When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I couldn't believe my eyes: YES+.
I remember specifically choosing a new pregnancy test instead of the ones I was used to that either said "pregnant" or "not pregnant" because I'd tested "not pregnant" so many times and I just couldn't see those words together again. I made my husband look first - as I'd grown used to doing. Then came the tears (both of us) and the screaming and jumping up and down (me).
A few minutes later we hopped in the car and drove 30 minutes to my parents house to wake up my mom and give her the news. The following day was the day before Thanksgiving, so we got to tell my husbands family in person, too. It was everything I'd hoped for for so long. Joy, excitement, finally finally finally a YES+.
But as I continued to tell friends and family in the days that followed, I was shocked by some of the responses I was getting:
"That's awesome! I'll make sure to keep it a secret since you're only a few weeks."
"Congratulations! But are you sure? ...it's pretty early."
"I'm so happy for you! We'll definitely make sure to celebrate when you hit the 12 week mark!"
I was hurt beyond words. Didn't they know that the YES+ was the ONLY ONE I'D RECEIVED TO DATE? In the two years of trying and the dozens of tests, I'd never had a positive one. Didn't they know that I wanted and needed to celebrate this TODAY?
No....they didn't. They meant well and they were saying the things they'd been conditioned to say and think. They were being my friends and trying to gauge my expectations and protect my heart. They didn't know their words hurt me. They'd never hurt me on purpose and I knew that. They needed to know what I'd been through and how this felt, and it was up to me to tell them:
I need to celebrate this now because in the entire time I've been trying to get pregnant, I've never gotten a positive test. Because I've never gotten pregnant until now. This in itself is HUGE and it's worth celebrating. I don't care if it's taboo to share this news before the 12 week mark. I'm excited now and I want to celebrate this now. Who dictates when the appropriate time is anyway? This girl, that's who. I know the odds are not in my favor in terms of the likelihood of miscarriage and if that does happen, I'm gonna need people to know. That's not something I'll want to keep secret. I get why some people do, but that's not me. I will be crushed and heartbroken if I lose this baby. I will be sad to my core and I won't be able to hide it. And why should I hide it? Why is that a thing that people don't talk about? Losing a baby is awful and it deserves acknowledgement and I would need a hug and a kind word and condolences. I'll need people to tell me that it happened to them to and to answer my questions and to comfort me. I'm gonna need people to know why I'm a mess and I'm going to need reminders to not lose faith. I should be able to cry about it when the tears come and not hide them because it's uncomfortable for other people to talk about. So yes, I'm only 6 weeks pregnant, but I want people to know now - even in this early phase - because right now I'm ecstatic and I'm full of hope and possibility for the first time in TWO YEARS. So now is the time to celebrate because I am one step closer to being the momma I've always wanted to be. I'm one step closer to meeting the little girl who will be my first born and that's worth celebrating.
And now, almost 5 years and two healthy pregnancies and babies later, I still believe that none of this baby making stuff should ever be kept secret...which is why I talk about it so openly. It's a long, hard and deeply sad journey for so many people. It's a common struggle and yet when we're in it, we feel completely alone because people don't talk about it. So if you're in it right now, just know this: there's a whole army on your side, fighting the same fight, bearing the same battle scars, nursing the same wounds. It's an army that will celebrate the YES+ no matter how early and will hold you up during the Not Pregnant's, too. Because hope never fails.