Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

If I am certain of anything it is that two lines on a pregnancy test does not mean you are are going to have a baby. This is my personal experience and also my professional experience working with child bearing women and pregnancy loss. I also know that some people choose to share their big news as soon as the pee hits the sick and others wait to announce the actual birth of a crying newborn. So, where do you fit in?

Image from Mummy Matters

I can argue both sides of this and fall somewhere in between with how I've announced my own past pregnancies. With my first pregnancy, I miscarried at 12 weeks... just as I was about to announce the news publicly to all the eager ears. I had thought 12 weeks seemed like a typical traditional time and we were waiting for the ultrasound to confirm that this was good news to share. My second pregnancy wasn't even out the door and I miscarried at 9 weeks; the only person who knew about this pregnancy, before the D+C, was my dear husband.

If you've been reading this blog for the last year you will know that I never had a pregnancy test when I was pregnant with Ben and I announced the news at 14 weeks after I had heard the BOOM BOOM of his heart beat on the Doppler a few weeks before. I had actually planned to wait until closer to 18 weeks to let the world know I was pregnant but the cat got out of the bag at work with my morning sickness. C'est la vie!

I also know that even if you keep your pregnancy secret for weeks and weeks and end up losing the baby you will still grieve and want people to acknowledge your loss. Back when my mum was starting a family, you didn't even go to your doctor until you had missed at least 2 periods. There was no super amazing extra early pregnancy detection test and no early ultrasound at the first possible moment of your baby's heart beating. You just sat back and waited those 8 weeks before they would even consider mentioning pregnancy. Sometimes your period was late and then you had a funny heavy period and that was it. My husband's mom worked in a hospital laboratory back when they still had to kill a frog or a rabbit to perform a pregnancy test.

I think with future pregnancies I will be similar to the announcement I made with Ben. I might tell a few close friends and sisters later in the first trimester but would sit on the news until I felt comfortable and was outside of those first 12 weeks. Maybe I am old-fashioned... or just plain realistic about what pregnancy can mean but I do know that the announcement is always exciting for us mums. Either freshly at almost 4 weeks along or at 20 weeks or even further.

What did you do? When did you feel comfortable announcing your pregnancy to your world?


I have absolutely no idea what I will do when I'm pregnant. I guess I'll wait and see how I feel about it. I expect it will take until pregnancy symptoms hit for it to even feel real to me so I doubt I'll feel like there's anything to announce until that point. I'd like to think I could wait until I've heard the baby's heartbeat, but I am not so good with secrets so I might spill the beans earlier by accident.

But what really got me in this post was: what the EFF are you talking about with killing a frog/rabbit to perform a pregnancy test? I am disgusted and yet intrigued. I have absolutely no idea what this is about and I'm curious.

May 29, 2010 at 8:20 PM  
Sarah said...

The first time around, I miscarried before taking an actual test but about a week after all my symptoms became pronounced. We didn't tell anyone about that. The second time, we told two dear friends and our family at 4 weeks and I miscarried 4 days later. The third time, we told the same people at about 5 weeks-- they had been so supportive for us while we were mourning the miscarriage. I told my boss and a few others sometime between weeks 5 and 8 because my puking was so frequent. Otherwise, we waited to tell people (mainly facebook relations) until 12 weeks.

May 29, 2010 at 11:27 PM  
Ashley said...

I lack in the patience department. I don't wait for anything I don't have to and since being pregnant meant I had to wait 9 months for a baby meant I wanted something NOW and the only thing I could get NOW, was the satisfaction of seeing my Mother's face when I told her I was having a baby.

May 30, 2010 at 8:19 AM  
Kaylene said...

I don't think that there is one right answer. I know that I did have a pregnancy that ended at 20 weeks because they found on the ultrasound that the baby was not growing and had a genetic disorder that was not compatible with life. So, in retrospect, I wish that I had not announced to EVERYONE that I was having a baby...because it turned out that I was not in fact going to have a baby. My baby did die in my womb shortly after. The hardest part was people did not know that I had lost the baby...the pain of people sending me emails or phone calls saying I must be as big as a house and ready to meet my baby killed me each and every time.

May 30, 2010 at 9:01 AM  
Anonymous said...

I find it hilarious when people announce their pregnancy news at 4 weeks. Come on people! That is just a late period at that point.
I think once you see an ultrasound scan with a heart beat you could announce it but like the idea of waiting to hear the baby's heart beat with the machine.

May 30, 2010 at 4:42 PM  
Auntie Glyn said...

I am going to wait as long as possible before going public. Maybe when I start showing?

May 30, 2010 at 8:41 PM  
Anonymous said...

I'd like to wait until the end of the first trimester, but my husband is always itching to tell. He usually lasts about four hours after I take a home test before he tells everybody at work or school. He defends himself with "They don't know anybody else that we know!"

May 31, 2010 at 5:41 AM  
Anonymous said...

Four weeks is NOT a late period. To you, maybe, to others, it is wonderous. A nervous system 2 days later. A heart beat one week later and that is just a 'late period'? Enough said.

May 31, 2010 at 10:36 AM  
Jennie O said...

I think I would wait to announce my pregnancy till I was showing too. I think it is great to tell your family and closest friends but annoucing a pregnancy at the first hint would not be my way.
The thing is..many women have chemical pregnancies. They pick up as positive on a pregnancy test. Since we have earlier and earlier detection you may think you are truly pregnant..when you are not. There is no baby growing. You may announce your news to the WWW but get a heavy period a few days later. So, in fact, it is not a pregnancy. There was no "nervous system" etc. This is why annoucements at 4 weeks are too earlier. IMO. Good thing we get to all have our own opinions! :)

May 31, 2010 at 12:48 PM  
Doctor in the Burbs said...

I think at 4 weeks you don't know if you are pregnant with an embryo that will turn into a fetus that will turn into a baby. You could have a blighted ovum. You could have an embryo with the wrong match up of chromosomes that won't continue to grow. So, in my opinion, it is too early to make the public annoucement that you are pregnant. Of course this doesn't mean that the pregnancy is any less real to the mother. It is real.

May 31, 2010 at 5:46 PM  
Anonymous said...

I told my close friends and family (nothing on facebook of course)eventhough I knew it was too early...but I was really excited. It did not work out and I miscarrriaged at 7 weeks, it was hard telling people but their support was helpful...not sure what I will do next time

June 2, 2010 at 11:10 PM  
Lisa said...

My first pregnancy I told my family at 6 weeks. We had just announced to friends at 12 weeks and then an ultrasound showed the the pregnancy was not viable. The second pregnancy I miscarried at 6 weeks and only my parents and my hubby knew.
With my next two pregnancies (Sarah and Jack) we mostly waited until the second trimester. I appreciated the support of my family with my 2 miscarriages so I always told them first.
I agree that it is nice to have some close people that you can tell early so they can support you if you need it.

June 4, 2010 at 9:07 PM  
erin said...

Late reader of your blog:
1st pregnancy- 24 weeks, best whirlwind of fun for everyone and the prize was a baby sooner than expected
2nd pregnancy- 20 weeks
3rd pregnancy- 18 weeks
4th pregnancy- 16 weeks for some, 18 weeks for most

Why? Because it gave us time to just enjoy, no questions, no predictions, just have that time before the whole world gets in your business.

November 28, 2012 at 10:23 PM  

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