Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When to spill the beans

Someone asked on my spaghetti sauce post when you should tell people you're Prego. What I told her is really, it's up to her and her husband. What I should have told her is this is the first of many decisions you'll make as a parent where any answer could be the right one, leaving plenty of room for worry and second-guessing. But hey! you've got a good chance of it all ending up OK, too.

The general rule of thumb is to wait until you get past that 12-week or three-month mark, before which you have the greatest chance of miscarrying. That can be a long time to keep a secret in this modern age of ovulation predictors and early response pregnancy tests. Our grandmothers might not have known they were pregnant until they were six or more weeks along. We can know when we're barely four weeks in.

Still, with The Boy, I followed that -- sort of. I'm not good with secrets, so we told my parents and the husband's parents, my sister and some very close friends, like Michelle, right after I got a positive pee stick. (Seriously, right after. I took the test on a weekday night, right after work, and called my husband at work, while he was on deadline, so I could call my mom. I knew he'd be angry if I didn't tell him first.) We managed to keep things quiet down here until after my first trimester, but back in Ohio, our families were spreading the news. My mother-in-law, who is a town councilwoman, announced it on public access television. I'm not joking.

Partly because of those loose lips up north, we barely even tried to wait this time around. Facebook and this blog also factored into our decision. Cousins who had heard from aunts who had heard from our mothers were congratulating us on our public pages, which friends, coworkers and former classmates all could see. I got a congratulatory message from an old friend whose sister had her hair cut and colored by my sister who was so excited to get a new niece or nephew she had to share. Meanwhile, exhausted and queasy, I was having a hard time getting the motivation to write here when everything I wanted to write about might give me away. Or what if someone who knew commented and spilled the beans before I did?! That's no fun.

I'm self-centered. I wanted to be the one to share my news. So I wrote the spaghetti sauce post. And then people knew. I wanted to wait to tell our bosses -- the husband and I work for the same company. But the husband, who's in middle management, didn't want the big bosses to find out through office gossip, so he told them. We ended up telling everyone. And I'm barely 10 weeks along.

For the last week, now that everyone knows, every little twinge in the general vicinity of my uterus has made me fret. If SOMETHING were to happen, I'd have to tell everyone. People would be nice to me. They would feel sorry for me. It would be awful.

But then I imagine how I would be if SOMETHING did happen. I would be miserable. I would want to wallow. I would probably not want to do it in secret. So, maybe it's best everyone knows. And, as the husband, Michelle, my sister, my mother and all the other people with sense around me say, everything's going to be fine.

So, how did you decide when to tell people about your pregnancy? Did someone spill the beans for you?


samuraistrong said...

The first time we were expecting, I couldn't resist spilling the beans. To everyone. Well, everyone but work.

When I miscarried, however, it was nice to have people know. To get e-mails or calls from those reaching out to express their condolences. It was so surreal anyway that it was nice to have some kind of recognition that I was indeed pregnant and that it's okay to grieve and feel bad, etc..

This time, however, we've kept mum. We told our immediate families and a few close friends but that's it. But today, after an early ultrasound and 2 separate appointments where we heard the baby's heartbeat we soldier on with full hearts and lots of hope. I'm 10.5 weeks and am spreading the word in our friend circle but am going to wait at work as long as possible b/c I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to propose for an altered work schedule.

Congrats to you!!

sarahvanbrimmer said...

I am a horrible secret keeper and I was so terribly excited I couldn't wait hardly at all. We barely waited until six weeks until we started telling people. Plus, I wanted to tell our friends in person -- and for people we don't see often, we just jumped at the chance.

Michelle said...

We told our families after we had been to the doctor to confirm the at-home pregnancy test. I was probably about 6 weeks along. I told my boss sooner than planned when I was 9 weeks. I started a new job the same week I found out I was pregnant. When I got so sick I couldn't go to work, I felt I had to let him know I wasn't a flake, just having bad morning sickness. After we saw the heartbeat on the ultrasound around 12 weeks, we felt comfortable telling everyone.

desperate housewife said...

We never kept it a secret once I'd had a blood test to confirm- I figured (and unfortunately, found out that I was correct) that even if I did miscarry I would want the support of my family and friends during that time, and keeping the miscarriage a secret would feel horrible and just kind of wrong. Then, as you may know, I did miscarry twice, both times like a week after we had told our families. But both times I ended up needing a D and C and being in the hospital and needing someone to watch the kid/kids for that day so Jim could be with me, and it was totally for the best that the families knew. We didn't tell people at church or casual friends, though, just people close enough that we knew we'd be sharing what happened either way with them.

Gerbicks said...

we told our families immediately! & then i decided who to tell others (distant family, friends) based on whether i would want them to know if i miscarried. i for sure didn't wait the 12 weeks then to tell everyone's just too good of a secret to keep.
glad you spilled the beans! it's exciting!

Andrea said...

I also am horrible with secrets, we told everyone at 6wks in. We're we pretty stinking excited after getting over the initial shock (had not planned it) so it was surprise to everyone.


Amy Hudson said...

I was already nearly 12 weeks along when I went to my family. Granted, this could have been because it was totally unexpected. I was told at 18 children weren't possible, so it didn't occur to me I could be. I went to the gyno because I thought I had a yeast infection. I know, gross, but something was off. That's how I found out. I told my sister and brother-in-law first, then waited another 2 weeks before breaking it to my parents. Looking back, it was probably the scariest thing I ever did, but he's here now and a joy.