To tell or not to tell, that is always the question when it comes to announcing a pregnancy. I can remember when Micah and I found out I was pregnant. We were in shock and discussing who and when to tell. We weighed the “risks” of sharing the news early with the secretiveness of not sharing until later. Some people are adamant about waiting to tell others when it is deemed “safer.” It is typically considered safe to share about a pregnancy once you enter into the second trimester but trust me when I tell you there is no true “safe” time to share. I am writing this from the perspective of someone who told friends and family early on in my pregnancy. ***If you are sensitive to the topic of trying to conceive (TTC) or miscarriage/pregnancy loss please read ahead with caution as both are mentioned.***
I can remember when I took the first pregnancy test and realized I was a week late. I had become so busy with preparing for our Christmas party that I let a whole week pass before I noticed. There had been so many negative tests in the year and a half it took for my hormones and period to rebalance after continuous birth control damaged everything. I was a few days late the month before and figured this could just be my body getting back to normal. For me, being a week late at that point didn’t exactly mean that I was pregnant so much as it meant something was off. Sure enough, it took less than a minute for both strips to show up. I sat there in awe and disbelief. “Is this for real?” I muttered as I ran for more tests, including the coveted digital test. I had these test strips that I was using because they’re so much cheaper than buying the drugstore sticks and of course, they expired 30 days before I became pregnant. So naturally, I tested 4 more test strips, the name brand stick, and name brand digital test. All confirmed I was pregnant. I knew who this child was as I stared at these tests. This is Jaqueline. This is who God said would come and I would find out in December after we moved into the house that was promised to us. All of these promises were coming to pass and it was surreal to say the least.
I always wanted to be one of those calm wives who surprise their husband in a cute way but I couldn’t wait. I needed to tell my best friend, the love of my life, that God’s promise has come to pass for us. To give you some perspective we spent years of fighting for my fertility and finding an endometriosis specialist; to fighting to find a trustworthy OBGYN who listened to me that something wasn’t right post expert excision that had nothing to do with endometriosis; to finding out continuous birth control caused my pituitary gland to stop regulating my hormones and taking meds to help my body get back to normal by lowering my elevated prolactin levels; to fighting a painful four month long interstitial cystitis (IC) flare that seemed to never end and was obviously caused by the hormonal imbalances; to having my periods regulate and immediately getting pregnant the moment they were normal. Micah was there the whole time fighting with me. It was such an awesome moment for us and I hope I always remember it.
It was a cold and rainy Friday morning the day I found out; the kind of cold that chills you to the bone. We agreed to keep this under wraps until we could thoroughly talk about everything when he got home. That was the night of a friend’s Christmas party from church. Oh man, how would we ever keep our mouths shut around all these prophetic people? I could barely contain my excitement at home with the animals, how am I going to make it through a weekend of church friend events and not blurt out our business? I quickly realized I shouldn’t be around anyone at this point if we’re keeping it a secret. Of course I had a hair appointment scheduled that day for a highlight and cut with my hair stylist. I told Micah I would try not to tell my hair stylist that day but that I couldn’t make any promises and luckily he understood. I know other women who found out they were pregnant because their highlights or dye changed color due to the pregnancy hormones and wondered if that would happen to me. I’m really not that knowledgeable about that sort of thing as I had only started highlighting my hair last summer.
Within about two seconds of sitting down in the chair I couldn’t contain our secret. My hair stylist is considered part of the family and I knew she wouldn’t say anything. It was nice to be able to share this with her in a safe space. It’s hard after battling for your fertility to discuss this type of news with certain people who like to remind you of the hardships of pregnancy or parenthood. It was such a joyous time! Now was not the time to worry about all the hardships pregnancy would bring specifically with my medical issues of pelvic floor dysfunction and IC.
Somehow we made it through the party that evening without anyone noticing anything. We totally played it cool. It wasn’t until we went to a housewarming party for a couple from our church the next day and came face to face with our extremely prophetic pastor that the cat was let out of the bag. We were trying to not stay around our pastors too long because we thought we might burst with excitement when they were around. Well, that didn’t go as planned at all. It was so crowded in the house and we kept bumping into them. It took all of two seconds for my pastor to look me in the eyes and say, “You have something to tell me?” We caved. We whispered the good news and let him know he could share this with his wife. If there is anyone you want on your side, it’s our pastors.
That night we were able to talk about everything in depth. We decided that we didn’t want to wait until a “safe” time to tell our friends and family because for us, it would mean fear was the reason to keep this a secret. At our church, a big thing prophetically declared by the children is, “Fear is not allowed.” I really felt the Holy Spirit nudging us to share this with others not only for the emotional support and prayers but because this is a time to celebrate. We wanted to soak up every moment celebrating Jacqueline no matter what the future may bring and decided to tell our church the following Wednesday night. We told my family the following weekend and my husband’s family on Christmas Eve since everyone would be in one place for the holidays.
Telling our church family was so important because this was a huge step in terms of healing for me, the promises on the church, and encouraging others who were battling for their fertility/healing to keep fighting. One of the promises of our church is to prepare for 1500 people. Our pastors heard this promise years ago and it’s one of the promises we believe are coming to pass. Right before we found out I was pregnant Micah heard that we would have one of the 1500. Naturally, when we knew I was pregnant with Jacqueline, we assumed this was about her. It’s a tough lesson in making assumptions with a promise God gives us and has made us that much more cautious in reading into any promises that have been spoken over our lives or the church by the Holy Spirit. In addition to announcing our pregnancy for encouragement, we also needed their prayers to get through this pregnancy safely. If I close my eyes I can still hear the roar of church family in excitement over our announcement that night.
After we announced the good news we were pulled away by a couple that we had just gotten to know and really clicked with. It was the worship leader and his wife pulling us into a quiet back room to share that they too were expecting a baby! It was so exciting to be going through this with friends. They were due a week before we were in August.
I cherish this picture because it was a joyous time for all four of us. They had not yet shared with their family or friends and asked us to cover them in prayer until they could surprise their loved ones on Christmas day. We both were experiencing spotting at different times in that first trimester. I was actually spotting dark blood the night we announced. A week later, right as our friends announced their pregnancy to their family on Christmas they had a miscarriage that day. It was devastating to say the least. We all rallied around them and let them know they were not alone. It was hard to not let fear in after this especially because I continued to spot randomly throughout the first trimester.
We announced our pregnancy online in January when I was about 12 weeks along. We knew that no matter what happened we wanted to shout it from the roof tops! We made a cute announcement picture and shared our story for everyone to see. I also shared my physician review of both my specialists in Nancy’s Nook and the exciting news of pregnancy after a long battle and less common complication from birth control. Not everyone’s healing journey after expert excision of endo is immediate and I felt it was so important to let others know it may take years before you start feeling better. Even as I’m writing this today, I’m receiving a notification that yet another person in Nancy’s Nook has liked my physician review. It was such an exciting time and I hoped it would encourage others who were facing fertility issues to keep fighting. Endometriosis is not necessarily a death sentence for someone’s fertility and it was important for me to share our story and spread hope to others.
Unfortunately, at 18 weeks 4 days my water broke from an incompetent cervix. The next day she passed away from a lack of amniotic fluid and I was induced. It was so hard to experience the pains of labor and know that we would be leaving without her. I had her during the pandemic, which also meant that only Micah was allowed to be there. Just as we both experienced the joys of knowing she was on the way, we also both shared the tragic experience of losing her.
I had to stay three days total in the hospital for recovery and we really relied on our friends and family for help with the animals. We were about an hour and 20 minutes away from home at the hospital so it was crucial to ask for help. We could not have done this without our friends and family. The night we got home I shared what happened on social media. I could feel a nudge to share that no matter what our circumstances look like, nothing was going to silence our praise of God and Jesus.
You see, the truth is fear will tell you to keep this a secret because of the possibility of losing your baby. However, what we can fail to realize is that if we choose to keep our pregnancy as a secret out of fear and lose our baby anyway it is that much harder to share the experience with others. This can quickly lead to isolation, postpartum depression, loss of faith, suicide, etc. So many people silently suffer through miscarriage and pregnancy loss for various reasons. Although people who experience miscarriages with healthy emotional support from friends and family may still experience postpartum depression, loss of faith, suicide, etc. because complex bereavement is tough in general, the chances are even higher if you suffer alone.
It is a very different situation if you’re a more private couple that just wants to wait because it’s your preference. There are a lot of good reasons to wait to share with others that have nothing to do with fear and more to do with protecting yourself from unsolicited advice or horror stories. Honestly, some people may not have any other reason other than they are just private and wish to wait to announce the good news until they are ready.
The biggest takeaway I hope you get from this is that as long as fear isn’t ruling your decision to share with others, feel free to celebrate your pregnancy when you’re ready. Although the chances of experiencing a miscarriage are lower as you enter the second trimester, nothing is guaranteed. Personally, I am glad we told everyone early and am so thankful we had that time to celebrate with loved ones. If you do experience a miscarriage, please understand that it is not your fault. God has not forgotten you. If this is a rainbow baby and you’re scared of miscarrying again, please reach out to others who can offer you compassion, empathy, and advice from experience. Deal ruthlessly with fear and keep the faith that God’s promises in your life will come to pass.