There are many challenges to the first trimester. As it turns out, growing a human makes you really tired. Nausea is an everyday occurrence. Things like sleeping and going to the bathroom will never be the same. Perhaps the hardest part about all these newfound symptoms is not sharing what you’re going through with friends or coworkers, because you’re waiting until the right time to announce that you’re expecting.
Choosing the right time to announce requires careful planning and decision making. We were so anxious to share our news, but hesitant to tell people too early in the first trimester, as statistics show rates of miscarriage drastically drop after 13 weeks.
Here are a few factors to keep in mind when sharing the big news:
- Get a professional opinion. One of the questions I asked my OB during our first visit after the positive pregnancy test was “So, when do you think it’s safe to tell everyone?” She said 14 weeks is when she recommends telling the general population, aside from close friends and family. Her most helpful advice was to tell family and close friends whom we would also tell if we experienced a loss.
- Get on the same page as your spouse. The decision of when to share your news is a joint decision, so make sure you have clear communication with your spouse and that you are both in agreement.
- Make a plan. Look at a calendar and determine when you will tell the general population. Work your way backward and choose a date when you will tell parents, siblings and grandparents.
- Consider any events in the near future. I was a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding last weekend, 12 and a half weeks pregnant. I didn’t want to announce the news to family right before her big day, and I also didn’t want to share it at just 10 or 11 weeks, so we decided to wait to tell extended family until after the wedding. It was SO hard keeping a secret through the wedding weekend, but I’m so glad we did!
- Check to see if any upcoming holidays align with when you want to share your news. Perhaps out of town family will be around, and, if possible, telling in person is so much more fun than over the phone.
- Consider if the people you’re telling can keep a secret. I had a couple people who just could not keep a secret and ended up telling people before we were ready. Who can blame them—it’s exciting news! But consider that type of thing when you are telling your “inner circle.”
Once you have a timeframe decided, now comes the fun part! To tell our parents, I purchased some favorite children’s books to give them with a note that read “Just the start of the collection of books I hope you’ll read to me. Love, Baby Cashen.” For sharing on Facebook, I discovered a free website Canva that allows you to create collages of images and add custom text. I ended up making one photo for Instagram and one for Facebook.
My last thought on sharing pregnancy news: don’t be in a rush to tell everyone! It’s fun to have a secret with your spouse for a little while. Also, once you share the news, be prepared for the onset of unsolicited advice! More on that in my next post …