I’m 4 weeks pregnant. And I’m telling everyone.
The man at the deli. All my neighbors. The postwoman.
At four weeks, I learned that they begin to count your weeks from the first day of your last menstrual cycle. Which means I’m 4 weeks pregnant according to medical terms, but I had the baby-making sex just two weeks ago. My baby is the size of a poppy seed. It’s a dot!
Most people advise against telling anyone about your baby until it’s more of a kiwi that’s sprouted some legs and a heartbeat. Like the BabyCenter, they say, “You’ll want to keep your news under wraps until the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically, which happens at the end of the first trimester, around 10 to 12 weeks.”
Everyone says this. The doctor. The blogs. Other moms. It’s simply society’s rule that most people follow. Because GOD FORBID somebody finds out you had a miscarriage.
I’m not okay with this secrecy. MANY of my friends have had one or more miscarriages before completely a full pregnancy. In fact, 10–20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Which means they’re common. Which means you probably know a few people who were celebrating their own little dot until it came out prematurely. But because we’ve all been taught to keep this big secret under wraps, these women you know might not have told you about it. Shhhhhh. They instead spend three agonizing months trying to keep the biggest thing to ever change their life a secret and then deal with the pain of losing the baby all alone because society says it’s to be kept hidden.
Can we get over this practice, please? Soon?
When we see that extra pink line show up (or, if you’re fancy, the word ‘pregnant’ pop on the screen), it’s a life-changing moment. It makes you want to scream. I did scream. A LOT. And now I’m supposed to be quiet about it for three months? No.
Our hushing makes miscarriages seem evil or bad. Shameful. We shouldn’t need to feel ashamed for something that happens to 10–20 percent of pregnancies. It’s not our fault. We might think we didn’t eat enough spinach or that we forgot to take a prenatal pill, but it simply just happens. We judge ourselves as bad moms or as unhealthy or as not maternal enough.
But... what if we were outspoken about miscarriages?
What if Facebook statuses said: Ugh, had a miscarriage today. Guess we’ll try again later.
Would they become normalized so we’d stop blaming ourselves? Would we begin to see them as okay and stop feeling ashamed?
Well, you say, you don’t want to let any loved ones down after they get excited about your little dot? But what about having those loved ones there for you when it’s time to go through something disappointing and sometimes devastating? Hugs are nice. You deserve one.
And what if you DONT have a miscarriage? You could spend 9 months celebrating and preparing and being honest about how your dot is growing. Instead of just 6.
I’m hoping to share my pregnancy in an attempt to make it less taboo and to stop being bound by a rule that causes shame. And if I have a miscarriage, I will be happy to share that too.