Sometimes I think I’m the luckiest auntie in the world.
Last April, I received a phone call from my niece Leesa; she’d just taken a pregnancy test and it was positive.
“I don’t know what to do,” she said. “I’ve been walking around in circles for the last hour. I needed to tell someone.”
She was beyond excited and couldn’t reach her husband—I felt privileged that she called me.
In December, I was there in the hospital with them when baby Chloe was born. Such a beautiful family and another niece to call my own. How lucky am I?
During my niece’s pregnancy, it was interesting to tune in to what was happening in the world of expectant couples.
One thing I found fascinating, and sometimes just downright distasteful, was how some announced their pregnancy. It seemed like a competition for each to be more original and clever than the last. There were blindfolds, tricks and, of course, the pee stick. There was a video of a woman proudly waving the pregnancy test stick.
“I’m two weeks pregnant,” she sang over and over again.
I just shook my head.
What if something goes wrong with the pregnancy? What then? It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and want to share it with the world but sometimes it’s best to wait a few months.
Everything seems so public and impersonal when it’s all over Facebook and Instagram. Do me a favour, and at least tell those close friends and family members before it’s plastered all over social media for the world to see.
There’s also a fine line between good taste and too much sharing. While celebrities like Beyonce can get away with risqué photos revealing her full-term belly, you may want to keep yours for your own private collection. In the moment, it may seem adventurous and thrilling but it may end up being cringe-worthy in the future. Have fun with it, but stop and think.
And, if you’re going to surprise someone while streaming live, then remember that people may not react the way you anticipate and stunts could go horribly wrong. At least if you use video it doesn’t have to be uploaded if it doesn’t go as planned.
Besides the actual announcing of a pregnancy, I’m always surprised at how many parents want to know the sex of the baby before birth. This has always been one of nature’s last secrets, but not anymore. Many young people have told me that they want to know so they can paint the baby’s room, pick out names and shop for outfits. Personally, I like the mystery, but I know I’m in the minority on this issue.
And here’s a tip about naming baby. If you’ve picked names, don’t tell anyone, unless you’re prepared for a negative reaction. Imagine hearing “oh, I had a boyfriend by that name—he was a jerk.” Or, “that’s a strange name.” Or, “why are you naming the baby after your uncle and not your father?” Perhaps you’ll be met with silence and raised brows. No matter what, people will have an opinion beforehand. However, if the baby is born and named, then people are much more accepting because the deed is done.
Pregnancy can be a time of great joy and nesting, but it can also be a time of illness, stress and confusion. Pregnancy comes with a responsibility to seek prenatal care and to eliminate things like drugs and alcohol. Surround yourself with positive support for before, during and after as your world will forever change. Good luck and enjoy the journey
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