I Kept My Pregnancy a Secret and it was the Best Thing I Did for Myself

Yes, I kept my pregnancy a secret. You might read the title and wonder, “why is that scary Rebeca? Plenty of families did the same thing before social media became so mainstream.” Well, it’s not that keeping a pregnancy a secret was scary. What was scary for me was experiencing a pregnancy after loss.
I kept my pregnancy a secretIf you are pregnant after a loss, this is your sign of encouragement that it IS possible to keep something secret and you are NOT selfish for doing so.

something as beautiful and hard as pregnancy can be kept secret and OFF social media for your own sanity and mental health. Your friends and family that care about you will be happy for you and you are able to process everything on your own terms.

I was very blessed and fortunate to get pregnant again after my daughter was born sleeping on May 9, 2020. But it was a very long and hard journey at times. I was beyond emotionally and physically drained just trying to get pregnant and then stay pregnant. I am very blessed to write that I am pregnant with a healthy, possible 5-Star recruit baby boy {as my husband would describe our son}, but it’s been so freaking hard.

So why did I keep the news that is so exciting a secret?

Secret Reason #1: My social skills have been absolutely destroyed and I didn’t want to answer everyone’s “How are you doing” question. I don’t expect everyone to know I have a daughter in heaven, but I am honestly so confused why people expect me to go back to my bubbly, social self when they know my daughter passed away. It’s the people that know exactly what happened and they get so upset because they haven’t seen me around in some time. Excuse me? If your child or someone close to you passed away, you wouldn’t be the same and I wouldn’t expect you to be. I can barely go to work some days and can barely function being so heavy with grief. Then, on top of that, I’m pregnant again trying to be strong for my son.

Secret Reason #2: To answer the first reason, I didn’t honestly know how I felt during this pregnancy. I truly didn’t get excited about my son until I was about 32 weeks pregnant. That’s an entire 8 months of pregnancy before I could honestly tell anyone who could see my belly that I was happy and excited. I know that sounds awful and I sound ungrateful, but that was my reality. I was so panicked and anxious for most, if not all of my pregnancy, that it was hard to function some days. 

Secret Reason #3: I actually liked enjoying something for myself and my close friends/family: My husband and I would have our own jokes and plans for the future. My best friends knew what kind of support I needed. They loved BOTH of my children without dealing with the awkward, “how many kids do you have? Is this your first?” questions that you typically hear or even say to someone pregnant. And maybe that could be a good lesson for someone who has not dealt with child loss: Let’s reframe the “how many kids/is this your first” question into “you are doing a great job momma,” or “you look absolutely amazing today even though you probably feel awful.” Allow an open dialogue for the pregnant person to then on their own terms something like, “oh we are so excited for our first, second, third, etc.”  

I kept my pregnancy a secret Secret Reason #4: I am of the mindset that knowledge is power. Do you want to know the reality of pregnancy and birth? I got you. I have so much pregnancy knowledge that I do want to share that with anyone who asks. I did give birth to my daughter and could help prepare you. I wish people were honest with me during my first pregnancy so that I could’ve been prepared for the postpartum journey. That would’ve helped me so much which I grieved.

Secret Reason #5: I want to be respectful of other people’s pain. I am a proud member of the Pregnancy After Loss group. I have so much insight being part of a group that I never thought I would join and with that comes a responsibility to ensure other women do not feel the pain that I do. “But who cares Rebeca? It’s happy news!” Well, not necessarily. I remember unfriending 10-15 people on Facebook & Instagram as their announcements would send me into a downward spiral. While my pain and reaction are not your responsibility, I can try my hardest to be inclusive and welcoming to all moms, not just moms of living children. My goal is to create an environment where ALL moms feel loved and welcome.

Yes, I kept my pregnancy a secret. It was crucial for my mental health.
Can you relate?

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