Why It’s Hard for Me to Announce My Pregnancy

olive chan —  December 20, 2013 — 24 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Shelli

    I am almost 13 weeks pregnant at 42. I am truly blessed as given the things I was reading and knowing of the struggles around me, it only took me 5 months to get pregnant and probably only 2-3 times hitting the nail on the head. That being said, during those 6 months I smiled but hurt a little inside every time I saw someone else post that they were pregnant. So, you have expressed perfectly all of my concerns about announcing my pregnancy publicly. I really don’t want to be the source of pain for those who may be trying or who have been trying for years. I know they’ll be happy to a large extent, but also feeling the, “when is it my turn.” So, when I announce it … I’m TOTALLY sharing your post as you summed up my feelings on this so beautifully. Thank you for sharing.


  • Sarah

    Thank you for writing this! I am currently in month 18 of trying, 6 months post miscarriage and I was thinking this past week about how I will announce my someday pregnancy. Very few people know about my m/c (it was VERY early) and somehow I feel the need to include it in my announcement, to reach out to women who are struggling with infertility, to soften the blow in some way. I know how happy I will be when the time comes to announce our miracle child… but I also know the hurt it will cause others. And I’m so very conflicted. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. And I hope you don’t mind, but I plan to use some of your words someday, when the time is right for us.

  • hello

    My husband and I had been trying to conceive for 5 years with miscarriages included, (we are now at 12 weeks pregnant!!) and I have to say I think that I was so much MORE offended and hurt by people “not wanting to hurt my feelings” than by hearing about their fantastic news. It made me feel as though they didn’t think I was a good enough person to see past my own self to enjoy their happiness too. And it was even worse when they would say rubbish like “baby dust on you!” or “It will be you soon, stay positive”. And I actually preferred to see it on social media at the same time as everyone else so that I could maintain a distance if I was feeling sensitive or engage if I wanted to without the pressure of preconceived expectations of my response.

  • Jill graves

    I am 6 months pregnant and have not yet announced on social media. I’ve never been able to put into words since I’ve been in the other dude so many times. I would like to use some of your words if you will allow me. You said it so perfectly.

    • Jill graves

      *side not dude. Typos in there but you get the gist

  • Joi Loree Leamons

    This made me cry. In a good way. Thank you for your empathy.

  • Zoe

    Thank you for sharing this very thoughtful blog about announcing your pregnancy. I must say we share the same sentiment. I am now 7 months pregnant and have been mute about my pregnancy on social media mainly because of the same notions. I had struggled with infertility for 8+ years, only to conceive naturally last year. Like you, a year ago, I had 12 or 13 girlfriends who went on to conceive and give birth. It was like a monthly bulletin I can’t get myself away from reminding me that pregnancy was still not happening for me. So when I finally got pregnant last September, the last thing I wanted to do was go on social media and peacock because I also thought of my other girlfriends who are still struggling with infertility. I am filled with gratitude and embracing this miraculous journey and only sharing in person when the time is right. Thanks for expressing these thoughts. You are very compassionate :)

  • reegis Perkins

    Thank you for sharing. I have at least 13 friends that are prego now and countless that have had babies just within the last year. For the ones that have been trying for so long and that get pregnant it gives me hope. To hear someone say we were not even trying makes me want to scream. They just don’t realize how painful that little sentence can be.

  • Lindsey