Why We Chose To Keep Our Pregnancy Secret For 8 Months
We were able to do things on our schedule, to our own agenda and without any unwanted advice
If you read last weeks post, you would have heard our very amazing life update! If you didn't, you're in for one hell of a ride today, folks. We're expecting! And we're not like the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" version but more like, "The Baby Owner's Manual" version. AKA — we are greener than a banana when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of childcare. However, we are thrilled!
As you know, (or see) pregnancy is an exciting time for couples
But it can also be an overwhelming time as well. Most people assume that there couldn't be any reason to keep such a large life-changing moment a secret. However, our family and friends weren't too surprised when we asked them to avoid posting anything online until we were ready.
You see, although I spend a lot of time on the internet and writing about my personal experiences, I'm actually not very open with most details of my life. I like to have my privacy and I love to share intimate parts of myself with only those closest to me. So, when we surprised our friends and family with the news, they were a little bit let down when we mentioned we wanted to keep yet another life update offline. Weeks went by before my mom asked for some exceptions, like telling aunts and uncles the news. Months went by before my friends asked if they'd ever see anything pop up on my Instagram. To be honest, I think it was harder for them to keep secret than it was for Nic and I. We felt it was comfortable and natural to only have to worry about pleasing ourselves.
At first, we thought we'd wait until after Christmas. But once Christmas passed we realized the more honest timeline that worked for us was "as long as possible." If I didn't plan to take some time off from blogging, I probably wouldn't have even announced this news as early as we are. And I'm sure some of you are wondering the obvious question... Why?
It was nice to share this time with just ourselves and our family
I miss the days when the only people who wished you happy birthday were the ones you saw or that phoned you. I miss the days when only the people you wanted to know, knew that you were getting married. So, rather than miss those feelings yet again — we decided not to. We shared this special time without anyone else, and it felt so much more intimate and stress-free. We were able to do things on our schedule, to our own agenda and without any unwanted advice. It has been truly beautiful.
The social media avoidance removed all expectations
I swear that every pregnancy comes with a social media manual. But, unfortunately, mine must have gotten lost in the mail. Either that or my nurse forgot to give me mine with the government-mandated baby books.
Step one — post an ultrasound photo revealing the pregnancy as soon as you hit the second trimester
Step two — reveal the gender in the most over-the-top and outrageous way you can imagine
Step three — get maternity photos once your belly reaches the ideal size that makes no one (particularly men) uncomfortable
The instant we decided we were going to keep the majority of our pregnancy offline, an instant relief lifted directly off of my shoulders. These days, social media expectations are enough to give any millennial, tween or teen an ulcer. So, not having to worry about looking like Blake Lively in all of my pregnancy Instagram pictures saved me a ton of stress. Although for anyone who is still wondering, there wouldn't have been many adorable baby bump photos given that I was able to hide my belly from everyone up until 8 months hit. Seriously, I was a belly free pregnant woman.
People ask way too many questions and expect way too much information
In much the same fashion as our wedding, we kept details and plans between just the two of us mostly to avoid all of the questions. As someone who avoids being the centre of attention, anxiety is almost too much to handle when people are constantly asking you how you're feeling or what you're craving. By the way, are those the only questions we ask pregnant women? Is it because we assume that's the only things they must have going on in their life? As someone who didn't really have any severe pregnancy symptoms, it almost felt as though I was stuck on repeat every single time I had to say "good" and "veggie subs, but that's my normal craving."
I love my friends and I love my family — but what I truly hate is being asked personal questions about my body. What many people forget is that you are not entitled to any of this information. No one has the right to know who my doctor is, whether we plan to use a midwife or doula and how we feel about sleep training. If we choose to share that information, fair game. However, if we do not, there is, unfortunately, nothing you can do about that. I often think people we know better online than we do in real life might forget that it's normal for them not to know this information. Because if social media didn't exist, you wouldn't. And still, for many, you don't.
I don't appreciate being treated as though I'm incapable of doing things
As any pregnant woman knows — as soon as you tell someone you are carrying human life, you are suddenly treated as though you are unable to complete any normal day-to-day activities. I can't tell you how many times I've been told not to carry a box, to stop working out or to make sure I'm doing "A" so that "B" doesn't happen. Guess what? I am currently 37 weeks into my pregnancy and still carrying boxes, still going to the gym and still living my life as normally as possible. The only thing I actually listened to was my doctor begging me not to play soccer anymore. Which honestly — sucks. But hey, that one seemed pretty logical. It's completely understandable that some women in pregnancy are unable to do certain things due to risk level, health or based on personal preference. However, I do not appreciate being tossed under that same umbrella when I'm already carrying my own. If I had to stop doing some of the things I love and risk losing an ounce of my independence, I would not have enjoyed this pregnancy as much as I have. And don't worry — the baby seems to be enjoying it as well.
I love being pregnant and I love the way my body feels. I love the movement of the baby when I lay still at night and I love how honestly healthy I have felt — for the first time in a long time. I've been in better spirits since being pregnant and my stomach pains and health issues have been non-existent. For eight whole months. So, thanks, baby. For making my 2018 start so wonderfully.
And also, thank you so much to everyone who submitted your questions. Now that we're finally ready to share a bit more of our pregnancy story and experience so far, we loved answering each and every one of them. Next week, we'll share our entire baby budget for anyone who is wondering how much we spent, saved and what you might need for a future child. Until then, ciao.