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When I Have a Pregnancy Announcement to Give (This is Not One)

I felt like I had to put that parenthetical statement in the title because I didn’t want anyone’s heart to jump again over the words “pregnancy announcement.”  This is a perfect example of how people can truly be clueless and not malicious; when I titled that post “The Stuff of Urban Legends,” I meant just that… the stuff that makes up urban legends.  The Visine, the clove cigarettes, the axe murderers.  Not myself, as an urban legend.  That interpretation didn’t even cross my mind until the first comment arrived letting me know that’s what the person expected.  And even then, it took me probably 30 seconds to understand how they jumped to that conclusion.  This was literally my thought process:

They thought I was surprise-pregnant.  Maybe it’s a common thought of women who are pregnant to consider dumping someone else’s Visine down the toilet.  Do men like to make Visine-in-your-coffee jokes to pregnant women?  Is she talking about the pop rocks picture?  Is there an urban legend about pop rocks getting you pregnant?  I actually like pop rocks.  More than I like all that green tea I used to drink for my cervical mucous.  Where the hell does one even get pop rocks nowadays?  The only time I get them is when J brings them back from Israel for me.  Wait a second, J is in Israel right now.  I should see if she can get me one of those Elite bars with pop rocks from Machane Yehuda.  Is that where that candy store was?  Maybe the place I’m thinking of is right outside Machane Yehuda.  Where the hell did we get those candy-coated peanuts that time?  Those were so damn good.  Would it be insane to call her on her work trip and ask her to pick up a bag of peanuts?  Wait… no… the urban legend is about eating pop rocks.  I should ask her to get the Elite bar… OH THEY THINK I’M THE URBAN LEGEND.

I left a kernel of this thought in my comment section, but thought I’d put it here too and gather your thoughts.  If/when I am lucky enough to have a pregnancy announcement to make, this is how I suspect it will go down:

  • I will tell family first, face-to-face or over the phone.
  • I will most likely tell friends via email, having no clue where they are emotionally at the moment to hear my news, and just tell it straight.  Subject line gives them an inkling of what’s inside the note and I give the news simply, much as I would with any other facet of life.  I know that if they’re curious or excited, they’ll ask questions and we can discuss more, and if they’re not, then no hard feelings and they’ve gotten the news straight from me.
  • I will most likely tell even other bloggers via email in the exact same way.  I haven’t really thought out how I will do so since gmail has a cap on how many people can be on an email.  And there is also the potential problem that while I may think you’d want to hear it directly from me, you may actually be wondering why I emailed you in the first place (as in, “Who the hell is Melissa?”).  And even more importantly, there are people who have read this blog for the last 5 1/2 years but have never told me or commented, therefore, I don’t even know who they are in order to tell them before they see it on my blog (hi, lurkers, I do appreciate your quiet support — this is not an attempt to guilt you out from the shadows).  So emails to bloggers just might not be possible.  But if it is, that’s how I’d tell as many people as possible.
  • And then I would post it on my blog.  The title would convey without question what is in the post.  And I’d say it directly.  Probably very briefly.  I would assume that it would look something like this post.  It’s how I tend to give news that I’m not sure how others will feel about it.  I’m sure some people were happy with my book news.  And I’m sure some people were cursing me with my book news.  I know this because I do the exact same thing — some people’s announcements don’t phase me at all because I don’t have an emotional horse in the race.  And some get under my skin, even if I am happy for them.  Let’s be honest, we’re not robots; we’re all human beings who feels jealousy sometimes.

This is my plan simply because this is how I like to be told.  I don’t claim it to be the best way or the only way to give news.  But I tend to give as I’d like to receive.  Which is not to say that if you told me via your blog rather than emailing me directly that I was upset.  On the contrary, I probably didn’t give it a lot of thought at the time nor am I giving it now.  Please no now-I-feel-terrible-about-how-I-gave-my-whatever-announcement-on-my-blog comments.

My personal general rule is that I can’t expect people to read my blog or Twitter feed or Facebook page.  I can expect them to open a direct email, letter, or take a phone call.  So if I have news that is important to me that they know, I use a direct approach.  Everything else goes online (almost always my blog since it isn’t a time sensitive medium), and if they see it, fantastic.  And if they don’t, no problem.  They should probably assume that if it’s only on my blog and not in their inbox or I never bring it up when we’re face-to-face that I don’t consider the news to be of utmost importance.

And my other general rule is to attempt to jump over the chasm of comportment that blogging sets up between the writer and reader.  You guys mean more to me than simply throwing up a blog post conveys.  And yet lurkers and technology limitations sometimes stop me from being able to convey information in the way I think you deserve.  The way I combat that is to keep things short and direct.

My only promise is that I try my best; clueless usage of the term “urban legend” notwithstanding.

How do you like to receive pregnancy announcements from other bloggers?  Am I overthinking how to tell (though based on the comments to that urban legends post, I’m not sure I’m that off in believing that it’s hard to have pregnancy news come out of nowhere in a blog post.  If I was clearly awaiting a beta, it would be a different story)?  Is short and direct the way to go, or would that be more hurtful?  Perhaps best to collect these thoughts BEFORE I’m in that position to have something to announce rather than after.


1 Sharon { 12.06.11 at 11:41 am }

If most of the other bloggers whose blogs I read are like me, I’d probably read their pregnancy news on their blog first. (Most of the other blogs I read have talked in detail about their treatment cycles, so the announcement would only be out of the blue if they got pregnant–gasp!–unexpectedly without treatment.) That’s fine with me.

With friends in real life, I’ve preferred hearing pregnancy announcements via email or over the telephone. That was I can conceal my emotional reaction if it’s not an entirely positive one (for my own selfish reasons).

The worst is hearing about a pregnancy for the first time via Facebook. Ugh, so impersonal. I did announce on Facebook, simply because there are a number of people from my past with whom it’s my only connection, but closer friends and family got calls and emails first. And all this was weeks and weeks after my blog readers knew I was pregnant.

2 serenity { 12.06.11 at 11:53 am }

Email is best, for sure. Blog is good, too. Both allow for a moment to sit and reflect, but are more personal than the general FB announcement.

It’s just really hard if/when the person expects a REPLY. I have days where that’s easy, but they’re few and far between. The act of replying to someone’s news is just really hard. And doesn’t mean I’m not happy for them or anything. It’s just the Hard on Me weighs on me heavier than the Happy for Them.

But anyone who has been IF knows this, I suppose.

Anyway. Short and direct, objective. How it came to be is helpful – like “I was feeling off and then realized my period was late. Turns out I’m X weeks pregnant. I wanted you to know because you’re important to me. I understand that this might be hard on you.”

And then no expectations.


3 jodifur { 12.06.11 at 12:09 pm }

I think it depends. there are bloggers I am friends with outside of their blog, and I would be a little hurt to be told something huge via the blog. But bloggers I have no relationship with OTHER than reading their blog, well, then I would expect to be told reading their blog.

4 Eggs In A Row { 12.06.11 at 12:44 pm }

Email is best for me, too. Remember when that stupid breast cancer memo went out? I immediately blocked like 5 people that day, I thought, “It’s so weird, so many people are pregnant and hungry today.” And I never un-blocked them. When my sisters were pregnant, I “unsubscribed” from their feeds and checked on them when I wanted to see where they were.

But if you were to be pregnant, I’d be so excited I wouldn’t care how you did it. 🙂 xoxo

5 k { 12.06.11 at 12:57 pm }

For bloggers I’m friends with outside of the computer, a personal conversation via phone or instant messenger. For “blog” friends, it’s hard, because I HATE seeing positive pee sticks or “i’m pregnant” or whatever pop up in my reader feed. Seriously. I’ll have 20 blog posts to read and that announcement will crush me. But the reality is there’s no good way. As someone with a still recent loss and one a year removed, every pregnancy announcement is hard. I don’t think there’s any good way to do it when you’re in the IF world.

I will say, that when it’s a fellow IF blogger, it’s a LOT easier to take. It’s hard, but it’s easier because you know that even if it’s an “urban legend” pregnancy, it’s still hard fought for.

I have sworn that if I’m ever blessed enough to be pregnant again for keeps that I will NEVER do the facebook pregnancy announcement nor will I live my pregnancy on facebook. If someone wants to see all of that I’ll provide a space on my blog or a flickr album or something.

It’s all hard, and yet, I so don’t want to be the bitter infertile. Sigh.

6 Pale { 12.06.11 at 1:20 pm }

I think it’s sensitive to deliver the message in any format that allows the recipient to process their honest reaction. Unfortuantely, the announcements that usually dog you the most are usually the ones where the person doesn’t know what they don’t know … about your business NTM about that little thing called empathy. Would it be nice not to need much empathy? I’m working on it (by trying to evolve my perspective and my attitude … not, obviously, by being perfect :).

I’m still not sure how that last post seemed to imply a pg announcement (and I mean to say that’s ~my~ bad, not anyone else’s) … my thoughts were more along the lines of your musings about the pop rocks. … Huh. Mel just wrote a post about … Urban Legends. Huh. Okay. Click, Click …

Just to prove the point about my flighty mind, here is my final thought about this post (after clicking on one of your links above): Oh, man, I always liked that ring. I would love to visit Harper’s Ferry again sometime (I have never been to that store) ….

7 Birds and Squirrels { 12.06.11 at 1:33 pm }

I recently announced a surprise pregnancy on my blog, and I used the term “urban legend” in the title of the post. I probably should have put more of a warning in the title, but apparently many of us go there when we see those words. I had the same thought when I read the title of your blog yesterday too. I so hope that you are in a position to announce something in the near future!
We are still waiting to see about the viability of this pregnancy and have not told anyone except extremely close family and of course, to readers of my blog. I am still in shock that it happened at all. The few people that read my blog (that comment and that I know of) are mostly parenting after infertility, though some are trying again or are pregnant again.

It seems like there have been a number of surprise pregnancy announcements on blogs that I read lately (Breeder Beware, Relaxing Doesn’t Make Babies, Alexa at Flotsam, Jen at Maybe If You Just Relax just to name a few off the top of my head). I am in kind of a different space emotionally than a month or so ago, but an email from close bloggy friends is nice, but reading it on the blog is fine too.
I hate getting facebook pregnancy announcements, which makes for a dilemma for me. If things continue to go well, and after we tell all close family and friends in person or in email, how do I deal with facebook? Is there a way to gently announce a pregnancy on facebook? I don’t want to completely ignore an entire pregnancy on facebook, but I would want to be sensitive to others’ feelings. I know of a couple of friends and family on facebook that have struggled with infertility, and of course I would tell them privately first, but there are likely some people who have not been open with their fertility issues, so I do not know how to handle that.

8 The Cornfed Feminist { 12.06.11 at 1:37 pm }

I have yet to come across an IF blog where the pregnancy announcement was a surprise, unless it was a pleasant surprise after a BFN. I guess there are just so many blogs in my reader, seeing one or two BFPs a week is commonplace. I become less sensitive to them the more I read them, so keep ’em coming!

Personally I don’t mind reading the news that way. I have a few blog friends I’d like to receive e-mails from when the day comes for them, but I don’t think I’d take it amiss if I read it when they posted it on their blog. Since they are my blog friends I check their readers first anyway, so I’ll probably get the info before most people regardless.

Since my blog is my thoughts, sometimes as soon as I have them, I went immediately there to post when I got my BFP last month. It didn’t even cross my mind to e-mail my blog friends at that point, or to talk to my mom or IRL friends. I just had to vent. Same goes for when I found out it was a chemical. Straight to the blog. But that’s just me. 🙂

9 Kate { 12.06.11 at 1:48 pm }

thanks for the timely post, I need to figure out how to tell people when I’m ready and this had some good tips.

10 Marissa { 12.06.11 at 2:29 pm }

I appreciate pregnancy announcements on blogs that are direct. Beta numbers, BFP, whatever. I don’t like it when bloggers get “cutesy” or drag the announcement out for multiple paragraphs (saying “I’m pregnant” and *then* going on for paragraphs about omens or whatever bothers me less).

11 JustHeather { 12.06.11 at 2:33 pm }

My thoughts went directly to real urban legends with your post. It made me smile too. I love pop rocks. They snap, crackle and pop quite nicely when accidentally spilled in the junior high hallway and people walk on them. *giggle*

As for how to announce a pregnancy, I think for bloggers, the blog is fine. That is our main method of communication anyway. As others have said, it is nice to be able to process it in a way that works for us when it works for us.

As for Facebook announcements (mainly in response to Birds and Squirrels), why not mention something about your IF troubles? Something like: After X years of trying, I’m finally pregnant. Or something to mention that it hasn’t be all peaches and roses.

I’m sure I’ll be telling my bloggers first, just because I’ll need somewhere to vent and my family won’t be awake when I wake up. lol

12 Lori Lavender Luz { 12.06.11 at 2:38 pm }

Hmmmm….I must admit I give any announcement I make much more thought on how it feels to deliver it than how it might feel to receive it. Maybe I need to rethink…

13 stephanie { 12.06.11 at 3:12 pm }

Hmmmm. I think that I announced it in a post on my blog for my readers. (All five of them!). I told family first and then sent emails to some that I am not as close to. I let the grapevine do the rest. And then I wrote a blog post. But not right away.

14 HereWeGoAJen { 12.06.11 at 3:53 pm }

I was shocked to see that is what people picked out of your title because it hadn’t occurred to me either.

I like your method. I tend to tell through email, sometimes hinting a bit first (like you found out, even though I wasn’t really doing that on purpose to you, I really was that tired) but usually through email.

15 Chickenpig { 12.06.11 at 7:04 pm }

Hmmm…That’s a good one. I usually know other bloggers are pregnant from their blogs. It wouldn’t bother me in the least if you just posted an announcement here without an email. I’m just happy when other people get pregnant…at least in the ALI community. I hate FB pregnancy announcements, though, and I won’t be doing one. I found out my cousin was pregnant when we got the shower invitation, that sucked! It was like ‘Hey, I got pregnant really easily…I couldn’t be bothered to tell you at any of our family functions…but save this date and give me a gift. BTW, here’s my amazingly over priced registry listing’.

PS I’m 7w3d pregnant today. I’m sorry that I didn’t send you an email. But I want you to know that I am very, very thankful for your 3 wish post. I credit it for being pregnant today. Yes, this blog does work miracles. 🙂

16 Justine { 12.06.11 at 9:22 pm }

We announced on FB, but only when I was about to enter my third trimester, and if by then people couldn’t figure it out on their own, they needed glasses. Before then, I told just my family (and even waited until the second trimester for that) and blogger friends (believe it or not, before my family!).

17 Sunny { 12.06.11 at 11:35 pm }

If it was a blogger that I had become close to “outside” of their blog (either meeting in person or having deep/personal other exchanges), I would appreciate an email. Otherwise, even if it’s someone that I was a “blog buddy” with for years, I’d be fine hearing it on their blog. There are so many virtual vehicles these days for announcing a pregnancy, I wouldn’t expect someone to do exactly what I would do. (Which, incidentally, was email IRL friends and close blog friends before posting on my blog.)

18 Leah { 12.07.11 at 1:21 am }

I think the good thing about email announcement versus other ways for people in a rough spot with that sort of news, is not having to see well wishes and congrats come in from others on top of it all. So individual emails or BCC vs CC: when silly people are gonna hit “reply all”.

19 Emily { 12.07.11 at 1:51 am }

I didn’t take your post title any other way than it being about urban legends. When I finally get pregnant I will probably write about it here first cuz this is where I let out my thoughts and feelings and none of my friends and family know the name of my blog even if they know about it. I will probably wait till I at least see a heartbeat before I tell people and then I would tell them in person or over the phone. I don’t really go on Facebook anymore so I will not be posting anything there. I personally enjoy hearing about a pregnancy through blogging.

20 Rebecca { 12.07.11 at 9:00 am }

I announced directly on my blog but that was because I was in the middle of IVF and it was pretty obvious that if you were following you were either going to get a pregnancy announcement or a failure announcement.

I will always appreciate the close blog friend who sent me (and a few others) a specific e-mail before announcing a surprise second pregnancy on her blog when I was mid-IVF cycle. She then waited a couple of days to try to make sure I read it before she announced (somehow I didn’t, but that wasn’t her fault). It was incredibly touching and took away the sting.

And, apparently my brain is elsewhere because until you wrote this post it didn’t even occur to me that post could have been a pregnancy announcement!

21 Rachel { 12.07.11 at 10:44 am }

I’m so glad you posted this. I never would have connected Urban Legends to pg, but maybe I’ m not as pop culture savvy as I like to think?

But I did have a similarish experience recently. I posted to my facebook status that I hate having exciting news that I can’t share. I did NOT mean a baby! It was writing related. In any case, I clearly upset at least one person, who said I should have known people would think “pregnancy” and should I make clear that wasn’t it. She said “seriously, you could have expected that reaction. Every time a female of reproductive age (and situation) posts something ambiguous, it automatically leads people to think “pregnant””

Being that I consider it laughable that I would suddenly become pregnant, and I know I’m not even trying, I guess it didn’t occur to me to make sure people know that wasn’t what I meant.

And at first, I felt terribly guilty. I would never intend to hurt someone or make someone think I was preg, or whatever. But then I was kinda mad. Just because I’m a woman, if I have exciting news, it MUST be pregnancy related?!

Like you, if I’m pregnant, I’m going to say it straight, not through code.

But I don’t know… I still don’t know how I feel about my experience with this sort of thing, and honestly, I don’t think we can keep in mind what every person may possibly connect with pregnancy.

Then again, when you’re in the midst of infertility, doesn’t *everything* seem to be about pregnancy? Even urban legends, I suppose.

22 Mo { 12.07.11 at 4:08 pm }

Completely unrelated to the pregnancy issue:
Mel, if you want some Pop rocks chocolate, just say the word and I’ll put some in the mail! 🙂

23 Queenie { 12.07.11 at 6:18 pm }

I have been way away from the internet in recent months, so it is AMAZING to me to read your blog today and see that you are writing about what I’ve been thinking about. You somehow always manage to write something that is just so timely for me personally! I am 26+ weeks pregnant, and have avoided telling one of my friends. We don’t talk that often, but I still consider her a good friend. We live thousands of miles apart. She lost a full term baby at about the same time I got pregnant, and it just seemed cruel to tell her. And then the months slipped by. . .but I really did need to tell her. I did sort of what you did–sent a very straightforward (and brief) email. I haven’t heard back yet, and I’m worried about how it hit here. There aren’t a lot of good options. You have good news, you want to share, but you also know that your good news can sting, and you want to protect the people you care about. It’s a hard balance to strike sometimes.

24 car { 12.07.11 at 7:13 pm }

Most of the blogs I read are loss blogs (because that’s how I joined the ALI community) and most of the announcements are handled very sensitively. I am okay getting the news via blog as that is my main connection to these women. However being someone who doesn’t get pregnant easily (yet isn’t technically infertile) reading announcements from those who got pregnant within a couple months of their losses was very hard.
The vast majority of people I know, do announce via FB and they are promptly taken out of my news feed. I am currently 32 weeks pregnant and other than my blog(s), and telling a few close friends and family members in person or by phone, there has been no big announcement. I’m not sure that there will even be a big announcement when/if this baby arrives safely.

25 NotTheMama { 12.07.11 at 11:26 pm }

I’m good with a simple text, phone call, email, or just the person telling me – kindly. For blog friends, I’m good with reading it on their blog.
I am NOT good with the following things that *have* happened: don’t poke the stick you just peed on in my face; don’t text me a picture of said stick; don’t talk about your pregnancy in front of me, but not have the balls to tell me to my face; don’t rub it in my face that you are pregnant and I am not (Oh Yes She Did); don’t make a huge group in-person announcement when you KNOW an infertile is in the midst.
Wow. No wonder I like it simple!

26 Aunt Misfit { 12.09.11 at 9:23 am }

I have announced three pregnancies on my blog and two losses and I never thought for a minute to not post about it. After so many unsuccessful pregnancies, I find it hard to equate that getting pregnant can result in a baby. I am sensitive to the folks that read for whom being pregnant might be a problem. It’s just that in this corner, we’ve had lots of losses and a few successful pregnancies where one finds yourself pulling hard for anyone who makes it. Funnily enough, my list of people who know are actually the blog and no one else at this point. My guess is that the general friend public notice will go out when we tell my MIL around 28w, should we be blessed to make it that far.

27 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 12.12.11 at 12:47 am }

Pregnancy announcements are no longer hard for me (and one from you would never have bothered me, no matter what space I was in for others’ announcements), so reading it on a blog would be fine. But if I received an email first I would feel very inner-circle special.

28 Kir { 12.17.11 at 11:18 am }

When I shared mine..and you know because I emailed you directly (like I did with several IF friends) I wanted to give them time to digest it, come to terms with it, help ME come to terms with it..peel me off the ceiling and generally tell ME if will be ok. I needed as much support as they did..do you remember? Xo

I would rather an email for sure…one that shows me that you know that it might be really hard for me…although I don’t get them anymore..I am told with everyone else and I wonder if it’s because I have said we’re done…and people think it doesn’t hurt me anymore to hear them. (For the record…it does)

29 Bea { 12.18.11 at 7:12 am }

I’m with you, I think your plan is great.


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