Let's lift the first trimester 'telling taboo' - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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I'm Pregnant > Let's lift the first trimester 'telling taboo'
milletpuff's Avatar milletpuff 11:51 PM 07-09-2010
Originally Posted by Tear78 View Post
...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 <snip> 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.
Originally Posted by mizznicole View Post
I am one of those people who have had a m/c after telling everyone early. I think the nature of a m/c is that you feel alone no matter what - it is your grief after all. And sadly, most people have no clue how to respond to women in this situation. So the impact of the insensitive remarks far outweighs the support. I never want to go through the pain of that again.

When I'm losing a baby, or grieving, the last thing I want to do is to educate people about miscarriages, or to explain calmly and rationally why their "hurtful/helpful comments" (tm Tear78!) are hurtful. I'm barely holding it together as it is and I just don't typically have the emotional room for it.

I have almost no one in my life who has experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, and IME it's very rare for someone who hasn't been through it to be able to handle the info and to respond appropriately/kindly. I am extremely guarded with who I tell now, and in almost all cases I assume the worst, I steel myself for difficult comments and I look to other resources for support. And with my first pregnancy I told everyone because "I'd want the support if something did happen." I don't regret that decision, but it didn't turn out how I wanted, thats for sure.

Sorry, I'm with Tear at the jaded table

forest~mama's Avatar forest~mama 01:05 AM 07-10-2010
Originally Posted by EllisH View Post
Exactly! My point is precisely about being able to be free to do what you want - tell or not tell.
I agree!

Originally Posted by jeminijad View Post
I'm another that has had a first trimester miscarriage, very shortly after having announced the pregnancy. I wish I hadn't announced it.
I would feel the same way.

Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
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 totally see what you are saying, and that works well for you. I'm not that kind of person. I don't like attention from others.

I wonder if it makes a difference what size town everyone lives in. I live in a small town, work for the City, and know everyone. Word spreads like wildfire here. When you go to the store you know everyone who is shopping there. I just would not want to be faced with having to talk to everyone about it. That's just me though.

Originally Posted by mizznicole View Post
I am one of those people who have had a m/c after telling everyone early. I think the nature of a m/c is that you feel alone no matter what - it is your grief after all. And sadly, most people have no clue how to respond to women in this situation. So the impact of the insensitive remarks far outweighs the support. I never want to go through the pain of that again.
This is what I would fear happening. I just think that most people would not even know what to say.

Originally Posted by milletpuff View Post

When I'm losing a baby, or grieving, the last thing I want to do is to educate people about miscarriages, or to explain calmly and rationally why their "hurtful/helpful comments" (tm Tear78!) are hurtful.

I do want to add though that it's true- waiting until 12w doesn't mean that we won't suffer a loss. It could happen at any time.

I didn't tell until 12w with my first pg (except my mom), but it wasn't because of a fear of m/c. I just wanted us to have our exciting news all to ourselves for a bit before we let the family floodgates open.
lrgs's Avatar lrgs 01:20 AM 07-10-2010
Seems to be a very individual, personal thing. I've personally told right away with both of my pregnancies. I always felt like if I were to suffer a loss I would want the support of my friends and family while I was grieving. Like another poster said, I'd want more then just dh and I to know about that baby. I can totally understand why someone would feel differently though...........we're all individual and deal with stuff differently.

When I got pg with this baby, a lot of my friends were pg at the same time and I'm the only one who told right away. Everyone acted like it should be such a big secret until 12 weeks +......eventhough the cat was out of the bag (some people can't keep secrets!) no one was allowed to talk about it. That's fine if that's what works for them but it almost seemed like I shouldn't have been talking about my pregnancy. I also have the type of job where I need to be put on desk duty fairly quickly when preggo and I also deal with serious nausea and vomitting so it's not really something I can keep quiet............hard to hide running to the public work washroom and puking multiple times a day.
jessica_s's Avatar jessica_s 01:45 AM 07-10-2010
I feel like I can comment because I've done about everything on the list! Yay me.

When I had my first m/c we had told a lot of people early, I know a lot of folks want to tell early and say that they would want the support of everyone. Unfortunately in my experience a lot of people (I know at least) have NO CLUE on how to do that. With the first one I had a teenager beating herself up for months because she thought the plane ride to her graduation caused it, nobody would talk with me because they feared they'd be "bringing it back up", my closest family said things like "well it happens to a lot of people" or "your young you can try again". *I* was consoling people! Not the other way around. Now I'm glad people knew, because I don't think m/c should be kept away like a dirty secret, but wow was that a shocker what sort of support I did not receive.

With my son we waited until about 14 weeks to tell most people. No one seemed upset that we waited a long time. I also didn't get any comments on being too early the first time. I agree though that if someone made this comment it's probably because they've had a loss themselves. I don't make the comment myself but my head is screaming I really hope you don't have to untell me because the pee isn't even dry on the stick. I just smile and say wow that's great!

With my second loss I told my mom and a few people and wow that was just beyond heartbreaking to tell someone that news twice. I could cry just thinking about it. Nope, not helpful to anyone.

With my third loss I tried something new. See I got lots of tries at this. I would wait to tell anyone (besides my internet support folks and my DH) and then if I had another loss I'd tell folks after the fact. That worked surprisingly well. No shame in keeping things a secret. Instead of just saying odd things that came to mind I got simply I'm so sorry.

I think no matter who I've told, I've still felt incredibly alone. No one knew that baby, no one bonded with it. Maybe they got excited about the idea, but it's not the same thing. I've had some very sympathetic friends but really the only folks who can really really get down in that hole with you are the people who've been there before. So now, that's who I tell early.

I do think it's a shame that when you feel so horrible no one knows. I mean no stranger will give up a seat unless you look visibly pregnant. You have no patience, your tired and sick. It's something that is often very hard to keep a secret, even if you want to!

Sorry OP that's probably not what you were looking for but I thought I'd share my perspective from the other side!
TangoMama's Avatar TangoMama 09:54 AM 07-10-2010
I also haven't experienced this as a problem - in fact I got a bit of negative feelings from people when I waited until 14 weeks to tell people with our first baby and 12 weeks this time. Most of my friends (in Canada and the US) seem to tell people earlier and from what I've seen the reception has been very positive no matter how far along they are.
Baby~Braatens~Mama's Avatar Baby~Braatens~Mama 10:19 AM 07-10-2010
I didn't take the test until I was 9 weeks. We told dp's mother after my first ob, 13 weeks. She said "how far along is she? oh, so she is just a little pregnant." lol! As if it is possible to be just a little pregnant. Around here it is hard to see an ob (unless he/she is already your practitioner) until after or close to the end of your 1st trimester, so I felt the unspoken taboo here too.
CherryBomb's Avatar CherryBomb 11:34 AM 07-10-2010
My last pregnancy I got some of that, when I told someone I was pregnant and they said (instead of "congratulations!") "and you're telling people already?" Well I wound up miscarrying at 16 weeks, when most people will have "told" by then, anyway. I totally understand people wanting to wait, but the pressure to NOT tell from the outside is really irritating to me.
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens 11:42 AM 07-10-2010
I hear you mama. I'm in Europe too, perhaps it is worse here? Some of the European forums I participate in sometimes have frequent posts along the lines of "Oh no, I am having a party and now everyone is going to know I am pregnant because I can't drink!"

I had a miscarriage as well, and I do agree that it sucks to have to inform everyone about that. With close friends though, it is good to have a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on too.
AutumnAir's Avatar AutumnAir 11:59 AM 07-10-2010
Yeah, I think this unspoken taboo might be stronger in Europe. It's funny - I was just talking with my mom about this the other day, and we both agreed that it makes more sense to tell people (at least people you want to tell) as soon as you want.

Both times I got pregnant I told my mom almost straight away - right after I told DH. I knew no matter what I'd want her support, so there was no reason to wait. When I was pg with DD I really wished that there wasn't such a taboo against telling early, because I was working on a very stressful, intensive course in a position for which I'd only just been trained when I found out, and was suffering the first tri sickness and exhaustion in complete silence when I could really have used the support and encouragement of my boss and a couple of chosen colleagues.

I'm lucky not to have suffered an early m/c but, for me, I don't think it would make much difference, since the people I tell early on are the people I would most definitely tell and turn to for support in the case of a m/c anyway - family and close friends.

It's strange that there's such a taboo about it here really - the first tri is often the most challenging for many women, and they're expected to soldier through without any support or encouragement from anyone.
JollyGG's Avatar JollyGG 12:34 PM 07-10-2010
I agree that there shouldn't be such a stigma with telling early. I think each parent should feel comfortable telling whenever they are ready be it the minute they get a positive pregnancy test, after 12 weeks, after their 20 week ultrasound, or even after birth.

I have had three pregnancies, the second ending in miscarriage. I told early with the first two and waited on the third till 11weeks. In the first case work was able to make some modifications that reduced my exposure to workplace hazards, as well as in the second (workplace modifications weren't an issue with the third as they were still in place from the second). I had severe nausea with the first and third pregnancy and it was rather obvious that something was going on. I was also drinking a ton of water, peeing like crazy, and couldn't climb a flight of stairs without getting winded.

With the miscarriage I actually hadn't been quite ready to tell when It came out. And it really really did suck to tell everyone about it. But it was also great that when I decided that I couldn't handle working and dealing with the miscarriage and took a couple of days everyone was very understanding. I got a lot of support from my parents and friends who knew I was having a tough time. I had some family that didn't know about the pregnancy and miscarriage and went to a family party a week or two after the miscarriage. I have to say that dealing with all the "so when are you going to have another baby" questions ended up with me spilling about the pregnancy and miscarriage anyway in an even more uncomfortable and painful conversation. I know of at least 3 people who miscarried in the early third trimester after they thought it was "safe" to tell. So I don't regret telling even though I lost the baby.

With my third, my daughter, I waited to tell because of some stress at work, an upcoming business trip, not needing the safety accommodations of the previous two pregnancies, ect. But once again I was horribly nauseated and sick until about 20 weeks of pregnancy. I was very ill from 6 weeks - 12 weeks including a quick hospitalization. The fact that I wasn't telling was a bit weird and strange. When I did get back from my business trip and tell everyone it was no real surprise. Everyone had figured it out weeks earlier when they determined that I couldn't have had a stomach virus for the straight last month. It was a weird dynamic while they all knew but I wasn't telling yet.
mom2fussy's Avatar mom2fussy 12:36 PM 07-10-2010
Just thought I'd add my two cents...

I've definitely noticed a bit of a taboo about telling early. I'm in the U.S. & originally from the "North", but now I live in the "South". I don't know if that makes a difference? I've had people around here look very surprised that I was telling them so early (8-10 weeks), & even make some comments about it. But I didn't run into any strange looks or comments when visiting Ohio.

For me, I chose to tell early because I have EXTREME nausea, insomnia, & all sorts of other pregnancy-related discomforts. If I didn't tell, people would probably be wondering what was up with me or if I was sick with something they could catch!

I'd also prefer that people knew I had been pregnant & had a miscarriage, because I know a lot of people who have had them. I'd rather that people understood why I was emotional afterwards & could treat me accordingly.
Tear78's Avatar Tear78 09:04 PM 07-10-2010
Originally Posted by jessica_s View Post
*I* was consoling people! Not the other way around.
YES. This. jessica, what hard times we've been through.
jessica_s's Avatar jessica_s 12:53 AM 07-11-2010
Originally Posted by Tear78 View Post
YES. This. jessica, what hard times we've been through.
Yup. What a rough ride this has been. Infertility and loss are a combo that would make anyone need a shoulder to cry on and so often there isn't one there. Rooting for you girl, you deserve some happiness.
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