In my blog post last week I wrote about how we have been sharing the news we are pregnant with friends and family. We have shared more than I thought we initially would, partially because we are excited and hopeful and also to build our network of support and love “just in case.”
I wanted to follow up that article this week with some reasons that we haven’t shared with certain people in our lives.
These are of course just from my experience, but I have read posts and spoken with others who have suffered pregnancy losses and these seem to be common themes about why NOT to share about your pregnancy after loss.
1. You felt dismissed or not supported when you shared about your loss
Many people don’t know what to say or do when you tell them you had a miscarriage. People say all kinds of rude and ignorant things. I like to give them the benefit of the doubt and believe that they just don’t understand or have the right words to express what they mean, but it still hurts. If there was someone that made you feel belittled, selfish, over-dramatic or anything of the sort after a loss or miscarriage I would stand by you 100% to not share with this person. It is simply a way to protect yourself from what they may (or may not) say next.
2. The person is struggling with infertility or pregnancy loss
Although everyone’s situation is unique, loss moms can have a unique understanding of what their friend is going through if they are suffering from infertility or a loss. We at least have some perspective. We know the feeling of seeing yet another pregnancy announcement and wishing we could be happy but instead feeling jealous, angry, sad, and bitter. I’m not saying to NOT share with someone in this situation, but there are many articles with tips and techniques about how to share your news considerately and gracefully with them.
3. You just don’t have the energy or capacity
In my last blog post I talked about how sharing this pregnancy comes with caveats like “we’re taking it one day at a time” and “I’m not ready to think about baby showers yet.” Sometimes (and almost always if I’m honest) these conversations are emotionally exhausting. It’s difficult watching and managing other people’s excitement and not being able to freely experience those emotions myself. Some people just don’t understand the fear and anxiety no matter how much you try to explain. So maybe you just don’t have the energy, maybe you’re not ready to share with those friends at dinner tonight. And that is perfectly ok.
Ultimately, each person has to decide for themselves with each person and/or situation.
My husband has been an amazing support system through this process. We always check in with each other and make sure we are on the same page about sharing or not. We also try to ask each other and ourselves, why share with this person or why not? Why share now or later?
Pregnancy after loss is challenging, complicated and exhausting on its own. Choosing to share or not share your news should always be your choice and feel right to you and it’s something I am working through everyday.