Pregnancy // To Tell or Not To Tell before 12 weeks?

January 30, 2019

I realised that I still had this post in my drafts, it's something that I wrote back around Christmas time reflecting on our first trimester. To tell or not to tell? And how we told our parents...

There’s a real taboo around the twelve week mark, and for good reason. The first trimester is known as the danger zone pregnancy wise. If anything is likely to go wrong, it’s most likely to in those first precious three months. So most don’t want to go shouting and announcing everything before they have confirmation from their first official scan around 12 weeks. But 12 weeks is SUCH a long time. And it’s likely to be the time that you’re feeling at your most tired and possibly sick with pregnancy. How can you hold that in? For me, it was how I could hold that excitement in. And of course, the important support side of things if anything did go wrong, would you want to just pretend to everyone else that you’re fine? And go through that in secret? Miscarriage is such a taboo because we don’t talk about it because it mostly happens in that first trimester and therefore people aren't aware that it's even happened as they didn't know that that person was pregnant. It must feel so suffocating to be going through that alone and also possibly not know how common it can be because it’s not talked about.  {although with this post, I hope I'm not talking out of term, I would hate to upset anybody who has suffered baby loss <3}

I remember a powerful line which said ‘anybody you tell, be comfortable knowing that you’d have to un-tell’. Which definitely makes you think so much more about it all.

In terms of what we decided; 

I told my friend Faye as soon as I had taken photos of the tests the night we found out and it was so lovely for her to share in my excitement, especially as she’d been the one I’d talked to during the time we were trying. And she’d been through the same thing exactly a year and a month before us. I knew that I could tell her anything and everything. 

And then, we decided that we’d tell our parents early on. In fact, we hadn’t really planned to tell them as early as we did {the very day after we found out ourselves} but we were serendipitously all booked to go for dinner that Sunday and Ben’s Mum was due to go to America for most of November. It’s not that often that we’re all together, and Ben knew how excited I was and how I was bursting to tell them. We didn’t want some cheesy announcement like you see on Pinterest with them. We just wanted their love and support, we’re also so close to both of them that we kind of couldn’t not tell them. The setting was perfect too, we’d taken them to Soho House's Shoreditch House after a trip to Columbia road flower market. We were having a fun afternoon and when we were seated for our roast {on the top floor looking out across a clear skied London skyline} it just seemed too perfect. I kept looking and smiling at Ben, just waiting for the right moment. We had this lovely round table and just after we’d ordered, with everyone’s drinks charged, I announced that we had some news. ‘We have something to announce’ I remember beaming. Ben’s Mum - Julie and my Mum pretty sure of what was to follow.  My Mum already welling up. ‘We’re having a baby!’. It was SUCH a happy time. I think I was a bit worried about telling my Dad, him probably having no idea we wanted a baby but I need not have been. He was in tears as well and just so over the moon and supportive. We quickly tried to manage expectations though saying just how early it was. But how if the worst was to happen, we’d want them to know anyway and not hide that from them or be without their support. The rest of the dinner was spent answering questions, ‘when’s the due date’ etc but everyone was beaming and then the sky turned pink and the skyline glittered out of the windows. I want to remember that dinner forever. My Mum actually couldn’t sleep that night! And I awoke to messages the next day of just how happy they were. 

I also figured that if I didn't tell my Mum, I was 99% sure she would have guessed pretty early on anyway. She just has this radar and we're so close that it would have felt weird keeping it a secret.

It’s a fine line in managing others expectations though. As much as we wanted to share the excitement, we tried to emphasise to everyone who knew to mainly be hopeful at this stage. But it was definitely nice to be able to talk to my Mum about how tired I was feeling and not to have to hide anything. We then told my brother fairly on as we're such a close family and were all going to Boston together, that was a bit harder though as he was SO excited but kind of had no idea about how common miscarriage is, I really tried to manage his expectations and whilst of course we were excited, did feel anxious to make sure everything was OK before he got too excited. He kept sending messages, that I had to tame down a bit to start with - not really believing it was real ourselves until that first scan. 

In the weeks that followed we told just a few others. My friend & Pilates teacher Nikki, Helen from my Pilates class who had sensed the week before that I was pregnant {before I even suspected myself!} in this really lovely conversation after our class so I had to text her to tell her that she’s magic {she’s predicted so many others before their announcements too!}, my special friend Emma who had been through fertility woes in the past and understood/was such a great support and I work with her so wanted her to know on that level too and Vicky, again who knew we were trying and was such a gorgeous friend to talk to. I felt confident that these women would all understand completely if anything went wrong and it was just so lovely to share. 

I felt like with a lot of my other friends, who are so interlinked with our village and we know their parents well etc, as much as I wanted to tell them, it would be better just to wait until announcement time. Likewise for the rest of our families. I thought it was nice too how our 12 week scan would fall before Christmas so we could make proper announcements over Christmas/New Year. It was kind of special to have a bit of a secret to keep, and protect, too. 

In the run up to our scan, when I was probably 9 weeks pregnant I think, I did cave and then tell a couple of other close friends over dinner one night, and it was just so lovely to make it all feel more real and to see their excitement and be able to discuss it all. Their screams of excitement were probably the best reaction we had of all. And we then shared it with the rest of Ben's family who we thought should know before lots of others found out.

As we got closer to our first scan, I suddenly realised how it felt like just how many people did know, and felt really worried. But, then when I thought about it, I wouldn't have wanted to hide it from any of the people that did know if that makes sense. Luckily, thank god, all was well and we could then tell everybody else before I announced it to the world on Instagram before Christmas. 

Did you tell early or wait and do it by the book? Also, I found it was hard to work out exactly how to announce! It's quite a big thing to just come out with 'oh, by the way I'm pregnant!' but as I said, we didn't want this huge cheesy show and dance about it either. I really want to think about how we'll share our gender news though, again not in a big tacky gender reveal party way, but I think my husband's condition of us finding out before the baby is born is that it should be a special and meaningful thing to share in a bit of a creative way rather than just tell them 'it's a boy, or it's a girl!'.

Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, as ever, and I'll share a photo on Instagram today that will make it easier to create a discussion. I've loved chatting about all things pregnancy so far. This community is so incredible.

R <3 xx 

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  1. Ahh , such an exciting time , I kept it a secret from all but my closest family for 12 weeks with all 3 of my pregnancies . Sadly I lost number 3 at 11 weeks and I often wonder if not sharing with anyone ( I did tell some people about the loss long after but it was too painful to tell as it happened) so is it sensible to keep quiet till 12 weeks? well mostly yes I’d say , it’s a time to enjoy the surprise all to yourselves , but the baby that never was , sometimes I feel sad that apart from in our 2 minds , it’s like number three never was , and the truth is even a baby that never made is still one of our children , So i think if keeping it quiet in case of miscarriage , well the pain is no better or worse for not telling ����


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