For decades, women have been told to wait until the end of the first trimester before announcing their pregnancies. After thirteen weeks, the chances of miscarriage decrease dramatically and you can avoid the awkwardness comes with having to inform everyone that you are “no longer pregnant” if you lose the baby.
This is one of the main rationals behind this advice.
And I hate it.
I mean, I get it. I truly do.
There’s no pain like someone congratulating you on a pregnancy that no longer exists. As you awkwardly mumble that you’re no longer expecting, the look on your co-workers face says it all: an expression of horror, embarrassment, and pity. You paste on a false smile and nod your way through their sympathies, counting down the moments until you can hide in a bathroom stall and silently sob into the two-ply.
And so, you wait.
You wait until your baby’s heart beats with assurance and the ultrasound machines spit out little black and white promises to come.
You wait until you’re past “the danger zone.”
It sounds like a good plan to hold this secret close. You pee in a cup and watch the pink lines spread across the strip of paper. Tucking this newfound dream against your heart, you quietly nurture this soon-to-bloom bud. This hope is tender and confusing and emotional, and you’re not sure if you’re ready to share it yet with the world.
So wait. Take the time to process, to love, to organize. Don’t share until you’re ready.
But don’t hold back out of fear.
Not all of us want to openly share about our miscarriages. We’re all different and that’s okay. But with a generation of women who are breaking taboos and peeling back the silence around miscarriage, it’s important to know that there’s nothing shameful about this. We’ve believed lies about pregnancy loss for far too long — but we don’t have to suffer alone.
It’s important to know that even if our worst nightmare comes true, there is nothing wrong with grieving a miscarriage. That it’s good to talk about and process the grief that comes with losing even the littlest of the littles. And that there’s something beautiful to be found when you gathering together to celebrate each and every life, even the ones we never get to meet. Because in the midst of your darkest nights, you might need someone to hold you and cry with you and say, “I’ve been there and I’m here with you now.”
So don’t be afraid to open your heart early.
Don’t be afraid to bond and to love and to share — even if the world says, “wait.”
This pregnancy is reason to celebrate.