When does secrecy cross the line?
In general, pregnancy is an exciting time for many. There's the anticipation of a new family member joining the group, and the excitement of just having a new little bundle of joy. And with 3.6 million babies born in the US every year, this is a joy that many get to experience.
However, not everyone is excited to share this news with their family. Whether it's due to family tensions or a conscious decision on the parent's part, not every new parent looks forward to sharing the news of a pregnancy with their loved ones.
These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a woman hides her pregnancy, and the birth of her newborn, from her entire family, until she can’t keep the secret anymore.
When does secrecy cross the line?
The author begins her post by stating that her sister Jenny, who is 10 years older, has been trying for a baby for the past 10 years. However, doctors told her that her chances of successfully carrying a child a term were going to be ‘very low’.
The author continues by stating that her sister was in denial and just kept trying, but the results weren't coming up. Everyone tried to be supportive, but as people around her sister began to have children, she became a ‘different’ person. The author even adds that Jenny's husband left her because he wanted to find someone who he could start a family with.
Jenny was very sad and depressed due to her infertility, which is entirely understandable, however her sadness would turn to bitterness when someone else in the family got pregnant and gave birth before her. Jenny harassed a cousin pregnant with twins so badly that the cousin blocked her, and has refused to attend future events because of Jenny's harassment. The author even clarifies that her parents have tried to encourage Jenny to go to therapy, but she won't stick with it.
After many traumatic experiences with infertility, Jenny moved in with their parents. It was then that the author found out a year ago that she was pregnant unexpectedly. She and her husband were excited regardless, but she was unsure of how her sister would react. She went to her mother's house one day to bring up the idea of having a baby, but her sister Jenny overheard and burst into the room and told the author that getting pregnant would be 'one of the worst things she could do to her as a sister'.
Infertility is more common than you think.
Infertility is a heartbreaking reality, but it is not one that is uncommon in any way. Data from the CDC estimates that about 1 in 5 women in the US are infertile and unable to carry a baby to term.
The author got a text from her mother soon after saying that it was 'wrong of her' to bring up that topic knowing 'how Jenny can be'. For that very reason, the author made the decision to keep her pregnancy a secret for 9 months. With that said, she recently gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she realized she couldn't hide it anymore. She texted her parents to let them know, and they thought it was a joke until she Facetimed with them.
Her parents were immediately angry at her for keeping her pregnancy a secret. However, the author told them that they deserved to be kept in the dark after they 'robbed her' of the opportunity to enjoy her pregnancy, simply because her sister Jenny wouldn't be happy for her.
What do you think? Was the author completely justified in keeping her pregnancy a secret, if only so that she could enjoy that time without it being overshadowed by her sister's issues? Or was the author cruel in not telling her parents, and should have involved them from the beginning and just dealt with the consequences of Jenny's reaction?