The Magical 12th Week
So you know that magic number 12 that means you can finally tell friends and family that you are pregnant? When did it become taboo to tell friends and family before week 12 that you are pregnant? Now you might be wondering why I am talking about this but I have gotten so many comments of "you are telling people you are pregnant so early, what happens if you have a miscarriage," "Wow you are brave to tell people you are pregnant before 12 weeks." I also so many soon to be moms so excited to be pregnant but so sad they feel like they can't tell family or friends. I think it is time to change the norm when it comes to when we can talk about being pregnant and here's a few reasons why I feel very strongly that it should change.
So I understand the reason behind why week 12. For those that don't know, it is because you chances of miscarrying drastically decrease at 12 weeks. But when did it become something bad or something you feel you need to hide? I totally say for mental health purposes if it is something you couldn't handle dealing with answering questions and other things if you were to have a miscarriage I totally understand why you would wait! But imagine if it became more common place for people to openly say I had a miscarriage? I think this is important for a lot of different reasons but I will stick to the 3 big reasons why I think it should be a more open topic.
1) Right now miscarriage is still a taboo subject with many women. Many women still don't realize how truly common it is! 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime.
I think if women were not so afraid of a miscarriage happening it would show other women how common it is when it does happen. It is a very hard thing for women to go through and I cannot imagine it happening and feeling like I had no one who could understand what I was going through or knowing someone I could talk to. I think it will bring a whole new awareness to miscarriages that I think could really help women.
2) Having a miscarriage is hard mentally, physically, and emotionally. Having people around you being empathetic to your situation and having people there that might be able to help however you need is so much better than going through it alone. I once had a coworker have a miscarriage and she didn't tell anyone besides our manager. Now I only knew because we were both pregnant at the same time and so I was the only one who knew she was pregnant and subsequently had a miscarriage. I knew so I was able to be empathetic and tried not to talk a lot about being pregnant in front of her because I knew it made her sad. But here's the problem no one knew but me on our team. So to others she was not doing her job or was being "lazy." There was also anger at management because they felt like she was getting away with too much. It was so hard because I would try to say like you have no idea what is going on so let's just see what we can do to help. I couldn't tell them because it wasn't my secret to tell. But I wonder how much that situation would have evolved had they known.
3) The first trimester can be REALLY. FREAKING. HARD. Plus there is so much excitement around getting that positive test! I was so lucky with Declan but I would have had a much harder time keeping this pregnancy a secret because I sleep so much, I'm always feeling sick (food is the enemy at this point), and pregnancy brain is a real freaking thing.
When MOST people find out they are pregnant they are super excited. I know some people have surprises and other circumstances that they might not be the most excited when they find out but for most they are happy. This is the time to celebrate! It is a hard time and again having people understand what you are going through can make all the difference. I think every pregnancy should be celebrated. You should be able to be happy with friends and family that you are pregnant even if you end up with a miscarriage. You are happy and I think every soon to be mom should be able to celebrate that she is pregnant and her body is doing a wonderful thing. I have seen so many times that women who miscarry end up feeling so sad about that lost celebration of telling friends and family that they were pregnant. Don't wait for that celebration! Tomorrow is never guaranteed for anyone. Don't let the fear of something that is actually sadly more common take away happy moments for you and others in your life. How would you feel if you found out at 6 weeks and you were waiting until 12 weeks to tell you parents and something happened to a parent at 11 weeks and you never got the chance to tell them when you knew for more than a month just because you were waiting to hit this magical 12 weeks that really made no difference.
Here's my thing in the grand scheme of life why does this number 12 week have to alter our way of celebrating and mourning life? It is sad no matter when a miscarriage happens, but something can happen after that 12th week too. Don't let fear of a miscarriage stop you from celebrating the life that you are creating. I feel like by not sharing the hard times whether the first trimester stuff or a miscarriage with others, we are losing that sense of empathy to be able to help other women through these rough times, which is a whole other rabbit hole I won't go down. But my goal is to make it more common place to celebrate you are pregnant when you want to, not when society or a norm is telling you, you can.