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a blog by Fran Meadows, December 26, 2012
When you struggle with infertility for a month, a year or many years it is all the same. We go into this world of feelings: How should I feel? Who should I tell? If I’m pregnant who should I tell first? When should I tell the world? Should I keep it a secret? These are just some questions that you might ask yourself. The road of uncertainty is a hard road to travel but when you get to the start of a possible new path to that journey you want to shout it from the rooftops.
In my journey when I received my first BETA test it was the dreaded call, waiting to know what I will hear on the other end. When I got that call and the nurse said on my voice mail, "Congratulations, you're pregnant," I had no idea what to do with myself. I didn't even know how to tell my husband. It's a lot of pressure. You go through so much to get here and then the biggest moment of your life and you have no idea how to handle it. That's okay because the difference is when you're a couple who struggled with infertility, to get to this point is big, and you want to make sure everything will be okay. Unfortunately we cannot predict the future, so it's hard to tell where we might go when we get to this point.
My first pregnancy, I waited until I was around 12-13 weeks pregnant to tell others. This was the so called "safe period." I made it to this point and thought to myself, “wow, things are looking up.” During this pregnancy I lost my baby at 25 weeks. This was a pure devastation and a total betrayal of the "safe period". I had no choice but to accept the unacceptable. Time passed and I healed, not without acknowledging my loss to then move forward yet again to another IVF cycle. Six months passed and I was there yet again, "Congratulations, you're pregnant." Now what? It was just another moment of uncertainty, total fear. What should we do? How should we react? Who should we tell? With this pregnancy we took a different approach of whatever will be will be. We decided to spill the beans immediately to family when I was four weeks and to others at eight weeks. This was against my "safe period" shout out but things still were in the hands of God no matter how I looked at it. This time we made it to the end and we welcomed our miracle to the world in 2008.
Now many years have passed along with many pregnancy announcements and here I am wondering what you think about telling others, and your fear of a miscarriage or loss. I have come to learn through my personal experiences that no time is the "safe period." Pregnancy is a day-by-day experience filled with such yucky symptoms, feelings, emotions and also filled with beautiful experiences, cravings and complete love to have a baby growing inside. These are the things that get you through to your next journey hoping to be a parent. There is nothing wrong with telling loved one’s early on. You need others to know and to share in your happiness. Don't have guilt or shame, always thinking to yourself, “ maybe I should have kept the announcement quiet.”
During the holidays, whether you recently experienced a pregnancy loss or are still struggling with infertility, know that it will not be easy. You will reflect having your emotional moments. Some might even experience a pregnancy announcement from others or the holidays might cause you to reflect on sadness or feeling sorry for yourself. Whatever it might be, try to stay grounded, catch your emotions if you can but be honest to yourself this is reality and you need to release yourself. The holidays will be over before you know it and then you can continue to move forward with hopes of maybe having a baby in the upcoming New Year! Envision your tomorrow this holiday season; sometimes those dreams can help you get through the toughest of times. Dreaming is fun and puts you in another place even if it is for just that moment. Accept, release and move forward to your next journey.