Friday, October 4, 2013

Is It Ever OK To Announce Someone Else's Pregnancy To The World? (NO!)

Dear Tazi:

My mother tells me I have I have “egg on my face”, and while I admit that I made the biggest mistake of my life when I announced my sister’s pregnancy on Facebook before she had told our family and friends, I think my apology was good enough and that a second one is not required..

 “Jana” is not on Facebook, so I had no way of knowing that our family and close friends did not yet know, and I was excited to share my news that I was going to be an Auntie!

When Jana found out that I had let her “secret” leak, she was furious! She told me that it was her pregnancy and that she should be the one to announce it. Tazi, I realize this; I am not stupid! I waited a full week after Jana told me she was expecting before I posted the joyous news to myFacebook page. I figured that would be enough time for her to get the word out to everyone. How was I to know that she was keeping the news a secret until she reached 12 weeks? She didn't tell me this!

When I apologized to Jana and told her I did not know that she hadn't spread the word yet, she told me that I should have known not to say anything because she did tell me she was “only 8 weeks along”. I asked Jana what that had to do with anything and she told me, “Everybody knows you don’t announce a pregnancy to the world until you are at least 12 weeks along!” I have never heard of this superstition, and think it’s crazy that Jana should have expected me to keep quiet about the news for a whole month! If she didn't want anyone to know she was pregnant she should have kept the news to herself! Once you tell someone a “secret” it’s no longer a secret!

It has been a month since Jana and I have talked, and our Mom thinks I should try apologizing to Jana again – a “sincere” apology, as if my first one wasn't sincere enough! I think if Jana cannot accept my apology then that should be her problem, not mine. I am sure once the baby is born she’s going to want me to be there for her! Our mother says to stop being so petty and to extend the olive branch. Am I being petty? Because I certainly feel like the one owed an apology!

Wronged Sister

Dear Wronged Sister:

A sincere apology should never, ever, under any circumstances contain the word “but”; invariably a lame excuse follows it, thus negating all sincerity and remorse expressed. To apologize is to acknowledge responsibility for a gaffe, not to try and explain it away.

I can fully understand why Jana was upset that you spread the word of her pregnancy. Nobody, but NOBODY, has the right to announce another couple’s pregnancy before them. Some would go as far to say that this privilege is exclusive to the one carrying the child, but I think a father-to-be should be allowed to tell people, too; after all, he had a part in making things happen! In the case of a lesbian relationship where one of the partners is carrying, the other partner should also be allowed to share the news. A grandparent-to-be, with permission, should be allowed to divulge the news to their friends that the parents-to-be do not socialize with but overall it is the parents’ news to share first – and foremost. Unless you have expressed permission to share the news, keep your lips zipped! Got it? Now go apologize to your sister for your boneheaded move using ONLY conciliatory words with no excuses for your slip.

This only works if you are of the feline persuasion 

Next, I would like to take a moment to clear your thinking about the “superstition” of waiting until the second trimester to announce a pregnancy. The vast majority of miscarriages occur within the first trimester, with the vast majority of those occurring within the first six weeks*. Many women prefer to wait until they have completed their first trimester before announcing the news of their pregnancy in order to avoid the need to share the news of a first trimester loss. I cannot even imagine having to announce something so personal and painful! Have I clearly illustrated your sister’s point of view? It has nothing to do with “superstition” (although some may say an early announcement may jinx them) and everything to do with personal privacy. While not “everyone” knows this you can now consider yourself schooled on the subject.


 *At this point the medical term for loss of a pregnancy is “spontaneous abortion”; the term miscarriage does not apply until the second trimester but I am not going to argue with those who use it sooner. I just clarify here so I don’t get jumped by those who are strict about interpreting the difference.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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