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When is the right time to share a pregnancy with loved ones? It’s exciting magical news, but it can also be anxiety-inducing for anyone that has had previous pregnancy trauma, like infertility, miscarriage, or stillbirth.
In a recent online forum thread, a 23-year-old woman shared her dilemma of whether she was in the wrong for keeping her pregnancy a secret until it was painfully obvious and she had a medical emergency.
The poster, who had been with her husband since they were teenagers and recently married, had planned to reveal her pregnancy but felt awkward doing so after her sister-in-law announced her own pregnancy.
However, when she attended a family gathering (her sister-in-law’s baby shower) while eight months pregnant, she experienced cramps and had to leave abruptly, exposing her secret.
The Background and Reasons for Secrecy
The poster had a previous pregnancy that ended tragically with a stillborn at 25 weeks. This experience made her and her husband extra cautious during this pregnancy, which is why they decided to keep it a secret for a while.
The couple also wanted to wait for the right time to announce their pregnancy and felt it would be awkward to do so after her sister-in-law announced her own pregnancy. However, they did plan to share the news eventually.
The Family Gathering: A Baby Shower (For Her Sister-in-law)
Despite their reservations, the poster decided to attend a family gathering when her sister-in-law expressed that she really wanted her there. The poster was eight months pregnant but had been wearing loose clothing to hide her bump.
However, during the gathering, she started experiencing cramps that got progressively worse. She and her husband had to leave abruptly, and her secret was exposed when he revealed that she was pregnant and experiencing complications (because his family confronted them as they tried to leave).
The Fallout and Anger
After the incident, the poster and her husband received angry text messages from family members, including her sister-in-law, expressing their disappointment and anger that they had hidden the pregnancy. Plus, they made her feel guilty for “ruining” the shower.
However, none of the messages expressed concern for the poster’s health or well-being (or offered congratulations). The poster was left feeling hurt and upset by the reactions of her family members.
Who Was Wrong? The Community Offer Their Opinions
In this situation, it is difficult to determine who is in the wrong. Clearly, feelings were hurt on both sides. And thankfully, the original poster did not go into labor that day at the baby shower but had a bout of false labor.
She Had Valid Reasons
Many commentators that weighed in with their opinions noted that the poster and her husband had valid reasons for keeping their pregnancy a secret, and they did plan to reveal the news eventually. Overall, most commenters agreed that the poster had no obligation to share details about her body until she felt ready.
One of the top supporting comments included this one: “Until you’ve lost a pregnancy and held your dead child in your arms, you have no right to judge. She was terrified she’d have another stillborn. I can’t blame her for not wanting to risk getting everyone excited again and then having to go through the heartbreak and trauma all over again. It’s a pain no one should ever have to feel.”
She Should Have Stayed Home
However, attending a family gathering while heavily pregnant and trying to hide it was risky. Most people agreed that at 8 months pregnant, it was kind of inevitable that someone would notice. Thus, it probably would have been better for her to stay home or tell her sister-in-law before showing up.
Another user comments: “I’m torn. Your business is obviously your business, but you can’t be surprised when someone who loves you, and who you have a relationship with, feels hurt that you left them out of such a major situation in your lives.”
Since she did show up at a shower 8 months pregnant, some Redditors could see why the family was mad at the secrecy and odd reveal- although it wasn’t intended. They felt she was in the wrong for showing up in the first place.
One of the top comments sums it up: “You are 8 months along, can go into labor any day, and it comes out at your SIL’s baby shower? That is extremely disrespectful. I get why you kept it private in the beginning. You should have told them before the shower and offered to not come if it would be an issue.”
Support Over Shame
Was the poster to blame for all the drama that occurred? Perhaps. But that doesn’t mean she deserved to be ridiculed at a stressful time in her life when she thought she might be going into labor early.
Sadly, the family members’ reactions were not empathetic or supportive. They did not express concern for the poster’s health but instead focused on their disappointment and anger that the pregnancy had been kept a secret. This lack of empathy and concern is concerning and suggests that the family members may focus more on their desires and expectations.
Conclusion: Feelings Were Hurt
In conclusion, the situation is complex, and difficult to determine who is in the wrong. However, it is clear that understanding and concern for loved ones should be the priority in any situation.
The poster and her husband may have made a mistake in attending the family gathering while trying to hide the pregnancy, but their family members’ lack of empathy and concern is also problematic. Ultimately, the focus should be on supporting and caring for each other rather than placing expectations and demands on one another.