Today’s blog post is a personal one. Personal because the authors are my sister, Sara and her husband, Trevor. Sara and Trevor are 5 months pregnant with their first child but chose not to announce their pregnancy on social media. Understanding the rollercoaster of emotions that came with each pregnancy post by friends, they decided to bring the attention instead, to their story in hopes of starting a conversation with other families that are struggling to conceive. This is not to say we shouldn’t celebrate all the wonderful and good things in our lives on social media but rather approach each post with sensitivity, awareness, and empathy. This is their story.
By Sara and Trevor Hussey
The feelings are strong and real. For me, when I saw a baby announcement on social media there was deep sadness immediately followed by guilt for not feeling joy for our friends or family. This sometimes led to hours and possibly whole evenings of tears and self pity. I’m not proud of how I reacted. And I will say, with each baby announcement (and there were lots), it got better. I was learning to control my emotions and not let them take me to those self-defeating depths. But still, they were not easy to see.
A few months ago, when Queen B announced her pregnancy on Instagram with a totally beautiful, outrageous photo of her sitting amongst a cascade of flowers, Leandra Medina of Man Repeller responded by saying, “…it was a curiously annoying reminder that I’m not pregnant.” She got a lot of heat for her post, but I was grateful to know I wasn’t alone in my feelings.
Outside of social media, struggling to conceive is frustrating, heartbreaking, shameful and isolating. I didn’t want pity, I didn’t really want advice, and I didn’t want people to think there was something wrong with me. I didn’t want people to think that I was less of a woman.
When we finally got the call telling us we were pregnant,there were tears, hugs and laughter.I still can’t think about it without crying out with joy. We were over the moon! Among all the many thoughts that crowded my brain those few days after we heard the news, I caught myself thinking about how I would announce our pregnancy to the world…aka on social media. Embarrassing, I know, but a part of me was excited that it was finally my turn.
The more I thought about it the more it just didn’t feel right. All those moments of sadness when I saw someone else’s post. I just couldn’t do it. It’s not that I don’t think people should share their joys on social media, but the platforms are so limited that there is no way for people to truly understand the full story.
Our journey to pregnancy was not a quick, easy, or accidental one. We’ve wanted a baby for so long and had been actively trying for almost 2 years. We tried naturally, different doses of femara, femara + progesterone and we finally had success with femara + progesterone + a booster shot + IUI. Not to mention: acupuncture, chiropractor, femoral massage, castor oil wraps, crystals, diet, air diffusers, meditation, etc… You name it, we did it. I didn’t want someone who was also in the midst of fertility frustration to see my post and think what I thought so many times: “Why is it happening for everyone else? Will it ever be me?”
So this is why my husband and I decided not to announce our pregnancy on social media. Instead, we chose to open up and share our journey with hopes of comforting or starting a conversation with families that are trying to conceive.
About a year into trying, I decided what we were going through wasn’t something that I should be ashamed of. I decided I needed to start talking about it to friends, family, and really anyone. The more I talked about it the better I felt and the more support we had. At one point I had a friend tell me their grandma in Wichita Falls, TX was praying for us. We had prayers, positive thoughts, hope & love from every corner of our world.
There is no right or wrong answer for how to share joy to the world. But there can be awareness, empathy and maybe even some realness. Who knows who your story will resonate with.