To Tell Or Not To Tell

The Next Family

By: Heather Somaini

To tell or not to tell? – that is definitely the question. When should we tell our friends and family we are pregnant? It seems simple and easy – most people say three months. But why then? Many people believe that you’re through the sketchy miscarriage period if you’ve made it to the three month mark. Of course, it’s not entirely true because we all know someone who miscarried much later or even delivered a baby that just didn’t make it.

We told everyone about our first pregnancy primarily because we couldn’t really keep our process a secret. We had to take time off from work to be inseminated, have surgical procedures, and drive sperm across town! It’s hard to explain all of that without telling the truth. We were so excited when we got pregnant that not telling everyone was impossible. That was our reality and not necessarily anyone else’s. But it worked for us.

We loved sharing the beginning of our family with everyone closest to us. No one really suggested we hold off for ninety days and we wouldn’t even if they had. We had no concept or even inkling that something could go wrong, so it wouldn’t have made any sense to not tell people until we were out of the woods. And knowing what I know now, I realize that we never really are.

Pregnancies -and kids for that matter – are somewhat unpredictable. I remember talking to my friend Jason late one night during our complications with the twins and he said something that I now understand but absolutely freaked me out at the time. He said that all the stress and worry I was going through wouldn’t stop when they were born and in fact, it would only get worse. He was right.

My life is a work in progress and I never really know what’s going to happen next. If I live my life afraid of something bad happening, then I’ll miss out on the joy that could happen. I’d much rather enjoy everything I have and not worry about anything disappointing because if it happens, it will be here soon enough and I can worry about it then.

I loved those eight weeks and although the miscarriage was impossibly difficult, I liked who I was for those eight weeks. I was hopeful – a dreamer. I had every good intention for the future. I’m a better person for those eight weeks.

But I’m stronger for what happened after. We never really know how we’ll respond in a crisis or know what metal we’re really made of. Recovering from the shock of the miscarriage was one thing. Dealing with the long, dreary road after was another thing altogether. The support we had from everyone around us made it bearable. Telling everyone about the pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage was the right decision for us. It allowed us to move forward knowing that we didn’t have to smile if we didn’t want to and we didn’t have to act like everything was normal when it wasn’t.

This seemingly large but ultimately small blip set me on the road to understanding that I can’t always control this thing that is my life. There are parts of my life that are completely unpredictable and although they may bring me great pain, I’m confident the joy will be so much more. I’ve never regretted taking a chance and being disappointed, but I have regretted not trying and feeling empty.

Four days after the D&C, we left for New York. It was an odd trip. We were in the city that never sleeps and we were very alone but that was probably best. We had time together, just us. It was weird getting back to just us when we thought there were three. It’s like being on a team sport and suddenly being a solo player. It was isolating. Neither of us wanted to talk about the elephant in the room. Tere slept a lot. We decided that no plan to our vacation was the best one. We kept our dinner reservations, but otherwise did whatever we wanted to do. I remember trying to negotiate the purchase of a house we wanted near the beach in Santa Monica. It was a difficult property and I think that weekend we just decided it was too difficult to keep negotiating for. We let it go. I wish I could say the same for our heartbreak. We tried but I soon learned letting go of your future is a difficult thing to do.

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