Let it be known

Most women are advised to wait until after 12 weeks to reveal that they are pregnant. At that point, the miscarriage rate drops significantly, which lessens the heartache of having to break the bad news of pregnancy loss.

But what is the alternative? To suffer alone in silence over the loss of an unborn child? Why are we so afraid to talk about miscarriage? Is it the embarrassment that something might be “wrong” with the mother? Or is it the painful reminder of the baby that will never be when a co-worker or a family friend congratulates her without knowing that she is no longer pregnant?

My second pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I told family and friends at 6 weeks that Collin was going to be a big brother. When I went in for the sonogram a few weeks later, the baby’s heart was no longer beating and mine was broken. I didn’t leave my bed for a week, but the cards and flowers sent by family, friends, classmates (I was in grad school at the time), and students reminded me that my baby and I were in God’s hands.

A year later, I was pregnant again. I decided to tell everyone at 8 weeks because I wanted that support again if I lost the baby. I had their prayers for a healthy baby and soon Frank joined our family, followed by Leo. If I had waited the extra month, what would have changed? I’d have to avoid the people closest to me to hide my ceaseless morning sickness. I’d have to dress in my baggiest clothes (maybe even my husband’s) to hide my growing belly. (I “show” rather quickly.) And I’d be denying my baby and me prayers and well wishes from people who care, whether things turn out fine or for the worst.

Pregnant women need love and support in the first trimester more than any other time. It’s when they’re the most vulnerable and feeling their worst, without the visible bump to remind others that they’re working overtime to create a human being. These are the days that demand the most of their bodies and their spirits. And they shouldn’t be endured alone.

And so, at 8 weeks, I’m letting the world know that I’m expecting my fourth child in the first week of July. I’m aware that I haven’t entered the “safe zone,” but my symptoms are strong and my hopes are high. I’m trusting God to make the best decisions for me and my family and counting on the people I love to keep my spirits up on days like today when I feel like I was hit by a truck. My raspberry-sized baby and I are not alone in this journey, no matter where it takes us. Please keep us in your prayers. 

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.