Support Systems During Pregnancy & Telling The Family

I am extremely lucky to have a supportive SO while going through this pregnancy.  It means a lot to me that he is so attentive and is always making sure I am okay.  I also have an amazing support system coming from the few best friends I have told.  They are constantly checking up on me, asking me how I’m feeling and what the next steps are and I feel blessed to have people like them in my life.  My Sister is going to be the only REAL Auntie but my friend Ali is also already being called “Auntie Ali” because she has been there for me ever since the first day we met 14 years ago and we talk a billion times a week updating each other on everything.  To all of you who have been there for me, THANK YOU.

As I mentioned in one of my first posts, I was really nervous about telling my close family members about being pregnant.  My family has always been incredibly supportive and I knew right away they would be added to the “Support System” Category of people but this is a HUGE life change and I had no idea how they would react.  Here’s a summary of what happened when I did announce it to my loved ones.

Feb 5, 2016

Let’s all sigh in relief!  On Feb 3rd, the SO and I went to my Mom and Dad’s for dinner.  I was going to spend the night so I would have time with my Mom since I hadn’t seen her for quite some time.  As soon as we walked in, my Mom gave me a huge hug and we both started crying (we’re very close).  My Dad, who knows I enjoy having a beer or two during our visits, offered us drinks and I said no, but that I would love to have some juice.  What a giveaway!  We all sat down and talked for awhile and then we sat down for dinner.  My Mom took a picture and I thought “Thank Gosh she took it now and not later, who KNOWS how I’ll look after I tell them”.  When there was a decent pause in the conversation and I swallowed my nerves as much as I thought possible, I said,

“I know there is already a lot going on and I don’t want to add to it… but I’m pregnant.”

I started crying and explaining that it wasn’t planned but it is wanted and that I was sorry. My Mom held my hand, said Congratulations and told me not to worry at all and to breathe.  Then, my parents got up to give us hugs.  They were thrilled.  I had been stressing for NOTHING.  They made sure that my SO and I were going to stay together, be happy, healthy and that’s all that matters.

I was shaking like a tickle me Elmo doll when my Mom hugged me and I couldn’t stop shaking for ten minutes.  It was so bad I couldn’t even lift the food that was on my fork to my mouth properly.  My Mom said she could finally give me one of my baby outfits and as she went up to get it, she burst out laughing saying she supposed she already thought that it’s a girl!  It was a funny moment and to hear my Mom laugh like that was really nice.  My Dad said if we had left without saying anything about being pregnant he would have been really confused because of the fact that I had declined his offer for a beer.  He knew something was up right away once I asked to have juice instead.  For those of you keeping your pregnancy a secret for longer, just say you are either doing a new fitness regime and cutting out the extra calories or say you’re going in for blood tests and simply can’t drink.  There are always ways to go around it.  It really, could not have gone any better.

Why did I decide to tell my close family so soon and not wait the usual 12-14 weeks?  I could not keep this from my family.  My behavior (declining drinks, the exhaustion, my lack of conversation topics etc) would seem far too strange to them and it would cause them more worry than if I just told them the truth.  My family knows me very well and they definitely would have picked up on the changes and would be concerned as to why I wasn’t telling them something.  Yes, it is risky since miscarriages are always still a possibility but if that were to happen, I would want my family there as a source of comfort.  I wanted to share the joy and have it last for as long as possible.  However, everyone is different.  Don’t feel pressured to tell anyone until you are ready to.

The next morning, my Mom gave me two pregnancy books she had from when she was pregnant- one of which had the dates of when her pregnancies with my sister and me were confirmed written on the inside.  It is really sweet and I feel special to have it as part of my book collection now.  

Mid-morning, we got a huge surprise!  My sister, nephew and youngest niece were at the door!  They had bused from St Anne’s to surprise us so we could all be together. My Sister came straight to me, gave me a huge hug and started crying.  She said she was really happy for me and now that our parents knew, we could start to enjoy all of the happy moments pregnancy brings.  It meant a lot to me for her to say that since she is the one I was the most excited to share this with.  My Brother-in-Law and firstborn niece came later on in the evening for dinner and it was really nice to see everyone.

We had a really nice day together and being able to breathe easily over all of this made me feel a billion times better.  It’s time to let go of the stress.  Today, I called St Mary’s Family medicine line, left a message and requested an appointment.  Hopefully they will get back to me next week so I can start seeing this little one and make sure everything is as it should be.  I am starting to think of ways to announce it to everyone else when the time is right and I’m thinking maybe a Spring announcement…. I am very excited.  I will of course tell my grandmothers, Aunts and Uncles etc first and THEN friends and the world of social media and I really can’t wait for that time to come.

PhonecallsUpdate: March 12, 2016:  Since I first wrote this entry, we have told my Aunt and Uncle (who are my Godparents), my other Aunt who lives in Toronto, my Uncle who lives in Ontario, my Grandmothers and my SO’s Mother.  Everyone is thrilled and excited for us.  The support we are receiving is amazing and I am so thankful to have everyone reacting the way they are.  One Aunt has started purchasing items for the baby and has sent me a gift card for Thyme maternity shops (stay tuned for posts on their clothing and my maternity clothing experiences).  The items she has ordered for the little one are making my heart melt- everything is so cute!  My SO’s Mother told me she had a dream that a baby was on the way for one of her sons and so she ordered yarn, and then the next morning, we had called to tell her our news.  She began knitting a blanket right away.  If that isn’t Mother’s intuition, I don’t know what is.  Now that those select people have been told, we are almost ready to announce it to the public.  How exciting!

As for other updates, my dreams are getting quite vivid.  Last night, I had a dream that was similar to the “Terminator”.  Someone was coming after a school of people, and I had to try to save everyone but I was unable to.  I had chance after chance, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t change the outcome.  From bombs on school buses, to hiding and not being able to shoot the bad guys in time- the situation would begin over and over again in the same way and I was unable to find a solution.  It was irritating but maybe it was also showing me that my maternal instincts were kicking in.

All of these posts are quite long, so if you read the entire thing, thank you for sticking it out and for reading everything!  Feel free to get in touch with me via comments, Facebook or even e-mail [joannathemontrealer@gmail.com] if you want to discuss your own experiences with pregnancy; I love hearing about everyone’s unique experiences!

Much love,

JLA

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7 Comments

  1. Congratulations, mama!! This is super exciting. I loved hearing about your story, I can relate on terms of being nervous to tell your family. I just want to say, you did great. It is very hard to come to terms with your dad knowing what’s going on with your husband, but everybody has babies! It’s just a part of life. I was super nervous to tell my dad, because I know he wouldn’t think it was the right time for us. Well, guess what….this is MY decision with MY life. People will accept you and the things you do because they love you. It is so great that you have a good support system, that really helps and makes a big difference. I live in the same town as my husband’s family so it was easy to tell them, but my dad lives 4 hours away, so we waited to tell him in person when we visited, and I was about 6 weeks pregnant at that time. It was an exciting moment for me though, because I knew my dad would make a good grandpa. Babies are truly a blessing, your baby will bring so much joy to your life, and thank goodness you have so many people around you that will love your baby just as much. That is really wonderful.

    As far as the dreams go, you will continue to have bizarre dreams through pregnancy, and after your baby is here. I have had strange dreams where I’ve had to protect my baby from people coming after us, and other weird stuff. It’s just a part of becoming a mommy. I hope things don’t get too crazy for you in la la land, but just know that it’s all normal!

    I hope all goes well for you in this wonderful journey of pregnancy! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for such a sweet comment! Thanks for giving me a heads up about the dreams continuing- some nights they’re quite uneventful and then others… oh boy! Again, thank you so much for reading and for getting in touch with me- it’s very kind of you and I loved reading about your experience too! xx

  2. I am so pleased to hear you have a positive support system, it makes such a difference. My family were, to put it mildly, less than thrilled and we ended up not speaking for over a year. Fortuantely my husband’s family more than made up for it. Still didn’t make me any less nervous announcing our second child, even though we were married and had bought a house by then!

    1. Thank you! i definitely feel lucky to have had the reaction I did. I’m sorry to hear you had a different experience with your family- not speaking for over a year must have been hard on everyone! At least your husband’s family was more understanding. Have to take the small victories, right? Now we just have to announce it to my fiance’s son- THAT will be an experience. Thank you so much for commenting!

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