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About telling children about pregnancy?

(15 Posts)
NorthernLassie724 Fri 28-Feb-14 15:43:02

Am a regular who has NC for this.

I have recently got to know the mother of one of DD's friends. We are amicable and see quite a lot of each other as our DC are good friends but she's not someone I would naturally have "chosen" as a friend IYSWIM. She is a nice person but doesn't work, was signed off sick quite a while ago and has since recovered enough to go back but decided she wanted another baby so hasn't made any plans to go back, which is fine, but she is quite critical of me for choosing to work. She can also be the kind of person where there's always something wrong, she's not happy unless there's some kind of drama which I am not always comfortable with so although I'm always nice and polite to her, I think she considers me a better friend than I do her, so she tells me quite a lot of things about her.

Anyway she got married a couple of years ago and has been trying for a baby recently. Her DS from a previous relationship is 6 and has wanted a sibling for ages. Unfortunately her DS is a bit of a worrier and has been school-refusing recently for reasons such as he doesn't want his mum to be lonely at home on her own during the day or he's worried that she might get ill and no-one would be able to help her. He is getting better at going to school but still occasionally has little "wobbly" moments. He is the most sensitive child I know and gets very upset about the smallest things. Family deaths etc have left him devastated before and having to be off school for long periods of time.

This week she took me to one side on the school run and said that she is 7 weeks pregnant, to which I said congratulations. She then told me that she'd been bleeding and although she'd had a scan that had showed all was ok, the doctors couldn't be certain that things would continue well and that they seemed quite concerned at the amount of bleeding. She then said that she'd told her DS that she was pg as she thought she may get morning sickness and didn't want to have to lie to him about it by saying it was a tummy bug or anything. DS then joined in the conversation, all excited, telling me he was going to have a little brother or sister and the exact size the baby was this week.

Although I'm really happy for her, I just feel horrified that she's told her DS so early, especially since the pregnancy has not run 100% smoothly so far. AIBU to think that it would have been a better idea to have waited a few more weeks before saying anything? I feel really awful and judgy writing this and I know it's her news to share with whom she wants, when she wants but...it's just all the "what ifs" that worry me and how that little boy might feel sad

StarSwirl92 Fri 28-Feb-14 16:01:54

YABU
It works both ways really, what if he had seen her throwing up a lot with morning sickness and worried about that. I get where you're coming from but it's up to her to know what would affect her child more.

blessedhope Fri 28-Feb-14 16:06:36

YABU, it's her decision and usually better to tell than try to hide it

NorthernLassie724 Fri 28-Feb-14 16:10:07

Yeah I did think I'd get replies like this! Just to clarify though - she hasn't actually got morning sickness, it's just in case she does get it.

I know it's none of my business and I really hope all turns out ok for them all but I just can't understand why you'd get your little one so emotionally invested so early...

NorthernLassie724 Fri 28-Feb-14 16:11:06

But I do realise that IABU!

Adikia Fri 28-Feb-14 16:18:42

YANBU to think waiting might be a better idea, I had really bad pains and bleeding with DD so didn't tell DS (then 4) until after the 12 week scan, just in case. Mum never told me about any of her pregnancies til she thought everything was ok either.

You would be unreasonable to say anything to her though, it's her child so her choice.

hadtohaveanc Fri 28-Feb-14 16:21:07

YABU.

I told my dc who were born after my son, their brother, died all about him. Should I not have got them emotionally invested in a brother they didn't ever meet, and didn't actually need to know about? I have had people, like you, tell me I am awful and being horrified on my childrens behalf that I would tell them such a thing, accusing me of emotionally damaging them .... blah blah blah

Would it be better for Mum to be upset and the child think it's their fault? If she went to hospital the child could be imagining all sorts of things too.

It might not be what you would do, but it is how she has chosen to handle this, and I guess she knows her child, and circumstances better than you ever will.

tiredbutstillsmiling Fri 28-Feb-14 16:21:13

I can see both sides but ultimately her decision if she thought it was better to be upfront with her DS.

Personally I agree with you. Last year I suffered a MC and was grateful my DD was so young she didn't understand. Her continually happiness & innocence actually helped me with my grief, I'm not sure I could've handled a child's grief as well.

foreverondiet Fri 28-Feb-14 16:23:31

I agree with you, mad to say anything until she had to (ie he knew she was being sick, or if she was showing - although obviously that would be later in pregnancy) but you'd be unreasonable to comment.

NorthernLassie724 Fri 28-Feb-14 16:27:13

No, not planning to say anything apart from congratulations etc. I can see all points of view here, I do feel awful for having the initial reaction I did though and just wanted to see if it was a normal thing to be feeling.

SwayingBranches Fri 28-Feb-14 16:28:47

I had a similar aged child and we told him early because of morning sickness and then I had a miscarriage. I was pregnant again two months later but that time we waited until the twelve week scan and I just did my best not to let the sickness affect him too much.

Moral of the story is that some things seem like a good idea at the time and no-one is going to make the best decision every time they make a decision. Sometimes you unfortunately learn through experience. Ds was way more fine than we were though!

Burren Fri 28-Feb-14 16:33:53

I see where you're coming from, but also I think the fact you don't particularly like her is clouding your judgement.

She knows her own child best, and she's presumably well aware of how her illness has impacted on him in terms of anxiety etc. Perhaps she feels that it's actually better to be entirely upfront with a sensitive child, who might find the fact of a miscarriage, sensitively and age-appropriately explained, less frightening than the sense that his parents are keeping something from him, or his mother suddenly disappearing for a few days with no warning. He's going to be far less emotionally invested in an unborn sibling he has only just been told about than in his mother...?

TheCraicDealer Fri 28-Feb-14 16:35:38

The fact that her DS is anxious (while also desperate for a sibling) would make me think that perhaps telling him that early isn't a good idea, especially when it hasn't been strictly straightforward so far. If she miscarries and becomes pregnant again then her DS would be fraught with anxiety for the rest of the next pregnancy. Fingers crossed she's ok though.

namechangejustforthisone Fri 28-Feb-14 21:55:30

I had a miscarriage when my ds was 3. He knew I was pregnant, and then I was able to tell him sensitively (I hope) that the baby didn't grow properly and came out of my tummy before it was ready. It was such a big thing for us as a family that I feel that if he hadn't known, he would have been confused and upset, wondering what was going on, what we were keeping from him, and possibly thought that my upset was something to do with him, or something he had done.

Also, the baby we lost is part of our family and I think everyone deserves to know about her. I don't see why she should be a secret. I don't like the secrecy surrounding miscarriage and the "not telling til it's safe" - I think it makes miscarriage a taboo subject, although it's everyone's personal choice, and I admit that I felt very vulnerable and exposed when everybody knew. But I refuse not to talk about it, because we lost a real baby, who is not less real because other people didn't meet her. I have told my dd who was too young to remember, about the baby we lost, and I told both my children right away when I became pregnant again.

I do believe in being honest with my children as far as possible, and that discussing things openly is usually less harmful than secrecy.

HadABadDay2014 Fri 28-Feb-14 22:46:58

In that case I wouldn't tell the child.

I did with DS as I get hyperemesis during pregnancy and unable to function.

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