Conventional wisdom says that you should keep your pregnancies a secret until you’re in your second trimester. As I write this, I’m nine weeks pregnant, and everyone I know already knows my news. In fact, this is my fourth pregnancy, and I have never managed to follow the rule of keeping the news to myself until the fourth month.
I don’t regret my lack of secrecy, and this is why:
I am a blabbermouth.
Twelve weeks to keep a pregnancy a secret? I am a complete and total blabbermouth. I would be lucky to keep my pregnancy news to myself for twelve hours. People that keep the biggest news of their lives a secret for three months must be superhuman. Apparently plenty of people have that superhuman strength, but I am not one of them.
I show early.
Even if I had the ability to keep my pregnancy news a secret, my belly would give it away before the end of my first trimester. I am not one of the lucky ones. You know the type: tall with a long torso and a tiny pregnant belly. I am short, and I start showing by the time I miss my period. Ok maybe it’s not quite that bad, but it’s pretty close. I get so big when I’m pregnant that people assume that it’s my due date when I’m only five months along (true story). All the belly that I’m unfortunate enough (or fortunate enough, depending on your perspective) to have means keeping my news a secret is pretty much out of the question.
I have no interest in suffering alone.
I understand the reasoning behind the conventional wisdom. Women traditionally don’t share the news about their pregnancies until they’ve cleared the time when miscarriages are most likely. I am fortunate in that I have never suffered the pain of a miscarriage. If I did have one, though, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t keep that news to myself either. Just as I can’t keep the excitement of a pregnancy to myself, I don’t think I could keep the pain of loss to myself. I would find comfort in talking with my friends and family about my grief.
I am not advocating for one approach over another. If you want to wait six months to tell everyone and can manage to hide it because you don’t get an enormous belly, then go for it. If you want to post your news to social media the moment you find out, then do it. It’s your body and your news to share however you want to share it. As a pregnant woman and then a mother, everyone under the sun will offer solicited and unsolicited advice. Anytime the conventional wisdom goes against your desires for yourself or your family, you’re free to disregard and follow your own intution.