Sunday, January 27, 2013

why we waited to tell.

I originally had written out a really long (and this edited one is still long enough!) post about this. Filled with all my reasons and excuses. Writing it all out actually made me feel better, as this is something I've been working through in my brain for weeks now. Doing that, I was then able to go, ok, that's ok, let's look at this again. Let's cut the junk out.

We didn't just... you know... wait until the first trimester was over.
We didn't just tell immediate family and ask them to keep it to themselves for awhile.

Less than a handful of people knew (not that many didn't suspect though) until we actually announced this pregnancy in October.
Yes, October.
About the middle of my second trimester.
Neil and I, of course, had known since the end of May.

When I was pregnant with Ember, right away our immediate family was told, and asked not to tell.
Then, once the first trimester was good and over, and my morning sickness gone, we told the rest of our families.
Sometime later then, after the holidays, about halfway through my second trimester, I announced it on facebook and online. All that stuff.
So for anyone I simply know online, when I announced this pregnancy so late, well, nothing new there.

But things were definitely different for our family and personal friends this time around. And honestly, that is what this is all really about, is these real life people, our parents, grandparents, our close family, etc.

So why didn't I want to tell anyone this time?
The simple answer, I wasn't ready to tell, until I was ready to tell.
And for quite a while, I just wasn't ready to tell.

And I wish, when I got asked over and over why we waited to tell, that I would have just been confident enough to say, that I wasn't ready. Until. I. Was. Ready.

Unfortunately, I was not that confident.

A few people asked us directly (it started to get a bit obvious, I completely admit..) and usually that went well. Sometimes it did not. A couple times in particular, mostly ended up with me and the other person having terribly hurt feelings.
*insert a deep sigh here*

I would immediately start in with excuses.
Usually I began with how surprised I was by this pregnancy, how I just needed some time to process it all.
Then I would talk about how sick I felt for that first trimester.
Then I would start to babble on about everything going on, how many times I thought I should tell but it just didn't feel right.....
On and on and on.

And I would wind up making a right jackass of myself... trying to over explain. And the people who were  bothered by it, usually didn't care what I said. They took it personally. As though I had only kept it from them, and not everyone. And so they felt hurt. And I felt hurt, that they didn't understand.
Sometimes it would get awful and awkward. No hugs, no congratulations, nothing. Just this whole basic statement of "I don't know why you wouldn't just tell".
It always left me reeling in a way of desperation, just wanting to be understood and accepted here. Ok, so I'm different, so I'm a little strange, so I'm this, so I'm that, so not announcing this for so long is NOT the norm. Can you just be happy for us now anyways????
Despite some opinions about me, despite them all, I honestly don't ever, ever, ever want to hurt anyone's feelings.

After one such conversation, I went to bed really upset. I just felt so overwhelmed, and then guilty. I was doing what I felt I needed to do for myself, and yet, here there were people feeling bad. Not ever what I wanted. What had I done here? I felt so terrible.
And laying next to me, Neil said, "who is pregnant with this baby?"
Well, me.
"Who is going to give birth to this baby?"
Well, me.
"Who is going to care for this baby?"
Well, me.
(and ok, ok, him too!)
But I got his point.
He told me that if I wasn't ready to tell anyone, that I didn't have to tell anyone. He reminded me that I needed to do what I needed to do. Whether or not it was the norm, whether it made anyone else happy or not. It wasn't about what anyone else expected or wanted.
And it definitely wasn't about what anyone "thought" I should have done.

Luckily, these types of encounters were only a handful.

Now, Neil teased me constantly about it. He was dying to tell some days. But he never, ever said a cross word to me about it. He always just said when I was ready, it was fine.
Neil is... good grief. I'm never quite able to sum it all up. He just accepts all of me. Completely. His capacity to stand right by me, defend even my most different and "not like everyone else" moments... *big gushy love stuff inserted here*.

I have no problem admitting I've got some quirks. Some big quirks. Some little quirks. Trust me, I am aware. Painfully aware. Some things I've changed. Lots of stuff I've worked on. But many things, I've finally just said, ok, this is me, and it's ok.

SO many of my loved ones simply just said something about how they had an idea or knew or suspected but knew I would tell them in my own time. I so appreciate being known well enough by them. Whatever opinions they had about it, they just simply understood, this was me and what I was doing, and it was my choice.

And so, this is where I started typing out all my excuses and going over everything.
But it doesn't matter.
What does matter is, and what I will say again, is that I was not ready to tell, until I was ready to tell. And while I was never intending to set out and hurt anyone with keeping it to ourselves, I very much needed to do what I needed to do.

If I'm not used to some people thinking I'm a weirdo by now....

Looking back on it all now, there is only one thing left that I overthink about when I think about the fact that we waited so long to tell. I don't want my daughter thinking I thought she was a mistake or an accident.
I like saying that she was a surprise. Because she was.
I was surprised by her. Completely.
I was unsure, shocked and a bit scared, sure.
But I never once, ever, wished this pregnancy away.
I really don't ever want her thinking that the reason I was so unready to tell, was because I did not want her, because I was ashamed of being pregnant, because I was embarrassed or because she wasn't "planned".
I admittedly, love my plans. The pregnancy definitely forced me into a whole set of new ones, and changed the ones already in place. It was a hard adjustment for me.
But that is no reflection on my beautiful baby.
In fact, it will probably be a family story, about how momma tried to keep her a secret for so long.. something to smile and even joke about.
Nothing in life has ever felt more precious to me than my babies.... feeling safe and ready to tell was important to me.

I actually learned a lot from it all going this way. 2012... I swear it was all about learning to stop giving so much of a damn about the crap people say. About how everyone and their mother will react to me.
That gets so old right? It's downright exhausting really.

And so, this has been another terribly long and overly reflective post to add to the many others. I love these posts though, they're one of the reasons I keep blogging. I've spent three nights now working and writing on this one and yep, it actually really did help.

Until the next one....