Spreading the Word
Now that you're showing, keeping your pregnancy to yourself is difficult. If you and your partner have kept the good news to yourselves so far — for a whole trimester no less — this is probably the time to spill it.
Sharing with Friends and Family
How you tell your parents, siblings, and best friends that you and your partner are pregnant can be one of the most exciting moments of pregnancy. It can also be a little nerve-wracking if you're not sure how the news will be received.
If you've held off sharing your pregnancy until now, “Why did you wait so long to tell us?” might be a common refrain. Whatever your reasons for waiting have been, they're valid. Let your family and friends know they're important to you, which is why you've chosen to make them the first outside of your partner to know about your new addition.
Some fun ideas for sharing the news with parents, friends, and others:
Give them an ultrasound picture (or a photocopy of one), and let it explain itself.
Send out birthday invitations for the estimated due date.
Take out a “Help Wanted: Grandparents” advertisement in their local classifieds and point the prospective grandparents to it.
Invite them to dinner (at home or out) and serve a frosting-inscribed “It's a Boy/Girl/Fetus,” “Congratulations, Auntie,” or “We're Pregnant” cake for dessert.
Ask your mom or sister to go shopping with you and take her to your three-month ob-gyn appointment instead.
If this isn't your first child, let your kids spread the news in their own special ways.
The old standby — “Guess what?” — works well, too.
Alas, there are some people in the world who are perpetually in a glass half-empty state of mind. Perhaps you are related to one. If you expect a negative reaction from someone who must be clued in to the pregnancy (read: immediate family member), try to take along your spouse or partner for emotional support. You can hope that the proverbial wet blanket will surprise you both with a hug and well wishes. If not, treat yourself to a date with your partner and let it go as a character defect.
When (and What) to Tell Your Workplace
Now that your pregnancy is visible and your doctor's appointments are taking you away from your workplace on a regular basis, it is a good time to let your employer in on your secret. From a practical viewpoint, you'll want to find out about your company's leave policy, maternity benefits, and health insurance coverage for new family members.
So how do you break the news? Make sure you tell your supervisor or manager first. Hearing about your impending maternity leave through the grapevine could make your manager question your commitment to your career. Go into the meeting with an idea of how much maternity leave you'd like to take and, even better, of who might cover your job responsibilities while you're away.
If you're asked about your plans after baby is born, be honest while playing your cards close to your chest. If you're happy with your career and workplace but unsure whether your tune will change once you see your darling son or daughter, let your employer know you have every intention of returning to work and leave it at that. Disingenuous? Not at all. You can't give a definitive response to a situation that hasn't even occurred yet. That's like asking your employer to make a hiring decision on an applicant he hasn't interviewed yet. You can, however, give him your assurances that you're pleased with your position, if that's the case.
On the other hand, if you've already decided that motherhood will be your new full-time vocation, quitting right after your maternity leave runs out with no fair warning to your supervisor is a sure-fire way to burn bridges and ruin a reference. Check out whether you can be switched over to your spouse's health insurance now, so you can give your employer ample notice to find a replacement. If you're worried about losing your job before you're ready to leave, let your supervisor know how long you'd like to work and point out the advantages of your using the time remaining to train your replacement. (For more on working through and beyond pregnancy, see Chapter 9.)