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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,
S

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.)

Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

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 [email protected].

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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Susan
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Susan

With one pregancy behind me and plans to have one more child, later at some distant time in the future, I have thoughts about this. Priority next time will be to avoid telling coworkers until I am practically giving birth. Seriously. My very sweet coworkers asked me “how are you feeling?” and “when are you due” about 30 times a day. Every day. For many many months. I knew it was bad when I started snipping at people, “You really can’t remember my due date? You just asked me three days ago? And, “I’m FINE! Pregnancy is not an illness,… Read more »

Dawn
Guest

With my first we did the whole waiting until Mother’s Day to announce thing since it hit right about 12 weeks – for both me and my sister. We got all of our families together (using the not wanting to divide our time between you guys on your special day) and had t-shirts made up with ‘Mommy To Be’ embroidered on them. It was…awesome! So if you decide to hold out for Mother’s Day, its totally worth it. For our second child, my husband really wanted to announce it at Christmas when I was just about 6 weeks along. We… Read more »

sarah
Guest
sarah

I agree completely with Amy (as usual). I’m 25 weeks with my first & could not STAND the fake drinking, covering for why I was so tired, and not blathering on and on about “WTF are we doing OMGOMGOMG?!?!” to my group of friends for the first little while, but it made it worth it in the end. We told people as it felt natural to say something: my mom right after the 1st ultrasound (and before a girls night out with her where I would be the most conspicuous non-drinker), my in-laws at 12 weeks (coincided with family christmas… Read more »

andrea
Guest
andrea

Let me share a story.. I was 11 weeks pregnant and things were not going smoothly, but I already had a trip planned to San Francisco with my husband, his dad and sister. There was no way I was going to be able to hide this what with the constant sickness. So we decided while we were visiting to tell his dad and sister and then just after to call his mom lest his sister should accidentally slip up. We really thought we had it covered. Until.. his mom contacted my mom.. who I hadn’t told yet! As you can… Read more »

The gold digger
Guest

We didn’t tell anyone and I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I wish I had told my close friends and family about being pregnant because I ended up telling them about the miscarriage anyhow. At least if I had told them about the pregnancy, I would have had the fun part.

priscilla
Guest

this is such a good topic to discuss. as a woman who had a miscarriage w/ my first pregnancy, and is now healthily entering my third trimester with my second, i think it should really vary from person to person. i told my immediate family about the first pregnancy, and some very close friends that i then needed to break the news to that i had miscarried. but i needed their support soooooooo much, that i was happy i had told them everything right away. w/ the second pregnancy, my husband wanted to wait at least until the 8 week… Read more »

LSS
Guest
LSS

That is so cute! Or you could do a dinner out with your moms NOW and tell them, “we wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day early this year….” They might figure it out but that’s ok. I think that way would be sweet as well 🙂 .

Olivia
Guest
Olivia

Eh, it’s two months, let your husband have his super special announcement. Also, what kind of ultrasound image can you have before 12 weeks? I don’t think it would be very interesting to anyone besides the expectant parents.
And ditto what Susan said. Next time I am waiting a lot longer before telling people at work.

Emmy
Guest
Emmy

Not to be a downer, but I realized the hard way that waiting to tell people can be painful sometimes. I miscarried my first pregnancy and found myself in a position where nobody knew (except my husband) because we were waiting for Christmas (3 weeks away) to tell people. Miscarryig never even OCCURRED to me. I felt that I couldn’t burden people with that sadness when I hadn’t given them the chance to hear it as happy news and feel the joy of it. And I couldn’t bear to give my family such devastating news right before Christmas (baby would… Read more »

Elisha
Guest
Elisha

We told at about 6 weeks there was not even an ultra sound yet. I took a pic of the pregnancy test and framed it. We took our parents out to dinner and gave them the frames, it took them a minute to figure it out but when they did it was great! I did not tell work till I was 14 weeks and that was totally the right call.

KMS
Guest
KMS

I’m a blabber. All 3 of my pregnancies got announced about as soon as I knew about them. I waited longest with my first, which I lost at 9 weeks. But it was so devastating that I announced that all over the place, too, even to people who didn’t know about the pregnancy. I was on my cell phone with a not-so-close friend when my husband got the call from the fertility clinic, so that cat was out of the bag at 2 weeks. And I was pretty sure about the (spontaneous) third, and I discussed the possiblity with Mom… Read more »

Deedee
Guest
Deedee

Wondering why wait until Mother’s Day to tell the future Grandmas? Maybe wait until Grandparent’s Day? (I think it is in September).
;o))
But seriously…I vote for telling your close family as soon as possible! For your sake and for their sake.
Best Wishes!

professormama
Guest
professormama

It is a very personal decision. We got pregnant the first time, al accidentally and unmarried and in grad school, so we told no one until 12 weeks, mostly because we were freaked out. Had a lovely baby everything was fine, got married a year later, yay. Then a few years later we got pregnant again, less accidentally, still unplanned, but yay! So in our excitement of not being destitute and having a sibling on the way for number one, we went and told our families and some close friends upon reading the positive pee stick. Then I miscarried at… Read more »

MommiePie
Guest

The second time around I wanted to keep it quiet for awhile. Just have this little secret that I can hold onto for a few weeks. Maybe I wouldn’t have lasted a full 12 weeks but just a few weeks to be on the safe side in case of a loss. However, my DH decided to blab it on Facebook before the pee stick was even in the trash, so at least your husband wants the announcement to be special.

Emily
Guest
Emily

We told our parents almost before the pee dried on the stick. Being that we were dealing with infertility issues, they were calling and offering advice and prayers, plus my sister was fasting once a week and praying for us to have a baby. So, if they know you’ve been taking fertility drugs for a year and if it’s possible that they will ask you how you’re doing and if it’s then possible that you will blab it out in an unspecial way….. then plan something soon! Told other people at about 11 weeks and will be waiting until 13… Read more »

Mo
Guest
Mo

With my first three pregnancies we blabbed right away, especially since we see our family often, it was hard to keep it a secret. Then, while pregnant while babe #4, we told everyone and I ended up miscarrying. It absolutely made for some awkward situations down the road. A few people had not heard about the miscarriage and were wondering where my bump was the next time we saw them. Our next pregnancy we waited to tell our family until 8 weeks and asked that they keep it under wraps. That pregnancy also ended in miscarriage, but not nearly as… Read more »

Bo and Av's Momma
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Bo and Av's Momma

My first pregnancy was announced at 14 weeks, right after my brother in laws wedding. We waited because we did not want to take away any attention from their special day. We gave our parents a framed picture of the sonogram with April 2005 written on it. We actually caught it on tape, they we happily surprised at the news. My second pregnancy we waited until I was 21 weeks to announce. It was Christmas so I made them a calendar with pictures of all their grandchildren in it. For the month of May I used the sonogram picture and… Read more »

YP
Guest
YP

Honestly, if you are close to your mom and would want her support no matter what happens, I would tell her soon. I have had two miscarriages (one at 8 weeks, one at about 6 weeks), and told my mother early on, before the miscarriages, with both pregnancies. I know that my mother really wanted grandchildren, and of course she was disappointed about the miscarriages, but her support helped me more than anything else. I am now pregnant for the third time (20 weeks)- and I know that I’ve needed someone to talk to about the highs and lows of… Read more »

Anna
Guest
Anna

With my first pregnancy, I told our families at around 8 weeks — because they basically outed me (I wasn’t drinking wine and picking at my food). With subsequent pregnancies, I thought it would be better to wait a bit longer — after the 12 week ultrasound and nuchal screen. I had two consecutive miscarriages (6.5 weeks and 10 weeks) during that time and was grateful that I didn’t have to “explain” what went wrong. It’s not that my family is not supportive, but they are not very educated when it comes to stuff like this and I would have… Read more »

friend
Guest
friend

I have a friend who told us pretty early that she was pregnant. I’m happy for her, but I felt like she was pregnant FOREVER. It’s like someone with a super long engagement. They are planning and planning and planning that wedding and it seems like it’s never going to happen. HOW CAN IT STILL BE A YEAR AND A HALF AWAY?!
Future grandparents are different, but just sayin’.

Breanne
Guest
Breanne

We found out that I had lost our first pregnancy when I was 8 weeks along. We had been waiting to tell our families when I was 10 weeks b/c we were going on a trip with them and wanted to tell them in person. We had to call our parents and tell them that we were pregnant, but lost the baby and I was having a D&C in 2 days. I also had to call my 2 BFFs and give them the bad news. In some ways it was bad b/c there weren’t a lot of people to cry… Read more »

Sara M
Guest
Sara M

We waited until about 11 weeks with both pregnancies. It was hard not to tell my mom and a few close friends, but it was a great time for my husband and I to bond over the new baby and get so excited about what was to come. Waiting worked for us!

C-Man's Mama
Guest
C-Man's Mama

Last year, we told our families we were pregnant on Mother’s Day. I was 14 weeks along. I think waiting to tell everyone was the best decision for us. We did it in a special way (made a photo album of the ultrasounds). It also allowed us to wrap our minds around being parents (even though this was planned, it is still a crazy thought!) and be ready for the questions that everyone asked (how are you feeling, what type of birth are you having, do you want a boy or girl?). It also made the pregnancy go by a… Read more »

Jill G
Guest
Jill G

I am 17 weeks pregnant with my first. We decided to tell our families on Christmas which was like, 5 weeks. I kind of wish we would have waited. My family bombarded us with questions, “What are you going to name it, what are you going to do with it while you are at work, etc” and a cousin even tried to touch my belly (ewww). With my inlaws, they got on the phone within 5 minutes and told their parents, who spread it to the rest of my husband’s extended family. (who all, luckily, live out of town). All… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Here’s the flipside of not telling co-workers… I live in a very small New England town. Probably about 75% of the town works for the same University as I do. My neighbors work for the University, most of my friends work for the University. So in order to tell my closest friends – the ones who would squee with me at the news and would be there for me if there were any problems – I also had to tell my boss and co-workers. Well, not HAD TO. But did, because if just one friend slipped and told her spouse,… Read more »

tizinu
Guest
tizinu

I miscarried my first pregnancy and was grateful to have the support from those I told early on. But for my second pregancy, we told NO ONE, until 20 weeks. This is because after the miscarriage, I got a baby gift from someone who was told by someone who was told by someone we were pregnant. It was so awkward to call them up afterwards. And it was a very painful reminder. It’s really up to you what you want to do, but my suggestion is wait the 8 weeks. It’s sounds hard, but it was one of most intimate… Read more »

Amanda
Guest
Amanda

We told as necessary. My mom has always known within a week or two of the positive pregnancy test. We waited a little longer with my husband’s parents, his mom would most definitely be the one giving the ‘it was probably for the best’, ‘there was probably something wrong with the baby’, or ‘everything happens for a reason’ comments, not something I would have wanted to deal with. Though all our family and close friends have always known by the 12 week mark. I’m short and thin and with my 3rd pregnancy I wouldn’t have been able to keep the… Read more »

Lori
Guest
Lori

It’s really a personal decision, but I think that even though you don’t want to think the worst you do need to take it into consideration. I lost my first pregnancy at 9 wks. We had told our parents and I’d told one close friend. I needed them for support through that miscarriage but fortunately I didn’t have to go around explaining to anyone else what happened. It was hard. It sucked. But I’m glad that the only people I told about the pregnancy were probably the easiest ones to tell about the miscarriage! We waited until 12 wks with… Read more »

Della
Guest
Della

CONGRATS
IE ate my original comment, but if it’s more about finding a memorable way to present the news, google “weird holidays” (brownielocks is one place that has a big list)
But the best one I found was:
http://www.peanutbutterlovers.com/loversmonth/index.html
National Peanut Month (look everybody, at your new little peanut!)
Good luck!

Kate
Guest
Kate

When I got pregnant we decided to wait the 12 weeks to tell but that we wouldn’t lie if people guessed. The one exception was the parents of the autistic kids I worked with. There are some common childhood bugs that aren’t a big deal unless you are exposed while pregnant so they needed to know to tell me if their kids were sick. When I was 4 weeks we were helping some friends move and my hubby was being so overprotective that someone figured it out and since the whole gang was there… At five weeks I declined a… Read more »

Melanie
Guest
Melanie

No way I could keep that from my mom. She would take one look at me and know anyway, but I would have to call her every day to ask twenty-bazillion questions. I think if it’s a matter of waiting until the second trimester you have to be reallistic that you’ll (likely) end up telling your parents about that anyway so they can help you through it. I’m with Amy on the doing something special on a normal day.

kakaty
Guest
kakaty

With our first we waited until about 10 weeks to share and my mom was so nervous for me until we hit about 15 weeks and she felt she could relax a bit about miscarriages (lots of her friend’s kids were going through them at that time). She drove me NUTS with almost daily calls. 2nd pregnancy was discovered literally as I was being wheeled in for surgery to have my gallbladder removed. I was about 5 weeks along and HAD to tell my mom for obvious reasons. We lied to others and said I had an upper respiratory infection… Read more »

Isabel
Guest
Isabel

Hi, I’m the girl that waited until 20 weeks to tell anyone. TWENTY WEEKS. Yep, even our mothers. This stems from too many miscarriages, and from an intense need of privacy. I think my husband and I also like the “we have a secret” feeling that we can share with each other. But here’s the deal…you want to talk about your pregnancy, you HAVE to talk about your pregnancy. Especially your first pregnancy. Not a second goes by that your pregnancy isn’t on your mind. I’ve always told one special friend I was pregnant as soon as I found out.… Read more »

Kirsty
Guest

I told a few people about my first pregnancy quite early on because my husband and I were so excited. When I lost the baby at 5.5 months (yes, you read that right) I couldn’t physically say the words and my husband had to do all the telling. I teach at a university and the start of my maternity leave was set for over the summer holiday, so I had to cancel the leave and get a new timetable, which meant telling loads of “colleagues” I barely knew. It was a hideous, hideous time. The people who “knew” and tried… Read more »

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Oh wow! Thanks to Amy and everyone for responding, and for sharing your stories. It’s been an eventful week since I asked the question. Went to the ER with a subchoronic (sp?) hemorrhage, but the Peanut is fine so far. Husband and I have compromised a bit on the telling. We’re using his super-special scheme, but we’re doing it on Easter instead of Mother’s Day. 🙂