The Last Taboo

Last month there was a flurry of baby announcements in my circles, (4 ladies bearing good news, including one set of twins!) after a bumper baby year in 2012. Although often when one hears of a friend expecting it’s wonderful news but not a surprise, amongst the growing number of professional women I know (and readers here,) and pressure to live life to the full these days, it seems more the fashion to be ‘not ready yet’ (as I have heard from so many of you here,) making baby announcements are all the more surprising and unexpected. As we all grow older it’s inevitable that many of us will start to change our feelings towards starting a family and it’s got me thinking, are the least heard words (around the dinner party table, in the blogosphere, between friends even,) ‘we’re trying‘?

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Deciding to try for a baby is an intensely personal thing, there may be doubts, wobbles, high hopes, disappointments and surprises along the way, but it’s a stage we all go through, and one that more than likely we go through at the same time as our friends, so why do we keep it secret?

Is it the very real fear that there may not be an end in sight – after all, nobody really knows what will happen until they try… do we want to spare ourselves the gut-aching reminder of another month’s failure when a friend asks if there’s any news, or is it the fear of over sharing and that too-much-information factor of knowing the inevitable result of your friends contraceptive choices hitting the bin?! Perhaps we want to dodge enquiring glances from aunts, cousins, even the nice lady next door?

I can see the appeal of a secret, after all, what could be more special (apart from perhaps that elusive positive test,) than taking a giant leap into the unknown, hand tightly holding the one person who will experience it so acutely with you. And should the worst happen, by keeping the problem between the two of you, no-one has to fear idle gossip about who is the ‘responsible’ party.

I wonder though, is it not easier to have it out in the open? To have a reason to decline that second glass of wine, or not know what your plans are in 6 months time? To have someone to talk to if things are not happening as you expected, someone outside your marriage where tensions and expectations may be high? Perhaps it is my medical background coming to the fore. I see women at all stages of motherhood from contraception to pre-conception, through sub-fertility to conception and talk about it openly. Whatever the news, whether it be a got-it-in-one result or months of nothing happening, I’m never surprised and that naturally extends to my personal life. All of that said, if the time were to come, I doubt I could be so honest here as to share something that remains very much the unknown. Maybe people do share these things with their closest friends and I just haven’t yet been privvy to such an exciting development in my friends lives?

So today I thought I would turn it over to you guys. Would you, (or did you) tell a trusted friend that you were trying to get pregnant, or did you keep it secret? Would you do it differently in hindsight or do you have plans for what you will do when it’s your turn? Perhaps you have friends who handled it in an unexpected way?


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47 thoughts on “The Last Taboo

  1. This is so easy for me. No, no, no. I did not tell anyone bar my best friend and my mum that we were trying because it took us the best part of two years and multiple doctor and clinic visits to get a hit (and I thank my lucky stars every single day that I’m still pregnant and increasingly likely to have that desperately wanted baby). To have the pressure of idle curiosity on top of that would, for me, have made an already difficult experience unbearable. I can talk openly about it now, but just one person saying the wrong thing to me about infertility a year ago would have tipped me over the edge – so I just closed myself to the chance of that happening.

    Maybe for some it is a case of being coy, but for me the reasons were entirely practical!


  2. We told a few trusted friends after a year or so of trying. It took another year or so & some help but we’ve finally got there. Looking back it was hard with people not knowing and well-meaning friends/neighbours/relatives constantly asking when we were going to start having a family. Equally though I think it would have been hard if people did know & were asking us all the time. I think it’s hard either way. Excellent post Rebecca xxx

  3. I told my best friend and no one else that we planning to try after christmas. I had the shock of my life we ‘caught’ first month! I am no 7 weeks and still quite shocked. I had anticipated months of trying so felt I needed to tell someone close.

    The only down side of not telling people we were trying is that they ask if it was unplanned!!

    S x

  4. One of my very close friends is trying and struggling at the moment. I can see that telling some people is helping her, and I’m really glad she told me because I dread to think the number of insensitive things I’d have said if I hadn’t known… Now, I’m starting to think about it myself, and I don’t feel like I’ve really got anyone I can talk to about it. Everyone I know is in a place that would hold me back from confiding – my sister is besotted with her baby boy, my best friend is single and desperately wants a child, one of my other best friends is as described above, my mum would be overwhelmingly excited about the idea… Honestly, baby making feels like such a minefield of emotions, it seems easier to keep it in!

  5. This is a good topic!

    My answer is somewhere between yes and no. Having had the experience of losing our baby boy late in the second trimester last year, I would now never want to live out anything to do with conception/early pregnancy in ‘public’. Having every single person I know knowing that we clearly have a problem carrying a baby to term in later pregnancy is hard enough – mainly because everyone has an opinion that is usually incorrect!

    We get asked ALL THE TIME if we are trying again and it drives me nuts as it is such a personal question. I usually dislike using any sort of ‘you can’t understand unless you’ve been there’ suggestion but I would be careful before putting such a private thing as your ability to conceive in the public domain. Fingers crossed all would be well but if not, it could get unbearable pretty quickly. I (perhaps foolishly) was honest about the fact that our son was a ‘happy accident’ so I now have to listen to people speculating in a well meaning fashion about how I will probably have no trouble next time. For all they know, we’ve been trying for six months.

    Saying all of that, I tell best friend everything about everything as sometimes I just need that support, I know I can trust her and because she’d notice too quickly if I stopped drinking wine : )

    Sorry for the long comment!

    • I totally sympathise with your sad situation, having also lost our baby boy very late in our first pregnancy in 2011. Naturally, the whole process was very traumatic, but what made it even more difficult was that my partner and I both own our own businesses dealing with the public and it felt like we shared our loss with the world, when of course we’d both have preferred the whole thing to be kept private. Even now, we get well meaning strangers asking how our babys doing, and although it is a little easier telling them that he’s no longer with us, it still hurts.

      Seven months after our loss we got married, and customers were expectant and curious straight away! I did have several people ask if we were trying- mind your own business!

      Thankfully, I am now halfway through my pregnancy, but it is of course an anxious and stressful time. We wanted to keep it quiet as long as possible, but those curious minds spotted my burgeoning bump as early as 8 weeks! One particular couple got me really mad after they’d asked if I was pregnant (I was 10 weeks at the time, but had only told our parents), I replied that I was, but it was early days and very much a private time- we hadn’t made it public knowledge yet. Soon after they met my auntie in the street & passed on my good news before I’d gotten the chance! I was fuming!

      We would prefer to keep the whole pregnancy as private as possible, but the nature of our lives means that this is impossible. I shudder when I see people posting their scans on Facebook for all the world to see. I understand that thankfully, for the vast majority, pregnancy is a joyous time and you want to share the happy news with everyone. But I just wish people would stop and think before they share that precious image of their budding little bean with a couple of hundred of their so called ‘friends’, because should the worst happen, the pain it will cause them to share any sad news so publicly will just be unbearable.

      Sorry to veer off topic- I’ve just been dying to vent after a flurry of Facebook baby announcements! They just really get my goat! 🙂 Wishing love and luck to all those trying for a baby, or anyone lucky enough to almost be there! x

      • This could be me talking about scans etc on Facebook! As my husband says, we’ve ‘seen behind the curtain’ and so are just so worried about all aspects of pregnancy.

        I am so sorry about your baby boy, I know there are no words to make it better but I empathise with your pain and am so glad to hear you are pregnant again – wishing you a healthy and happy second half of your pregnancy! Xxxxx

        • Ive had to start hiding people on FB after a flurry of scan pics being posted. Especially the friend who is complaining constantly about her unplanned 3rd pregnancy. I should have been at the same stage as her but 2 chemical pregnancies straight after each other mean we are having some time out.

  6. If we decided to start trying I wouldn’t tell people, you’re basically just telling them you’re having unprotected sex – too much information! However, if we were having trouble or undergoing treatment then I would probably tell a couple of people – my mum and dad and maybe some friends – just for support and also to stop any comments that would be unintentionally hurtful.
    I’m quite lucky though, no-one ever asks if/when we’re going to have kids – not sure how we escaped that post-marriage inquisition!

  7. I’d say most couples would keep it to themselves for all the reasons you mention here, it’s added pressure and without doubt a little bit too much information. I told a few close friends when I was trying for our first as had a few complications and so it was nice to talk these things through.

    I find that with my friends, first ones are normally kept secret but when it comes to trying for a second they’ve been a bit more open.. I do know one person though who was trying for her first baby and one evening she was openly drinking alcohol free wine as she was ‘ovulating’.

    I found this slightly odd as then I couldn’t help but think about what she’d be up to later and maybe slightly guilty that she was going alcohol free even for ovulation times as both my babies conceived under the influence of gin!

  8. I told my best friend, but that’s it. She had known for a while that we would be starting to think about it so it wasn’t a huge surprise. I was pregnant in the second month, so I don’t know how it would have been had it taken longer. As she’s my best friend, I know that I can be completely honest with her so it seemed natural.

    I stopped drinking a short time before we started trying to try and get people used to it, but actually it made it worse. The few months between then and the 12 week scan (when we told friends) were pretty hard as there seemed to be a never ending number of social gatherings where I made excuses about why I wasn’t drinking. At every single one of them someone asked me if I was pregnant and it was horrible – either because I wasn’t and was worried that it would take ages, I suspected I was but didn’t want to say anything or I knew I was but we wanted to wait until we had had the scan. I promised myself that I would never comment on a friend not drinking ever again, just in case!

    I wouldn’t change what we did, as it was lovely telling everyone I was pregnant when they didn’t know we had been trying. Very few people have asked whether it was planned, I suppose because we’ve been married over a year and I had always said I wanted children young. But, if there’s a next time (!) I might just be more honest with close friends when I say no to an alcoholic drink – just to shut them up!

  9. When we started trying the only person I told was one of my bridesmaids, who also happens to be a GP. Partly it was because she asked outright, partly because I wanted a little bit of advice before trying; and partly as she was a new Mum who was struggling with the thought that she was missing out on everything.

    In the end it only took 4 months, but those 4 months were not the fun filled “at it like rabbits” that everyone makes it out to be. It was hugely stressful and the entire making a baby thing was not the special time we thought it would be. We were both nervous about our fertility levels and it made the whole act a little bit too clinical. Each negative test felt like a huge blow and I admit that when good friends announced their honeymoon pregnancy we were both a little upset.

    I think what I’m trying to say is that there’s no right or wrong answer about telling people. Perhaps if we’d told people there wouldn’t have been so many difficult comments (wow, X & Y are pregnant and there was everyone thinking it would be you two!); but then again it might have made everyone awkward around us and we’d have hated to be the subject of gossip.

    We have friends who’ve had fertility problems and ended up going down the IVF route and I’ve always been amazed about how open and honest they”ve been about it from the start.

    Happily we’re now 19 weeks pregnant, so everything worked out in the end!

  10. I am somewhere between yes and no on this subject. I am a reasonable believer that no one other than my closest friend(s) need to know that I am trying however I do believe that a few more people knowing that you are pregnant early on can be a god send.
    I fell pregnant very quickly after deciding to try and therefore didn’t really get an opportunity to discuss my decision with anyone although if I was struggling to fall there would have been a certain group of people who I would want to discuss my situation with and seek advice and reassurance from them. I very sadly had to terminate my pregnancy at 12 weeks due to a very severe birth defect. Thankfully we had told most of our friends and family that I was expecting before the 12 week scan as I needed all the support I could get from those close to me. And I wasn’t left with the awkward situation of “I know you didn’t know I was pregnant but I was and now I’m not and this is why”
    So in short – the world and his wife do not need to know your business. And I believe this to be the general rule of thumb in every aspect of your life. But a support network of your closest people is never a bad thing.

  11. We started trying as soon as we got married and quite a few other close friends got married the same time as us and we were all open about starting to try straight away. Almost 3 years later and after too many tests and procedures to recall, we’re about to embark on IVF whilst some of the other couples are now pregnant with baby no2!

    We’ve always been pretty open about the whole thing and have an amazing network of friends and have had so much support that I can’t imagine if we’d been through the last few years with no one really knowing but that’s just us!

    Sub-fertility/infertility is SO common these days and I don’t feel at all ashamed/embarrassed about it. It’s been a massive learning curve for us for sure but not one I’ve found immensly stressful and that’s largely due to the fact that I know I can talk about it with my friends and family whenever I want and without being judged.


    • Absolutely! I have had 3 friends now who have gone through assisted conception and we were aware of it. It doesn’t mean you ask for a blow by blow account on a monthly basis, it’s just lending an ear if they want to chat and being sensitive about the conversation, if they want to talk they will, and if not, you leave it.

  12. We’re going through a similar thing at the moment though it’s not to do with pregnancy, but with buying our first home! I know this sounds super flippant and is on a smaller scale emotionally but bear with me…We decided we were just going to stop telling people because after we found a place we wanted to put an offer in on and it didn’t work out, we got sick of the advice, the questions and much as I can imagine it feels intrusive to have people giving you advice on conception, it’s not great for self esteem when you have people looking at the house you’re weighing up whether you can afford and saying ‘oh, that’s cheap’ or ‘it’s not in a nice area’.
    But maybe this whole issue (back to babies now and I apologise as we’ve got real estate on the brain) is like talking about other more private things – it may not be dinner party fodder but it is the thing you’d discuss with your best friend? I know that my bestie rang a couple of weeks ago to say she’d ceremoniously thrown away her pill packet after a discussion with her partner and she was full of nervous excitement which was really lovely for me to share with her… but I’ve not followed it up on facebook since asking for a progress report! 😉
    Ps loving the subtle Carrie Bradshaw-esque-ness of this post Rebecca xx

    • That’s lovely to be able to share in her excitement but totally agree, the next step is waiting to be told whats happening whether that’s reassuring her after no luck so far or congratulating her, (Hopefully!)


    I have to say, I do think you could be on to something here. Removing the whole secrecy thing, in my personal experience, would solve a lot of problems… i cannot tell you how flipping infuriating I find it that the minute I had a wedding ring on my finger people went on drink-watch and bloated tummy-watch, with people openly pointing to my cranberry juice and declaring to the pub “Viki’s not drinking tonight” or going in for a stomach pat, because I’d eaten a rather large bowl of pasta.

    I sweetly told them, “no, I’m saving money and might have put on a little bit of weight, but thanks for pointing out that I’m both fat and poor to the whole party”

    Three and half years on people now assume that I’ve been trying for three years and I’m just barren.

    Every time I book a holiday people make snarky comments about “better make sure you have travel insurance”, and on booking to go to Rio carnival with a girl friend a few years ago, everyone told her she should be worried that I’d get knocked up and she’d have to go on her own, and perhaps she should cancel. Uh, why would I book one of the most expensive holidays of my life, and then, have my coil removed and get with child? Yes, because that would be a good idea!


    Of course I respect, understand and totally empathise with the preference for/right to privacy, and have kept multiple pregnancies secret for my very good friends that have chosen to tell me very early on, and on discovering pregnancies by accident or putting two and two together and realising a friend was pregnant, I went out of my way to protect that privacy. My husband also says he’d like it to be completely secret for as long as possible when we do start trying so of course I’ll respect that wish too, even though I think I’d rather have the relief of just telling people to get them off my back.

    I do wish that I could shout at people “yes, thank you for your interest in the contents of my womb and my unprotected sex life, but please be reassured that when I do have my coil removed, start having unprotected sex and peeing on a stick, I will be sure to call you and make sure you are fully in the loop, so in the interim, PLEASE stop asking me about it, and eyeing up my ever changing waistline and the alcohol content of my glass”

    Saying that, I’m UBER superstitious so the secrecy thing could be a good thing!

      • Brilliant comment!
        “Three and half years on people now assume that I’ve been trying for three years and I’m just barren.” – so true!!

        • Marlene – it’s insane. I feel like i was quite young when i got married and I’ve never been in a rush to have children, and there’s been no pressure whatsoever to produce grandkids, so I’ve just been happily plodding through my life doing my thing, as and when i want to. So I do resent the fact that because I’ve been married for over three years people now say “so you’re not having babies then”…. well, yes, we will (hopefully) start a family… maybe even soon. But what business is it of theirs? I have friends that aren’t married and no one asks them that question. Why is a wedding ring an open invitation to discuss my reproductive organs?

          I maintain it’s an extension of the British conversational laziness:

          1) mention the weather. Possibly complain about it
          2) enquire about the other person’s journey – possibly moan about it
          3) [first check that they are female and wearing one or two rings on wedding finger] so, will you be having unprotected sex with your significant other any time soon, in order to form a zygote?
          4) [first check that they are male] so, see the game on Saturday?

          Sorry! This is a really touchy subject for me, and i REALLY need to calm down!!!!

          • This gets on my nerves too – particularly random work colleagues (erm, are you actually wanting to take on an increased workload if I go on mat leave?) being nosey.

            I think there is a distinction between someone choosing to share with people whether they’re trying (whether that’s one close friend or the whole of their social circle), as opposed to feeling forced to give an answer because people really can be incredibly nosey.

            No one knows what your personal situation is unless you have chosen to share it with them – so I get pretty cross when people I haven’t talked to about it start making assumptions. For all they know we’ve been trying for years, or have suffered miscarriages, or don’t know if we want children, or any number of things. For some reason people feel they have a right to an opinion on this even if they don’t know you very well – and you’re right, it starts as soon as the wedding ring appears!

            Not sure if I’ve helped you calm down though, I’m making myself cross thinking about it!

  14. Keep it private private private!! It’s nobody’s business anyway! We feel the need to publish every little thing about our lives but this is a sacred thing to keep to yourselves! As every pregnancy journey is different it just puts more pressure on ourselves if we start broadcasting it! After nearly 2years of poking and prodding by doctors it was a 14day juice detox that led to my much wanted pregnancy! Then I had the joy of telling people that this baby was very much wanted and we had tried everything! People were Ben more delighted for us then! But can’t imagine dragging everyone else on board for those 2years! It’s hard enough!

  15. I strongly believe this stuff has to be talked about, which is why I talk about it so openly. Of course this is a very personal choice, and I guess at the beginning, when you have just started trying you don’t have to go and tell everyone you know and their mother. (We kind of did because we love children and it was no secret that we wanted a family)
    However, as we go through subfertility or whatever it is this hell is called ( I refuse to use the term infertility because even if by the medical definition this is what is happening to us, in my mind it sounds like barren, or sterile, and this story is not over yet) *, one of the hardest parts to deal with has been the isolation. The feeling that this is only happening to us while at least 4 colleagues at the office get pregnant, just like that, same as my neighbours, all of my high school friends, and the random ladies at the grocery store, is devastating and it makes this whole situation at moments impossible to bear because “Why Us” !. We do not smoke, drink, never did drugs, are not overweight, eat lots of veggies, take vitamins… and every single test including an exploratory surgery has come out perfect.
    For all I know risk factors do not mean a thing because we don’t have a single one and we still get to go through this.
    But then…. when you talk about it, you realize that there are other people (often many other) in your close surroundings, going through this as well. And knowing that this is just how it is for some of us, and that MTV’s 16 and pregnant is a lie, and that this is NOT caused by stress, karma, or punishment from the universe, has been like balm.
    So I talk about it . A lot. Because I am not gonna take fingers and gossiping. I tell people in their face when they make comments about it or ask us, because having to suffer this in secret like it is some kind of shameful disease, like leprosy back in the day, does not make any sense. Part of the reason why people make insensitive comments without wanting to is because of lack of information. So if I get the chance, I ‘ll inform them.

    *BTW I kinda want to write a letter to the medical community to stop calling this infertility. I am OK with subfertility. Here in the Netherlands we are being treated for “Kinderwens” (Childwish) which I think should make it to the English language. Until all it’s said and done I won’t call myself infertile.

  16. I think this is something I would keep fairly private even though the questions are infuriating. I don’t like to drink much and for other health reasons I often give up drinking but since we got married I’ve had so many comments on my not drinking that for a while I was drinking loads just to point out that we are not trying and I am not pregnant!

    I’ve told one or two close people who were particularly nosy when the earliest we’d start trying would be to make it clear that there is no point asking for a while but this is an area I feel the need to be very private about for a whole host of reasons which I’m not sharing in this comment as I want to be very private about it.

    I am glad some people feel happy to share but I’m not one of those people. I think that is part of the whole story too.

    • what a good idea! To tell people when the earliest is means you’re managing your news and your process rather than anyone else.

  17. I agree that overall it’s a pretty private/precious thing, although discussing it a bit with close friends is probably inevitable and helpful, especially as people have already mentioned, if you experience difficulties.
    We were very nervous about what might be in store and I think we sort of prepared for it taking a while almost protecting ourselves against heartbreak – when it happily actually happened without too much ‘trying’ within a month or so.
    Now I’m 7 months pregnant I’ve heard a few comments from aquaintences along the lines of ‘oh it took you a while to get pregnant didn’t it?’ (Because we’d been married for a year already!) Erm – what?! How weird that people think about it it in that much depth and had been assuming we were ‘trying’ all that time when we hadn’t really thought about it ourselves!
    For us, it’s lovely to share the excitement now with close friends and family, but I sort of miss the days when it was our little decision/secret between the two of us. It’s nice!

  18. Such a good topic! I have a (male) friend who thinks its funny to consistently make “Are you pregnant yet?” his first question when he sees me. Any announcement of news (we just moved house) and he leaps in on my FB making comments about babies. Then he told me he keeps asking as our baby would be his only chance to be a godparent!!!!

    I wouldn’t tell anyone hubs and I were trying except for my best friend and my mum. That’s it. I won’t be sharing scan photos, I won’t be telling people the sex if we decide to find out. I think 12 weeks is around when I will tell friends, but I doubt if a big announcement on FB is the way we’ll do it!

  19. I’m speaking as the friend who was told a couple were trying.

    The couple in question are two of my dearest friends. They started trying to conceive right after they wedding, but nothing happened. Nearly 2 years later they are in the middle of their first IVF cycle. My friends confided in me right from the start – their worries that pregnancy wasn’t happening, then all the associated faff/upset that comes with IVF.

    I am glad that my friends confided in me so that I had the chance to support them during a particularly difficult time in their lives. I have been able to help practically via picking up shopping when she was feeling rough, driving her to hospital appointments etc, etc. But most importantly I’ve done my best to give emotional support. I’ve certainly developed my listening skills!

    If they hadn’t told me they were trying, I’d have known something was up, and felt weird about it (like I say, we’re very close).

  20. Well as we got pregnant soon after we got married we did have a few are you trying comments which annoyed me a bit as I just think its extremely personal! If people know you are trying then they are basically waiting for the announcement and just assume that you are going to get pregnant instantly! And it may not be that easy…

    In fact we were so lucky and did but didn’t tell people bar a few very close friends and family until 12 weeks. I basically avoided seeing all my friends as I knew they would ask why I wasn’t drinking (it was also over Christmas and New year!) and I couldn’t explain myself without basically lying to their faces which I didn’t want to do. But then I didn’t want to tell them before 12 weeks just in case something went wrong….

    It’s a minefield!!! I think if the drinking thing wasn’t so ingrained in our culture then it wouldn’t be so much of an issue!! xx

  21. As someone who’s been married 18 months, I get those questions all the time….to the extent that when colleagues have come into work with babies I don’t have a cuddle otherwise it sets off lots of comments and questions. I think that’s what makes you feel it’s news you want to keep private, as much like when you’re planning a wedding, everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to share / enforce their ideas! At a family do- in-laws, a nosy Aunty asked about babies. So I asked her how her sex life was as she’d been married a while! I know it was really rude, but I was so fed up of the questions and just wanted to highlight how personal her question was. As it was, she laughed , and said fair point, it’s been ages!

    • Sharon I said the exact same thing to a nosey Auntie. I think it’s so incredibly rude to ask somebody when they’re going to start trying. What if you are and have been for years with no joy. It must be soul destroying.
      We don’t have any children at the mo, no real plans to have any, maybe in a couple of years. But it seems everybody has an opinion on how we should be doing things “so and so needs a cousin”, “You’re not getting any younger you know”, “oh so won’t mind being an older mum then?” Seriously I’m 27 not 50!!
      I tend to tell people when they ask that we aren’t bothered either way, if we have them fab, if not then we will be happy just the two of us. Which is entirely true. I just hate having to justify myself to people. It’s none of their business, why do they feel they have the right to comment?!
      Having a baby is an intensely personal thing, it’s a different experience for everybody, if you want to shout from the rooftops go right ahead. But we’ll just be telling our closest family and friends. Auntie will be the last to know!

  22. We have been trying for what feels like years to me but in fact has only been a year and we haven’t had any luck yet. In fact next week we are starting fertility testing and it scares the living daylights out of me.

    I’m a talker and I have shared with our parents and my closest friends that we are trying, I don’t want it to be a taboo subject and actually now they know we are trying they have stopped asking the whole ‘oh are you not pregnant yet’ questions so it has worked out better for me. Most of my work colleagues have probably figured it out for themselves but I leave it at that, thankfully no one has asked why it’s taking so long.

    My sister in law is in the middle of her first ivf cycle and my other sister in law is pregnant so the topic of trying and babies comes up quite a lot with them, thankfully we are all close and don’t mind sharing info 🙂

    Saying all that though, I think that when we do get pregnant I will want to keep it to ourselves apart from my mum and my best friend until we get to the 12 week point if I could. Xx

  23. It feels like you’ve been reading my mind Rebecca!

    It’s a tough one as we’ve been trying for just over a year and as each month goes by its increasingly harder not to let slip that we’re trying. For me personally, TTC is all encompassing and have confided in a few close work mates as I know I feel down at a certain time of the month!!
    I daren’t tell my parent who are longing to be grandparents as I don’t want to get their hopes up until we have something concrete to tell them.

    Totally agree that wont tell anyone apart from maybe very close family until 12 week scan though.

  24. As someone who doesnt want children, it is just as bad being asked the question “when are you going to try?” Or when someone announces their pregnancy at work people say “it will be you next”. The main reason it is hard is that hardly anyone, it seems, understands why on earth you dont want children!
    How rude is it to start preaching to someone that their life wont be complete without, or people saying “you’re still young though, you might change”! Thanks for that, so I clearly dont know my own feelings on the matter. It really ends up a frustrating conversation to the point now I just avoid it or make a swift exit. I may get slightly too het up about having to constantly defend our life choices.

    If we were that way inclined, then no, I wouldnt tell anyone until I had to and wouldnt say we were trying either.


    • Completely agree!

      I’m another one that doesn’t want children and when I was asked about it by a colleague and said that my husband and I weren’t going to have any I got a gasped response “what does your husband think!”. To which I replied that we had talked about it before we got married, having been together for quite a while.

  25. Great post. I think in an ideal world I would have wanted to keep it private until after the 12 week scan however we are just about to embark on our first round of IVF and I’ve had to explain to my boss and a colleague what we are doing as I didn’t realise it would involve so much time out of the office! All of the appointments meant it was starting to become difficult to hide from work.

    Before I told some close friends and my colleague I was actually finding it very difficult to carry on as normal especially when lots of friends and colleagues around me have been announcing pregnancies whereas now a select few know they’ve all been brilliant and a great support, it’s also stopped the inevitable questions I was getting because I’ve stopped drinking! X

  26. Really interesting topic. I’m not sure about telling people about trying to conceive although as I tend to be a talker I think I probably would let some close friends know. I also think that one possible rule for early pregnancy is if you would want that individual to know if you had a miscarriage then it’s fine to tell them that you are pregnant even if its early. I guess this only applies to people you could trust not to spread your news about, but early pregnancy can be quite hard work and I think it could be easier if you have someone to talk to (all of this is completely hypothetical for me as I’ve never been pregnant – who knows, I might feel completely different once I’m there!)

  27. I have no idea. Pre wedding we’ll talk about it with friends as being when, not if, we have children but I’m always keen to temper it with ‘but not straight away’ to avoid the tummy stares. I am going to put on weight after the wedding. It’s inevitable.

    I was home over Christmas and about six of my Dad’s golfing buddies (all of whom are obsessed grandpas) made a comment about trying straight away because ‘your Dad is desperate to be a grandad’. My response ‘he may be. But he’s also keen on having a financially independent daughter who is ready before getting knocked up’. It was a low blow because I know some of their children were, in my opinion, so not ready. But it’s not OK to ask that so my response (in my opinion) was completely justifiable. I also had to have words with Dad to say its not Ok for him to discuss my life with his mates on the 9th fairway. jeeeeeeaz.

    My Mum’s friends all assume I’m barren anyway as when they ask if we’ll ‘start trying straight away’ I deliberately look them in the eye and (sternly) say ‘you shouldn’t ask someone that. You don’t know what is happening in their personal life and I may have had infertility problems or have decided not to have children’. To which they reply ‘you know…IVF is making great progress’ like they automatically assumed its an infertility thing. No, it’s a YOU asking me kind of thing….


  28. What a great topic. It’s something that is on my mind constantly but I daren’t share with my friends that we are trying to get pregnant as I desperately don’t want to ‘jinx’ it. We’ve been married for almost 2 years and trying for a baby for the same amount of time. After having blood tests I’ve found that my falopian tubes are possibly blocked, so will need to have a op to unblock them (fingers crossed it works) I think we’ve got a long process ahead of us and I am very positive about it all working out and one day getting pregnant. If I’m honest every time I hear someone else is pregnant I can’t help but feel a bit envious. Im a believer that things will happen for us when the time is right, I’m lucky to have a wonderful husband and both of us have great jobs which has helped us to be able to renovate a lovely house. One day it would be the greatest gift to have a baby, in the meantime it’s a private time for us (both sets of parents know we are trying and so does my best friend, but that is all for now and hopefully we can keep it that way)

  29. I’ve done it both ways. My son was a perfect pregnancy. I told one close friend we were trying and thankfully we fell within our first month of trying. We told close friends/family within the first couple of weeks of getting a positive pregnancy test. It really was a joyous time and one I would have loved to be repeated.

    When we came to try again, we openly admitted to friends/family that we were trying but sadly our next pregnancy, though it came quickly again, was a molar pregnancy which broke our hearts and although friends were incredibly supportive and loving, we found it much harder for us to share our sad times with them than our happier times – silly isn’t it?

    Our third pregnancy sadly ended last month in an early missed miscarriage and we only told family after I’d had surgery. I decided not to tell any friends as I’m finding it very painful and I don’t want to feel their sympathies. We have lost our pregnancy innocence so to speak and will be also very careful with future pregnancies.

  30. My husband and I are going to start trying in a few months, and we’ve told some people….mostly because we married 2 years ago and so many people and family ask us when we’re going to have a family, its the only way to appease them.

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