Saturday, December 6, 2014

Spilling the Tiny Beans

   A week ago yesterday we found out we're growing another human. Within hours we were telling the world. The overwhelming response was positive, but when people found out we were all of 4 weeks, 2 days pregnant they almost collectively gasped in surprise that we'd tell so early. It was a long discussed and purposeful choice.
   When we found out we were expecting our first, shocked doesn't quite cover how we felt. When I was 19 I'd had several procedures and told as a result there was a good chance I'd never conceive, and if I did I would likely miscarry shortly after getting a positive test. We were afraid, and everything we read said to wait until 12 weeks anyway, so aside from telling a couple of people very close to us, we waited. After a threatened miscarriage at 9 weeks that we recovered from, we started telling family close to us around 10 weeks, and the rest of the world around 12 weeks. The response was mixed. Most were very happy for us, but some in our lives were very, very negative toward us as young(21 and 22) newlyweds. Regardless, we were happy.
   When we found out we were expecting our second, our first was 13 months old, and again, we were shocked at the obvious birth control failure. This time we kept quiet until about 10 weeks for two reasons: One, we were in a very bad financial place and we felt really guilty for having such a slip-up when our finances were in such a bad place, and two, we'd had such negativity from some with number one that we couldn't imagine anything different with our second. When we finally announced the news we received joy from many, but still negativity from some, including several, "Are you going to keep it?" responses. That was shocking.
   When we found out we were expecting our third, we weren't too surprised. There'd been an 'oopsie' and I'd tested before I was even late. We waited until 9 weeks, though, because one of my sisters was pregnant and about to have a baby shower so we decided to wait until after then so as not to steal her thunder with friends and family. By the time we announced that one we started getting the, "Don't you know what causes that?" and "Have you ever heard of birth control?" lines. Firstly, I will just mention briefly here how disgusting, appalling, and rude those questions are- and yet so many seem to think they're funny or okay. Secondly, the people around us who knew us the best were thrilled with us and we chose to focus on their love and joy rather than the negativity.
   Now, number 4 was a complete shocker, even to my midwife who knows just how well we know about and use our birth control. We waited until 15 weeks to tell people except for those closest to us because one, my sister-in-law was pregnant and in her third trimester with her first, so we wanted to give her the limelight in the family. We could wait. Second, because we just didn't care to hear the garbage. We were shocked, but happy. We'd been sure our family was complete, but clearly God disagreed- and we were okay with that! When we announced #4 people either rolled their eyes and said nothing, or else rejoiced with us.

 Now let me tell you something about waiting to announce a pregnancy: It's exhausting. Like it or not, pregnant women are incredibly egocentric. We are growing a human and suddenly our every thought is consumed with this human-growing process, and all aspects of life go back to how it will affect the poppy seed-size human deep inside. When we have to hold those thoughts, ideas, musings, etc, in, as well as try to disguise the awful physical symptoms most of us feel, it is mentally and physically exhausting.
   Some would say, though, that it's worth it, because it's self-preservation. What if there's a miscarriage? Statistically speaking, one in four pregnancies will end in the first trimester. To have to say that you've lost the baby is more difficult and emotionally exhausting than keeping your human-growing obsessions under wraps. I don't disagree. But I also know a thing or two about this. Two months before number four was conceived, I had a miscarriage. We had only just realized I was late when I began miscarrying. It was a confusing situation, and difficult to emotionally process. We told no one but my two closest friends. My husband and I even had difficulty talking between the two of us. Then last December when number four was 9 months old and we'd only just moved to our new home here in Virginia, I'd had a suspicion, gotten a very faint line on a test, and two days later began to hemorrhage right in the middle of church. We hurried home and dealt with it alone. That time we talked about it. To each other, and to my family. It helped. That's when we decided that if we ever got pregnant again we wouldn't wait. We would share our joy with others, and enjoy the life we were given the privilege of having for as long as we had that gift.
   So last week, hours after getting our two positive tests, we called those closest to us, then made it Facebook official by giving #4 his first real haircut and posting a pic with a sign to see what people would notice first: the drastic haircut or the sign. Most people noticed both:

Who cares what the response has been? We're so grateful for the honor of being given another little life to cherish, no matter how long we have it here with us, that we wanted to share our joy. That said, it's gone pretty well. People are either happy for us or just internally shaking their heads in awe of our crazy. ;-) I'm not saying everyone should make the decision we made and tell the world right away. Clearly everyone's life experiences are going to shape their convictions on the matter, but we've received so many responses from people surprised that anyone would tell the world before they're 'out of danger,' so to speak, that we wanted to share why we did, in case it encourages anyone else, or just helps anyone understand our motivation. 


  1. I am happy for you and I hope this pregnancy is much easier on you than the last one!

  2. This makes me so happy for you. I wish you a happy and healthy 9 months.