Over the last few years, since our first positive pregnancy test, my dear husband (DH) and I have had to decide and discuss whether we should share any pregnancy related news (good and bad) with our families.
My conclusion- share limited with family (sisters are always an exception to this rule; more on that later) and don’t underestimate the support you might get from your closest friends.
With our first pregnancy, we were very excited and almost immediately told both sets of parents and our siblings with an understanding that the news will be within the “core” family and as and when the time comes, we will start sharing the news with others. Little did we know that things would end up so differently.
When I was admitted to the hospital, we found out my mother-in-law (MIL) had already shared the news with her mom. This grandmom lived with her son (DH’s uncle) so now his family possibly knew and then there was no telling who knew what. Unfortunately, many of these family members don’t even know what happened (we both come from traditional Indian families where in general there is a lack of understanding in such matters) and it is unfortunate some of them just end up assuming what they want to assume. After months, a family member came up to me and said “Oh, I am so sorry about the miscarriage”. I was extremely hurt, not because I was asked that question, but because I didn’t know she knew…because the “core” family I so blindly trusted with this sort of news just couldn’t keep it with them.
Long story short- MIL was quite disturbed with all that was going on that she HAD to talk to her mom. I confronted her and I forgave her. But this taught us an important lesson- choose not to share such sensitive information with anyone unless you are prepared that it will pass on to others. Once you have shared something, that information is completely beyond your control.
Two of my three failed pregnancies happened while we lived out of the country, away from family and friends. I never thought about sharing anything with my best friends (I am fortunate I have not one but three!) I always thought that they were so far away, how would it matter, what would I tell them. At the end of it all, I would only get sympathy…right?
Wrong! A few months after my second failed pregnancy, one of my best friends turned to me when she was having a difficult time TTC. We chatted for while, shared our experiences and instead I ended up turning to her. She did not offer me sympathy nor did say “it was for the best or God’s will”, “you’re still young, there’s more time and you’ll have another baby”- she only held my hand and said she was sorry. She listened and reassured me that she was there for me. I love her for that. She is the best listener and least judgemental person I know.
Since then, this friend got pregnant and had a beautiful daughter. She is still part of my support system and I truly appreciate having a friend like her.