July 21, 2010

Telling vs. Knowing

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:41 am by Erin

After my appt the other day, I was giddy with excitement.  This baby seems so robust, so strong, that surely it will all work out.  I drove home thinking that we should tell people, imagining their happiness and joy.  The kids and I are going to visit my parents this weekend and I thought about how much fun it would be to get them each an “I’m the Big Brother” T-shirt and see how long it took people to figure it out.  I though about telling my aunt, who is so very ill, and knowing how happy it would make her to hear that she’s got another great-nephew or a great-niece on the way.  I thought about getting to tell my grandmother in person because I feel so lucky that my kids actually know their great-grandmothers. 

That night at dinner, I told J that we could tell people now, that I feel more confident now and sure that this little grain of rice will be OK.  He’s not the reason we’ve waited (he would have told his parents on our cruise if he’d had his way) but he said “Why don’t you think it through and decide on Wednesday?”  He knew that I was making a decision in excitement and that I might regret it later.  We have to tell the kids together and tonight at dinner would be that chance.

And now I’m just not sure.  The telling is the exciting part.  It’s full of happiness and fun, exciting suppositions and joy for the coming of a new life.  But the knowing—do I really want people to know for the next 32 weeks?  Am I ready for that part?  If it does all go wrong and ends in the next month, do I want the burden of taking that happiness away from people on top of the grief that I will already be experiencing?

We will be telling the kids in a week at the latest because we’ll be meeting with the homebirth midwife and the kids will be at that meeting.  Once they know, all bets are off—if you tell them to keep something a secret, it gets out faster than if you don’t tell them that it is a secret.  But even if we don’t say it’s a surprise and not to tell anyone, they could easily just say something randomly that will make it clear.  Part of me wants to tell them tonight so that we can control its getting out, so that we’re not forced into it when they say something at some point.  And part of me wants to protect them in case anything happens.  I remember so clearly P’s devastation when we had to reject M’s referral and I can’t even imagine how difficult this would be for them.

I’m afraid it will come out at this visit even without my saying anything.  The boobs are huge—that 36D bra that I bought is containing them but they’re substantially bigger (I have several shirts I can no longer wear because they’re not long enough to cover my stomach with my boobs this much bigger).  My stomach has been poofy since P was born but now I can no longer suck it in, so my shorts are a little tight.  The exhaustion is so strong that I grocery shopped yesterday while leaning on the cart the whole time.  There’s not really a whole lot of nausea except for when I eat.  Or when I’m hungry.  The rest of the time, food just doesn’t seem appealing.  (Actually, it’s not that appealing even while I’m hungry and eating it.)  My sister and cousins and I are going to go out one night and the fact that I’m not drinking will be really obvious, despite any excuses that I could make.  I think someone’s going to figure it out even if we don’t say something, and (because I’m Ms. Type A) I’d like to control how it comes out.

My midwife thinks it will be OK.  She was so reassuring the other day about how hearing the heartbeat at such an early point is a very, very strong point in this baby’s favor.  And the telling is lots of fun.  I won’t have another chance to tell relatives in person.  And even if we tell now, I don’t want to tell most people yet.  I don’t want to say anything on FB.  I don’t want my colleagues at work to know.  It kills me to think that a “well-meaning” distant relative who hears about it from one I tell in person might post something about it on there.  And then that knowing.  I’m not sure I can handle them all knowing. 

If we weren’t going to visit it wouldn’t be an issue—I would gladly keep it to myself for another month.  But I’m just so scared it will come out and then I’ll be playing catch-up.  I hate that.

Thoughts?  Do I make a big obvious announcement when we get there tomorrow or hope that it stays hidden for my visit?



  1. May said,

    If it were me, I would keep my mouth shut during the visit. People may suspect, but I think they may surprise you with their ability to knowingly raise their eyebrows and get with the program until you’re more comfortable out of the closet. Then again, you know your family best. If you blatantly lied about not drinking (I find a mythical “medication” works well here) and you think they’d call you on it rather than participating in the lie, then, well, there you go.

    And telling over the phone is fun since you get to have each conversation separately instead of all at once.

    Good luck. I think you’re going to get a take-homer out of this one. That heartbeat appointment is great news.

  2. JessPond said,

    I’m with the previous poster. I’d try to hold off. Perhaps after you tell the kids you can have THEM call family and tell them they’re going to be a big brother(s)? We had family that did that and it was cute! BUT….of course at the time not so cute to us because we were ttc. lol

    Good luck!

  3. Betty M said,

    If it were me I wouldn’t tell and leave them guessing but if I was asked a direct question I wouldn’t lie.

  4. sky said,

    I don’t know. I told my parents with Chicka wearing a Big Sis tshirt. It was awesome to be able to truly surprise people.

    The previous commenters make a lot of sense but it would be so nice to be able to tell people in your own creative way.

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