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about my boss telling her friend that I am pregnant?

(28 Posts)

To give you some background info as it's a bit complicated….and sorry in advance as this is going to be long!
I work for a small family company where the two main business partners (both my bosses) are a married couple - lets call them Wayne and Penny.
One of the guys who works in our office (though not for the same company) is engaged to Penny's best friend. - Lets call them John and Nicola. (I should note I have met Nicola maybe 4 times when she has popped into our office to say hi to either Penny or John - I wouldn't say I know her as such)
DH and I have just been through our 1st cycle of IVF after 4 years TTC and are very lucky to have got a BFP result a week ago. (Making me 5 weeks pregnant)
Wayne and Penny have been very supportive as they also had IVF at the same place and now have a child as a result. I have been totally open and honest about all of our treatment and they basically know every little detail and obviously know I am now in the very early stages of pregnancy. They are very excited and happy for me, which is lovely.
However I have only told them as they have experience of it themselves and it would have been difficult to explain why I needed so much time off. I would rather nobody knew at this stage to be honest.
I have made it clear to them that we are not even telling family or friends yet, and that it is literally them and 2 of my closest friends that know and that's it for now. I said I do not want to tell anyone else at work yet as there is no need for anyone else to know. (Job is sitting at a desk, no lifting, being on feet or anything strenuous)
I am good friends with 'John' from my office, we talk a lot at work, go to lunch together sometimes and talk outside of work occasionally, just general chit chat stuff. I chose to tell him about our treatment as he is a good friend and I trust him and he would have wondered why I wasn't at work while I was having the treatment. Obviously I told him I got a BFP and asked him to keep quiet as I am very nervous and scared of things going wrong at the moment and he has been a great support through all of it.
Anyway, Penny went for a 'girls night' with Nicola over the weekend and told Nicola that I am pregnant. Nicola then questioned John saying 'I didn't know Keepthechange was pregnant' to which he replied, yes but it's not common knowledge so keep it to yourself type thing.

Now, I'm not sure if IABU to feel quite upset/angry about this. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter - as I said I don't really know Nicola, so it's not like news of my pregnancy is going to get back to any of my family or friends through her even if she does say something, but I just feel very vulnerable and scared at the minute - I don't feel comfortable saying 'I'm pregnant' or accepting congratulations at the minute, at least until I've had a viability scan in 2 weeks.
I just feel really uncomfortable that 2 people were talking about me and my private circumstances on their night out.
And surely Penny knows that if I don't even feel ready to share this with my family and friends then it's not exactly news to be telling anyone and everyone?!
I just can't understand why Penny felt the need to tell Nicola, when it has nothing to do with her, doesn't affect her in any way and she barely knows me, other than something to gossip about - especially when I had literally just POAS a few days before!
Apart from anything else, Penny can't have known that I had told John, so surely she knew it would get back to him!

I just feel like I can't trust her now and don't know how to approach this! (Bit awkward as I sit next to her)
I want to make it clear that I am not happy that she has told one of her mates (for no apparent reason) and that I do not want anyone else to know.
Should I speak to her directly about it and ask her why she told Nicola?
(Though can't really see myself doing that as I'm not very good at being assertive like that)
Should I speak to Wayne instead and say it's made me uncomfortable?

I was thinking of either asking to speak to them both in private (or maybe emailing them as they don't always work in the office) and saying something like 'Just to be clear, I am not comfortable sharing this news yet, please do not tell anyone….can you let me know if you have already disclosed this to anyone' (which gives her a chance to admit she has told Nicola) - they may have told the other business partner (they told him I was going for treatment before letting me know they had told him) as he 'needed to know' from a business point of view apparently.

Sorry for the massively long post, I just need a bit of perspective as to whether I'm being daft for feeling quite angry and upset about it, and what anybody would advise the best way to approach them about this would be.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

msmoss Tue 12-Nov-13 08:31:51

OP I agree with the other you are totally over thinking this, and need to let it go.

Pregnancy is good news, and fundamentally people like sharing good news, your boss letting this slip to her friend will not have been done maliciously, the chances are high that she is just very happy for you and she most likely thought she was sharing it with someone who already knew.

In the long run this will not matter.

Congratulations on you pregnancy.

PicaK Tue 12-Nov-13 08:22:53

I know she betrayed your trust ... But in many ways she's been amazing and you should focus on that. Those who've done ivf whilst keeping it secret from work or without an understanding boss have had extra stress to deal with. You are emotional (been there got the T-shirt) and yes what she did was wrong but don't focus on this to the detriment of your work relationship. It's a mega stressful time - and you may find you have a whole 9 months of never relaxing and feeling "safe" (hope not tho) so find some other way to focus/divert your energy.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 11-Nov-13 21:06:05

Could Nicola be looking at IVF herself and it was a slip of the tongue that penny told her that you both had success at a certain clinic.

paxtecum Mon 11-Nov-13 20:44:47

I agree with Tempus and Bodu.

Stop being angry and upset. They are not good emotions.

Think positively and relax.

Isn't it wonderful that you are pregnant. Enjoy it and be happy.

Best wishes to you, DH and baby.

TempusFuckit Mon 11-Nov-13 20:26:17

OP - please don't be offended by this. One of the best uses of AIBU is to gently tell very hormonal pregnant women that yes, they are maybe overreacting just a teensy bit. This, imo, is one of those occasions.

I get why you're upset. But you are massively over thinking this. Don't let it overshadow a precious time in your life.

NotYoMomma Mon 11-Nov-13 15:51:10

maybe it just popped out and she didnt even realise though?

you said yourself Nicola went home to quiz John, which she wouldnt have to do if penny had given her the full details

NotYoMomma…I think you've missed the point….Penny and Wayne know they are the only people I have told and we have had several conversations about how we aren't telling people yet so they can't have presumed everyone knew, and even if they did, shouldn't go round presuming it was ok to tell other people.
Besides, they do not know I told John. And Nicola is hardly 'one of the group' and they know I would not consider her someone I would want to know as yet as I barely know her!
This isn't some mate I told and asked them to keep quiet - I told my employers in confidence and I trusted them not to gossip about me (to someone who it has no relevance to and yet is the one person that would ensure it would get back to me!)

Anyway, what's done is done, I know it's not the end of the world but I won't be telling her anything else from now on…oddly I have always felt wayne is more trustworthy but I shall bring it up if either of them mentions it again. I just feel more annoyed about the fact she has basically lied and said she hasn't told anyone when I gave her a couple of opportunities in the email to confess.

NotYoMomma Mon 11-Nov-13 14:43:09

I think if you have told Wayne.. and penny... and John... and two otger people

then you have told peopke and they probably assumed they all knew. if only one of the group is excluded they might not have noticed.

if you dont want people to know, don't tell people!

eurochick Mon 11-Nov-13 14:19:47

I can also see how it happened. I would have been irritated but I wouldn't have sent the email.

(And I have been the nervous IVF pregnant person.)

MadBusLady Mon 11-Nov-13 14:12:52

I agree she is assuming that Nicola already knew because John knew. She just isn't thinking that deeply about it, and sees Nicola as being in the same "inner circle" as her and Wayne and John, whereas you don't. Irritating, but I see how it happened, and I don't think it necessarily implies she's telling other friends.

thebody Mon 11-Nov-13 14:08:45

blimey op I really was trying to he helpful!!!

my advice was look forward. seriously your pregnancy is special and fantastic to you and that's as it should be but to everyone you are another pregnant woman at work and so an object of gossip and interest, especially at first.

I don't think you kicking up a fuss about this with your boss is a sensible thing to do and to say so would he wrong.

best of luck with your pregnancy

tobiasfunke Mon 11-Nov-13 14:06:37

Firstly congratulations on your pregnancy.

Personally I wouldn't want to make an issue of this - it is irritating but in the scheme of things no biggie. You've said that your boss has been supportive and presumably you will want this continued support throughout your pregnancy. You may need a little or a lot of time off so I wouldn't start putting her back up over this. She hasn't done it to be malicious so I would just let it go.
I also wouldn't tell someone something unless I was happy that their spouse knew as it's a bit rubbish them having to keep a secret.

PrincessKitKat Mon 11-Nov-13 14:02:52

Maybe she got so trolleyed at the 'girls night' she can't remember telling the other woman?! This is why I'd have raised that the friend/partner had congratulated you - to make it clear that you know someone's got a big mouth & give them chance to 'fess up!

TBH I think you've done all you can do & reminded them how strongly you feel. Maybe just draw a line under it now, but be careful what you tell her in future.

Good luck for your 6 week scan!

So this is the email I sent to them both:

Hi both,

Not sure if I was clear enough initially but after thinking and discussing over the weekend, (DH) and I have decided we are really not comfortable talking about or telling anyone about my pregnancy at the moment.
As you know we are not telling family or friends yet and it is literally both of you and 2 close friends that know at the moment and I would rather keep it that way until I feel comfortable with things.

Obviously I appreciate how supportive and generous you have both been through the whole process and cannot thank you both enough for that - I'm sure you guys having made my life a lot easier through the whole process has had a huge effect in not causing me any stress!

I'm not sure if x and x (the 2 other business partners) etc or anyone else has been told but if they haven't and you don't feel they need to know at the moment I would rather just keep it between us for now whilst I still feel nervous/vulnerable and I would like my family to be the first to know before anyone else when we feel comfortable enough with things to tell them.

We will have a re think after my 1st scan which is 2 weeks today which will hopefully put us at ease a bit more.

Appreciate your support & help as always!

Keep the change xx

And this is the response I have had from 'Penny':

Hi Keep the Change,

Of course, we totally respect your wishes and our lips are sealed! I haven't personally told anyone else; as you say there is no need for them to know yet.

I am guessing (other colleague) will ask you as she knew about the treatment but it won't come from me.

I can fully understand after going through so much to get where you are and it's only right that your family and close friends know first!

I wil make a point of being more discreet if I talk to you about it in the office as sometimes I'm not sure what gets overheard…..please feel free to discuss anything with us at any time if you need to.


I am shock that she says she hasn't personally told anyone else but I guess she isn't counting her personal friends. Which, ordinarily wouldn't be an issue as I would never know she was telling her friends. However when said friend she has told is the partner of someone we work with and I am close to it is clearly going to get back to me and or him!

PumpkinPie2013 Mon 11-Nov-13 12:33:39

YANBU to be upset and I think the email you suggest is probably the best way forward as it sounds lije it is otherwise a good relationship.

You could do it as though the email is 'written confirmation' of your pregnancy so start with 'Following our recent conversation....' this probably isn't necessary in such a small firm but it certainly was where I work so you could just say you assumed it was needed. Then put in what you have planned to.

I told my boss (a man) at 7 weeks as I'm a science teacher and needed to be careful with certain things plus I had awful sickness. I'm in the fortunate position not to have been through IVF but it's my first pregnancy and I would have been most upset if he'd told people. Thankfully he kept it to himself as I knew he would.

Congratulations and good luck xx

Thanks RaspberryRuffle, good advice - I am going to email them which seems a bit more casual I think and not make a big deal out of it.
Just going along the lines of grateful for their support but re-iterating that I would like to keep it quiet for now. I don't think I'll mention I know she has 'blabbed' but if either of them query it I will say I am aware that Nicola now knows and I feel a bit uncomfortable about that when my family don't even know yet and won't for a while.

I think maybe she is over excited for me and although she's been through the same thing, she was a lot more confident and open about the whole thing. (she announced she was pregnant on FB the day she POAS!)

RaspberryRuffle Mon 11-Nov-13 11:28:09

OP I totally understand why you're upset, in your shoes I would be too. As I see it you told your boss as she had been through the same, she really ought to have known better. However she is your boss and you have to work together so don't 'flip' but do tell her you're hurt that she disclosed your news. Then ask her not to tell anyone else as you are looking forward to sharing your news when the time is right, you are grateful for her support. Not a helpful comment the body, if you tell trustworthy people it doesn't get out, especially at 5 weeks gone.
Btw I also would not tell DH something that was told to me in confidence without asking the person.
Hugs OP and congratulations!

Thanks thebody that's really helpful hmm
I know it's hardly the end of the world but my point is that I don't think a business professional (i.e. my boss) should really be gossiping with her mates about my private life on a night out at such an early stage. It's irrelevant to both of them who I have already told as they did not know who I had told.
I hardly think the news getting around happens a lot for most people when they are barely 5 weeks pregnant

I totally get that most people would assume John did tell Penny - I am the same - if I am sworn to secrecy about something I would still tell my DH but I am 100% certain he didn't.
Perhaps Penny did assume that Nicola knew, but like I said - Penny couldn't have known for sure that I had told John, so potentially she could have spilled the beans to John as well!
hellymelly - you make a good point about them being excited so wanting to tell people but I still think it's a bit insensitive to tell someone when she knows I'm not even telling my family yet.

I think I will just drop them both a casually worded email saying something like..'just to be clear, I am not comfortable sharing the news yet and obviously would appreciate if neither of you said anything'…then add in something about how grateful I am for their support and how good they have been about me having the time off for treatment etc.

I'm not sure if Wayne knows that Penny has said anything to Nicola, but I feel that me sending an email like that may push him to ask me if everything is ok when he is next in the office.

Thanks for the advice and good wishes

thebody Mon 11-Nov-13 10:41:22

congrats on your pregnancy how fantastic.

IVF aside if you tell anyone you are preggers it gets around.

that's life seriously.

you have far more to look forward to than regret or to dwell on, obviously your work colleagues are supportive and happy for you.

not meaning this nasty but seriously get over it.

this happens a lot.

Shakirasma Mon 11-Nov-13 10:34:33

I would tell my DH that sort of secret, so is it not possible that Penny just assumed that Nicola already knew from John

PrincessKitKat Mon 11-Nov-13 10:29:45

You're not unreasonable to feel upset, but What's done is done & for your own well being you need to quickly & quietly resolve it & move on.

I would have a quiet conversation with the boss & say that her friend has congratulated her - it was very kind but made you very uncomfortable as its not common knowledge & you're still very nervous about things as she must appreciate having been in your shoes. Please can she keep it to herself from now on?

I also agree with PP - I'm afraid I don't count my DH when it comes to nice secrets like babies & engagements. He gets to share the joy (whether he likes it or not) but I do also trust him to keep it zipped & act surprised when officially told smile

Congrats on your BFP! Fx

hellymelly Mon 11-Nov-13 10:27:49

I agree with Cocacolamum, in that most married couples would tell each other that sort of thing but keep it secret within themselves. I do understand how you feel though, as my sIL told a friend of hers who then told a really good friend of mine, I was really unhappy about it as we hadn't told my parents or anyone at all bar SIL and my oldest friend. I think in this case, as it is the wife of someone who knows, and hasn't gone outside that circle, that maybe Penny half assumed Nicola knew. I also think they are just really delighted for you. Maybe just reiterate to the four of them that it must not go any further until you are past 12 weeks.Congratulations by the way.
(oh and SIL is herself pregnant now, nine years later, and had the cheek to ask us not to tell anyone....I inwardly raged, so clearly it is a sore point still!)

Cityofgold Mon 11-Nov-13 10:25:49

Congrats on your BFP, hope all goes well at your scan.

I too had IVF after many years of TTC so I know how anxious you must be feeling right now.

But I'd suggest just letting this pass and not making a deal out of it. Your emotions will be all over the place already, and I'm not sure that your boss did anything too wrong, particularly given that you had already told Nicola's husband so she would probably have found out anyway. If you consider how supportive your bosses have been with time off and emotional support - you are lucky to be in that position because many couples aren't - then I would forgive them this small mistake. From their perspective perhaps they were so excited and happy for you that it just slipped out? Maybe reiterate that you don't want anyone to know but don't go into the detail of this incident.

Thank you Cocacolamum - John is one of the most trustworthy people I know, he came to me to tell me Penny had clearly blabbed and said he thought I would want to know. There is no doubt in my mind that John kept quiet about it - as he said there would be no reason for Nicola to know, she doesn't really know me and doesn't affect her in any way. (Plus Penny has been known to be a bit of a blabbermouth in the past) John was also told another 'office secret' in confidence before by another colleague and absolutely would not tell anybody what it was even when it was really clear/obvious. He is very true to his word which is why I felt comfortable telling him my news.

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