Women have become more open regarding pregnancy announcements, making the big reveal before the standard three-month benchmark that signifies a lower risk of miscarriage.
New York Post writer Mackenzie Dawson suspects the reason for the shift has to do with new transparency toward the struggles of miscarriage and infertility.
“Mark Zuckerberg announced wife Priscilla’s pregnancy in late July with a touching message,” she writes, “noting that she had suffered three previous miscarriages.”
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend also opened up about their struggles to conceive when announcing in early October that they are expecting.
“As many of you know, we’ve been trying to have a baby for a while now,” wrote Teigen. “It hasn’t been easy, but we kept trying because we can’t wait to bring our first child into the world and grow our family.”
Along with this new willingness to share comes a greater risk, of course. Of known pregnancies, 10–20 percent will end in miscarriage with more than 80 percent of those happening prior to 12 weeks. Still, says Julie Spira, author of “The Rules of Netiquette,” there is comfort to having shared the news when a miscarriage does occur.
“We want to share happy times on social media,” she says. “But not every pregnancy sticks, and we know that. Just as people post obituary notices of families and friends, we’ll also see the sorrows people are going to have. They will want to get that digital hug.”
Dana and Arkell Graves posted a video to YouTube that went viral entitled “Buns in the Oven.” After four miscarriages and a stillborn birth, the couple had “given up on the idea of having babies of their own,” but Dana discovered she was pregnant when she looked into why she was unable to lose weight.
Dana recorded a video of Arkell finding the “buns in the oven” along with ultrasound photos. She was 19 weeks along and pregnant with a boy.
Just five weeks later, Dana had to undergo an emergency c-section to deliver the baby, Kaleb, 16 weeks early. Though the situation is critical for the Graves family, Arkell and Dana are sharing every step of their journey with the public. They created a Facebook page that has more than 120,000 followers and are continuing to post videos to YouTube.
“Please continue to pray for our family,” Dana wrote on the family’s Facebook page on October 24.
“We really need it. This page is such an encouragement and every comment, message, like and share is appreciated. We may not be able to respond to every last one, but we see them, read them and more importantly, we feel it. Thank you.”
Like the Graves family, many others are entrusting not only their immediate friends and family with pregnancy news, but their extended social networks. While it may be risky and painful to some, to others it is a safety net knowing there are that many people out there ready to comfort in a time of need.