The Awkwardness of Announcing a Pregnancy During a Pandemic

It was mid March. I had all of my baby announcement treats ready to take to the lounge on Monday.

Then, on Sunday night, we received a text school would be out for 4 weeks. (Now we know school is out for the remainder of the year.)

During the previous weeks, I was certain staff and students alike saw me getting bigger, and I was excited to finally clear the air and announce my pregnancy with sweets!

No more. The sweets were mine.

I Guess Zoom is an Option?

I’ll be frank. The idea of announcing a pregnancy during a Zoom meeting feels awkward to me. People at work are trying to get things done. People are handling stressful situations all over the place. And my online students? I’m simply trying to teach them the best I can through the lens of our loud and unruly houses. 

As for me, I’m awkward enough to begin with. Add a camera and it’s only exacerbated. I don’t know how to butt in and say, “Hey, I have a little baby brewing in here!” Points at belly.

Maybe… just maybe… to keep students motivated to come to online schooling the last week, I will tell them I have a surprise on the last day? Then announce I’m pregnant? I’m not sure.

Overthinking - Maxed Out

I’m probably overthinking it, but my reasoning comes from the idea of preciousness that happens when only you or your partner know about a little life in the works. I like being a private person. I like doing things for me. Not for the sake of announcing them. 

Furthermore, I don’t like anyone to feel left out. So if I tell someone at this time, but then someone who was not at the meeting sees big ole me walking down the street (as many of my colleagues have - ha ha), I don’t want to offend them.

Offend them with what? I’m not sure. The awkwardness of my sudden largeness? (Everyone has learned not to ask a lady if they are pregnant, right? Right?)

My husband told me to treat it like some Cheers episode where it’s a social experiment to see just how big I can get before people say things. I’ve never seen this Cheers episode, but I have a warped sense of humor... so I’m totally down with this approach.

Vulnerability - Maxed Out

There is a certain undeniable biological vulnerability to being pregnant. It's 100% tied to evolution. As in, everyone can run away from the bear faster than me. I’m like a perfect snack. I’m two for the price of one.

Of course, this vulnerability is matched with an unearthly power to smell BS and turn what some consider a painful event into an athletic event to be celebrated (birth). 

What I’m getting at, is announcing my pregnancy during a time of crisis makes me look more vulnerable than I feel. It’s as if people step extra far away from me. Or with a pandemic going on, I can hear them thinking, “Well, that must be stressful. Stinks for her.”

I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me over something I got myself into and something that I am genuinely excited about.

Happy for me? Feeling sorry for me? Completely indifferent? I’ll never know. Which leads me to the flip side of this.

Happiness - Maxed Out

All things considered, my life is actually pretty good right now. I’m a homebody with all the food I could want. The stresses coming my way seem pretty manageable.

That being said, all of the hardship and strife going on in the world is crippling to see and hear about. As always, I don’t feel comfortable celebrating anything specific to me when so much sadness is everywhere. (This has been a lifelong battle of almost debilitating empathy.)

I don’t want anyone to feel bad as I celebrate something or say something about myself, so I hide myself. I hide in books. I dive into silence. I find meaning and satisfaction in being quiet while trying to save everyone from... who knows what?

But currently - it’s pretty hard to hide myself. 

The Unknown Future

Currently, I don’t know what my maternity leave looks like as someone due in early Sep. Do I even go back to school? How do I prep my sub for online learning (if all this shut down happens again)? Will my husband be furloughed?

I don’t know what to think about the fall in general after reading this scary yet realistic MarketWatch article.

I guess I’ll keep my aims simple. I simply want to keep my family safe and isolated in our happy hole. I want to do the right thing (if I can figure out what that is). 

In the meantime, as I stand up to prevent my two year old from jumping off the couch, someone on the other end of a Zoom meeting might notice my ultra baggy clothes and extra pounds.

What a social experiment!

Do you know anyone who announced their pregnancy during this crisis? How did they go about it?

In a broader sense, do you have a hard time celebrating when others are going through tough times?

DISCLAIMER: AS ALWAYS, IF YOU NEED PSYCHOLOGICAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE PLEASE SEEK A PROFESSIONAL FOR YOUR SPECIFIC SITUATION

31 Replies to “The Awkwardness of Announcing a Pregnancy During a Pandemic”

  1. Congrats!! This is such exciting news. We’ve been trying for a while, and I’ve chosen to celebrate every pregnancy announcement in hope to rub off some of that fertile vibe! 😉 So, thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog to wish us well Wendy! Wishing you the best on your journey. It’s certainly a complex situation to grow a family.

  2. Congratulations! I don’t think I’ve heard any other announcements, but at this point it would just be via Facebook. I hope everything goes well for you and your family!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and the well wishes Stephanie. I imagine a lot of people are using the convenience of social media to announce exciting information at the same time other info is floating about.

    1. Thank you Rachel. I really appreciate it. I didn’t know if “awkward” was the right word, but it describes the situation quite well. I’m certainly missing people but enjoying the peace of mind and health that comes with the solitude.

    1. Thank you Angela. It’s definitely different from last time! More differences than I could have imagined. I’ve only seen my midwife once so far!

  3. I’m so excited for you! I already shouted on Instagram, so I figured it was only proper that I do it here, too!

    As a teacher, of course you are focused on those kids. But make sure you let your new kid 😉 guide your decision. Whatever choice you make about going back before your due date (or not!) is great.

    So excited for you!

    1. Thank you so much for the well wishes! It means a lot to hear this from another teacher.

      It’s certainly overwhelming if I start thinking about what could happen next year. I’m trying to take it one day at a time with a hint of planning… knowing it could all change. I feel so torn trying to teach from home one on one with my little guy all day. If I have to teach from home while adding a little baby to this – oh my!

  4. hey congratulations. i was thinking about what you asked about celebrating when bad stuff is going on for many. i can’t help that we’ve had a good investing year and am going to work and my life is mostly normal. i go ahead and put out the facts as i just can’t fake making myself seem sad when i’m not.

  5. Thanks Freddy! Congrats on having a good investing year and pulling off not being sad through all of this. I certainly have a thing or two to learn from you (about the investing, not the not being sad:)

  6. Woohoo!!! Congratulations, girl! It’s lovely to read good news in the midst of all of this. I find that everyone is craving happy news so yours will be welcome! A friend of mine had her son early in the shut down and a colleague is scheduled for a C-section this week. TBH, it’s nice to focus on something so joyous as baby 🙂

    1. Thank you Deanna for your enthusiasm and congrats! I try to remember how there are several people going through this (I certainly have a lot of work friends because we are a younger staff). It’s been nice to be able to talk with them about it. We all dread having the test with the swab stuck up our nose:(

  7. Michelle, I understand your trepidation in sharing/celebrating your good news, but I think all of our timelines on social media can certainly use the psychological boost and we can share in your good fortune!
    Much love to you from my own safe spot!

    1. Thanks Josh! I always appreciate your positive attitude. People are doing what they can to keep life normal. Glad you enjoy positive news.

  8. Wow, what amazing, happy news Michelle! I’m so excited for you, your husband, and your son. He’s going to be a big brother!

    It is certainly a memorable time to be pregnant, and I’m sure you’ll also be memorable for your students, family and friends as well!

    Congratulations, and may you and baby be healthy and well.

    1. Thanks Chrissy! It will certainly be interesting for him to become a big brother when he hasn’t been around other kids in so long:)

      I appreciate your well wishes. It has been exhausting this spring, but summer is here soon so there will be a little bit of a break from work. I certainly need it!

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