Why It’s Hard for Me to Announce My Pregnancy

olive chan —  December 20, 2013 — 15 Comments

Today we’re going public with the news: I am 14 weeks pregnant with our second child. With such exciting information, you’d think I would be bursting to make the announcement, right? Well, not really. I actually have mixed feelings about letting everyone in on this new development in our family. It’s not because we’ve had any health challenges (thankfully). In fact, my first trimester felt much better this time around. The reason I find it hard to announce my pregnancy? I am acutely aware that my news may surface pain for someone hearing it.

why its hard for me to announce my pregnancy

I’m not expecting anyone to tell me so, because who responds to pregnancy news with, “Um, that hurt”? But behind the words of congratulations, I am pretty sure there will be some unspoken heartache, if even a little.

I know because in this process of growing our family, we spent a combined 17 months in the stress-filled limbo of “trying to conceive.” And every time I found out another friend of mine was expecting, I wondered, “When is it going to be us?” As if I was waiting in some great cosmic lottery for my turn to have a child.

I know because sometime during the many months of trying to conceive this child, I counted 13 friends who’d gotten pregnant. Thirteen. Oh, I was happy for them. But to be honest, it also stung.

I know because several couples very dear to me are currently facing infertility or miscarriage. Some of them have been trying for years. They’ve told me how hard it is when it seems like everyone’s getting a baby except for them.

I am aware, too, of friends who deeply desire to be a parent someday but find themselves single at this time. To them, it sometimes feels like everyone is moving on with their lives and they’re just getting passed over.

Of course, not everyone in these situations will have the same feelings in response to our news. But I suspect there will be at least some.

To these dear ones, I want to say: I, too, grapple with the mystery of life and death. It is so beyond our control. I cannot explain why I have this blessing of carrying a new life when our roles could easily be reversed. And even though I am pregnant now, I want you to know that I am still waiting with you. I’m still hoping with you. And I’m still praying for you.

I think I’m extra wary about announcing my pregnancy via social media because I can’t have the one-on-one conversations that I want to with these friends. I suppose that’s why I’m blogging about this. I hope that my words might be some comfort to someone out there.

I know I’m not responsible for another person’s response but the reality remains that our lives impact each other. Part of being human is holding both joy and sorrow as they are interwoven in our experiences. So today, as I share my joy, I am also mindful of the sorrow that is perhaps not far from here. And I am grateful for the grace that carries us all.

  • http://www.gatebeautiful.ca bekka

    I felt a similar trepidation when we announced our third. I knew my best friend and her husband were trying for their second – and I was keenly aware how hard they tried for their first.

    I’m sure your love and compassion will be appreciated by your friends still trying, still waiting.

    Much love and blessings to you as this new life blossoms.

  • m

    so wonderful – both the exciting news and this blog post. thank you for it. a huge congratulations as well! God is good.

  • Guest

    We were thinking the same when announcing our second, as we knew of a couple who was trying and hadn’t conceived yet, and *of course* a good bunch of ladies got pregnant around the same time (we could almost claim all the months of the year!). Thanks for sharing this in such a gracious and matter-of-fact way.

  • Angela

    It took me and my husband 2 and a half years to conceive with our second child. It was devastating each month looking at a negative pregnancy tests and feeling like everyone around us was getting pregnant. A true test of our patience and faith. Once we did finally get pregnant, it was hard for me to announce it because I knew the pain and hardship that others felt. We are now expecting our third baby which we never thought possible and still it pains me to see people struggle with infertility and miscarriages. All we can do is support those who are going through tough times and be thankful for everything we have. Thanks for such a kind way to express how you feel.

  • Maggie

    This is a lovely and well-thought out post. It hits very close to home for me, and I hope it will encourage others to be as thoughtful as you have when announcing pregnancies.

  • Saffron

    Thank you, it has been 3 years since my husband and I decided to try to conceive. It is still just the two of us. I really appreciate your point of view.

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  • Leanne

    Thank you for sharing this, this is exactly what I needed to hear from the Lord, your testimony has really comforted me.

  • http://www.balgarka.co.uk/ Lubka Christova

    I love to hear the great news. I keep my fingers crossed for you all that everything will go easy and you’ll have a beautiful baby.
    Saying this, I also understand your doubts in telling people. I know sometimes it’s hard to be happy for others when you’re feeling down yourself, but I also know that those who are your real friends, will find the strength to be happy for you.
    :))
    Lu. http://www.balgarka.co.uk

  • Amateur Nester

    I stumbled upon your blog while looking for articles on Highly Sensitive People. I write a blog about infertility and so I had to read this post when I saw it. Thank you for announcing your pregnancy in a way that is sensitive to and acknowledges other people’s struggles to conceive. It is a rare thing, and even though I don’t know you, I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Wishing you a healthy pregnancy…

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  • Farah Hassan

    You really are very thoughtful.
    It is as if you read my mind and put it in such beautiful and consoling words.
    Could I please copy some parts of this post (and of course attach a link to this page) to share this with my friends?
    Lovely post!

    • olivechan

      I am so glad you found this resonates with you, Farah. Yes, by all means, feel free to share this post linking back. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Kristina

    Not everyone who doesn’t have children wants them. When my friends announce a pregnancy, I am happy for them, but I am even happier for my own quiet life. And I hate that society expects women to have children in order to feel/be fulfilled, happy, and respected for that matter. Motherhood is NOT equated to womanhood, it is only one small aspect of it. I will happily babysit my friends’ children when they need a peaceful night away – but by no means will I EVER feel any “sorrow” or “hurt” for not having children.

    I understand your blog is aimed more at those who do intend to have children, but I am merely orchestrating the perspective that you may very well be hurting a friend or two by the expectation of them to want children. I hate having to explain my lack of desire for kids over and over to the point where I’ve even started lying and telling those around me “maybe in the future.” This is total bullocks because in my heart I know I don’t have a maternal bone in my body. So don’t be afraid to offend people because you expect them to want kids, because THAT in itself is what I would find offensive imo.