Miscarriage isn’t talked about. In fact, not talking about miscarrage starts when a woman finds out she is pregnant. Most women don’t share with family and friends that they are pregnant until after they have reached 12 weeks. Why 12 weeks? That’s the “safe zone”.
“Miscarriage risk drops as pregnancy progresses. The risk is highest early in the first trimester. By 14 weeks, for most women the chance of a miscarriage is less than 1%. Miscarriages rates declined between 6 to 10 weeks…”
There are several reasons why some women wait to announce but based on personal research it seems the idea behind a woman waiting to tell friends and family she is pregnant is to avoid the conversation of miscarrage. And if this is fact the reason why some women wait, I think that should be revisited. I know I waited for the same reason.
As a society, we have been conditioned to do whatever it takes to avoid discussing miscarriage by placing a common etiquette law of waiting until you are past 12 weeks to share your pregnancy.
Last year, my husband and I told my family immediately and only because I found out at their house during Christmas. After they had bought me a handle of my requested Christmas booze, it only seem fair to explain why I wasn’t drinking it. Then we told his parents shortly after. Other than that we waited until 13 weeks to tell ‘the world’. I wanted to get past the possible miscarriage danger zone, at least that was my thinking.
And I chose to wait to share the news because that’s just what is normal. Everyone waits, except for a small few. In fact, I have judged women in the past for announcing early on Facebook. Even saying, ‘Well, if they miscarry that’s going to be awkward.’ Yeah, I was a jackass before my miscarriage.
Over the weekend, I met a woman that was 16 weeks pregnant and she shared with me that she told everyone she was pregnant at 9 weeks. She said her father responded, “What if you miscarry? It’s going to be hard to tell everyone the baby is gone. You shouldn’t have done that.”
And I appreciated her response, “If I lose my first child, I am going to need my family and friends to know.”
There are two types of women. Those who want to talk about their miscarriage and those who do not want to talk about their miscarriage. Neither is better than the other. I REPEAT, neither is better than the other. Both are perfectly fine, to each their own. And we should respect BOTH types of women.
However, both types of women aren’t equal. The ones that want to talk about it are often met with uncomfortable looks and responses that result in ‘uhhhhhhhhhhhhh, *change up subject*’.
So my question is why do we have this ‘rule’? Why is it proper etiquette to wait? For my next pregnancy, I don’t know when I will announce honestly. But if I do choose to announce at 6 weeks, I want it to be accepted and not judged. Because guess what: I will need all the prayers, good vibes, positive light, juju and signs sent my way.
I learned from my loss that I am strong woman but losing a baby is just beyond my human powers and I will need the help and comfort from my family and friends.
All I am saying is that maybe we should revisit this waiting period. We should create a comfortable and encouraging environment for women, so that if they want to share at the first site of a positive they can do so happily.