Week 17 - December 16, 2004
~ Spreading the News
We've never been ones to run out announcing a pregnancy as soon as the pregnancy test turned pink. A bit cautious, we've waited until we had what seemed to us to be a certain 'sign' that the pregnancy was going to stay put. With Makenna, we saw her heartbeat at 8 weeks. We were told then by our OB that there was a 98% chance, following seeing the heartbeat, that we wouldn't have a miscarriage. So, we told family and close friends around 10 weeks. Our first-time parent excitement, coupled with serious morning sickness on my part kept us from keeping the secret much longer. I really thought my boss should know why I was leaving class (to throw up and then cool my cheeks against the bathroom floor tile... yuck!).
With Livia, we had tried for just about 2 years to get pregnant. Many people knew we were trying to conceive and we tried to be as vague as possible with most people about where we were in the infertility process. The morning I had a positive pregnancy test I woke Makenna, 3 at the time, up. I had an "I'm the Big Sister" shirt for her to wear which I had bought nearly a year before. Makenna crept in and woke up Errol and showed him the shirt to tell him our happy news. It was close to 12 weeks before we told others outside of our family.
With this pregnancy, we decided we just weren't ready to tell the news very early. With the exception of my sister and a couple of very close friends, we kept our mouths closed until 13 weeks. From 7-11 weeks I had occasional spotting which had me worried. But 2 ultrasounds and sets of blood work gave me some confidence that this pregnancy would continue.
Overall, I don't really like spreading the news that I'm pregnant. When a friend of mine announced her pregnancy she gleefully announced that she got pregnant on the 4th of July. All I could think was, "Was that before or after you feed me a bar-b-que dinner?" When I tell, I feel too on the spot: as if everyone is quickly calculating just when I got pregnant.
Telling friends and family that I'm pregnant has been very different with this pregnancy. We've grown used to the fact that people generally don't know how to approach us or speak to us about Livia and her death. We are often met with uncomfortable silence and awkward moments. We certainly didn't expect that this would extend to pregnancy announcements. Instead of the typical smiles and bursts of "Congratulations!" that follow pregnancy announcements, we have been met with much more cautious responses. People seem torn between offering typical congratulations or, like in the case of talking about death, saying nothing at all. With a few wonderful exceptions, I have felt that telling the news with this pregnancy has been a struggle and a disappointment.
Although we certainly are much more cautious with our hopes, we are very happy to be expecting again and would like to know that our family and friends feel the same. Because of my need for cautiousness, I certainly understand that others are apprehensive and nervous for us. But some of the responses, or lack thereof, leave me feeling like this baby might not be welcomed or wanted. And that is a very sad feeling for me because in my heart this baby has been wanted for a very long time.