My pregnancy is not a secret, just none of your business.
August 22, 2019
The choice for us to not share a baby announcement when we found out really early at about week 5, was primarily my choice. I knew before the 2 lines appeared that I wanted to keep this within my family, between Dave and myself. After the positive test and the hugs and ‘holy shit’ between Dave and I, I asked that we keep this to us.
For weeks I knew I was pregnant, without the test confirmation, so for weeks I had the chance to think about it. What it meant to me, and to us. This time round my instinct was ‘this is my baby, my family and I don’t want to share our news right now’. It was less to do with being in the dangerous early throws of pregnancy and more to do with ‘fuck off, this is none of your business’. I began to feel more and more protective of Jess, this is going to be huge change and I want her to know and understand before anyone else in my wider family or friends. In truth, keeping it quiet was hard at times. I’m a chronic, honest over-sharer, but still, I didn’t want questions, chat or excitement surrounding our pregnancy. This is mine, ours, and I wanted it to stay that way until we included the most important mini member of our family into this equation, Jessica.
We decided the best time to tell Jess would be during our first scan. Of course, the first 12 weeks and more are filled with niggling doubts, the what ifs and the reality that life has the ability to swiftly change course without warning. Nervous for our dating scan, I still wanted Jess to be there. I’d gamble on the risk that the baby isn’t ok and Jess would be there to witness any devastating news. For me, the risk was outweighed by the possibility that all is well and Jess would get to see and fully understand that a new baby is on it’s way. It became apparent that my instinct towards my family was a close and intimate one. To have Jess understand the news before most people found out was very important to me.
Waiting until the scan had very little to do with reaching the ‘safer’ pregnancy zone. I hold no shame or guilt over the function of my body, I would be absolutely heartbroken if I lost the baby. But I doubt I would hide it. Mentally, I know, for me, I need to share. So holding back our news was both comforting and at times, isolating. But there is no one I want to share this news with more than Jess, and I want her to really know what it means. Although, I know until that baby is in my arms alive and well, it can be taken from us just as easily as it was given. Something which does draw hesitation in regards to telling Jess. But being a child gives her the innocence to grasp both when something is amazing and when something is just forgotten, when something doesn’t hold much place in her thoughts as it does in ours.
Our expectant news was very much loved between Dave and I. Another child had been in our thoughts for a while, yet tainted by our experience of PND after Jess. When I found out the news, our parenting journey did impact my choice to keep it quiet. I missed much of Jessica’s first 18 months, lost in a dark place, hating pretty much the whole experience. This time, I want to savior every moment, including my pregnancy. We don’t ‘plan’ to have more children, this could be the last time I have this opportunity – if everything goes well. I’ve become overwhelmingly content and keen to be at home, with Jess and David. As if they are all that matter in this moment in time. I don’t want to revel in the ‘joy’ of pregnancy, I don’t want the overly excited friends and family congratulations, and the rest. I want this moment, for now, to be about us, my family that’s about to expand. This is my (our) baby and I don’t really want to share right now.
That isn’t to say David couldn’t share his news if he wished. I only ask that we keep it away from family and the people Jess would be in contact with. The last thing I wanted was for Jess to overhear and conclude, second hand, that she is going to be a big sister.
I don’t believe my thoughts or actions to be selfish. If I learnt anything during parenthood, it’s that I matter just as much, if not more, that the wishes of others. This is my family. My body and my mind. I’ll do what I see fit until I see otherwise. Honestly, the voice screaming in my head keeps saying ‘I don’t need to do or tell you shit’. Quite clearly pregnancy, birth and motherhood the first time round has left some scars which have healed in the form of confidence. I’m very much doing what I want, when I want.
This is both a hugely exciting time and anxious time. I won’t be swayed by what anyone other than David, Jessica and myself want or need. There’s always so much expectation, opinion and judgment surrounding parenthood. Pregnancy is no different. Just this time, I want to experience and enjoy as much of it on my terms.