Announcing Early: Why we didn’t wait to share our pregnancy news.
I overheard two women talking about a coworker who had a miscarriage and one of them said, “That’s why you don’t announce that early.” It really got me thinking, especially because we decided not to keep our pregnancy news a secret this time around.
I didn’t announce this pregnancy early because I felt confident that I wouldn’t have a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss. It was quite the opposite actually.
You see, I worry every single second of every single day that I will lose this baby. Both of my pregnancies ended in loss, one in the first trimester, and the other after birth. I’m 0 for 2. So far, I’ve got a 0% success rate. Despite all of the doctors who have assured me I can and should have a healthy baby, it’s still hard to believe with all that I’ve been through.
Every trip to the bathroom brings an overwhelming fear that I’ll see blood, signaling the start of another miscarriage. Every pinch, pull and twinge in my lower abdomen makes me worry, and then when I feel nothing, I then worry that baby has stopped growing. Some have said I’ll probably feel better when I make it to twelve weeks, but the truth is that I won’t.
Aria was diagnosed with CCAM at 20 weeks, and for six weeks following that we had no idea it would become fatal. We had kept Aria a precious secret until twelve weeks until we felt “safe”, and even made it to the 20 week anatomy scan, where we were assured she would survive her lung defect. But nothing is ever guaranteed.
Truthfully, I won’t fully believe that we will actually get to bring home a healthy baby until we walk out of the hospital doors with a car seat that isn’t empty.
The thing that stands out to me the most about everything we’ve been through, is how relentlessly we loved Aria. Even when she was diagnosed, even when she became incredibly sick, even when we knew she was dying, even as we held her lifeless body in our arms for the last time. We never stopped loving her and celebrating her life.
When I found out I was pregnant again a year and a half after Aria died, we kept it very tight lipped. No one knew we were pregnant, aside from my sister and best friend, until we told them the crushing news that I had miscarried. I felt so much guilt and regret that our tiny baby wasn’t really celebrated.
So with this pregnancy, we haven’t held back. Not because I know this baby will make it, but because we know very well that there is always the possibility that this baby may not, and we’re going to love and celebrate as much we can, while we can. We love this tiny sesame seed sized human so much, despite every fear. I don’t want to spend this sacred time in the shadows.
Announcing early doesn’t jinx us. It doesn’t make us more likely to have a loss. And in the event that loss happens to us again, we won’t be silenced by social stigmas that push women to keep their losses to themselves. And if all goes well, we won’t pretend this baby didn’t get here without a really hard fought battle against loss and infertility. There is no shame in our hardships to build our family. This broken road is part of our family’s story.
I say all of this today as a reminder that if you’re struggling with loss or infertility, you don’t have to go through this in silence, nor do you walk alone.
And yet I want to end with this caveat - the decision to share your pregnancy is a deeply personal one. If you choose to keep it under wraps, there’s no shame in that either. Pregnancy after loss is such a challenge, and the most important thing is doing whatever brings you the most peace.