More often than not, my Facebook feed is filled with baby shower pictures for a casual friend I didn't know was pregnant. "Oh snap," I think. "How'd I miss that?" A quick scroll of her own page will indicate that, nope, she never posted an announcement. A quick check of my phone will also confirm that, nope, I didn't miss any texts from her in at least five or six months. However, after a few moments of processing, I'm typically over it because, deep down, I know a woman doesn't owe us a pregnancy announcement.
For the record, I like seeing pregnancy announcements. In fact, I have no shame in saying I absolutely enjoy a clever or cute "we're having a baby" declaration e just as much as the next person. Oh, who am I kidding? Seriously, they don't have to be clever or cute. The news of a pregnancy stands on its own, and is more than capable of giving me all the feels without the clever picture or video.
Having said that, I'm also in awe of women who don't go the social media "traditional" route and choose not to share their news online. I came very close to being one of these women, actually, but I couldn't follow through. For both of my pregnancies, I shared the news on Facebook with a post I'd been thinking about for days. OK, weeks. OK, fine. Months. Still, if that doesn't suit you, have no fear. No one should be even closed to bothered if you skip the big reveal entirely, and here's why:
Because A Woman Doesn't Owe Anyone A Formal Announcement
We could technically just stop here since, for the record, a woman doesn’t owe anyone a formal announcement. I realize that arguments can indeed be made for telling her partner and, eventually, her employer, however I can think of multiple exceptions to both of these scenarios.
Either way, we need to trust that a woman can do what’s best for her and her body and her future, especially when it comes to when and how she shares her life's news. This is about her, not about our feelings.
Because There are So Many Things We Just Don't Know
Maybe she didn’t find out until late in her pregnancy. Maybe her health is a concern. Maybe the baby’s health is a concern. Maybe she’s processing a million feelings at a million different times or one time, simultaneously and with no reprieve. Maybe she feels awful and isn’t ready to go public. Maybe she’s just not ready, period. Or, maybe she just doesn’t want to.
Either way, she may not feel like opening herself up, and that’s totally fine.
Because An Announcement Is Never Just An Announcement
It’s kinda tricky to share big news in a vacuum. I’ve noticed that, typically, people tend to want to respond to exciting news after they hear it, which means there's usually a ridiculous amount of follow-up questions. I suppose it’s possible that a woman could just, like, share and run, or post and delete her account, which, now that I think about it, would be a pretty awesome mic drop. However, in most cases, it opens up a can of worms, or in this case, an explosion of baby-themed questions and comments.
Because Pregnancy Is Emotional
While most public pregnancy announcements I’ve seen convey excitement and happiness, we can’t assume those feelings are the only feelings someone has about their pregnancy.
For my first pregnancy, I too posted a very cheerful photo that revealed the news (my second reveal was slightly more complicated, however I kinda made it that way by choice), but those were in no way the only feelings I was experiencing. I can definitely relate to moms who don’t want to go public with their news. After all, expectations about her joy and happiness are so ingrained in the rest of us, it can be exhausting to manage them and to process the many other, perfectly normal and real, feelings we can also have.
Because Maybe She’s Over The Ritual Itself
I’m not sure about everyone else, but there are lots of sonograms and baby bumps on my feed these days. I, very briefly, considered going against the grain and sitting out on my second announcement. As previously mentioned, however, I did ultimately cave.
Still, I totally get the desire to not do what everyone else is doing, just because everyone else is doing it. (Big ups to the girls in my high school who didn’t shave their legs. You guys had it all figured out and I didn’t even notice.)
Because Maybe She Values Her Privacy
I don’t have anything close to a celebrity lifestyle, but I do find myself intrigued by famous moms who manage to keep their pregnancies (and even their babies) a secret. If celebs are inspired to keep pregnancies private, it’s actually not all that surprising that some of the women I went to college with might feel like doing the same.
Because Maybe She's Just Too Busy
Maybe she had every intention to share the news with you. Maybe she had a fun reveal planned, or meant to text you, or already had the sonogram picture on her phone and ready to go. Or, maybe that wasn't the case at all and she just opted to live her life like a boss and not worry about it.
Either way, it's up to us to respect that choice.