Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not the Greatest Secret Keeper

I wanted to thank all of you for the helpful responses for dealing with our nighttime situation!  I'm going to have to read through them all a second time, when I'm not battling a flu that makes me want to hide under the covers and never come out.  However some of you started a great conversation about when to tell kids and people outside the immediate family when you're expecting and I thought it deserved it's very own post.

I've dreamt of being one of those pregnant women that can keep a secret for four or five months, joyfully revealing sonogram pictures and gender after the 20 week anatomy check.  But after three pregnancies, I've come to accept that no amount of wishing or hoping will make that a reality in our house.  

Here's the first reason.  Here's a picture of me at the beginning of the last pregnancy:

Here's a picture of my 10 week bump.  Yeah.  That's two and a half months.  You can see why making it to five is pretty impossible, if I'm leaving the house at all.

With Mae's pregnancy, at around seven weeks, I started getting "looks."  You know, the look when someone (in this case an 80 year old woman) looks down and stares at your stomach and then looks up with a knowing look that tells you that the gig is up.  Elderly women always know.  They've seen a lot of pregnancies and aren't fooled by the keep-it-a-secret tactics that first trimester moms may employ.  Unfortunately, Sadie is also a Bump Spotter, and she's always on the lookout.

The size of my babies don't help the issue.  You see, in order to look like this as you near the finish line, you have to be pretty gigantic by the end of the first trimester.  This is what nine plus pounds of baby looks like:

I'm not great at keeping my own secrets anyways.  Someone else's aren't a problem.  My own, especially not wonderful secrets like a new life, are hardly ever kept.  And after a few weeks of trying to hide pregnancy #3 until I was further along, I caved and told everyone.

In reality, there was no keeping it from Sadie.  Mae would have been a easy.  She hasn't seen the whole process before.  But if I look slightly rounder after a big meal, Sadie pats my stomach and says "Hi New Baby!"  So you can see how hiding a bump like the one in the second picture in this post, wouldn't have been possible unless I suddenly changed my wardrobe to sweats and baggy t-shirts.  And that would have gotten everyone I know talking.

I miscarried a month after picture #2 was taken.  The likelihood of miscarriage was around 1% at that point.  Honestly, there was no way that we could have kept the secret up until that point, even if we were better joyful-secret-keepers.

And so, while I'm always very, very impressed with women who can keep a secret for so long, I don't see myself being able to join their ranks anytime soon.

The other point that brought up, that I like very much in theory, was whether we could just change the subject when Sadie brings up her heavenly sibling.  I should mention first off  that the our little saint isn't a subject that we bring up.  But when she brings it up, changing the subject isn't really an option.  Anyone who has a three year old, likely knows what I'm talking about.

It's like the conversation we had about Snow White earlier.  Sadie saw the Snow White Christmas ornament and said: "Snow White, to da!" or something like that.  I asked her to repeat it, because usually I can make out what she's saying.  This time I couldn't.  So I said, "uh-huh" or "oh really?"  But she wasn't buying it.  The answer wasn't satisfactory.  And so she kept repeating it over and over again.    And I do want to make sure she feels like we're listening to her and there for her, especially on an issue that's apparently so upsetting and huge.

The thing is, she's this happy, joyful kid, talking about kid stuff almost all the time.  It's just between 7-10pm, in brief spurts, that she gets very upset and starts talking about the baby (or wakes up talking about the baby).  And so we're plodding on.  But I really appreciate that comments and suggestions and I know we'll be trying many of them to find out what is going to help her get through this.  Thank you all again!


  1. I'm not a tiny thin woman, I'm short and plump and like comfortable loose fitting clothing, so I carried twins into the fifth month and NOBODY knew unless I told them. LOL!! The school of theology I was at for grad school shares a building and professors with the diocesan seminary so it wasn't like the seminarians were likely to figure it out. I kept it that way till the end of the semester just to be sure nobody would change the way they treat me. :)

    I can see that keeping a secret isn't likely with your good figure!

  2. I can see how it's hard for you to hide a pregnancy. I'm one of those people who has a really hard time keeping a secret, but with my last pregnancy we didn't tell the girls I was pregnant until I was 14 weeks along. I was already wearing maternity shirts by the time I was about 6-8 weeks along, but most people thought I had just put on a few pounds when they found out over half way through my pregnancy that we were expecting (apparently I hide babies really well). We waited so long to tell the girls because I didn't want them asking me every day for 8 months when the baby would be here and we figured they wouldn't be able to keep it a secret. We didn't clue my husband's side of the family in until we knew the gender of the baby at 20 weeks since they have very strong opinions about what gender baby we should have. It was very difficult for us to keep it a secret, but it was easier to say nothing than to listen to mean comments from my husband's family.

  3. After my 2nd pregnancy, I was like you. We lost our 3rd baby at 17 weeks and I really didn't want to shout to everyone that I was pregnant again when we got pregnant with our 4th, but everyone knew by 8 weeks. When I was pregnant with our 5th, we didn't announce things but people figured it out. Interestingly, when we lost that baby (at 13 weeks), I found it comforting to tell people that I had been pregnant. People not knowing was actually harder than people knowing. I didn't want the little life to be as if he never existed and people needed to know why I wasn't myself.

    I don't think we'll have anymore children. I'm getting older. But, if I did, I would tell people or let them figure it out and not try to hide the little life within.


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