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Spreading the News

Spreading the News

By Amalah

Dear Amalah,

I know you are busy solving some of the world’s most Giant and Tremendous Problems for your readers, like evil in-laws, inconsiderate husbands, explosive poops, and really ugly purses. But I have a Tiny and Tremendous Problem I would dearly love some advice about.

After one year of fertility treatments, the pregnancy test was positive. Eeek! (Plus means positive, right?) I *think* I am about 6 weeks along, but I need to have it confirmed. My husband and I are so excited, but he wants to wait until MOTHER’S DAY to spring the news on our moms in a really special way. Well, there’s no way our moms will forgive us if anyone else finds out before they do, so that means I can’t tell anyone (ANYONE!) about it for another two months?

I don’t see it happening. Even though I realize that miscarriage is always a possibility early on, I think I would want their support if that happened anyway.

Please give me some really excellent reason that we shouldn’t wait that long, OR ways to keep myself occupied so that I don’t spontaneously combust. What should I do with myself?

Thanks for your help,

So the current non-pregnant version of myself read your husband’s idea about Mother’s Day and went “ahhh, that’s nice, and really not that far away, waiting would probably be worth it in the end, for the memories and stuff, since you only get one shot and we always just did a ‘hey, guess what?’ phone call and I think my husband even FORGOT to tell his mom the first time they talked, so it’s sweet that her husband actually wants to make it all special.”

Then the ghost of my former pregnant self rose up next to me and delivered a merciless bitchslap, because I never, ever lasted more than a few days before the unprovoked “I’M PREGNANT!!” eruptions began.

Some women and couples seem to have no problem keeping the news quiet. Some actually like having a not-so-little secret that no one else knows about. Some just don’t want to jinx things or lose control of the info at work or during prime miscarriage risk time. (Yes, you can tell people who you would “want support from” in the event something goes wrong, but you cannot 100% keep them from spilling the news to other people — people you might not really want to talk about a loss to, or who might continue to pass on the good news but not the bad, leading to a “congratulations!” from a totally clueless person at a dinner party in a few months. AWKWARD.)

There are a lot of good reasons to wait, aside from having the announcement coincide with Mother’s Day. But you sound a lot like me. And I was completely unable to think of a single one after that second line showed up.

So it sounds like it’s time to come up with a compromise. Find a way to make the announcement super-special and meaningful…on a perfectly normal random non-Hallmark-Holiday day. I really don’t think your moms will mind — I’m predicting your husband will get whacked with a dinner napkin from his mom once she hears how long he wanted to make her wait — but let him make it special. Get them some “just because” cards made out to Grandma and stick a copy of your first ultrasound in them. Take both sets of parents out for dinner and do a toast or a casual slip that everybody goes bonkers over. Or whatever he originally wanted to do, a little earlier. As sweet as his plan sounds, this is a decision that you BOTH need to agree on. If he feels passionately about keeping things quiet until 12 weeks, that’s different, and requires a separate conversation. If making the announcement “special” is really his only sticking point…well, it WILL be special, provided it happens before you burst from excitement and start telling the mailman and cashiers at Target.

A final bit of caution, though: I (obviously) never had to go back to people I’d told with bad news, but there were points in both of my early pregnancies when I regretted telling people so early and kind of wished I could pull the news back. Suddenly the number of people I’d gleefully shrieked “I’M PREGNANT!” at seemed so very high, and the reality of just how many crappy conversations I’d be having and how many people I’d be “disappointing” if I miscarried…ugh. It actually made the wait until 12 weeks harder at times, if that makes any sense. (I do think moms are different and should be the first bit of wiggle room in the “no telling until the second trimester” rule, though. So I still say you and your husband move up that announcement date to something you can live with.)

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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