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When did you tell friends and family you were pregnant?

(19 Posts)
HardCheese Sun 18-Sep-11 08:40:46

I'd like to hear other people's thoughts on this. I'll be fourteen weeks pregnant in my first pregnancy tomorrow, and no one knows yet, apart from my partner, doctor and midwife, and my head of department (needed time off for scan, and because of what I do for a living, major rejigging will be needed to arrange my maternity leave).

I didn't want to tell anyone at first, because I didn't want sympathy if I miscarried (some other unrelated medical issues were discovered in the pregnancy tests), and I didn't want to worry my (very anxious and very Catholic, and with no previous grandchildren) parents until I had the result from the Combined Test (I am 39). Now I'm starting to want to announce it, in part simply because I'd like to be able to talk about it with friends who've had children, and to be able to throw up in peace (plus I'm starting to show).

However, I feel strongly we should tell family first, and my partner's parents are away on holiday for a fortnight, and it's likely to be almost another month before we can arrange to visit to tell them all (we live in different countries, but both sets of parents live in the same city, and I don't want to say something so important on the phone).

My question is - in your experience, does waiting this long to tell parents look in any way cold or rejecting? I have an awful feeling my mother in particular may be hurt at not knowing sooner. Any thoughts, or experiences of your own about at what stage you told immediate family, would be most welcome.

Pastabee Sun 18-Sep-11 09:21:36

I think we are unusual in that we told DH's parents at 7 weeks and mine at 12 weeks. This might sound a bit odd but my mum would have been horrific to deal with if I miscarried early - that sounds mean but as nice as she is she over reacts and it would have been me comforting her.

By the time I got to 12 weeks I couldn't wait any longer to tell her but this did mean I had to tell her over the phone as she lives too far away to visit easily.

We told everyone else at 12 weeks too. We reasoned DH's mum and dad wouldn't let on they knew earlier.

I had to tell my mum over the phone. Not ideal but sometimes you can't wait because in my circumstances she just about understood why I had waited to 12 weeks but would have been upset if I'd waited any longer.

I personally couldn't have kept it quiet until 20 weeks and therefore I'd reassess how you feel about using the phone or rearrange things to visit sooner.

I think some people, close friend's and siblings included, wouldn't have understood if I didn't say anything until 20 weeks. I already felt a bit awkward at 12 weeks with some friend's who told me at 8 weeks.

Pastabee Sun 18-Sep-11 09:36:59

Meant to add I've accepted I've gone crazy. DH finds it most amusing.

Pastabee Sun 18-Sep-11 09:38:12

Oh, I'm sorry HardCheese. Wrong post - that comment re craziness belongs on nesting thread. Where's the delete button when you need it?

HardCheese Sun 18-Sep-11 09:56:56

Thanks, Pastabee. Realistically, I'll be sixteen weeks at a minimum before we can arrange to visit both sets of parents - I hate using the phone for anything, so am really reluctant to do it that way, unless all else fails! I don't think my partner's parents will be bothered by the lateness, as they have oodles of other grandchildren (though all much older), but I'm less sure about my own (no grandchildren at all, and have long stopped expecting any!)

It's not that I'm actually dying to tell my mother - who is a terrible worrier and will immediately start saying novenas that I not die in childbirth! I tell her very few things in general - I didn't tell her when I had a cancer scare because she would immediately have assumed a negative outcome, and I would have felt a lot worse. But there are friends I would like to be talking to about pregnancy - quite apart from the relaxation of no longer having to come up with elaborate cover stories to justify no longer drinking, and my increasing trips to the loo. (Have you ever tried to vomit silently in a work loo? smile)

Pastabee Sun 18-Sep-11 10:38:43

In that case my opinion is I really think it best to arrange things to go at 16 weeks. It's really nice when you can talk openly about it with everyone and it all gets even more exciting.

I never did the vomiting thing but the hunger nearly finished me off at the start. Had to eat a digestive biscuit in court without anyone noticing as I felt so faint. Obviously they noticed, was brushing the crumbs off myself and my too tight skirt as I stood up. I'm such a pro!!

featherbag Sun 18-Sep-11 12:59:28

You could always give your DM the impression you hadn't know long yourself? Not out and out lie, but try and word things in such a way that it might seem you'd only recently found out about the pregnancy? I have to say this is what I would do, especially if I knew no-one else at all knew so there was no chance of her finding out you'd known for ages! Or am I just a bad, dishonest person?

Merinda Sun 18-Sep-11 14:03:46

I told my mother after the 12-week scan, and DH's family after the 20-week scan. They all live in other countries, so all found out by phone, which for me was not a big deal.
Nobody protested at finding out late - I am also 39, with previous mcs, so did not feel "safe" announcing to the whole world too early (they were perfectly happy with that explanation). Everyone is just happy for us and very supportive.

ShowOfHands Sun 18-Sep-11 14:05:43

I didn't tell anybody. I waited until they noticed.

MrsCog Sun 18-Sep-11 16:08:23

Told mine at about 10+4 - we paid for a private scan which showed everything going well (my '12 week' scan was actually at 13+3 and I couldn't wait that long!) apparently at 10 weeks if it all looks ok the risk of miscarriage is as low as it gets.

whackamole Sun 18-Sep-11 21:07:54

Told everyone in my first pregnancy at 9 weeks. We were going to keep it a secret but once we found out it was twins couldn't keep our mouths shut! We told everyone over the phone, as far as I am concerned it really doesn't make a blind bit of difference (and also as my parents live 200 miles away would have meant I would have been into my 3rd trimester before we told them face to face).

This pregnancy told everyone at 12+5 which was when we went to the first scan. TBH, although I understand your reasons for not wanting to tell people, I would've wanted some support and for them to know that the reason I was off work/teary/whatever was because I had lost a baby, and not down to something less tragic.

Good luck with your pregnancy!

NinkyNonker Mon 19-Sep-11 09:16:06

About 8wks for close friends and family last time, but kept it quiet till gone first scan for others. I'll be 10 wks when I tell the first lot this time just cause we're waiting to see people in person.

HardCheese Mon 19-Sep-11 09:30:59

Thanks, everyone - it's really helpful to see a range of experiences and strategies. (I realise this sounds as if I am Holding Major Talks about invading somewhere, rather than telling immediate family and friends we're having a baby, but cut me some slack! I've never been broody or maternal, and it's surprising me how happy I am now I'm pregnant.)

Merinda, can I ask whether it was in any way controversial with your in-laws that they were only told so much later than your own mother? I'm a little (completely unreasonably) irritated that my partner's parents are away at a time when I want to Tell All, when I could actually visit my own parents at the weekend and tell them, but as they all live in the same city and know one another's extended families quite well, the news would trickle back within about ten seconds, and I could see my in-laws being rather hurt...

Showofhands - seriously? Brilliant. How long did it take for people to notice?

pommedechocolat Mon 19-Sep-11 09:33:01

Close family straight away at 4 weeks. Close friends soon after and then everyone else in a trickle.

My risk of miscarriage never falls though so the 12 week rule doesn't work for me. Have still been amazed at the amount of people who said 'Ooo you shouldn't tell us yet' when I told them. hmm

tiddleypompom Mon 19-Sep-11 09:41:04

Hello hardcheese.
To answer your initial question, we told my parents the day we found out (about 5-6 weeks) as they were coming over to visit anyway and there was no way we could resist - but we are very close. Friends and other family we waited till 12 week scan was over.
How about using skype/facetime if you have access? I completely understand and appreciate you are keen to avoid upsetting PIL but equally this is such an important time for you, and one in which you should be relishing rather than worrying.
Personally I would call PIL and arrange dinner/meet up as soon as you are all able to talk properly and share excitement. This allows you to visit your folks and then to tell your friends.
Just my view - good luck however you play it and enjoy your pregnancy!

Imnotaslimjim Mon 19-Sep-11 09:48:30

With my first successful pg (I'd had 5 MC previously) we waited til the 12 week scan, then just handed out copies to both sets of parents and let the news sink in!

With the 2nd pg, my parents we're told at about 5 weeks as I'd had a bleed and needed DS cared for while I was on bedrest. We didn't tell anyone else til 10 weeks and only then because I was showing and people we're asking

To be honest, its really up to you when you tell all. I understand that now you've decided you want to tell, its frustrating that you can't. I would just explain that you wanted to tell them face to face so you are already quite far on

HotPinkGingham Mon 19-Sep-11 10:47:12

We told our parents after our 13 week scan, told close family/very close friends a few days later when we got our combined NT result. We live abroad and a very long flight from the UK, so had to tell everyone by phone or Skype, and I didn't find it made any difference at all - everyone was still excited and their reactions touching.

I'd prefer to wait until closer to 20 weeks to tell everyone else, including work (or as long as I can get away with it before I'm obviously showing).

I actually feel really weird about telling people - I've had previous miscarriages and every time I share the news I feel like I am tempting fate and felt terrified something is going to happen. DH is really positive and excited and would tell the world straight away, but respects why I'm feeling a bit funny about it.

My main reason for telling at 13 weeks is that I think our parents in particular would have been offended that we didn't feel we could tell them until 20 weeks (which was my initial preference). Also my best friends also told me around 8 weeks so I felt a bit bad about holding back.

Having said that, I think with our history most people would have understood keeping it under wraps for a lot longer, and would have been so surprised and excited that they wouldn't mind (as long as no one else knew before they did - I think this is the main issue with parents, if you want to tell friends before you can get to the folks, swear them to secrecy!)

Good luck and congrats!

PlinkertyPlonk Mon 19-Sep-11 12:58:14

It's tricky and one that I'm struggling with too.

Like you, I don't want to tell anyone until after the scan. I don't want to deal with others expectations should anything go wrong. However I've had to tell my best friend (who guessed because I wasn't drinking), my ILs (who were about to feed us lots of yummy but illegal food/drink so had to warn them when we visited) and my SIL guessed because of my newly enhanced boobs. <sticks chest out in pride>.

Haven't told my parents (they live miles away) because, like you Hardcheese, my mum is very anxious and very Catholic, plus a close family member is in the last stages of terminal illness. The last thing mum needs is something else to worry about that is out of her control. But I feel really bad that the ILs know before my family. (That will be the Catholic guilt!)

Because my SIL guessed, I've avoided my local friends for the past month (hence why I've been on MN far too much recently!) - they will guess immediately if they see me. Plus it will be hard news to swallow for a couple of them as they are currently very unhappy due to being unable to have children - I want to work out how I tell them first.

I won't get an opportunity to tell my family in person so I'll be doing it over the phone or Skype but before I tell my friends and work. Hope this helps!

hawthers Mon 19-Sep-11 14:16:23

with DC1 we managed to arrange to tell both sets of parents face to face despite MIL living 300 miles away.

with current pg my mum guessed at 6+5 (we'd only known for 3 days) as i'd declined wine, smoked salmon, salami and she asked was i feeling ok (not that i'm notorious lush but i do like a nice glass of cold white wine ahhhhh (dreaming wistfully)) and then said OH RIGHT YES OK in a very obvious I've guessed sort of way and then scarppered. She was then a complete legend and helped me mask it from the rest of the family over easter. Dad had no idea - bless him!

MIL we told over the phone after the 12 week scan and she completely understood that we couldn't make it up to visit her to tell her in person. Perhaps people will be more understanding than you think they will be? People can surprise you sometimes! Good luck!

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