Why I Announced My Pregnancies Early
July 15, 2015
Preface: After reading this recent Huffpost article about miscarriage, I feel compelled to share my story so others know they aren’t alone. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support and love whenever you need it, because we’re all in this together. Regardless of your personal preferences for privacy and sharing your life journey, you should NEVER have to feel alone or isolated when you experience heartache or tragedy, or let the fear of what could be prevent you from enjoying life’s milestones with others.
With my first pregnancy, I was extremely hesitant to announce it to the world. Initially we only told a few immediate family members, and we made sure to ask them not to tell anybody else until I was further along. Why? Because I was afraid I would have a miscarriage. I ended up telling all of our friends, coworkers, and announcing it on Facebook around 8 weeks.
Then at 9 weeks, I had a miscarriage.
I kicked myself for announcing my pregnancy so early. What was I supposed to do now, just act like it never happened? I decided that rather than tell everyone individually when they asked, I would just post on my Facebook about it, and that would be that. So I did. And the response was overwhelmingly supportive and positive, and I was relieved.
I went to the doctor later that day to see if I needed a D&C, and I was sad as can be seeing all of these pregnant women in the waiting room, and just couldn’t help but cry my eyes out. We got called back and the ultrasound tech (who didn’t seem to know what was going on), said in her bubbly, happy voice, “Okay! Let’s see! Yep, there’s a heartbeat!” We immediately went from tears of sadness to tears of joy, and looks of confusion. Talk about the biggest emotional rollercoaster of my life. I asked our doctor how that could be, when I had clearly miscarried earlier that morning, and he explained what probably happened. Apparently I had twins, and didn’t even know it, and had miscarried one. There was our little daughter in her tiny little black gestational sac, and there was a tiny empty sac right next to her. Talk about the most overwhelmingly emotional experience of my life.
So I went from announcing a pregnancy to announcing a miscarriage, to re-announcing a pregnancy.
Now, your initial thoughts right now are likely, “you shared too much and too soon.” Right? Those were mine, too, at first.
But then I realized something: we live in an age where we get to hand-pick the snapshots of our lives we wish to share with the world online, and the picture we choose to paint is usually always pretty. This makes us feel hesitant to share anything that could eventually lead to sad or negative news.
That Huffpost article revealed some shocking statistics, though.
You see reality is, 1 million miscarriages occur each year, and 15-20% of all known pregnancies end in miscarriages, according to the Mayo Clinic. And they believe that number is actually low, and that many miscarriages occur before a woman even knows she’s pregnant or misses a period and that the number might even be as high as 50 percent! What’s worse – a survey of 1000 adults, conducted by Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y., found that over half of respondents believed that miscarriages were rare, and occurred in less than 6 percent of pregnancies. This makes the final stat even sadder than it is – that “40 percent of women who have had miscarriages say that after, they felt very alone.”
So heaven forbid I shared something that wasn’t about delicious food or a cute pet or a vacation.
Heaven forbid I shared something about my real-life.
And what did I expect, that people would say, “why did you share that? I didn’t want to know that. Sucks to be you.” OF COURSE NOT! I thought about how I would respond if I saw that a friend had gone through such a tragic event, and I realized I wouldn’t hesitate to reach out immediately to offer support or help in any way I can. I would be thankful for the opportunity to serve my friend and strengthen our relationship, and to lend a shoulder to help them get through. And fortunately, my friends reacted the exact same way.
You won’t be surprised to know that, when we found out we were pregnant for the second time at right around 3 weeks, we didn’t think twice about sharing the news. We immediately called or texted all of our close friends and family, and posted an announcement online shortly after that. I figured if this pregnancy also had some problems, maybe someone who also went through a similar situation could relate and we could talk. Maybe someone who already went through a miscarriage or complications and was dealing with it alone would feel empowered to share or talk to someone. And if all went well, we got to celebrate and share the excitement that much sooner with our loved ones! Win-win!
All of this being said, I realize that pregnancy is an individual matter and what works for me doesn’t work for everyone else. I think what’s important is acknowledging the “why” behind sharing your news, and this can help you determine what timing is right for you. Although there can be several fears and concerns associated with pregnancy, sharing your news with a strong support system can help you feel confident and secure, and that you have help if you need it, whether that consists of only your spouse or your entire group of Facebook friends.
If you or someone you know is going through a hard time with miscarriage or fertility, please take action. Everyone goes through hard times in their life, it’s a part of our journey that makes us who we are, but we should never feel trapped or alone during those times.
If you have any thoughts, experiences, or resources about miscarriage, please share them below!
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