New Rules for Announcing a Pregnancy

new rules for announcing pregnancy

This is a guest post from Brenda at Triple Braided Life.

The double line showed up before I could even put the stick down – the stick that revealed to me that there was not only one person in the small powder room of the downstairs in our house, but that there were really two.

Disbelief crowded my mind especially since only four days earlier a similar stick only showed one line. I guess He didn’t want me to know yet. This day was the day after Valentine’s Day after all. That would make the date easy to remember at least.

But the disbelief didn’t last long before I began pacing around the house, my husband still at work, and saying out loud, “Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.”

Finally, I landed in a chair with my head in my hands bawling my eyes out and thanking God over and over again. He heard me. He answered my prayers. Finally I was a mother. At 35 years old, after a season of discontented singleness, and now a wife of four years to a husband who underwent a heart transplant two short years after the wedding, I often wondered, “Why God?” Today my “Why God?” became “Thank you, God, for hearing me.”

Standing back up with tears now matted to my face making it hard to move my cheeks, I was ready to get on the phone, log onto Facebook, and write a post to the world saying “I’m a mommy!”

But something held me back.

In the back of my mind I remembered “the rules” I had heard other women talk often about announcing a pregnancy.

“Wait three months.”

“Don’t tell your employer.”

“Just make sure everything is o.k. first.”

“Have your first appointment.”

“It’s best to keep it a secret for a while.”

As I contemplated the best time to make my grand announcement, the thought of waiting too long became heavy on my soul. I couldn’t help but sense that behind all of these well intentioned words there was more than just a proper time to announce a life. There was an anchor of fear that gave the words their weight. Fear of all the what-ifs that could go wrong with this life inside of me.

I did tell a few people. I couldn’t help it. But I was still holding back from telling others, and the more I held back the deeper the anchor of fear settled.

A few days later my sister-in-law and I finally connected after playing phone tag, and I told her the news. I mentioned that I had not told a lot of people, and the fear of what might happen in my young baby’s life was holding me back.

Without hesitation she replied, “Even from the beginning I thought of my babies as lives worth celebrating, and I told people I was pregnant whenever I wanted to. But I did things a little different than most people.”

Her words helped me to see my baby’s true worth for the first time.

This baby deep inside of me, ever so small, is a child of God. A child that God gave to me to take care of whether for a day or for years. That care began at conception. Whether he or she lives or dies each day I am with him or her is a gift and has a purpose with eternal consequences. My baby is now a part of my life, my testimony.

God did not give me a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7), and I did not want to make decisions out of fear. From that moment on I prayed for God to release me from a spirit of fear. I did not immediately make a grand announcement on Facebook, but I became aware of my motives and guarded my heart. I specifically called the people closest to me and told other people as I saw them. I asked every person I told to pray for the sweet soul that was now with me. And slowly, after overcoming all the “what ifs”, there was an army of prayer warriors praying for my new baby.

When have you announced your pregnancies to others? Do you feel like it was our of discernment or fear?

 

Brenda Rodgers: After years of living a discontented single life, Brenda laid down her dreams and began focusing on the only One who can truly give her the desires of her heart. A few years later she found herself laying down her dreams again as her new husband underwent a heart transplant. Now she encourages other women to live a life surrendered to Jesus through every season – singleness, marriage, and motherhood – at her blog Triple Braided. She is also learning to be a mommy for when she welcomes her first baby in October!

 

Comments

  1. Ohthatmomagain~Kelly says

    Brenda, the ‘what-ifs’ start from the time you see the stick and never go away. Not that it’s a bad thing. Being a mommy is the most stressful/wonderful thing you can imagine. As for telling… well, I always waited until the stick dried ;) I told my boss at 4wks 4 days. I told everyone else before. Congratulations on your little baby :) I’ll be praying for you guys

    • says

      It is true about the what-ifs. It is a constant battle to trust the Lord. I so often feel so inadequate. However, God is faithful, and He pours out so much grace. For that, I am thankful. And Kelly, I love how you said you wait until the stick dries. Sounds like us!

  2. says

    Your encouraging post reached my heart today. Being a mommy of 6 is such a blessing in my life. Our family size is exactly how the Lord desires. However, when we have announced our newest blessing, many were not thrilled, including family members. Sad but true. Even church members have frowned. Each child is a blessing from Him.

    The Lord explicitly tells us that children are a blessing. So, why on earth would we not want to share and celebrate.

    Thanks for sharing!

    And congrats!

  3. says

    We waited until after a dr. confirmation because I had a (false) negative and then a positive home test. My daughter is the first grandbaby on both sides of the family and we didn’t want to get people excited until we knew for sure! :)

    I find it a bit sad when people wait because of fear. Even if there is a loss, I would think that having the support of friends and family would be better than grieving in private. But, I guess everyone is different…

  4. says

    Brenda, what great news and encouragement! I had a miscarriage back in December and told everyone when were expecting then shortly after the baby went to be with the Lord, if it wasn’t for support on family, friends, blogging friends, it would have been very hard. So glad you can express your happiness without fear, knowing that the Lord is in control! Blessing!

    • says

      Thanks for chiming in, Rachel. Your story, and example of faith and trust, is one to be emulated. I’m thankful you allowed us to walk through your grieving with you!

  5. Erinodom says

    LOVED this post, Brenda! I am so thrilled for you–and it is so much fun to “know” other mommies in the blogging world that are pregnant at the same time! We usually tell early. I think we waited until the first doc appointment/ultrasound this 3rd time simply because we (sadly) knew we would encounter some backlash from our families for having a 3rd when our first was only 3. I see it like you do–the life of the baby is worth celebrating no matter how “young” she/he is! I also have the personality type that would want everyone to know if I were to lose the baby because I would want/need the prayer support and encouragement.

    Can’t wait to see how the rest of your story unfolds!! :)

  6. LAPrivett says

    My first we told right away – after I had taken 5 (count them, 5) pregnancy tests! The second, I wasn’t ready, so telling right away helped with the encouragement of others. The third was a huge surprise (my husband had a vasectomy – funny how the Lord changes our plans), but we told as soon as I figured out what was going on. When I recently found out I was preggo with our 4th, I didn’t tell until after the first appt. I am 40 and was really afraid something might be wrong. We would never have done anything anyway, but I wanted to be prepared how to tell my other 3 children if we did have anything to be concerned about. You would laugh if you realized how much I practiced the “God has given us and extra special baby that really needs a family to love and care for him” speech. Only to find that all was fine and the whole “worry” wasn’t necessary. It was also a reminder that each baby is extra special and that they all need our love and care!! God gave us this baby just like the others, and we are rejoicing in him! I am so happy for you!

  7. Marciemcbee says

    We told as soon as we knew. I also believe that as soon as God gave me this baby it is real and alive. We were told by doctors that we would loose our 2nd child at the first appointment. And I was so glad that every one knew we were expecting. That gave us a huge prayer circle to cry out for the child God had given us and it also made it easier in the waiting process (I was not alone). I grieved for this unknown child more than I thought I would, thankfully God answered our prayers and all went well, now we have Shelby (for a wonderful 8 years so far). This did change my heart on how I looked at the unknown. Even though I had only known about my baby for a week the thought of loosing her was crazy hard (I did not expect that feeling) and I would not want to do it alone. God was with me and by me sharing the news he allowed many people to shine his light to me at this time.

    • says

      What a great story of God’s mercy, Marcie! And what a great opportunity for many to built up in their faith through the privilege of praying for your baby girl. What grace! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Amber says

    After suffering a loss at 8 weeks, I’ve made a point to tell everyone I can as soon as I can. I want to be surrounded in prayer, love, and comfort. Some don’t agree but if Gid chooses to take my little one home sooner than expected, I do not want to suffer and mourn my loss alone

  9. Anna says

    Thank you! With the first pregnancy, we announced it as soon as we found out we were expecting. We didn’t tell anyone except our parents with the second one, and after reading this I realize that it was out of fear. This week we lost that baby, and I do wonder at some times if it would have been easier to announce so that we didn’t grieve alone.

    • says

      Oh, Anna, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. :( How kind of God to reveal your fear, and how kind of Him to have already dealt with it on the Cross. I pray for comfort and healing for you in the days ahead!

  10. Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents says

    Wow! What a fabulous post! I too have this same fear. I hold back from telling people. When I was pregnant with my first, I was chided by several women who said “What if you miscarry?? You should never announce this early…” And that bothered me until this very day.
    Thanks for putting this out there!!

    • says

      We had a similar experience. Ahhh!! It’s so frustrating. :-/ Well, I’m glad you told about “the bean!” It’s been fun celebrating with you!

  11. Ferferren says

    Thank you! I didn’t have fear at first in our pregnancy but as things have progressed and we’ve been faced with complications fear has been holding me back from truly celebrating the blessing of life within me!

    • says

      We had a similar experience with our baby boy’s pregnancy. There seemed to always be something else that we needed to “watch.” I found myself withdrawing from “caring” on occasion as a way to protect myself, but it also kept me from loving fully and deeply. It’s such a hard battle to allow our hearts to open without fear. I pray you find peace and joy that surpasses all understanding!

  12. Sarahlpower says

    I am expecting our third child in October as well!!! With our first child, we annouced at 5 weeks. With our second we announced as soon as we found out we were pregnant (about 4 or 5 weeks I was 6 months postpartum with the first). We never thought to delay the news. Last summer, we were pregnant and we announced ASAP.
    We were so excited and then we found out it was identical twins! Then shortly afterward at the next apt, there were no heartbeats on the ultrasound. Because we had told everyone early, it was a blessing to be covered in prayer through my surgery and recovery. I have the memory of going to church service two days after my eventful D&C and I went to the altar and was joined by all the women in the congregation with crying and praying. It was a broken experience where the LORD carried me through.
    I found out we were expecting again in February and we told a few people but I was hesitant again out of fear. But then a voice told me, children are a blessing and every life is worth celebrating. Abortion activists will tell you that 8 week old fetuses are not babies. But I know that GOD counts every baby from the moment of conception. I vow to tell everyone as soon as I know because a life is something to be celebrated!
    I love your post and the previous comments.

  13. says

    Ha Funny thing, I found out I was expecting the day after Valentines day too. It is easy to remember. It was about 10:30PM when I found and I told my husband and we started telling everyone. We were much too excited to keep it to our selves. My husband called two people before I finished taking a second (just-to-be-sure can’t-believe-it) test. We called our moms over at 1030PM. My husband gave me until 10am the next morning to tell my brother, grandparents and other family members. At 10am he was putting it on facebook. We did not “play by the rules”

  14. says

    With my first pregnancy last August, we told all our family and close friends immediately. Then I lost the baby 10 days later. So when I became pregnant again this past December, we waited to tell family till I had passed the 6 week mark, which was when my miscarriage was. Course, it helped that we were on a cruise the day I found out, so for a week my husband and I were the only ones that could know, haha! We waited to tell everyone (blog, facebook, church) after we heard the heartbeat at 13 weeks. For me, having the fear in the back of my head that this pregnancy would end in a miscarriage was what kept me from telling everyone.

  15. Lindsey Stomberg says

    Thank you for this! We have always debated about whether to tell or not. One year, we told immediately when we found out and they announced it in church, and by the next Sunday we had lost the baby so everyone was coming up to congratulate me as we were having to tell them (very emotional) that we had lost it. I have always been fearful of going through that again, so we always hold off on telling others. This really made me think through that decision again though. Thank you!

  16. Maria says

    For baby number 5, we told a select few. I had a pouch almost immediately and couldn’t eat for the first three months so it was difficult to keep him a secret from those closest to me. Outside of that, we didn’t tell anybody but it was because we were excited to keep him to ourselves for a time. We made a game out of keeping him a secret, it was a lot of fun.

  17. Molly Schrader says

    Have any advice for someone who needs to announce to the world that she is pregnant, unplanned, out of wedlock and doing it alone but with the support of her church and family? I am not ashamed of my baby and don’t want to feel like i’m hiding any more. I am 16 weeks along and have decided for sure that I will be posting pictures of my baby after birth but what do I do in the mean time? Do I keep it a secret and then shock everyone with pictures of a newborn? Please help….

    • says

      Molly, I am glad that you have the support of church and family. What you have growing inside of you is not an accident, he/she is a blessing that God has given. I think you have a beautiful opportunity to put on display the redemption and grace that God extends to His children.So, I think this is a beautiful opportunity to humble yourself before the Lord, and glorify Him. You become less so He becomes more. I wouldn’t hide it, but I wouldn’t glorify the sexual immorality. I’d repent and seek to live for God’s glory and to raise my child up in His word. We all fall short. We all sin. And, as children of God, we all have His grace to carry us through. We have nothing to be ashamed of for our identity is in Christ alone.

      Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to hear more from you!

  18. Ashley Brendle says

    So beautiful. I love how you said “This baby is now a part of my life, my testimony.” That’s right. I love sharing right away about our babies. It’s like acknowledging life, a person. You talk about that person, you don’t pretend he/she isn’t there. Fear does seem to set in the more we keep things to ourselves. I loved this post. Thank you! http://www.Tips4Mom.com

    • says

      There is great freedom in the light. I’m glad you enjoyed this post, Ashley! It’s one of my favorites here at IBG. Brenda is so gifted with the written word, and has a heart of gold!

  19. says

    I have never waited. If we *do* lose a baby, friends and family will be just as glad to share their support as they are to share in our joy from the beginning.
    I know people who have waited for *other* reasons – it’s a fifth baby, family is likely to be judgmental rather than excited, and they just don’t want to deal with it (sad, but for a totally different reason), for instance – and I can understand that. I think there are legitimate reasons for waiting. But I agree with you that waiting because “what if something happens?” is generally a fear-based decision.

    (And let me tell you, after going through not just a miscarriage, but also a ruptured tubal pregnancy – NOT a fun experience – I deal with my fair share of panic. But I try not to let it rule my decisions.)
    Rachel Ramey recently posted..Write Outside the LinesMy Profile

  20. says

    One of my girlfriends said her and her husband tell their close friends and church family right away when they find out they are pregnant. The more people praying for baby the better! Personally, I found it impossible to hold in the joy of having a baby on the way; most people around me knew before I was 20 weeks :) The prayers definitely were important for my husband, our new son, and I, as he arrived a month early. He was small but healthy! Such a blessing!
    Amy @ {Life to the Full} recently posted..Are You B.U.S.Y.?My Profile

  21. says

    Thank you for this. I have lost 2 pregnancies (the 2nd one only a few weeks ago) and with both of them I told my immediate family and a few close friends as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I found it difficult to tell them when I miscarried, mostly because I just couldn’t stand all the pity. But I don’t think I will do it any differently in the future. I like knowing my babies were being prayed for and were bringing lots of excitement to many during their short lives.

    • says

      I think I would feel the same way – all the pity wouldn’t be something I would find helpful. But like you, i know the extra prayers are so helpful and needed. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Christy says

    I’m a Christian, and I believe that every unborn child is a gift and worth celebrating, although, like you, I’m afraid of a miscarriage this time (almost every woman on my mom’s side of the family has miscarried their second child, and this is my second pregnancy). I don’t think I’ll be keeping it a secret anymore (although, I have to find a “Big Brother” shirt for my son first haha).

    Thank you for this insight!

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