Why You Don’t Need To Wait Until It’s “Safe” To Talk About Your Pregnancy

woman-1922353_1920Many women are told not to share their pregnancy news with others until they are “in the clear”– far enough along in pregnancy to be “safe” from the risk of miscarriage (typically after the first trimester, or the first 10-12 weeks of pregnancy).  But why do we feel that talking openly about miscarriage is a “bad” thing?  What is the point of hiding our news?  Is it really all that helpful to us not to have the support of others in the event of a miscarriage?  Is our first trimester of pregnancy not as important as the others?  Do we not need support and guidance early on just the same as we may in the later trimesters?  This practice is old paradigm, built from fear instead of love and it’s time to let it go.

One of my first clients ended up miscarrying in her 16th week of pregnancy.  For those that are unaware, that is past the “safe zone” many women stick to (which takes place around 12 weeks).  The experience of this was transformational both for her, and for me as a doula, because I learned the power and importance of having loving, immense support during the aftermath of such a loss.  I walked into the hospital to see an entire room full of loved ones, all there to support this woman through what felt like a horrible tragedy.  My immediate reaction was to thank every single person in the room for being there to bring laughter and light during what could have been seen as a completely dark and devastating time.  She wasn’t alone when she experienced her loss, and that made so much more sense than a woman going through it alone (or solely with her partner), and her healing began immediately.  Why is it that in the case of a loss in (almost) any other circumstance we would find it completely normal, and likely expected, to have loved ones near to help us cope, but in the case of a miscarriage we think that we should be quiet?

Let’s also discuss how important support during the first trimester is.  A lot of times, the first trimester is very tough for women as their hormones are thrust into new waves and their body begins to grow new life.  These profound changes take place remarkably quick; physical, emotional, spiritual and mental transformations begin the instant you become pregnant.  Why should women have to bare these times alone, or with little help?  Why do we not find support in the early months of pregnancy as important as support when a woman is farther along?  I have news for you, it is VERY important to have support AS SOON AS you become pregnant; the first trimester is not an exception to feeling loved, helped, supported, guided, and cared for.  Your hormones don’t wait until month three to let you know you’re pregnant, your baby doesn’t wait until then to start growing, therefor, there is no need for you to wait to be pregnant or to honor your need for support.

In a previous blog I discussed the importance of choosing who is part of your birthing experience, and emphasized that we must be wise with whom we want to share our news with, and this is really what should be expressed about sharing your news with others.  It is not a bad thing to share your news early on, in fact, you will likely experience a happier, healthier pregnancy by having support from the very beginning, and in the case of a miscarriage you will have a strong support system ready to carry you through.  What you may want to consider, instead, is who you truly believe will provide unconditional love and support, no matter how things play out, and be sure to share your news with those whom you trust.

It is time to put away the need to appear “perfect” by keeping certain things to ourselves.  Here are three solid reasons you should share news of your pregnancy as soon as you conceive:

  1. You deserve support, love and guidance.  Yes, even during your first trimester, if not ESPECIALLY during your first trimester.  I prefer to meet clients as early in pregnancy as possible, because the transformation of pregnancy begins the instant you know that you are carrying life.  The influence of a healthy support system is insurmountable.  The statistics regarding having a doula show that it is incredibly helpful in reducing c-section rates, need for pain medication/epidural, use of episiotomy, reducing the odds of postpartum depression, and helping mothers to feel good about their birthing experiences, but the reality is that having support far before labor begins is even more helpful and transformative.  Pregnancy brings through us new, unknown parts of ourselves and opportunities to grow.  Each pregnancy is different, just as each child is, and therefor, each pregnancy brings through us a different call to grow and transform–new symptoms, feelings/emotions, new ideas and insights, etc.  The first trimester is often a rough time; where the mother is accepting new life into her current world, her body is changing rapidly to accommodate and grow a healthy baby often bringing with it lovely side effects, and she is often balancing other children, work, and life events while these things take place.  It makes a lot of sense to say that women in their first trimester absolutely should share their pregnancy with loved ones who can lend a hand (outside of their partner), and professionals who can make the transition easier.  Being pregnant doesn’t start three months after conception, it begins immediately, and so should your support.
  2. In the event of a miscarriage, you will have a support system that you can depend on, ready to help you begin your healing process, and everyone (even children) can learn through your experience.  As I mentioned earlier, I witnessed this firsthand early on in my career, and I firmly believe that it is imperative to have more than your partner as a support system during such a time.  Everyone grieves differently.  In the case of a miscarriage, the father/partner is typically hurting just as much as the mother, and the both of them need unique support to honor their healing processes.  By allowing people whom you trust to be a part of this experience, you are allowing yourself to be loved, supported and to begin to heal immediately.  Family, friends and your children will truly benefit from being a part of this sort of experience.  Let’s face it, life does not always go as planned, and allowing your experiences of that to be shared in order to help others is truly a wonderful gift.  Children who are informed about the realities of life (and death) thrive when the same sort of things happen to them, and others will, too.  Choose what feels best for you, but don’t be afraid to share your REALITY with others.
  3. It is just as important to discuss the “hard” parts of life as it is to discuss the “good” stuff.  Why have we decided that there is a level of safety in what we share?  We think that we must portray ourselves as superhumans who are always okay, when in reality we all have “ups and downs” and they all make us who we are.  By sharing our “dark” times, we help others through theirs, and that is just as important as being present for the “light”.  Sometimes the first trimester SUCKS– you’re tired, you cry about everything, you can’t seem to stop puking your brains out, and it is perfectly normal and okay to share that in order to gain insight or simply to “get it out” and help you cope.  Our culture has created an unrealistic idea that hiding things, sugarcoating and lying to try and make things look different than they are is normal and such behavior is often encouraged, however it is actually destructive and prevents growth and happiness to do so.  If we want to live in a great world, we have to create it.  Part of life is that sometimes things don’t go as planned, in some cases we would even deem our experiences as “awful”, but if we look at those “awful” experiences, they also helped to create who we are now, helped us learn new solutions to hardship, and to see with a larger lens, learning that things are never as “bad” as they seem.  I know personally that my darkest times have truly been the most transformative, and by experiencing and overcoming them I am in turn able to help many others through their darkness.  All of our experiences are important and none of them are shameful or “bad” until we deem them to be.  Choose to allow yourself to experience and discuss ALL parts of your journey through pregnancy and life, and notice the relief and empowerment you feel to grow through ALL of it.

It is time to let go of the fear culture we have been raised in and rise up into a culture of sharing, and lovingly supporting one another.  We fear what others (or ourselves) may think or say or that we may be judged if things go differently than the planned “ideal”, but our true power comes from OWNING all parts of our experiences and in turn teaching others to own theirs.  Through empowering ourselves to share, be honest and clear, we also empower others.  We are not alone in our bold endeavors, every time that we step away from fear and into love, we teach others that it is safe to do so.  Step into love with your pregnancy.  Share it with your support system as soon as YOU feel you’d like to– regardless of any outcome.  Suppressing our experiences doesn’t help us to grow, it puts a heavy damper on our abilities to feel good, and we aren’t able to experience all parts of our lives.  We are not saving anyone by lying or keeping things in.  Nor do we need to try to “save” others or ourselves.  We expand suffering when we don’t honor ourselves, so the answer is to surrender the old belief that there’s anything to be afraid of, and to step into the empowering truth that ALL experiences contribute to the whole, and by honoring that, we live peacefully with ourselves.  Being pregnant begins the instant that you conceive, so honor your inclinations to share as early on as you feel and to enlist loving support and help through the TOTAL experience.  Be sure to choose who you share with wisely (especially if you want to avoid unnecessary input or commentary), but SHARE.  Be bold, and honor what feels best to you!

 

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about having a wonderful pregnancy, labor and birthing experience in Denver, Co., please visit http://www.birthpurpose.com, send an email to muriel@birthpurpose.com or fill out the form on the “contact” page here on WordPress.  What have your experiences with sharing your pregnancy been?  How early did you choose to have support?  Share your stories in the comments!  Thank you so much for reading.  Love, Muriel.

 

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About Birth Purpose

Birth Purpose looks into the power of parenting consciously beginning before conception and beyond into parenthood. The purpose of each birth is to bring for new life-- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. As we grow families, we grow ourselves. Join Birth Purpose on the journey to creating happy, thriving families.
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6 Responses to Why You Don’t Need To Wait Until It’s “Safe” To Talk About Your Pregnancy

  1. Thank you so much for saying this. We lost our baby at 9 weeks and had ignore the rule about not mentioning it before the end of the first trimester, however we’re just waiting until our second ultrasound allowed us to graduate from the IVF doctor to a regular obstetrician and midwife. So we had told our closest friends but not anyone professionally. Unfortunately it’s still backfired on us when we told people we had lost our baby, as because of society not wanting to talk about it before 12 weeks, most people just said they were sorry and we never heard from them again as it was no big deal to most of them I suppose. And of course we had numerous people tell us the horrific “well at least you know you can get pregnant now” well we were experiencing the worst moment of our lives. Along with the fact that our culture tells us not to reveal pregnancy until an acceptable time has passed, they also tell us that we shouldn’t grieve the loss of our child. So we’re kind of screwed either way.

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    • First of all, Thank You so much for having the courage to share your experience! It is so strong and so brave to honor all of our experiences. I am sorry for your loss and I know that it is not easy to overcome, but I know you and your loved ones can! Have you found anything particularly helpful during your healing process that you want to share? Or things you feel *would* be helpful? Your story is powerful and can help so many other women! Love to you and your family.

      Sincerely,
      Muriel

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    • (sorry I hit send by accident). Anyhow most of our friends and family abandoned ship during IVF and when we had our miscarriage, so there’s nothing that really helped us on that end with their incredible insensitivity. The inability to get pregnant and the miscarriage is not something I will ever “overcome” – it will always be there. The closest thing I can compare it to is the loss of my father, it’s that type of hole in my heart that will never go away. My gratitude and first and foremost is to my husband who didn’t shirk away from anything during the process, he never acted like making a baby via IVF was the woman’s responsibility (I’d say at least 80% of blogs I read had the woman going to the appointments almost always by herself, doing her shots instead of her husband doing them because their poor weak husbands are afraid of needles, and even when they come to the doctor’s offices they stay in the waiting room (I saw this all the time when I go to my fertility clinic and was dumbfounded that the men weren’t in there with their wives). Along with 6 failed rounds of donor egg IVF and a miscarriage we also saw our International Adoption fail when Ethiopia closed all adoptions one day before we found out our 6th IVF failed (we’d been waiting for 2 years for our match). I can’t say what helps me heal because I haven’t healed. I can’t say what would help (beyond the impossible and suddenly having my ovaries work) because I never thought I would get to this place.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Shout out to your man and your perseverance! And again, thank you for having the courage to share your story. This is a more common story than most think or even KNOW. I know that it is painful when friends and family aren’t sure how to respond or be compassionate, but that is just it: they just don’t know better, they quite literally don’t know how to respond, no one ever taught them! On top of that, they have their own pain and suffering that they are dealing with, which often makes it hard to support others. That is why it is so powerful to speak up about these things to create a space to have supportive discussions and experiences. So, again I want to thank you for contributing your story to the movement of talking about these “darker” experiences within our lives.

      You have been through so much, but trust that it is not to bring you suffering, but rather a deeper sense of love and trust in the journey of life! We can help people learn how to better respond to these things by talking about them and bringing them out of the shadows and into the space of healing. Have you ever watched Sex and the City? Charlotte wants desperately to have children, but faces fertility troubles. She tries for a long while with disappointments along the way including losing a baby and an adoption failing to go through… Eventually they end up adopting and it is clear that their wait was not in vein or suffering, that they were just meant to have this child. Then Charlotte gets pregnant by “miracle” and says her doctor said something about women adopting and then becoming pregnant soon after. (This reference is simply to “create a story” for where things turn out okay– I could’ve searched the internet for a “real” one, but the point is the same: there is hope and even if things have been rough for some time.) Sometimes we want to have control over the situation and when it happens and this causes us suffering because we aren’t seeing the results we expected, but that doesn’t mean the results we desire will never happen.

      We can certainly overcome the trauma and disappointment and pain of loss, it just takes time, the right support and a determination to heal. We learn to trust the process of life and see the “Purpose” in it all. My company is named “Birth Purpose” because there IS purpose in ALL events, even the traumatic ones. The client of mine that miscarried named her birth purpose to be “self love and healing/awakening”. Through her loss she discovered a level of healing she never would have been able to reach without the darkness of the loss. She was able to realize that there is Divine order in all things, even when we don’t understand them.

      What would you say the purpose of this (birth) was to you? (Many women find relief in considering their miscarriage to be a “birth” like in this beautiful birth story, and in my clients experience, but choose whatever terminology you prefer.) Purpose defined means: “The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.” The reason for our lives is never an end result of suffering, there is always a light behind the perceived darkness. So the “purpose” of all things is inherently good. Through darkness we learn deeper levels of healing and faith– I myself have experienced many levels of this with relatable experiences.

      Affirm: I am healing. I trust my journey to lead me to Peace, Love and Happiness.

      Love to you and your light!! Thank you again for sharing.

      -Muriel

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    • Please do not bring up Sex and the City as something for somebody who has been through infertility, and that bullshit “adoption will get you pregnant” thing that people love to say… It is one of the most insensitive things you can say to someone who has been through multiple rounds of infertility treatments and has no scientific basis. My ovaries don’t make eggs and I’m therefore not going to miraculously get pregnant if I adopt. When people do this cheerleader rah rah thing trying to turn negatives into positives, it’s more about making yourself feel better than about allowing the person to grieve. I’m not looking for a counselor (I have one), and I never said I don’t feel whole as a human being. You are throwing a lot of assumptions without knowing me as to what you think I need to hear, which is the first rule of what not to do when you are speaking to somebody battling infertility. I also don’t appreciate your making excuses for people who are jerks to those battling infertility – my sister-in-law went through IVF and completely ignored us during our struggle and she have anybody should know better. My former best friend told me that I should adopt because it’s like recycling, and disappeared during my life during IVF, as did another close friend who had had six miscarriages. My mother had her 18 month old son died and ignored me throughout my miscarriage. There is no excuse for family and friends ghosting you during the biggest trauma of your life. People sure as hell don’t do it when someone dies, at least not to this kind of level.

      And lots of people are speaking about it on blogs – I know my story is not uncommon.

      I’m not sure why you’re using your comments to promote your business or to offer advice when you haven’t taken any time to actually get to know me. I don’t need you to give me affirmations, and I don’t need to be congratulated for persevering. I will walk through this grief in whatever way I wish to. I realize you are coming at this with positive intentions, but you need to realize that a lot of people who have been through IVF and don’t end up with a child do not want to be told how they should feel or react or what they should do next (and don’t fucking tell me that my miscarriage was a birth because it wasn’t… That was actually nauseating to read!). People just want to be told that what they’re going through sucks, that it’s not fair, and that they are loved.

      Like

    • Thank you again for your comments on my website (where I stand behind my own beliefs and choices of expressing myself). We have alternative perspectives and that’s fine with me! You are loved, sometimes things do seem to suck. I’m sorry for your deep suffering, I bless your journey and existence. Have a great day!

      Like

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