Waiting to announce your pregnancy until you are safely enveloped in the security of the second trimester makes sense — for some. The first trimester can be an anxious time, filled with questions about the babyâ€™s health and concern about the stick-to-itiveness of the pregnancy in general.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I happily cloaked myself in secrecy. Only my husband â€“ and a dear girlfriend — knew anything of the life that was growing within me. I kept up the charade by ordering club sodas with lime when meeting friends at bars â€“ looks just like a vodka and soda â€“ and making excuses for my sudden need for a daily nap and sudden aversion to any food item that wasnâ€™t made of white flour and water (how do you explain a diet composed exclusively of pizza, pasta, bread and cookies? Itâ€™s not easy.).
Basically, I lied. A lot. Sure, these were lies of the soft and easy white variety. They werenâ€™t hurting anybody and, plus, they were legitimized by societyâ€™s understanding that the first trimester is a shaky time for many women. But almost five years later, divorced, in a new relationship and unexpectedly pregnant with my second child, I decided to take a different approach. If there was one thing I had learned throughout the tumultuous dissolving of my marriage, it was that the truth really would set you free. And if there is one more thing Iâ€™m still learning, itâ€™s that I love myself regardless of what my life looks like to others.
This time around, I told everybody I was pregnant in the first six weeks.
Here are three reasons why:
- Â I wanted to be honest about what was happening to me. Coming clean meant no subterfuge at dinner parties, no lying to friends about why I wasnâ€™t up for going out and no dodging my parentsâ€™ concerned looks as I excused myself â€“ yet again â€“ to run to the bathroom.
- I wanted to be as courageous as my girlfriends. Several of my friends had lost their pregnancies in the first three months due to unexpected miscarriage or to severe health complications. Other women faced deeply challenging journeys of infertility before becoming pregnant. These women had bravely shared their stories with me â€“ and with others â€“ not months or years after they occurred, but basically as they were happening. I was in awe of the strength it must have taken to openly face the reality of their situation. And their sharing was a gift that empowered me with information and with a deeper understanding of the broad spectrum of experience that pregnancy can present. I found these women incredibly powerful and generous.
- Â I wanted to lean on friends and family during the supremely emotional 90 first days of pregnancy. Keeping quiet would mean that I would miss out the support offered by loved ones. And I needed support. My hormones were going bonkers and my heart was heavy with big questions: do I have what it takes to be a mother of two? How will my first child adjust to a baby brother? Can my relationship stand up to the pressures of another child? How will I work, play, pursue my dreams with a baby attached to my boob? Being open about my pregnancy from the beginning has allowed me to lean on those who love me throughout this entire nine months of baby making.
Marisa Belger is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor and mama. When not running around with her five-year old boy — or preparing for the birth of his little brother — she writes about parenting, natural beauty, wellness and green living for publications like Natural Health, Prevention and TODAYShow.com, or collaborates on books like Josh Dorfman’s The Lazy Environmentalist.