Author Topic: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?  (Read 5807 times)

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Shopaholic

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OK, the title is a bit awkward, but we've had a good number of pregnancy announcment threads, and I don't remember seeing this discussed here yet.

DH and I had a hypothetical discussion about when to announce a pregnancy.
Normally, people wait for the end of the first trimester to go public, but most of my friends (and sister) told their immediate family before.

DH would not like to tell his parents before the second trimester because one of his siblings had to terminate a pregnancy at a very late stage, and it was a terrible blow to his family so he wouldn't want them to go through that again.

I see his point, but this is the kind of thing that I would like to share with my mother and maybe my sister. I think that at the beginning of a pregnancy I would most want to consult with my family.

On the other hand, I do think it's not fair, (maybe even rude?), to let one set of grandparents know before the other. A lot of feelings could be hurt.
(my family is not known for their discretion...)

I would be interested in hearing other people's thoughts on the matter. Thanks!

TZ

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 01:39:56 PM »
I am currently 14 weeks pregnant, and we told my parents at six weeks. We chose to do so because I knew I would want their support if anything went wrong, and I assumed they had already figured it out during a visit the week prior. They were thrilled with the news but, as suspected, not surprised.

We did not tell my MIL about the pregnancy until a few weeks ago. We did not want to tell her earlier because she cannot keep a secret, and I wanted to wait as long as possible before telling people at work. I also knew that there was no way she would ever find out that we'd told my parents already because they don't talk and don't live in the same town.

I do think it can be rude to tell one set of parents and not the other, but it really comes down to relationship dynamics rather than strict etiquette.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2012, 02:24:57 PM »
We told both sides early.  Yes, something could go wrong - but if it did, would not telling the grandparents help?  Unless you plan to go through the rest of your life never telling anyone that you had ever been pregnant, you'd have to tell them eventually.  And it would be just as hurtful to them - perhaps more so - to find out after the fact that you were going through the grieving process all alone, while at the same time trying to hide the fact that you're grieving from your closest family.

camlan

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2012, 03:23:15 PM »
We told both sides early.  Yes, something could go wrong - but if it did, would not telling the grandparents help?  Unless you plan to go through the rest of your life never telling anyone that you had ever been pregnant, you'd have to tell them eventually.  And it would be just as hurtful to them - perhaps more so - to find out after the fact that you were going through the grieving process all alone, while at the same time trying to hide the fact that you're grieving from your closest family.

This. Does your husband realize that concealing a pregnancy means that if something goes wrong, you can't tell anyone ever, if you are trying to prevent them from being hurt?

That means that neither of you would be able to turn to your families for support if anything bad did happen.

Parents are hurt when bad things happen to their children. That's part of being a parent--you grieve with and for your children.

But imagine the hurt a parent would feel to discover, perhaps years later, that a child had gone through a terrible time and had not mentioned one word of it to them. To have been excluded from helping a child when the child most needed help. I think that would hurt far worse than being told that something bad had happened to one of their children.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Penguin_ar

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2012, 04:05:00 PM »
With the first pregnancy, we told both sets of grandparents and close friends the day after we found out- it was a much longed for pregnancy after fertility treatment and if the worst had happened, I wanted all the support I could get.  The second time, we told my mom immediately, but not his parents (because they felt by us having a boy and a girl already, we "were done, and it would be stupid to try again").

I don't think there is an etiquette requirement to tell everyone / both families at the same time, unless you suspect the family told earlier won't keep it to themselves (it would be hurtful for one family to find out they were not told, when the other one was)..

Fer

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2012, 08:01:16 PM »
I'm currently 27 weeks pregnant, and told my mum pretty much the day after I found out.  I told my dad and my in-laws a few of days later (only because I wanted to tell them in person) - I would have been no more than six weeks along at the time. 

I told early because, as others posted, if anything did go wrong, you'll need the support of those closest to you more than anything.  And if there's ever a time when a girl needs her mum (providing, of course that you have a good relationship and there's no hint of a toxic family), it's now.  My mum was one of the few people who didn't laugh when I complained about first-trimester fatigue ("ha, you think you're tired now"), and I could ask her anything.

We held off telling anybody else - siblings etc - until after we'd hit the 12 week mark... just in case.  But telling the extended family is different from telling the people you'll lean on most for support.  It may be a horrible blow for the family if something were to happen, but how much worse will it be for yourself to suffer in silence (and possibly getting the "when are you having babies?" questions at the same time)?

And as for telling each side at different times:  Despite the hundreds of stories here on ehell, a pregnancy is not about other people's feelings - it's about the new parents, first and foremost.  As long as those you want to tell (mum, sister) can keep their mouths shut, there shouldn't be an issue with telling them early, for the support.  If they're likely to spill the beans or crow to the others about knowing first, then perhaps they may not be the right people to confide in anyway.

Ceallach

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2012, 08:13:07 PM »
Been there, done that! It's what is so rough about 15 weeks - you think you're out of the woods, you tell everybody, then have to untell them :-(.   I was happy that my family knew though, because to be honest, I was so sick and weak afterwards it would have been hard to explain and we would have had to tell anyway. I needed their support, and it would have felt awful if it had been some deep secret.

In our case, we told my family early, around 8 weeks when we had our first scan. DH told his family at 12 weeks. Our parents live in different cities and have no contact, so it was unlikely to ever come up that they were told at different times, nor would they care - none of them are dramatically inclined, and despite their excitement they all respect that it's *our* news, not theirs.   At the end of the day, unless you're maliciously withholding it from somebody as part of a power play, I really think when you tell is up to you. There's no entitlement for them to all know at the exact same time.   (Btw, I'm currently 10 weeks with pregnancy #2... Only DH, my boss, and 1 of my sisters know. I'm holding out to the 12 week scan this time!! It just feels right to me. I don't want to start getting all of the pregnancy advice and judgment too soon!)
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Bluenomi

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2012, 09:46:58 PM »
We told most people after the 12 week scan. We told our parents after the first OB appointment where he did a scan so I knew there really was a baby in there. That was about 7 weeks. Both sets of grandparents are interstate so we called them around the same time on night so nobody knew before the other. I told my cousin a few days later since she was my go to pregnacy expert and I got to know about her pregnancies early. I ended up letting it slwp to someone at work around 11 weeks since I needed her to cover me when the morning sickness caused me to race off to the bathroom suddenly.

We asked our parents not to tell our siblings (I didn't think my younger sisters could keep it quite) until the general announcment went out. They didn't seem to mind, either that or they didn't realise they found out after my parents!

blarg314

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2012, 09:55:39 PM »

I would say that, all things equal, both sets of grandparents should be told at the same time.

However, if there is a reason for one set of grandparents to not be told (say, they can't be trusted to keep it confidential), then that doesn't mean that the other parent and set of grandparents should be punished that way. So in the OP's case, she gets to tell them if she wants to, but with the caveat that the other grandparents don't know yet, so not to talk about it. For her, not telling would also cut off a valuable support system, if something does go wrong or she needs someone to talk to.

Once the pregnancy becomes common knowledge - ie, you're telling friends, or mentioning it on Facebook, or you're starting to show, not telling one set of grandparents moves from not telling yet to actively hiding it from them, which is a different story altogether.


kareng57

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2012, 12:41:22 AM »
Everyone is different, and that includes how much support they would want from extended family if a miscarriage was to happen. Some couples would indeed prefer to keep it quiet.

I never had a miscarriage, although we had years of infertility treatments that we did not tell extended family about.  We felt that it was private information.

sparksals

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2012, 01:18:28 AM »
 
Quote
And it would be just as hurtful to them - perhaps more so - to find out after the fact that you were going through the grieving process all alone, while at the same time trying to hide the fact that you're grieving from your closest family
.

The hurt a couple feels with the loss of a child is paramount to anyone else's feelings.    I can't believe one can say the hurt parents feel over their adult children's loss would be MORE than the loss the children feel of their lost pregnancy.

Quote
This. Does your husband realize that concealing a pregnancy means that if something goes wrong, you can't tell anyone ever, if you are trying to prevent them from being hurt?
.....

That means that neither of you would be able to turn to your families for support if anything bad did happen.

Because one doesn't tell their family that absolves any familial support?

Quote
Parents are hurt when bad things happen to their children. That's part of being a parent--you grieve with and for your children.

But imagine the hurt a parent would feel to discover, perhaps years later, that a child had gone through a terrible time and had not mentioned one word of it to them. To have been excluded from helping a child when the child most needed help. I think that would hurt far worse than being told that something bad had happened to one of their children.

The paramount feelings here are the pregnant parents.   Part of being married is working through things together.  Parents / Inlaws don't need to be involved.   If one has a miscarriage before telling potential grandparents, I would think the GP's would understand that the couple wanted privacy and to tell in their own time.     

Cattaby

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2012, 02:39:53 AM »
Quote
And it would be just as hurtful to them - perhaps more so - to find out after the fact that you were going through the grieving process all alone, while at the same time trying to hide the fact that you're grieving from your closest family
.

The hurt a couple feels with the loss of a child is paramount to anyone else's feelings.    I can't believe one can say the hurt parents feel over their adult children's loss would be MORE than the loss the children feel of their lost pregnancy.

I think the intention of Slartibartfast's post was that either way the parents of the OP would feel for the loss and grieve, but it would be worse for the parents to find out later down the track that the OP had been grieving and hurting, and hadn't let them know because she had been trying to protect them - not that the OP's parents be more hurt than the OP if she lost the child.

Monkey Maker

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2012, 04:28:11 AM »
With our first pregnancy, we waited till after our 12 week scan to tell everyone.

With our second, we decided to wait again except for family.  Unfortunately, we lost that one at 9 weeks.  (And had my mother tell us that she was hurting more than us as it was HER grandchild.  My brother and sister agreed with her.)  Our friends were incredibly supportive when we told them that we'd lost the baby and everything we had to go through afterwards, but it was horrible telling them that we were pregnant but in the process of losing the baby. 

With our third pregnancy, we told everyone straight away as we knew that if anything happened again, we would appreciate and need the support from them.  Thankfully, nothing went wrong apart from making the pregnancy seem so much longer!

camlan

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2012, 05:31:48 AM »
Quote
And it would be just as hurtful to them - perhaps more so - to find out after the fact that you were going through the grieving process all alone, while at the same time trying to hide the fact that you're grieving from your closest family
.

The hurt a couple feels with the loss of a child is paramount to anyone else's feelings.    I can't believe one can say the hurt parents feel over their adult children's loss would be MORE than the loss the children feel of their lost pregnancy.

Quote
This. Does your husband realize that concealing a pregnancy means that if something goes wrong, you can't tell anyone ever, if you are trying to prevent them from being hurt?
.....

That means that neither of you would be able to turn to your families for support if anything bad did happen.

Because one doesn't tell their family that absolves any familial support?

Quote
Parents are hurt when bad things happen to their children. That's part of being a parent--you grieve with and for your children.

But imagine the hurt a parent would feel to discover, perhaps years later, that a child had gone through a terrible time and had not mentioned one word of it to them. To have been excluded from helping a child when the child most needed help. I think that would hurt far worse than being told that something bad had happened to one of their children.

The paramount feelings here are the pregnant parents.   Part of being married is working through things together.  Parents / Inlaws don't need to be involved.   If one has a miscarriage before telling potential grandparents, I would think the GP's would understand that the couple wanted privacy and to tell in their own time.   

The reason the OP's DH wouldn't want to tell his parents about the pregnancy until the second trimester was to prevent his parents from feeling pain if anything bad should happen to the pregnancy. My response, and I think many of the other responses, were based on this aspect of the situation--the avoidance of the future grandparents' pain.

There are many, many reasons why a couple could choose to delay or even never tell family members about a pregnancy. However, the OP was about one specific reason for not telling. In no way did I mean to imply that the couple's wishes about the matter shouldn't come first. I was just trying to point out a potential problem in keeping such a secret.

The only way to prevent that pain would be to never tell about any pregnancy that had difficulties. Ever. It would even limit telling other people to only those people that the couple could be absolutely sure would never mention the pregnancy to the potential grandparents. I suspect that would limit the circle of people from whom they could draw support if they were grieving.

IMO, sooner or later, the grandparents-to-be would most likely find out, and would be hurt to some degree that their child did not share, first their joy at the pregnancy and later their sorrow at the loss. So there would still be hurt, even though, through the best intentions, their child tried to prevent it.

That was my main point--by trying to prevent his parents' potential hurt, the OP's DH wouldn't prevent it and might make it worse, if something bad should happen.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Bethalize

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Re: Announcing a pregnancy - both sets of grandparents at the same time?
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2012, 09:46:19 AM »
I think it depends on your relationship with the individuals. Not all parents are created equal.