Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Timing This Secret

Most of my friends know how keen I've been very on having babies and a few of my closer friends know that it has been a source of a bit of tension with Devon & me. I have been quite vocal about it through the years, and it is no secret to those who know me that having a child is important to me.

But, I have chosen not to tell anyone about the latest movements on us creating a family... except for one person, who I told today. I will say that the choice to keep it to myself has a lot to do with this community of bloggers - you! - that I have been exposed and introduced to. It's not that this community has made me more secretive, but I have realized that by being immersed in people who are going through similar things, I feel incredibly supported, and I feel that I can be open and honest (as open and honest as one can be behind the obvious anonymity of online life) about this journey. I can go online and "tell the world" what is going on, without the pressure, stigma, and constant questioning that I imagine would come if I told all my friends right now.

I told Dev that I wanted to keep this to myself, but that if she wanted to talk to people, I would support it. We decided to tell one person each. I wanted to celebrate with someone in real life, which was really cool to do today. It was in the cafeteria at work, so it was a bit under-the-breath-ish, but she got the idea, and was so happy and excited for me. 

I chose her for numerous reasons. She is not my closest friend, by any means, but I feel as though she is the most trustworthy. She's a clinical psychologist, and I know she takes the ethics of privacy incredibly seriously. I just know that I will never have to worry about it being "leaked" to my ever-gossipy members of our circle of friends. She is also a mom, who has struggled with guilt issues of hating her pregnancy and having a tough time with her kid, especially when people's expectations of her were so high. She is also a head doc, so she is sooooo understanding about the whole medication issue, and we talked about the stigma of that today. Basically, I feel incredibly safe with and supported by her, and I feel like I can talk with her about anything. Score.

I honestly don't know when the right time is to tell others, especially my family. I have never written here about my relationship with my parents, which is very layered. We are closer now than ever before, and I'm at a place where I do share a lot with them, but I just don't think I want to go there. That said, I don't know when to do it. Obviously their support is important, and I do want them to be a part of this journey, but right now, the only thing I can imagine is talking with them when I have to... when I'm showing... and I really don't know if that's the best strategy. Doubtful.

Unfortunately, both my mother-in-law and father-in-law are dead, so there are no grandparents on that side. I never got to meet either of my in-laws, but Devon and her mom were so incredibly close, and it does make me incredibly sad that Dev won't be able to share this with her mom. From what I know about her mom, she's the kind of woman that I would love to have in our kids life. Hopefully some part of her will know, and she'll keep an eye out, in her guardian angel way.

I don't necessarily want to keep things from people, or be untruthful, but I need to find a good balance. I hadn't even thought of what to say if people just flat-out asked me, which I had to figure out pretty fast yesterday when a friend asked where Devon and I were with the decision. I just blanked, swallowed, and said, "I guess it's still on the table". 

When is it safe to tell? Is it silly to think I can keep this a secret for months... years... ? Am I just going to show up at a family and friends social event in a maternity moo moo, 6 months preggers?


How 'bout we make an appointment at the damn clinic first?!

Oh yeah, haven't done that yet...


  1. CLM-I find it will depend on how you feel as the process goes on. You will find friends that you feel comfortable sharing and I for one love your story and am glad you are sharing online here. Your struggle is helping others, I believe.

  2. Ah, this is such a tough issue! Everything you're struggling with is so normal. We were in the same boat in that people knew having a baby was out there for us "someday", but we really didn't want to tell most folks until the relative safety of the 2nd trimester. So we each told our moms and our best friends once we had a positive pregnancy test, but that was it. We kept it really vague when pressed by other friends, and then went about telling people as it felt right after 12 weeks. Just like everything else on this crazy adventure - you really have to follow your heart and do what's right for you! (Even with your parents, keep you and your mental/emotional/physical well-being as top priority, as that's the most important thing for the baby-to-be.)

    As for Devon's mom, she's right there with the two of you every step of the way, and you bet she'll be watching out for her grandbaby! :)

  3. my 2cents is to keep it a secret. it gets really, really hard to have to keep friends/family up-to-date on all the goings-on. they dont need to know when you ovulate, inseminate, test, etc - and trust me, once they know, they'll ask ALL the time! you can't un-tell once you've let the cat out of the bag.

    i dont think you should feel bad about keeping a secret, even in the face of a direct question, conceiving a baby is an intensely personal thing, you are not obligated to share until you are ready.

    good luck!

  4. We told some people when I needed support from IRL friends, but only the ones that I thought would be able to NOT ask every time they see us if it worked or not. So far, 2 months later, they only mention it when we do. Your friend sounds like the perfect person for when you need to talk, but not have everyone all up in your business all the time.

  5. I've been thinking about this a lot, though my partner and I are still a year or so away from even trying to get pregnant. I'd like to be able to blog about the experience, because that's how I process most of my life, but I have more than a few IRL friends and acquaintances who read my blog and it'd be strange to have them know but not others. I might blog it, but password the posts or keep them as drafts until the point when the pregnancy is public knowledge. I don't know, though... It's a tough call. My parents are pretty much expecting me to produce their grandchild any day now anyway, so at least they won't be surprised! But I don't want them to be disappointed if it turns out to be a hard road.

  6. I agree with anofferingoflove: it's hard to undo it once you say something. It can be tiring keeping up with all the questions and "keeping people posted" about your status (and honestly, it gets weird after a while, i.e., telling people where you are in your cycle and when you will have sperm put in your body, etc.; the novelty does wear off.) I wish I had kept it between my partner and me until things were settled and well underway, at least the details. I don't see the harm in saying "we're thinking about trying to have a baby", but matters of appointments and donors etc....you might want to keep it just for you. Just my 2 cents as someone who's been there. I will add that it didn't work out for us, which I'm sure colours my experience...having shared so much with other made it harder after the fact to address the "we're done trying" questions.

  7. I agree with Offering and Anonymous. The less people you tell, the better, because you really don't want to be fielding questions all the time, especially if it takes longer than expected.

  8. I'm in the not telling camp too, though it's a personal decision. I could probably write a novel about this, honestly. We told our parents and a couple friends before starting and they've all been fine (except my mom on some days, but that's another story). I made the mistake of telling a coworker who I was pals with at the time that we were planning to start in a few months. That coworker turned out to be part evil and, though I never knew for sure if she told others/gossiped about me, I'm fairly certain she did. It always makes me feel insecure, not knowing who knows. The thing is, in the beginning it feels like you could be pregnant in a matter of months and I really, really, really, really hope you are. But if you fall into the horrible long term ttc category, every single person you told will either ask about it (and it will feel awful) or not ask about it (and it will feel worse) or give you weird looks (and you'll want to punch them). I hate to tell someone who's about to start to prepare for the worst, but this is just my unfortunate perspective - having too many people know can feel like a burden as the months pass.

    That said, I have a few people that know and I'm so happy about it because they're stable and can offer support and know I'm dealing with horrible stuff and that's why I'm an antisocial crying machine. So, it seems like a great choice to tell a few people like that coworker of yours - people you know with confidence you can trust with something so close to your heart.