The first question people ask after they find this out is how far along are you? A perfectly innocent, necessary question that I am more than happy to answer. With a few words attached, of course.
It feels like every single person I know is pregnant or announcing their pregnancy on Facebook or Instagram these days. The announcement is usually accompanied by a cute little bump picture or a scan of their sonogram.
I don't have these things yet -- because I'm only about five weeks and three days along.
It seems early to announce, I know that. Not that I owe anyone an explanation or excuse for wanting to announce so early, but I did want to talk about our decision to be vocal and open.
Next month, my husband and I will have been together for 11 years. I just turned 28, so if you're trying to do the math -- yes, we were together when we were teenagers. Those first few years of our relationship were tense in our families. It's hard to explain to your parents that you know this isn't just some high school fling. Not to mention, a teenage pregnancy is less than ideal.
We got married six years later and pregnancy still wasn't really an option for us. Two months after our wedding, my husband started a PhD program in clinical psychology. We knew that we were in for a long ride -- five years, to be exact. A baby, while not the end of the world, had the potential to only add to our stress and anxiety over living paycheck-to-paycheck and not knowing what the future would bring.
Last year, in January, we realized that there would never be a perfect moment to have a baby. We waited as long as we felt we needed to, but the timing just felt right.
There is no doubt in my mind that I wasn't meant to bring a child into this world in 2014. It was a hard lesson to learn, and not getting pregnant did add to my own personal insecurities and depression. But that doesn't mean I'm not thankful that it didn't happen until now. It's almost as if the universe knew that we needed to wait just a little bit longer.
Seeing that positive result was one of the happiest moments of my life. 2015 had already proven to be an exceptional, needed, wonderful year -- and this is just the cherry on top. We're not even into March, and I can already tell you that 2015 will go down in history as an incredible year for me -- something I really need after 2014.
I'm not ignorant about the risks of my pregnancy. I'm aware that nearly 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and I know that I'm not excluded from that statistic. It very well might happen, regardless of how wanted this baby is.
But I refuse to suppress my excitement because of something that might happen. Women are expected to deal with their bodies in private, to stay quiet about the normal, healthy, uncomfortable things that it experiences. When, in reality, our bodies are badass. We create human beings! How amazing is that?!
I'm supposed to stay quiet through the grief of miscarriage or the unending sickness that is the first trimester. But I refuse to be shamed because of this natural process that my body is going through, whatever the result may be.
If I experience the heartache that is miscarriage, I don't want to do so alone. I shouldn't HAVE to do so alone -- not when there are so many women out there that have gone through such a tragic ordeal. I find that when someone announces a miscarriage, many women start to speak up about their own experiences. We shouldn't have to do this ladies -- we should be able to find support in one another throughout the process.
I know my risks and I know that I will be devastated if something happens to this baby. It may be difficult to talk about, but so is depression. So is the shame that comes with making mistakes. These are all things that I've been open about. Because you know what's even harder than experiencing these things? Experiencing them alone.
I've always been open about my life because of the support system that I find. But beyond that, the response I've gotten from being open about my experience has been so positive and uplifting and reassuring. To know that I'm not the only person in the world that experiences the pain of LIFE is an incredibly empowering feeling. We don't need to live in silence, bearing the burden of life alone. We have each other, and we should embrace that.
My baby is already so loved, and I have never been more excited or optimistic about my future and theirs. I want to shout it from the rooftops, and I won't let anyone tell me not to.