Should You Tell People You’re Trying to Conceive?

Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump

It can be a trial to be trying to conceive. When my husband and I married, we had decided to wait a year before trying for a munchkin. One year and one month after tying the knot, I was staring at a positive pregnancy test! Since family knew that we were going to wait the year to start trying, we told them right away that we were expecting.

This go around, it hasn’t been nearly as quick. We started trying again right after my son was born and I got the “all clear” from my doctor at my six-week postpartum check up. My son is almost eight months old and I’m not pregnant yet. Obviously (since I blog here — and quite publicly!) many people know that it’s our desire to have more children and to not waste much time. So we get questions every so often on how it’s going.

Many women do keep their “trying to get pregnant” status more quiet than I have. For good reason. It can be annoying to be asked. Sometimes, you can feel like people are looking at you and analyzing body changes: “Is that a baby bump or just a big lunch?” It can be emotionally difficult to say “No baby yet.” Even worse is the people who give you suggestions like “Just have a few too many glasses of wine — that’s what got my girlfriend pregnant!” or “Just relax and it’ll happen!” I would have to say that the worst is when I-hope-they-mean-well people ask “What’s the problem? Don’t ya know what causes a baby?” Like you’re just dying to tell them the intimate details of your personal life…

And if you let people know that you’re trying, it gets even trickier once you know you’re pregnant, but aren’t quite ready to tell everyone. Should you lie? Skirt the truth? I can very easily see why many women don’t tell anyone that they are trying to get pregnant. For me, I haven’t minded the questions. Too much. So far, everyone has been very kind and they haven’t been too nosy. But I’ll be honest — I didn’t expect to be here. I expected to have an eight-month-old and have another well on its way. I didn’t expect to try for longer than a month or two. So, it’s frustrating. But really, I’m embarrassed. The reason it’s embarrassing is because I was just so sure that I wouldn’t be here. Here, with an eight-month-old and no second baby in sight. Embarrassing because I was so sure that it wouldn’t be me that would struggle to get pregnant. Embarrassing because I was just so prideful and self-confident over something that I (apparently) have little control over!

The truth is that I had unrealistic expectations. Maybe I just got lucky with getting pregnant so quickly with my son. Maybe things are still a little ‘off’ since my pregnancy. Maybe things have changed with my body and I’ll need to seek fertility help eventually (it’s still too early for that). The fact is that you just never know how long it will take.

I’m not sure that I’d do anything different though — I don’t regret telling people that we want more children and want them soon. Next time, though, I’ll set expectations better. Expectations with other people, telling them “This could take a while,” but more importantly, expectations with myself!

How did you decide whether or not to tell people that you were trying to get pregnant?