Is It Insensitive To Share Your Pregnancy News?

Last night in a discussion group I’m in, one fellow “discusser” announced that she is pregnant. She is now one of about half a dozen women in the group who have announced that they are pregnant within the last few months. And of course, the endless congratulatory comments have been flowing thick and fast since she made her announcement.

This morning when I woke and went downstairs for my morning coffee, I jumped on Facebook and one of my fellow Dad Bloggers shared this pregnancy announcement “sex tape” video that was uploaded to YouTube two days ago, and you know it’s bound to go viral.

ANd although it has the “sex tape” title, this video IS totally SAFE for work.

And we all love it when someone announces their good news, right? Right? Can I get a “hell yes?” Well… Not everyone is over the moon about it when you announce you’re expecting a baby.

My first marriage didn’t result in us having a family of our own due to many reasons, but in the six years plus that we were married, although a period of that we were separated, there were times when news was given to us from friends that they were expecting a child hit me really hard. It was me who wanted to have children more so in that marriage as I wrote in my Can Men Be Clucky? post last year. And just recently I spoke to a woman whose husband got really pissed off and stormed out of the house to go for a walk to calm down when a friend posted the news of their pregnancy on Facebook. He really wants a child. Her? Well she’s not in any hurry.

My older brother married his wife (well, his fiancée to be more accurate) in 2001. Although he is almost five years older than me, I got married over two years before him to my first wife. In all the years between their wedding date and the birth of their twins eight years later in 2009, I was separated, in another long term relationship lasting almost a year, dated ten other women I met online in Internet dating sites, and then fallen in love with (let’s call her some random chick off the ‘net) and within five months of our first date, got her pregnant.

It was within the first few months of 2008 that we decided to break the news to our families. We organised a family lunch to be held at my parents’ house seeing that our little apartment wasn’t big enough. My (then) girlfriend and I headed over a few hours earlier to break the news to my mum and dad and to discuss how we were going to break the news that we were pregnant even though we had been together for, let’s say seven months at that time, when they had been trying to conceive for seven years.

I’m a joker like my father before me, and as both my boys are proving to be following in my footsteps. But I’m sure my regular readers know that about me. So of course, when we sat down in my parents’ lounge room, my couple of months “knocked-up” girlfriend sitting by my side on one couch facing across the coffee table to my brother and his wife, when I told them the news, you can imagine the reception. They knew we had something to tell them, and I expect they just assumed it was that we were engaged.

Me “Gen’s pregnant. We’re going to have a baby.”

My sister-in-law “Ha ha. Very funny.” A typical response she often says to me.

My brother “Some things you just don’t joke about Darrell.”

My mum “He’s not joking…”

I can remember how awkward I felt telling them that. It made me feel sick. Even though, six-and-a-half years after the birth of their twins, and knowing they have two healthy and happy kids, I felt a tightening in my chest and butterflies in my stomach as I thought back to that moment, and then typed that conversation. Especially when I got to the line from my mum.

But what were we to do? Lie to them? The thing is, back then, my brother and his wife were living in one side of a duplex house which my brother they owned, the other side of that dwelling being mine ours, and we were about to move in as the apartment we were living in would not have been a suitable place for us to raise a child, in our opinion. And with women gaining a bulge out front as they do when they’re pregnant, I’m sure that one day, as we walked out of our respective front doors at the same time, they would have noticed.

Although I was mindful of the fact that, bang, we got pregnant without even trying (although, I did put in a good effort in the bedroom), there is absolutely no way, even though I AM a joker in our family, that I would make a joke like that to them. I like to have fun, but I’m not about to say something that hurtful to them.

Again I mention my regular readers as I’m sure that at least one of my stalkers long-term-fans is thinking “yeah, but Darrell, remember those insensitive fake pregnancy jokes you made on Facebook year after year until you were called out by a friend and as you wrote about in your post Did My April Fool’s Day Joke Overstep the Mark?” Yes I do. And thank you. Thank you fan of mine who has the memory of an elephant, but surprisingly thinks in hyper-links to my old posts. That was different. That wasn’t directed at one particular person or couple who weren’t able to get pregnant. And I apologised and said I’d never do it again. But thanks for bringing that up.

I was trying to think of an analogy today as I thought about whether or not you should tell your friends who are struggling to conceive about your own pregnancy. The best I thought of was “do you not celebrate your team’s victory when your friend’s team loses that round?” I know it’s a completely different thing, and one might suggest that coming up with a sporting analogy to compare this traumatic experience is insensitive in itself, but then I thought “next week their team might bounce back and get a victory themselves.” And that’s it. Next week your friends might get pregnant themselves. After all, my brother and his wife did. And now, we can look back on that day at my parents’ house when you could cut the tension in the air with a knife, and we can, well, not laugh, but move on. And course, we have.

The shoe could have easily have been on the other foot when we tried for our second child, and I would not have expected my brother to be “more sensitive” around me when discussing his kids, as siblings, or the fact that he is lucky enough to have a pigeon pair when we have two boys, and I would have loved to have had a daughter as I mentioned in my post 9 Reasons Why I Wish I Had A Son and A Daughter.

So, knowing that you may have friends on Facebook, friends in your real life social circles, colleagues at work, or even family who are trying to conceive are not yet successful, is it insensitive to share your pregnancy news? I don’t think it is.

Actually, I know that it is not.

But when you go to Google and type in “Is It Insensitive To Share Your Pregnancy News?” you will see pages and pages of results returned, from baby and parenting websites, news websites that are fast becoming glorified blogs, and from other bloggers like me giving advice as to whether it is insensitive or not.

And in true “me” fashion (I use that statement a lot) I didn’t go and click on any of those stories so that I could write about my own experience and give my own opinion, as I always do. But if you don’t want to take my word for it, you can click on this link here, and it will direct you to Google’s search result on that very question.

Did you hold back on telling anyone about your pregnancy news?

2 thoughts on “Is It Insensitive To Share Your Pregnancy News?

  1. Having experienced 7 years of infertility and the accompanying emotional pain seeing pregnant bellies, I think it’s in the delivery. If faced with the same situation I would have preferred a handwritten note breaking the news so that I could cry in private and have time to gather myself together for a positive public reaction. Infertility is brutal. My favorite infertility joke was – How do you know you are infertile? When you answer the question of “What day is it?” with day 10,12, or 14. I also changed Mother’s Day into Movie Day! It was the one day a year I would spend in a movie theatre. I would go and see at least 2 movies in a row. It significantly used up the day so I could get through it.

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