I just received a pregnancy announcement in the mail. Let me repeat that. I just received a pregnancy announcement in the mail, not a birth announcement, but a card informing me of a potential birth, a birth that is forecast to happen next year!
I was especially surprised because I’d seen the return address on the envelope and knew that the sender was a woman in her late 50s! Turns out it was an announcement of a grandchild-to-be. I know. But wait, it gets stranger. Tucked inside the card was a copy of a sonogram image of my friend’s daughter-in-law’s uterus and her 12-week old peanut.
Now granted, I’m a little old-fashioned in these regards. Coming from a culture that subscribes to the “don’t count your chickens until they’re hatched” mantra, it took me a while to adapt to the idea of baby showers and giving gifts before a baby is born. And frankly, after my own dabbling in infertility, and having heard your stories, I’m beginning to think that this notion of waiting isn’t so old-fashioned after all.
To say this least, this pregnancy announcement caught me off guard and, all things considered, I think a phone call would have sufficed, don’t you?
It’s Whiny Wednesday and this is what’s under my skin this week. What’s under yours?
I hate pregnancy announcements, people are so arrogant to think all will be ok, when sadly it is not.
I now hate facebook, too many scans and PG announcements!
I hate that people don’t think about what they are announcing, and to whom. It’s fine to be proud. It’s fine to be excited. But I wish they would think about how that news would be received. I have a story about someone sending me a photo of their scan. I’ll blog it one day.
This also makes me sad. Not so much for you and me, as that’s a given. But I feel sad for all those people who announce their pregnancies too soon, when (as you say) so much is still uncertain. The un-announcing of pregnancies must be so incredibly painful.
“the un-announcing of pregnancies must be so incredibly painful”
yup, it is. some would say that the more you tell about your pregnancy, then the more support you will get should something go wrong but i’m sorry that’s not always the case, in fact i’d even go so far to say that it’s RARELY the case.
very few of the people in my life know how many pregnancies i’ve lost because i’ve never told them i was pregnant, it was easier tbh – i’ve never had that support some talk about after losing a pregnancy and so just kept things to myself. did it make it hard? most definitely but it’s better than people pretending everything’s ok when it’s not and trying to sweep things under the carpet.
i’ve grown to hate pregnancy announcements – it frustrates me how freely and openly people are willing to share the most intimate details of their pregnancy, post ultrasounds etc – i think people need to take a step back and realise that while they’re ecstatic they’re pregnant, not everyone may want to be as involved.
Kathleen Richwell says
Just to answer your question at the end, a phone call takes too long, even 5 minutes times 12 people is an hour – – and I am thinking she sent it to a LOT more than 12 people – – and what about the people she doesn’t reach.
And re; Mali’s post, about “un-announcing” my best-friend-from-high-school-Val had a miscarriage at 11 weeks between her two boys and she told me she hated having to tell people, if for no other reason than it made THEM feel bad. And then they feel bad FOR her. And no one knows what to say. It was just an overall uncomfortable interaction. She also said, “I hate saying ‘I had a miscarriage, because it sounds like something that only happened to me’ and my husband lost something too.” She also didn’t like to say she “lost” the baby. She said it sounded like your keys or something. She half expected people to offer to help her look for it, or ask her where she saw it last.
And since I am rambling, about 20 years ago, I lived “backdoor” to a couple for about 7 years. We were friendly but not an every week thing. She had been 8 months pregnant and I hadn’t spoken to them in several weeks and when I did, on the phone, I said “You must have dropped that kid by now?” and she said “Oh, didn’t Barbara call you?” (I don’t know who Barbara is but apparently she didn’t call me) and then she said, “I lost the baby”. I was stunned, and sadly, I said, shouting a little, “What? Who loses a baby at 8 months?” (yes I really did). Fortunately she was not offended or devastated (Thank God) She knew me pretty well and I am not known for pretense. Also not known for editing my thoughts before they shoot out of my mouth, but she seemed to know that I was just shocked. But at the time I did not know that I would never have children, and up until that point, I never IMAGINED that you could lose a baby that late. I don’t know why, I think I had just never thought about it. It was one of those “note to self” things.
I’ve had friends who announced they were pregnant the MINUTE they found out at like 3 or 4 weeks and I thought they were crazy. Fortunately all was fine. But I do think that mailing pregnancy annoucements like that is silly. A long time ago I knew a couple who had twins and a very difficult pregnancy; the twins only lived a few days after birth, and they sent out birth/death annoucements! VERY sad.