Last week, vloggers Sam and Nia released a video that quickly went viral. It was of Sam surprising Nia with her own pregnancy. The joyful video spread like wildfire because it was a pregnancy announcement the likes of which no one had seen before. Days after their video was released, they made another one announcing their miscarriage. Among the hundreds of messages of sympathy popping up all over the internet is another message – “This is why you should wait to tell anyone about your pregnancy.” I respectfully disagree. It’s no easier to endure a miscarriage that no one knows about.
The secrecy that shrouds early pregnancy is so bizarre. It’s cryptic – almost as if we believe we can jinx a healthy pregnancy by letting others know about it. This is obviously untrue. Some feel that revealing a pregnancy too early makes it awkward when and if that pregnancy does not go to term. But awkward for whom?
After suffering through three miscarriages and keeping those pregnancies secret, when I finally became pregnant again – I told everyone. Having been through several losses I realized I actually needed the support of friends and loved ones. I robbed myself of that support by keeping my pregnancies a secret. My last miscarriage happened at 12 weeks, and when I confided in some friends and co-workers, many of them asked, “Why didn’t you tell us?” I had no answer to that question.
People are beginning to realize that there is no shame in pregnancy loss and fertility struggles. Mark Zuckerberg shared baby news a few weeks ago, and in his announcement included he and his wife’s struggle to conceive. Sam and Nia announced a pregnancy very early. Because of that they were able to also announce a miscarriage – news that can possibly comfort someone else going through the same situation. They also have the benefit of receiving a landslide of comforting wishes and messages of healing.
When it comes to announcing a pregnancy, each couple should do whatever they are comfortable with. But there’s no shame in deciding not to wait. You may realize that you can really use the love and support of friends and family during such a heartbreaking event.
It’s time we denounce the shame and secrecy around pregnancy loss. It’s not your fault. There’s nothing wrong with sharing news of life-changing events with family and friends, and we need to stop acting like there is.