Sarah and her mom don't speak anymore.
LeAnn, a single woman, related her pregnancy to a co-worker, who immediately responded, "Why you? I deserve to have a baby. . .I'm married, have a stable job, and have been trying to conceive for a year."
Is it any wonder that some of us pregnant women are reluctant to share our excitement with family and friends?
On the other hand, sometimes we're hesitant to share because we don't want to hurt people we love who have struggled with conceiving or losing a child. I've watched a close family member struggle with her emotions as other members of our family expand their families, and she remains childless. It’s one of life's deepest, soul-wrenching disappointments.
This week a beautiful, tall, tan, athletic woman stood in my living room and gave me a big smile.
"Congratulations! I’m so happy for you!"
I had just announced my pregnancy to the families of the piano and voice students I teach. I knew how hard this news would be for at least one of my students' moms who had struggled to have a second child.
After some lighthearted chat about how my second trimester was going, I encouraged her to open up by telling her that I hoped this wasn’t difficult for her, since we had talked candidly in the past about her difficulties with conceiving.
As we talked, we agreed that our reactions to pregnancy news could be a weird mixture of jealousy and happiness. She admitted that sometimes she feels like throwing her laptop across the room when she hears about another new baby. She feels guilty for "giving up" after multiple attempts to get pregnant after her first child. I appreciated her honesty and vulnerability.
After one miscarriage, the birth of my daughter Hayden, another miscarriage, then the loss of my conjoined twins last year, I don't take normal pregnancies for granted anymore.
I’m still twitchy when it comes to twins. I don’t like talking about them, don’t like seeing them, don’t like watching movies with twins in them, and don’t like pregnancy announcements about them. Until it gets easier, I plan to politely walk away or avoid the situation altogether.
So to all of you who struggle with pregnancy news, let me talk to you as a self-proclaimed ambassador for overly sensitive pregnant women everywhere.
We pregnant women are sorry if we’re annoying when we share prenatal updates or talk about how great our second trimesters are. We know it's hard for you, and we're trying to figure out the balance of being happy and making sure we don't step on your toes.
We are here for you when you need to talk. If you don't want to talk about it, that's okay too. Just know you're not alone.
We know you’re wrestling with how to react, and we know sometimes you choose not to participate in a baby shower or christening because it’s just too hard.
On a strictly personal and not particularly serious note, I promise not to post ultrasound pictures or weekly status updates about the number of weeks until I give birth. I apologize if you’re the type who loves to do this. . .I have yet to see an ultrasound picture that looks any different from Hayden, who looked like an alien baby. (I give first time moms a pass in this category).
We all step on each other’s toes from time to time. It doesn’t matter if you’re the one sharing or receiving the news. Remember to show grace, even when it’s tough. If you can’t, then keep your mouth shut and just smile.
To quote from that deep well of wisdom and timeless classic, High School Musical:
We’re all in this together.
Subscribe to my blog here.
Follow me on Facebook here.
Have you ever been nervous about sharing your pregnancy news? What has helped you overcome those feelings?
Do you have people in your life that make you feel guilty for being pregnant? How do you react?