or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › I'm Pregnant › Let's lift the first trimester 'telling taboo'
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Let's lift the first trimester 'telling taboo'

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I think this may be the right place to get this off my mind (and it seems the right time for me, now that I am done with fretting over the 1st trimester symptoms): who ever came up with the idea that a pregnant woman shouldn't talk about her pregnancy until the end of the first trimester? I was struck by the pervasiveness and strength of this commonly held opinion: it made that I felt apologetic about telling anyone early (and I had to and wanted to, esp. at work, because of how I felt), because I was violating 'the rule'. My body felt continuously attacked by an alien, someone seemed to blow up some balloons inside me (two in my breasts and one in my belly), I couldn't sleep (from what seemed a physiological rather than psychological cause), and was picky about what to eat and laid off the alcohol. I am aware that it may go wrong, but even then I would have wanted to tell people (fortunately, with 13 weeks I am now out of the danger zone). I would like to advocate lifting the taboo! And changing the (understood) message in those early days from: there will be a child some 8 months from now, to: I am pregnant, my body is running havoc with me and this is stressful. Of course, I am not advocating people should shout it off the roof the first day of a missed period, and I am fully sympathetic to people who want to process the news in privacy for some months. All I would want is to be part of a society where you can mention this when you want to, without having to feel you're violating a code. I am wondering whether anyone feels/ felt the same surprise during the first trimester. And my apologies for the long post!

PS I noticed I ended up telling my parents and people that I have frequent contact with early. People that I see less often, or am primarily in e-mail contact with, I tended to tell later, so that I would not have to make a special effort to alert them if anything went wrong.
post #2 of 43
You know, with both of my kids, I told everyone who would listen right away. Then I had a m/c at 9 weeks and I really didn't enjoy having to tell everyone that news. I especially don't like being asked about my pregnancy after I m/c. So, with this pregnancy, I've only told people I'm really close to and no one else. I'm not waiting for the 1st tri to end, but to hear the HB. I'm sure they will be about the same time anyway though.

So, for me, it's just easier this way.
post #3 of 43
Thread Starter 
I am very sorry to hear about your m/c and I fully understand you want to be careful now. My point was that I didn't feel at liberty to talk about it (and I really didn't shout it off the roofs) - sometimes I even got the response 'oh, but it's only 8 weeks, so it doesn't really count yet / best not to count yourself lucky yet'. And for me, too, the heartbeat (via the u/s) was a milestone and changed how I talked about the pregnancy. Wishing you all the best with this pregnancy!
post #4 of 43
I hear what you're saying, but I have had quite a few close friends who did tell early and then had to share the m/c news. I guess for me, I just would want there to be less of a chance of having to do this, so I've waited to tell people. But it's all a personal choice
post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 
But I am talking about the receiving end. Totally fine, of course, if you don't want to talk about it yourself (personally, I do want to share both good and bad news with my closest friends), it's the societal taboo against being told I have an issue with! But maybe this is more an issue in Europe (where I am from and am living now) than the US (where I did live for quite some time) - I wouldn't be surprised about that.
post #6 of 43
I actually ended up "telling" when I was only 6 weeks with this little one, because we have an annual new year's eve party at our home with wine parings...and I was drinking sparkling cider. Didn't take a genius to figure out why I was dry on what is normally my one lush night of the year.

But then I had a M/C scare just a few days later that sent me to the ER. I was so upset about maybe losing the baby, but even more tramatized thinking how I would have to tell all my close friends about the M/C when I would rather keep it quiet. Thankfully, baby stuck in spite of all the bleeding/issues I was having and we are expecting next month. I think that I am normally a reserved, quiet, and rather introverted person, and I don't like sharing personal tragedy with people outside of my family.

I do think it is weird if people don't want to HEAR about you being pregnant. But I can totally understand why many women keep it quiet until the most m/c prone part of the pregnancy has passed.
post #7 of 43
We ended up telling right away with all three pregnancies. Just our personal preference/decision. I don't begrudge anyone waiting to tell, and I expect that no one begrudges me my exuberance in telling early.
post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by EllisH View Post
it's the societal taboo against being told I have an issue with!
I have never encountered this! If anyone made you feel badly about your early news, they are entirely missing the point. I'm almost not sure there even IS a societal taboo, but it might pertain more to location, as you said.

I would say the strongest way to combat a societal taboo such is that one is to not apologize. If you allow people to think that it is "wrong," they will continue to assume so. Haha, I was so grumpy in that first trimester if anyone would have even TRIED to make me feel bad about telling them I was pregnant, I would have immediately told them I didn't have time or energy for their outdated view.
post #9 of 43
PS - I don't think the OP is denying anyone's right to privacy, I think she is just remarking that there is perceived backlash should someone choose to be open about it.
post #10 of 43

.


Edited by Lady Phoenix - 3/10/14 at 2:40pm
post #11 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarrenSquare View Post
PS - I don't think the OP is denying anyone's right to privacy, I think she is just remarking that there is perceived backlash should someone choose to be open about it.
Exactly! My point is precisely about being able to be free to do what you want - tell or not tell. And I would also like to draw attention to the fact that there are multiple 'messages' to tell so early on, not just the rosy one.
post #12 of 43
I don't find that a problem exists, honestly. Early loss is very common, and any raised eyebrows over people immediately announcing pregnancy is nothing but a normal reaction to that.

I'm another that has had a first trimester miscarriage, very shortly after having announced the pregnancy. I wish I hadn't announced it.
post #13 of 43
I'm with you, Ellis. I'm only 5 weeks and I started telling people last week. Except I felt like I always had to say, "I now it's really early, but..."

I'll support anyone's right to privacy, but I don't know why so many people want to keep m/c a secret. That's why so many women who have a m/c feel so alone. They don't realize how common it is because so many women don't talk about it.

My 1st pg ended with a missed m/c at 8 1/2 weeks. I hadn't told anyone. I ended up missing a week of work and somehow everyone found out why. I did appreciate the support.

My next pg resulted in ds1 being stillborn at 38 weeks. "Waiting to tell" did no good. I still had a loss.

We were going to tell about ds2 as soon as a heartbeat was confirmed. Then a few days later I had lots of bleeding. We postponed a trip back home to visit my mom by a couple of days so I could get in and get another u/s. When we saw that he was okay, I happily announced the pg to family and friends.

We've ttc for 3 1/2 years. I want to celebrate EVERY SECOND of this pg. There are so many people who have been supporting us along the way that are THRILLED to hear the news. They are the same people who would support us through a loss.

I think people know me well enough to know that when I announce a pg I'm not saying, "I'm so excited that we're having a baby in March!!!" and helping me pick out a color for the nursery. When I announce a pg I'm saying, "On THIS day I have a beautiful new life growing inside me and I want to celebrate it with you." I have no idea if that babe will be with me for 6 weeks or 38 weeks, or a lifetime. I will celebrate every day we are given.
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by trini View Post
I think people know me well enough to know that when I announce a pg I'm not saying, "I'm so excited that we're having a baby in March!!!" and helping me pick out a color for the nursery. When I announce a pg I'm saying, "On THIS day I have a beautiful new life growing inside me and I want to celebrate it with you." I have no idea if that babe will be with me for 6 weeks or 38 weeks, or a lifetime. I will celebrate every day we are given.


I agree! I think it's silly that in general you HAVE to wait to tell or you're nuts. I mean, it's really a personal preference b/c some women are private, but that aside, why is it wrong to want to celebrate the life thats growing inside TODAY?
post #15 of 43
Thread Starter 
Babycakes, trini: Both of you voice just what I meant to say: something is happening to me now, life is growing inside me, I don't know how it will go, but I want to share with you.
post #16 of 43
I told everyone right away with ds - pretty much shouted it from the rooftops! And I didn't experience any backlash, people were excited and so sweet about it!

I started to do the same thing last Nov/December - found out we were pregnant and told most of our good friends, pretty much everyone but work. Then I m/c'd - and that did very much change my perspective on the whole telling early thing. It was HARD.

So this time I told a few close friends right away, and shared the news with a few more after we saw the heartbeat. But I didn't shout from the rooftops until I was 13weeks. Just personal comfort level after having such a recent m/c.

But I certainly understand what you are saying, and I think people should feel free to share whenever THEY are comfortable! I've never experienced the negative comments or backlash you've talked about here, and in fact know many people (some not even good friends, just Moms at ds's school, etc) that tell early. I've never seen anything but support and excitement for them, and that's how it should be. I'm sorry you experienced some negative comments - and CONGRATS!!!
post #17 of 43
I told everyone right away both times. The only person who gave me a hard time was my old boss the first time. I told her at 6 weeks and I was showing already! I figured if I was showing I needed to tell. I was also eating like a pig. She said something about I wasn't supposed to tell until 12 weeks, and she waited until 16. But I was showing! I mean enough people were starting to ask and gossip already. I was using a belly band. She is the only one I encountered that was rude, and she was a rude person overall. No one else has said anything.

This time I am almost 14 weeks and not really showing, still in my normal clothes and I have had people ask me if I was really 14 weeks. Ha and this baby is measuring big, too.

I will say I am a little uncomfortable because DH has a family friend the same age as me, and his mom told us she was pregnant, and she was due at the same time as me. We were waiting to tell, but since his mom told us about that, we told her about us. DH friend ended up with a miscarriage. So I do wish I had waited a bit so because I feel like it was something we were supposed to share and I feel a little strange being around her now.
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by EllisH View Post
Babycakes, trini: Both of you voice just what I meant to say: something is happening to me now, life is growing inside me, I don't know how it will go, but I want to share with you.
We have had two losses in over two years of trying and are still trying for our first. It was VERY hard to be struggling "alone" with my losses, and it is also very hard to be struggling "alone" with infertility, too. HOWEVER, the number of unbelievable insensitive comments I've received over the past two years from people who know about our struggles as well as people who don't, I personally feel rather selective about who I let into my raw circle of feelings. When we ever get pregnant again, believe me, my husband, my family, my closest friends and I will cherish and love that baby from the moment of conception, but I have no need for anyone else to be adding their hurtful "helpful" comments to our journey. My experience has been that many people will just say something catchy or trite that makes THEM feel better in the face of your pain, but often leaves you feeling worse. It's not that they're trying to be mean, it's just that they dont' know what to say. I don't need to tell those people; the people I would tell are the ones that I would truly want to celebrate with and the ones I would truly want to lean on if something went wrong again.

I agree with whoever said that raised eyebrows probably simply come from people who know how heartbreakingly common loss is. You may want to consider that maybe that person is suffering right now, wanting what you have. However, I think that the more people you share with about pregnancy, the more likely you are just to get obnoxious comments, no matter how far along you are. Please forgive me for sounding jaded, but that's been my experience.
post #19 of 43
I found that attitude with my inlaws. There is no discussing pregnancy at any time. They do not even have baby showers because it would be too hard for grieving parents to have to see baby things in their house. Hmm? Odds are so much higher that parents will have a child who might appreciate some diapers and clothes.
post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest~mama View Post
I hear what you're saying, but I have had quite a few close friends who did tell early and then had to share the m/c news. I guess for me, I just would want there to be less of a chance of having to do this, so I've waited to tell people. But it's all a personal choice
But see, i'm the oppostite. I had a m/c at 12.5 weeks and i was SO VERY glad that i told people because the support i received was AMAZING! It was such a hard thing to go through and if i had to just sweep it under the rug and act like everything was fine I would proabably be in a mental institution. My boss gave me a week off from work (paid), families from the school I teach at brought me flowers and soups and cassaroles and cards with sympathy.

I also do not believe there is a magic time to tell. Most peopel will say 12 weeks. Well if i had told at 12 and lost it a few days later, i think that would have been harder/worse. People had already been routing for me and excited about the pregnancy and they felt a sense of loss too and were able to make me feel better about it. There sympathy was heart felt.

This time around I told people at 6 weeks and i'm happy I did. Some people even said "wow i'm suprised you told so early" and i just don't really get why? I mean, (as horrible as it is) some people will lose their baby at 20 weeks or 30 weeks or when it is born. but they are all babies just the same no matter when/if you lose them so I think they should all be celebrated and all be shown sympathy when needed.

Does that make sense???
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: I'm Pregnant
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › I'm Pregnant › Let's lift the first trimester 'telling taboo'