Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Holidays => Topic started by: Aggiesque on October 07, 2010, 08:50:03 PM

Title: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: Aggiesque on October 07, 2010, 08:50:03 PM
So, DH and I are expecting baby 2. Is it in any way rude to wait until thanksgiving to announce it (well, I know that isn't), and just show up at dinner visibly pregnant? DH thinks it would be fun, so do I, but I'm wondering if there is anything I'm missing in the idea. We don't see our family often enough that we'll be seeing anyone until then; just over phone and email.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: Kimblee on October 07, 2010, 08:54:42 PM
I dunno, but I'm curious.

I've alwasy planned that when I get pregnant I will not announce it at all, just confirm if anyone asks and eventually show up with Baby. Too many women in our family use their pregnancies to manipulate.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: kareng57 on October 07, 2010, 08:58:35 PM
Of course there's nothing wrong with waiting till you are "visible" to announce it.  Many people like to wait until the first trimester is over, in any case.

But I respectfully disagree with a PP regarding waiting until people ask.  For the most part, polite people will not do that - though they could be asking among themselves whether anyone knows anything.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: Shoo on October 07, 2010, 08:59:20 PM
I'm not sure about this.  It's probably not rude, but how will your family members feel?  The people you interact with on a daily basis will probably know about your pregnancy, whether by you telling them or just figuring it out.  I'd worry that my mom, or my sister, or whoever I am closest to, would feel bad about finding out after people who may not mean as much to you.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: gramma dishes on October 07, 2010, 09:03:36 PM
Personally I think it would be great fun to surprise your family at Thanksgiving. 

However, I also agree with the point made by Shoo.  If your neighbors, coworkers, friends, etc. have figured it out in the meantime, it might hurt some feelings a little for your family(ies) to figure out that they were among the "last to know".
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: Kimblee on October 07, 2010, 09:05:51 PM
Of course there's nothing wrong with waiting till you are "visible" to announce it.  Many people like to wait until the first trimester is over, in any case.

But I respectfully disagree with a PP regarding waiting until people ask.  For the most part, polite people will not do that - though they could be asking among themselves whether anyone knows anything.

That's the thing. I'd like to NOT be asked, anyone who i want near me will be told.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: katycoo on October 07, 2010, 09:42:21 PM
I would love to do this, I hate announcements.  But my Mum would be crushed if I kept something like that from her.

Also, I don't live far away. And it would be my first pregnancy...
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: Brentwood on October 07, 2010, 09:47:08 PM
When my sister had her first, we found out via email: She sent a picture of her pregnant self, side view, without caption.

She was showing pretty well, so I'll assume her coworkers knew before I did (she lives several states away from any family members), but it never even occurred to me to wonder about that at the time. It doesn't bother me.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: hot_shaker on October 07, 2010, 09:55:26 PM
Hmm, not rude but potentially awkward, perhaps?  What's your reasoning for not telling people ahead of time?  Is it that you don't like having to announce your big news to individual relatives?

Here's how I seet this going down: You walk in visibly pregnant (How visible do you mean, btw?  Like "4 months and she could be pregnant or perhaps she had one too many cookies since we last saw her" or "9 months and I really hope there's a baby in there"?).  Your polite relatives will wonder amongst themselves and maybe make hints ("Oh, anything new with you two lately?") but will not ask outright if you're pregnant.  Which means that you still have to make the rounds and do a lot of announcing.  

It just seems easier to tell the most gossipy relative a few weeks ahead of time and let the grapevine do it's work.  That saves you the burden of having to announce your pregnancy, possibly multiple times, and will save the polite relative from having to restrain themselves.  ;)

I remember having this conversation with a co-worker several years ago.  She wanted/needed to tell people but it's not like she wanted to stand up at lab meeting and announce that she was pregnant.  At her request I, and a couple of others, spread the word for her.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: Brentwood on October 07, 2010, 10:14:03 PM

I remember having this conversation with a co-worker several years ago.  She wanted/needed to tell people but it's not like she wanted to stand up at lab meeting and announce that she was pregnant.  At her request I, and a couple of others, spread the word for her.

You've reminded me of when I was pregnant with Kayla. I worked in a very small department of all women, and had told my boss and the others in my department about my pregnancy. I hadn't yet announced it to our larger group in general. At nearly 6 months, I started wearing maternity clothes. A man from one of our sister departments came in one day, looked at my clothes, and said, "So, Gundy. You got a bun in the oven, or what?"

That's how the news got spread that day.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: kareng57 on October 07, 2010, 10:36:45 PM
Personally I think it would be great fun to surprise your family at Thanksgiving. 

However, I also agree with the point made by Shoo.  If your neighbors, coworkers, friends, etc. have figured it out in the meantime, it might hurt some feelings a little for your family(ies) to figure out that they were among the "last to know".

Well, IMO, "figuring it out" is not really the same as announcing. Perhaps Expectant Mom has generally been in the habit of joining co-workers for a drink after work every Friday.  Most of the time she's gone for a cocktail but has suddenly been ordering club soda or a virgin-cocktail.  They might have a pretty good idea but it would certainly be rude for any co-workers to do any guess-work and ask.

Of course there can also be work-safety concerns i.e. if a pregnant employee might be working if possibly hazardous substances.  In that case, the decisions would be for her immediate supervisor and perhaps a safety officer within the company.  In my own case - I was a medical laboratory technologist who occasionally had to perform tests using isotopes.  A co-worker who was pregnant the year before had requested exemption from doing this procedure - it was her decision, I'm not arguing it at all.  But when I became pregnant (after Lots of medical intervention) - I asked the OB about this.  He admitted that he didn't know a whole lot about it himself, and (while I was there at the appointment) he phoned the radiologist who was in charge of Nuclear Medicine at the affiliated hospital.  The specialist verified that I'd have to be just about drinking the stuff for it to be of any risk.  So I was okay with still doing the test, though I certainly respected by co-worker's decision otherwise.  She immediately made it known, I waited.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: anonymoose on October 07, 2010, 10:37:29 PM
So, DH and I are expecting baby 2. Is it in any way rude to wait until thanksgiving to announce it (well, I know that isn't), and just show up at dinner visibly pregnant? DH thinks it would be fun, so do I, but I'm wondering if there is anything I'm missing in the idea. We don't see our family often enough that we'll be seeing anyone until then; just over phone and email.

I really like this, if you're sure they live far enough away the news won't travel before you I would do it!
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: hot_shaker on October 07, 2010, 10:38:01 PM

I remember having this conversation with a co-worker several years ago.  She wanted/needed to tell people but it's not like she wanted to stand up at lab meeting and announce that she was pregnant.  At her request I, and a couple of others, spread the word for her.

You've reminded me of when I was pregnant with Kayla. I worked in a very small department of all women, and had told my boss and the others in my department about my pregnancy. I hadn't yet announced it to our larger group in general. At nearly 6 months, I started wearing maternity clothes. A man from one of our sister departments came in one day, looked at my clothes, and said, "So, Gundy. You got a bun in the oven, or what?"

That's how the news got spread that day.

Another co-worker just started wearing baggier clothes as she progressed in her pregnancy.  Eventually, one of the older ladies discreetly pulled her aside and told her that it might be time to start telling people.  (Most of us in the lab were fairly young and weren't really savvy enough to equate a shift to baggy clothes with hiding a pregnancy.)  Presumably the older woman wanted to prevent her from getting awkward questions like yours.  :D
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: miranova on October 07, 2010, 10:40:54 PM
I think this is a "know your audience" thing.  Strictly speaking, I would not say it is rude.  But some people's feelings might be hurt that they were the last to know, as others have said.  Or maybe not.  It just depends on the personalities of the people involved.  Not that them being hurt means that you were rude.  But you might not want to hurt people you care about.  I'd think about how the people involved might react.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: Lisbeth on October 07, 2010, 10:47:00 PM
Hard to say...I agree with miranova that it's a "know your audience" thing.  Some people aren't going to want to be surprised.

It also depends on the circumstances...I think this is not an appropriate thing to do at a wedding, for example.  I remember reading once about a bride's father who showed up with his new wife who was seven months pregnant as a surprise for the bride.  It didn't go over well.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: mamakinz on October 08, 2010, 12:04:16 AM
From someone who basically did this exact same thing - go for it!!!  In my case, I found out I was preg at the end of July, after having some major medical issues including surgery. My parents were having Thanksgiving at their house that year (it rotated among my mom and her 5 siblings). We didn't keep it from everyone though - our parents knew and both my sibs knew - it was just my Aunts, Uncles and cousins that found out on Thanksgiving. Both my grandmothers knew - 1 lived with my parents and 1 visited in september when I was living on saltine crackers. It was a fun surprise, and noone seemed offended that I kept it secret until then
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: high dudgeon on October 08, 2010, 08:21:44 AM
I'm on the "not rude but potentially awkward" bandwagon. It's your body and your baby and your business. If you didn't want to mention it until you had a babe in arms, it wouldn't be rude. And many people want to wait to tell family members face to face instead of over the phone. On the other hand, there's no guarantee that their feelings aren't going to be hurt that you didn't tell them sooner, as people frequently feel entitled to this information, even if they really aren't entitled to it.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: hot_shaker on October 08, 2010, 08:56:31 AM
From someone who basically did this exact same thing - go for it!!!  In my case, I found out I was preg at the end of July, after having some major medical issues including surgery. My parents were having Thanksgiving at their house that year (it rotated among my mom and her 5 siblings). We didn't keep it from everyone though - our parents knew and both my sibs knew - it was just my Aunts, Uncles and cousins that found out on Thanksgiving. Both my grandmothers knew - 1 lived with my parents and 1 visited in september when I was living on saltine crackers. It was a fun surprise, and noone seemed offended that I kept it secret until then

Would you mind explaining why you chose this route and what the actual event was like?  Did walk in a say "Hey, everybody, I'm pregnant!"?  Did you quietly make the rounds and tell individuals or small groups?  Or did you wait for people to ask (thus encouraging rude behavior)? 

I'm having a hard time envisioning this turning out positively and would appreciate the insight. :)
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: MommyPenguin on October 08, 2010, 09:50:03 AM
I think whether people will ask can depend on the woman's build.  For instance, it's *very* obvious that I'm pregnant and haven't gained weight.  So when I'm pregnant, nobody ever seems to hesitate to congratulate me without an announcement.  If I tried to do something like the OP said, it would go like this:

I enter the room.  Several not-shy aunts start to say, "Hi!" and then see the tummy.  Immediately there are squeals of delight, "You're pregnant!" and I am converged upon.  Everybody else overhears and anybody who would have hesitated to say something (especially men) are in the clear because I've responded appropriately to the initial yay-you're-pregnant aunts.  So it would be fine.  However, some of it depends on how obvious it is that you're pregnant, and whether you have any friendly female relatives who are likely to blurt it out.  Of course, I've never gone this route, I'm more the type to tell everybody in all neighboring states about the moment that it's been confirmed by the doctor.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: Sheila Take a Bow on October 08, 2010, 10:37:48 AM
Would you mind explaining why you chose this route and what the actual event was like?  Did walk in a say "Hey, everybody, I'm pregnant!"?  Did you quietly make the rounds and tell individuals or small groups?  Or did you wait for people to ask (thus encouraging rude behavior)? 

I'm having a hard time envisioning this turning out positively and would appreciate the insight. :)

Yeah, I'm curious, too.  In my family, if someone were visibly pregnant and hadn't told people about it, no one would say anything about it.  (I was raised not to mention pregnancy until the pregnant woman said something first.)  People would assume that there's a reason the pregnancy was being kept quiet and wouldn't want to bother the mother-to-be with questions or offer congratulations in case the baby is not seen as good news.

But maybe I'm just in a pessimistic family.  YMMV.   :)
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: WillyNilly on October 08, 2010, 11:02:13 AM
Well in my family it would be rude-ish... but that's because we're a buncha drunkards (meant in the most fun loving way), and everything is celebrated with a toast.  So just showing up preggers would mean the hosts A) probably stocked up on your favorite drink just for you and B) would feel terrible not having a bottle of sparkling cider to offer you during a congratulatory toast.  Although I guess B could easily be solved by the pregnant woman/couple bringing a bottle of toast-appropriate beverage with them.

Other then that, I think its fine.  It seems like a very efficient way to get the news out - just announce it once, when everyone is in one room.  Because again from my perspective it'd be easy - as the wine was being poured, a hand over the glass would be enough to prompt a "what'a  ya knocked up?" visible belly or not.
 ;D
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: Judah on October 08, 2010, 11:57:24 AM
I basically did this with my first.  My pregnancy was an unhappy surprise and I couldn't bear to tell anyone other than my sister, so I just didn't.  It wasn't until I couldn't hide it anymore that I told my mom.  Mom may have been hurt that I didn't tell her, but she was gracious enough not to show it. 

It isn't rude to not share your news, but it may have relationship ramifications.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: Brentwood on October 08, 2010, 01:44:28 PM
I think whether people will ask can depend on the woman's build.  For instance, it's *very* obvious that I'm pregnant and haven't gained weight. 

Me too...in the incident I cited above, it was quite obvious that I was, indeed, pregnant. I'm sure people at work speculated long before I confirmed it, but no one was quite as blunt about it as that coworker. ;)
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: LadyR on October 08, 2010, 03:54:22 PM
Well in my family it would be rude-ish... but that's because we're a buncha drunkards (meant in the most fun loving way), and everything is celebrated with a toast.  So just showing up preggers would mean the hosts A) probably stocked up on your favorite drink just for you and B) would feel terrible not having a bottle of sparkling cider to offer you during a congratulatory toast.  Although I guess B could easily be solved by the pregnant woman/couple bringing a bottle of toast-appropriate beverage with them.

Other then that, I think its fine.  It seems like a very efficient way to get the news out - just announce it once, when everyone is in one room.  Because again from my perspective it'd be easy - as the wine was being poured, a hand over the glass would be enough to prompt a "what'a  ya knocked up?" visible belly or not.
 ;D

That's our family too. We're TTC right now and I told DH his family will figure it out pretty soon after we get pregnant because wine flows like water at family get togethers.

I don't think it's rude though, this is the sort of news best told in person.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: Aggiesque on October 09, 2010, 11:25:01 AM
Thank you for all the insights!

For me, it'll be obvious- I'm very thin, generally, and carry out front, nothing on the sides. My body is already starting to change- not enough you can tell with clothes- but it's looking like I'll carry similarly this time.

I know it won't bother any of the family not to be first to know- they won't care in the least! We know we won't be traveling up there until Thanksgiving, and I would like to let them know in person (then the matriarch can call any other family). I think we are leaning toward doing this!
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: mamakinz on October 09, 2010, 01:34:06 PM
Would you mind explaining why you chose this route and what the actual event was like?  Did walk in a say "Hey, everybody, I'm pregnant!"?  Did you quietly make the rounds and tell individuals or small groups?  Or did you wait for people to ask (thus encouraging rude behavior)? 

I'm having a hard time envisioning this turning out positively and would appreciate the insight. :)

Yeah, I'm curious, too.  In my family, if someone were visibly pregnant and hadn't told people about it, no one would say anything about it.  (I was raised not to mention pregnancy until the pregnant woman said something first.)  People would assume that there's a reason the pregnancy was being kept quiet and wouldn't want to bother the mother-to-be with questions or offer congratulations in case the baby is not seen as good news.

But maybe I'm just in a pessimistic family.  YMMV.   :)

Ok, I'll try to explain - the surgery that I had right before I got pregnant had the potential of making it "not possible" to get pregnant "ever" and my family knew that.  I got very lucky and got pregnant 3 months after the surgery - as soon as we started trying again (had been trying the year before discovering I needed the surgery) The first trimester was "touch and go" - I had some early spotting and didn't want to say anything until my first trimester was over anyways "just in case" things didn't stick.   

Thanksgiving weekend occurred when I was 16 weeks pregnant - so just past my first trimester.  Part of wanting to keep it quiet until then was a very selfish desire for attention - if I had said something earlier, or let the news just "leak out" I wouldn't have gotten the positive "yippee" congratulations, as my aunts & uncles live quite a distance from us (my mom is the only sib in our state) and only see them a couple times a year.

On thanksgiving I wore a very obviously maternity shirt (even though I didn't have much belly)  and when I walked in after everyone got there I made a big announcement!!!  It was a lot of fun - and being pregnant at that time was very important to me - knowing that the choice was almost taken away from me made it even better!!!  My dad (ever the comedienne) had to joke and act shocked, like he didn't know -- it was typical dad and very funny.

My parents did know -- actually mom knew before the positive preg test, due to me calling her asking "how early can morning sickness start?" (the answer - 2 weeks post conception, before you are "late")  My sister & brother knew and both of my grandmothers knew.  It was basically only a big announcement, and kept secret to my extended family (mom is the oldest of 6 - and 5 were at thanksgiving that year) the one uncle that wasn't able to come, called mom's house the night before and I told him then.
Title: Re: showing up visibly pregnant
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 10, 2010, 11:15:24 AM
Thank you for all the insights!

For me, it'll be obvious- I'm very thin, generally, and carry out front, nothing on the sides. My body is already starting to change- not enough you can tell with clothes- but it's looking like I'll carry similarly this time.

I know it won't bother any of the family not to be first to know- they won't care in the least! We know we won't be traveling up there until Thanksgiving, and I would like to let them know in person (then the matriarch can call any other family). I think we are leaning toward doing this!

I agree it is a know your audience issue and the timing.  My family would be fine if Thanksgiving was 4 months into the pregnancy, but if it was 8 months, then there would be some hurt feelings.  The other issue would be my DH's family.  If it were my DH's family, his mom would be hurt to find out at the sametime as the extended family so I'd tell her before arriving and let her be in on the secret and surprise.