Being pregnant after a baby has died can feel so different. Do you remember what it was like the first time before your baby died? Were you anxious or scared, had a gut feeling it wasn’t right, or just so happy that you were on a constant high?! No matter how you felt the first time round, or even the second or third, once you have become personally touched by the uncertainty of whether you will come home with a live baby, your perspective will have changed.
So it begs the question, when do you tell the world you are pregnant again? Across the world there seems to be the universal idea that you don’t tell anyone except maybe a few close family or friends that you are pregnant until you are at the end the first trimester at 12 or 13 weeks. Once you have that scan that confirms that there is a baby and they are ok, then we can shout it to the roof tops. But does that change if you have had a baby die?
One of the hardest parts of being pregnant again after a loss, is that we now know way too much about the things that can go wrong in pregnancy, not just in the first trimester, but at all points along the way and even after the baby is born. Regardless on when our own loss occurred, having this knowledge can be one of the things that makes it so much more harder to enjoy and celebrate a pregnancy if we find ourselves anxious of all the possibilities that could go wrong. This same knowledge can also be a gift, a powerful understanding that can help us self monitor and act differently that may aid us in bringing a rainbow baby home. But like everything, there are 2 sides to everything and it is an individual choice of when is the right time to share this news.
For some people they find themselves so thankful to be pregnant that they want and need to celebrate every single day of the pregnancy, even if it may end in a loss again. Whether it be as soon as a home pregnancy test comes up positive, or the first scan where a heart beat is seen, that sharing it publicly may provide you with the extra support you need to navigate the months ahead and remove some of the isolation you might be feeling.
For others, you might find you need to protect yourself by not sharing until later. Perhaps when you pass the milestone of when the last baby died, or get the all clear from medical testing to confirm the baby is healthy and ok. Even in some cases, it isn’t right until the very end, or after the baby is born alive and well before it is known outside of a close few.
So when do you tell the world you are pregnant? When it is right for you and your partner. There are pros and cons to having people know. There will always be people excited for you and not understanding of the journey you are facing and this can be challenging to manage, but there may also be just as many people out there who really get it and want to be there to support you every step of the way. Perhaps it isn’t all or nothing, but that you share the news to different groups and at different stages, and that you have a small few that you can count on to share the intimate details of the journey with. Maybe you are apart of a support group, are seeing a Counsellor, have close family or even know another rainbow mum that you can feel safe to journey the unknown with.
In the end, I think you just know when you are ready and what you need, so trust yourself that you will know. There is no pressure, no ‘right time’ to follow, no expectations on what will or won’t happen, but trust that you are now ready to share that you are pregnant again.