnancy as well. I just would never wish my experience of having to relate to acquaintances a very personal and terrible time of my life on anyone else.

      Reply
      • Anonymous
        March 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm (7 months ago)

        Don’t spend so muxh time worrying and just be happy :)

        Reply
        • Anonymous
          March 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm (7 months ago)

          Much*

          Reply
      • Name*
        July 27, 2014 at 5:47 pm (3 months ago)

        Amber, I absolutely agree with you. I’m now going on 5 weeks of my first pregnancy. So far we have only told my in-laws since we live in their basement and I really don’t think we;ll be able to keep it from them. Since it’s my 1st pregnancy I also have no idea what to do now. Haha I need my mother-in-law’s help. I am in a huge gray-area on wether I should tell my close family. Personally, I believe it would be devastating to tell them I’m pregnant and then have to take it back later on if something happens, especially since I’m so early. I’m glad I read your advice and was well informed of the possibilities. I think some people (myself included) that are lacking knowledge on the possibilities of what could happen especially early on. I didn’t even know about chemical pregnancies! So now going into my 5th week I’m trying to be realistic about the possibilities. Anyway, I completely understand your worry when it comes to people announcing such an early pregnancy when so much could happen. I have my in-laws as a support group and am glad to wait to tell others until at least 12 weeks.

        Reply
    • Anonymous
      March 29, 2014 at 7:34 pm (7 months ago)

      Exactly!! You couldn’t have said it better. This article actually really ticked me off. Just because you have had a bad experience gives you no right to judge other people’s lives.

      Reply
  13. Lisa
    December 30, 2013 at 8:05 am (10 months ago)

    I have been pregnant a total of 4 times in the past year and a half alone. I understand that anything can happen at anytime. I struggled with my first loss, a little less with my second, and by my third I just expected it. I am currently 7 weeks today with my 4th. We announced to friends and family on Christmas day. I would rather choose to celebrate every precious day I am pregnant and share the joy with loved ones than be too scared to say anything. I am an open book and even FB friends know of our struggles and fertility issues. I choose to not let fear drive my life anymore! I will not be scared to announce early for what might or might not happen. Today I am pregnant and I am blessed. Glory to God! If it does not work out this time, we will pray, pick up and move on;never forgetting our lost little angels. Announce when you are ready.

    Reply
    • Stephanie B
      January 13, 2014 at 7:51 pm (10 months ago)

      This is beautiful Lisa. I do have two beautiful children, but have suffered three very rough miscarriages. I could never NOT tell people because I want support and prayer during that time. Like you said, announce when you are ready! Blessings!

      Reply
    • Trenee
      April 5, 2014 at 11:50 am (7 months ago)

      I’m with you on that, I lost my baby just like in the article and then I had a miscarriage months later. Both times I announced it when I found out because I was excited. If I would find out I’m pregnant today and I’m just a few weeks along I will let everyone know. I don’t think you can hide a pregnancy even if you tried unless you lock yourself inside 24 7, so why not announce it. Congrats on the baby!!!

      Reply
  14. Nicole schumaker
    February 3, 2014 at 7:14 pm (9 months ago)

    Unfortunately we don’t all get that option. I suffer from Hyperemesis gravidarum. When I got pregnant things went downhill fast. My first ER Trip was at 5 weeks. I barely knew I was pregnant. Soon I was unable to go to work I had to drop out of college and I couldn’t even get out of bed without help. My pregnancy quickly became a fight for my life and announced itself to the world. If we decide to have another baby i plan on announcing VERY early. Because it’s my only opportunity to do it without IVs in my arm and meds in me! because I’m going to need more help than I, even now! am willing to admit! and because HG is so debilitating and misunderstood that I plan on using it for a platform for education.

    Reply
  15. clairebear
    February 7, 2014 at 8:55 pm (9 months ago)

    I tested this morning and found out I am pregnant. I have been having symptoms for a week, but this is the first day that I’ve tested positive (I took several tests today just to be sure – all positive). By my calculations, I’m only 4 weeks. Everyone says to wait to tell, but my husband and I live with his parents currently and there’s no way I can hide my symptoms long. I feel awful knowing I could be getting so many people’s hopes up when I’m so newly pregnant. However, I also feel like announcing early is a sign of hope on our part. We hope for the best, and other than take care of myself, that’s all we can do. I trust everything will work out for the best one way or another, and I hope I’ll have the courage and strength to handle whatever life has to offer. Everyone has a different story and a different situation in life. Pregnancy announcement cannot be based on a formula – a miscarriage can happen any time, so why not enjoy the time you have and share your joy with others?

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      February 9, 2014 at 11:30 am (9 months ago)

      Congratulations! Definitely announce whenever you feel comfortable, especially if that brings you and your family joy. Wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy!

      Reply
  16. Mannie
    March 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm (8 months ago)

    This is stupid. You told everyone !!! Good for you, you have the right to live your big day, the big news and be happy and proud about it.

    Anyways, you have to say to everyone if there was a miscarriage because you are so sad, cant hide that.

    Its better to live to moment and share you happiness than only share the bad news. We all deserve to live this moments NO MATTER WHAT. Anything could happen to anyone so i think that we shouldnt live with fear.

    Reply
  17. Tara
    March 27, 2014 at 9:52 am (7 months ago)

    I have a son who is about to turn 9 in May and my pregnancy with him was beyond great! I had not got pregnant in the last 5-6 years even though my boyfriend and I did not use protection. A few years ago I was told I had endometriosos so I figured the chances were probably pretty slim. BUT a visit to the doctor this past Tuesday confirmed that I am 7 weeks 3 days. Only a few close people I know at this point. Being that we thought we wouldn’t get here I am cautious for too many people to know even as happy as we are. We did tell our son and he is so ecstatic. I guess it’s all just a personal preference.

    Reply
  18. Name*
    April 4, 2014 at 1:32 am (7 months ago)

    I cringe at women who cringe at the announcement of anything that makes another woman happy.

    Reply
  19. Trenee
    April 5, 2014 at 11:44 am (7 months ago)

    This same thing happened to me September 25, 2012, I had just made 5 months that morning I woke up sick with a high fever and I couldn’t get out of bed. I went.through the whole process of delivering my baby and she was stillborn. They say it was due to an infection, but I had a doctors appointment a week before and everything was fine.

    Reply
  20. Nancy
    May 14, 2014 at 8:52 pm (6 months ago)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Last August my daughter was unexpectedly stillborn at fullterm. It was our first child and I had a very healthy and happy pregnancy and everyone was so excited for her arrival. I had had a first trimester miscarriage before that pregnancy (it was diagnosed at 8 weeks and had taken until 12 weeks to complete) but I still told many people right away about the new pregnancy because I was so excited for another chance.

    I know what you mean about being worried that tragedy could strike other moms-to-be after they announce– and I do think of that when I see early pregnancy announcements. However, overall, I have the direct opposite opinion that you do, based on my experience. I was very glad I had shared my pregnancy with the “world” (family, friends, Facebook, colleagues, and acquaintances– obviously by the time I was over 9 months pregnant, it was very obvious that I was pregnant, so I didn’t really have a choice, but I had shared with most people quite early on in the pregnancy), because now I can look back at those memories and remember how happy I was to be carrying our daughter and how much I loved and wanted her. The only time I ever had with her was while she was in my womb, and so I treasure every moment of every memory from my pregnancy, including my two baby showers :), my preparing the nursery, our reading to her at night, our talking to her and hearing her heartbeat, and our excitement of telling friends and family how happy we were to be having her. If I didn’t have those memories of her existence, I would be sad.

    I don’t really understand how it could be a bad thing to share that you’re pregnant and then share that you lost the baby. I do not regret having carried her– I am still so happy I got to do that, and feel that I still carry her spirit with me– and I do not feel like a failure or embarrassment due to the fact that I lost her at the end. Rather I feel that it was an unfortunately tragedy that struck and it is a very big part of my life that I couldn’t hide from anyone, even if I wanted to, because I was so happy to be pregnant with her and then was (and still am) so devastated when she died.

    I don’t understand the mindset that we should only share our happy times with people in our lives but not our sad times. I get that there is a time for private grieving and that we may not want to repeat our story to the world but I have been fine with saying, “I can’t talk about it right now,” or “thank you for your concern but I am grieving privately.” It took me a couple weeks to be able to post on Facebook about my loss, but it took me that long to just be able to face reality and come out of my shock. When I did share my loss, I was met with overwhelming support from so many people. Old friends I hadn’t talked to in a long time, as well as even acquaintances, sent us flowers and cards, brought us homemade meals, and shared their sympathy and words of support. It was really amazing and restored my faith in human nature, that so many people cared so much about what had happened to us. (To be honest, there were some responses/reactions that surprised or saddened me and I think some people don’t know how to deal with death or how to support someone who is dealing with it. But I focus on the positive just to survive all of this, and overall the response was amazingly supportive and helpful). People helped us deal with our grief and remember our daughter in ways that we never would have thought of if we hadn’t opened up and let people know what was going on.

    I would also add that these experiences of mine are uniquely personal and I know that not everyone has been through what I’ve been through. Most people are very happy when they first get news of a pregnancy they had been trying for, and why shouldn’t they be? Even when I’ve had thoughts of “Oh my, I hope nothing happens…” (and I’ve definitely wondered what would have happened if Kate Middleton had had a miscarriage or stillbirth as it was all so public… but thankfully everything turned out great for them), I think it would be rather presumptuous of me to think they shouldn’t share their happy news just because it didn’t work out for me. Most pregnancies do work out and most moms-to-be know the risks of early miscarriage and, I assume, are still happy to be pregnant and wish to share the news. (I do think it’s important to bring awareness to the high miscarriage rate and even the relatively low stillbirth rate, so that people know it happens, that they’re not alone, and that others who have experienced it are here to help. But I don’t think that means we should advise people whether or not they should be happy to share their pregnancy news early on.

    I’m currently 7 months pregnant with a little boy :) and I am very thankful for every moment of this pregnancy. I know more than some that pregnancy doesn’t always equate to a living baby at the end. But I’m still happy to share my news because it excites me and it’s what I want. It sounds to me like you’d cringe when you see my pregnancy announcement post, but that’s okay because all that matters is that I have hope and excitement again, and that’s something I want to share, especially with all the people who have helped me (and continue to help me) in my grief and tragedy. (And I don’t mean to imply that my grief is gone just because I’m pregnant again. Quite the opposite– it’s a sad, scary, mixed feelings time, but I also have happiness about the new baby, which makes things a bit more bearable for me).

    Best wishes.

    Reply
  21. Anonymous
    May 20, 2014 at 11:34 am (5 months ago)

    I now feel, like I should have waited to tell every one the news. Just recently me and the husband found out that I am pregnant. Aprox. 5 weeks along. We were soo excited. But just a few days ago I had been having constant cramping, no bleeding. We went to the hospital and found out I could have an eptopic pregnancy. We’re still not sure. We barely have started testing and ultrasounds to see if it is a viable pregnancy or not. Now we are just waiting impatiently for the results. I know if somthing is wrong, it’s going to be soo hard to tell everyone the news. But I’m keeping my hope up high! And hoping everything is okay!

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      May 20, 2014 at 11:45 am (5 months ago)

      I know that it’s an incredibly stressful and scary time to be in that in between thinking something is wrong and getting answers phase. I’ll be thinking about you and hoping that all is well!

      Reply
  22. Miss DIggles
    June 1, 2014 at 9:27 pm (5 months ago)

    First let me say I’m so sorry to hear that you went through what you did. I lost my first at 20 weeks ( no announcement made ) , and spent my second pregnancy in a constant state of panic ( I think I announced at 36 weeks ). When I looked back – I seriously regretted not doing any of the positive pregnancy stuff. I never took the time to enjoy, nest, ogle over possibilities, or even just speak hopefully about my pregnancy. This time I waited for viability. I still have the same risk factors, but I want to have some positive memories no matter how this pregnancy plays out.

    I truly envy those mommas who can blissfully share their news early without fear.

    Reply
  23. Amanda
    June 11, 2014 at 9:17 am (5 months ago)

    I am truly sorry for what you went through, but everybody is different and not everyone thinks the same as you. I certainly wouldn’t want to wait til 20 weeks, as I feel it is important people know I am pregnant to support me (either way) and help me and be considerate/understanding to reduce stress at work which could also contribute to miscarriage. I am one of those people that make you ‘cringe’. Did you ever think of deleting your Facebook account? I certainly wouldn’t feel like I had to email everyone. Different folks different strokes.

    Reply
  24. sam
    June 26, 2014 at 1:51 pm (4 months ago)

    I am 14 weeks, but at my age (40+) and with my other risk factors I am considered high risk. I have been trying to figure out when to announce, at this point only my husband, mother, best friend and boss know. I had to tell my boss, b/c due to my professional demands she needed to know why I was out so often, during IVF, and then my first few months of pregnancy have been jammed packed with appointments. I told my best friend b/c we were traveling together and I’m not drinking and that is such a red flag. And I told my Mom but only after I got the MaterniT21 (genetic testing) results back. I’ve not told my father, my brother, my husband’s family or any of my other close friends,. I’ve been feeling like I should share but then worrying about whether its too soon or not. At this point I think I am going to wait until after the Level 2 ultrasound (another look see for genetic problems) which I should have in another 4 weeks or so (18 weeks). Or I may wait until the 20 week mark as this post suggests.

    Reply
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  27. Liz
    August 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm (3 months ago)

    I agree with you whole-heartedly. I had a friend who announced on fb before she was even late, talking like a dark line on a pregnancy test would automatically equal a baby to bring home in 8ish months. (Luckily for her, it did.) But I know first-hand it doesn’t always work that way, and that people aren’t always supportive when they see a miscarriage announcement. I announced my pregnancy on Facebook last summer at 12 weeks, only to have to retract it a few days later (apparently, the baby had passed away a few weeks earlier -after we saw the heartbeat- with no signs of a miscarriage). I had close family members tell me I should just be thankful for the child I already had and that it was God’s will. Which is why I personally will never announce a pregnancy before 12 weeks and why I cringe for those who do.

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  29. Rachel
    August 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm (3 months ago)

    This is a terribly sad story but I do not see the value in women trying to scare other women about pregnancy, birth and all that goes along with it. When they say that they “cringe” when another woman announces her big news before you may have chosen to. How about being positive and happy and hoping that they will be blessed by being one of the 4/5 who have normal, happy, healthy pregnancies?

    Reply
  30. Joan
    August 19, 2014 at 10:46 pm (2 months ago)

    I’m so sorry for your loss, for what you went through. I appreciate your courage in sharing your story here because it’s helped me come to reflect on and process my own. I’ve read your post several times over the last six months. Thank you for putting yourself out here, on your own terms.

    Having miscarried my first pregnancy at 12 weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how so many couples are fortunate enough to assume their pregnancies will end in a healthy baby. For me, miscarriage was difficult because it felt, among many things, like a loss of a future, a loss of possibility and the loss of my own innocent optimism about pregnancy and becoming a parent. What was hard, too, was that during this loss I felt intensely private about my experience, and then intensely frustrated that our culture doesn’t seem to have the rituals in place to help those who’ve miscarried like we do for any other death of a loved one. One women replied that she was grateful so many people knew of her pregnancy and miscarriage because of the support she got. I found myself wanting this support, but then hadn’t told enough people I was pregnant to expect it. Of the group of people who did know, I received no cards, meals, and very little acknowledgement of my miscarriage even from my closest friends, family, and colleagues who knew. I think people were trying to respect my privacy during a difficult time, but I also felt angry at a culture that is so uncomfortable even acknowledging this kind of loss. The silence was the hardest, because talking about grief is an important way for so many people to move through the stages of grief. I felt like I would make others very uncomfortable by talking about my miscarriage. The comments I got from people who struggled to find words were mostly unthoughtful in nature. My miscarriage spread as a rumor at work which nobody wanted to acknowledge, and those who did angered my for breaching my privacy, while paradoxically making me feel grateful for some acknowledgement of my reality. Still, I had to politely bear inappropriate comments from colleagues and friends. while I wish I could expect perfect loving support in a time of grief, I’ve learned that one the can’t assume that’s what they will get. In fact, my own wants of privacy and public support were in so much conflict, I don’t know if being more public or being more private about my early pregnancy would have made me feel better. Grief is complicated like that I think. To protect myself, I would prefer to take the cautious approach in future pregnancies, simply to avoid adding more pain to what I know to be a painful experience. Still not everyone gets to make this choice how they’d like, because of complications like severe nausea and vomiting, showing early, etc. one thing miscarriage has taught me about the journey to parenthood is that we can’t be in perfect control, but can only do the best with what we have in the moment. I think a lot of people would do better by parents to remember that before judging their choices.

    I would say some folks are better at not taking the rude comments they hear after a miscarriage personally. I understand even the best intending folks can inadvertently say awkward things without meaning to cause harm, but when I was grieving, I didn’t feel too magnanimous about it. I didn’t feel up to dealing with insensitive people. Yet I had to at work to be professional. If you’re the type of person who can let remarks roll off your back, or if you have a wonderful support network, or prefer to take life’s joys in the moment, I get that. I respect it! It makes sense.

    I don’t think the author of this piece is cringing at others joy, or even being judgmental about their choices. I think she is cringing out of fear, a legitimate fear, that someone else might have to go through what she did. So many women do have miscarriages. Cringing at the thought that someone might experience unwanted pain, I’d call that empathy.

    Certainly some folks are more comfortable sharing their difficulties in public, like on Facebook. And I get the reply that says we should share life’s ups and downs. Facebook is notorious for people painting the best versions of themselves only, and this does seem oddly cruel in its own way. Yet, If a person suspects or knows from experience that she wouldn’t be comfortable grieving more publicly, then being more cautious about an announcement early in pregnancy is prudent, self protective, and smart.

    After reading this article and all the thoughtful discussion in response to it, I think Whats important isn’t when a couple or person decides to share their pregnancy news, but that those who have miscarried feel like they are allowed to talk about it and what they’ve taken away from it without being judged or criticized by others for how they feel.

    Reply
  31. Melissa
    August 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm (2 months ago)

    Hi there, 5 months ago I lost my precious baby girl at 20 weeks. With every pregnancy, I have always told everyone right away, even though my first pregnancy ended in m/c at 12 weeks. Yes, it does hurt having to tell everyone that you have lost your baby but something incredible happened. I had TONS of support. My husband was the one who told people we lost her and then the news spread like wildfire, all my friends told everyone else. Because I had told so many people, I didn’t have to go through my loss alone. I had tons of people praying for me, I had people bringing me meals, I had people watching my boys for me, I even had a woman from my church that I didn’t even know send me a very encouraging book that helped me a lot. Every time I would read a response on FB to our announcement that she was gone, it would make me start sobbing all over again but all that crying brought me healing. All that telling of the story over and over brought healing to me. My first miscarriage, I didn’t talk about it to anyone. I sat on my couch, alone. I quickly sunk into depression and drank a lot. However, this time I forced myself to cry a lot, to feel my emotions in their raw state, to talk to people, to talk to strangers and I was able to turn something ugly into something beautiful and my broken heart healed so much more quickly even though this loss was so much more brutal than my first. And, here I sit, 5 1/2 weeks pregnant and I have already told most of my friends and family and you know why? Because if I tell no one and I lose this baby, then this precious life that God has blessed us with will never have been celebrated or known. Life should be celebrated no matter how long you have it for. It’s almost more devastating to think about my child never being celebrated than to think about losing it. There are no guarantees in this life. We could wait til 21 weeks to tell people and then lose the baby at 38 weeks. Now, I know it might be a different story for people that suffer loss after loss but that’s my story and that is why I shortly will be announcing to the world on FB about this awesome thing!

    Reply
  32. Name*
    August 23, 2014 at 2:10 pm (2 months ago)

    I’m currently 7 weeks pregnant with my first after trying for 4 years and having a ‘fake pregnancy’ a few years ago we haven’t told anyone apart from a few close friends and parents. I have Hyperemesis and was rushed into hospital with severe stomach pain and given 8 IV fluid bags as i could barely move and was badly dehydrated. Not being able to tell people what’s wrong is horrible but the thought of having to explain to everyone that something went wrong scares me more. We are going to wait until 20 weeks before we tell anyone just to be sure. My husband has already lost one baby in a previous relationship and his mom lost 2 in the past so i know if it happens i will have good support around me.

    Reply
  33. Lisa
    September 9, 2014 at 9:14 pm (2 months ago)

    We were so excited about our pregnancy, we told everyone. I miscarried a few weeks later. I will never regret sharing about my baby. My baby existed, my baby was a human that died. She deserves to be grieved, not swept under a rug. Was it difficult to talk about her at the time? Of course but I want people to know. I have a child even though I don’t get to hold her or share pictures of her on facebook. I lost a child but I will not wait to tell if I’m ever lucky enough to get pregnant again. I will never deny the baby that I lost and I’m glad that people know about her.

    Reply
  34. Laura
    October 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm (3 weeks ago)

    Just stumbled across this blog and read it with great interest, though I know it’s a little old.
    I announced my first pregnancy pretty early on facebook. We were so excited we just wanted everyone to share it with us. Unfortunately, this lead to a lot of negative responses from supposed “friends” who felt they ought to have known first. It put a bit of a damper on what should have been a happy time and caused me a great deal of sadness, as well as the loss of a friend who just couldn’t seem to be happy for me.
    I lost my second baby at 5 weeks in August. This time around we hadn’t shared the news with anyone. But the pain is unbearable. I told my mother with the request she not tell anyone.
    She has told so many people, right down to the girl who used to shape my eyebrows for me.She had told my siblings before our miscarriage was confirmed. It’s horrific, to us, this was a real child and we loved them completely. To all the people she tells, our child is just a late period. They only exist as a dead child. It feels like with every person she tells, she kills our baby that little bit more.
    So if we have another child, we most likely won’t tell anybody bar our closest friends until after the baby is born. Funny how things go.

    Reply
    • Amber Schultz
      October 8, 2014 at 9:28 pm (3 weeks ago)

      Laura,

      I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. Losing a child is such a personal and terrible thing, and everyone should have the choice to share or to keep personal any and all aspects of it. It’s so cruel when someone doesn’t understand that and takes that decision away from you.

      Thinking of you in this difficult time.

      -Amber

      Reply
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  37. Name*
    October 20, 2014 at 8:55 pm (2 weeks ago)

    My first pregnancy was an ectopic which ruptured when I was about 7 weeks along. We hadn’t told anyone yet, we were just enjoying having the pregnancy to ourselves for a while, so when I ended up needing emergency surgery and several blood transfusions, that was how we announced to our parents. Even though that was the first they had heard of the pregnancy, we had their full and unwavering support. I was so incredibly thankful that we hadn’t shared our news with the world. I needed to grieve in private and in peace, and I didn’t want anyone’s questions or advice at that time. I did slowly tell a few friends and other family about the baby we lost when I was ready, but it’s not something I want to relive with the wider world. I think how early you tell should be tempered with how you think it would go if something were to go wrong. Some people have large networks of supportive people who would say and do the right things to make them feel better should they suffer a loss. Others do not. I wouldn’t say I cringe when I see an early pregnancy announcement on social media, but I do worry for the poster too. Unless you’ve suffered this particular type of loss, you really don’t know how you’ll feel should it happen to you so making it so public can backfire. And you only really find out if the worst happens.

    Reply
  38. me
    October 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm (1 week ago)

    I told my parents about my second pregnancy, with some hesitation, at three weeks because we had been trying for over a year and were elated. Super early. Before I knew it, my father told everyone. Although not entirely happy about it I told myself I’d rather have the support were the tragic to occur. It did. 6 weeks spotting. Made it to 10 weeks only to find baby passed at 8. Absolutely devastated as our first pregnancy was a breeze. The support was there but no comfort. All the insensitive things people mistakenly say because they truly have no idea…It compounded the grief and made me feel like the loneliest woman in the world. i imagine it is worse the further along you are. I lived that baby the minute I found out. Anyway, 5 months later I just found out I’m six weeks along. Cautiously optimistic/excited. I’ve only told a few because I needed comfort and positive assurance and because there are certain people who know me to well and know when something is up. We plan to announce after 14 weeks. But I’m thinking more around 20. Like you said, you can never know until it has happened to you.I’m truly sorry for your loss and for all the loss experienced by the commenters.

    Reply

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