When I found out I was pregnant, I cried. I was excited, scared, and unsure of what my free-flying life would be like in just nine short months. I didn't tell my family the exciting news until I was at least 15 weeks along and my coworkers until after 20 weeks, although many of them said they knew (guess my flowy shirts weren't doing a great job at hiding my growing belly). My closest friends found out around the same time my family did, and of course, as I grew, the world around me became aware. But the social media world did not.
Was I hiding from the world out of fear of hurting someone's feelings? Of course not. I was just living my life away from the "upload" button.
If you check my Instagram profile, you might be shocked to see that I didn't post a pregnancy announcement at all. I share many photos and snippets about my life with my family — daily mom struggles, how we try and embrace both cultures in our family, our travels, home life, and our day-to-day. I enjoy keeping in touch with family when we're not at home through social media, and I've made some amazing connections with people through it, too. But there are, of course, things I don't feel the need to share with, essentially, anyone in the world who wants to know. There are some incredibly personal things that I want to keep just to ourselves, like my daughter's first steps, her first words, and the first time she said "Mama." Those moments are mine.
So when I turned the corner on 20 weeks pregnant, the green light I think many of us use when trying to decide when to share the news, it didn't feel right for me to post an announcement on social media. It's not that I was ashamed of my pregnancy — in fact, it was quite the opposite. I was incredibly proud of myself and my baby, but I also found this time to be incredibly personal. It was a sacred journey I didn't feel like being open about with others who didn't know me that well, including old "friends" from high school and people I maybe met once or twice. I was happy, lucky, and blessed. I felt it all so deep in my bones that I didn't need the validation of a few "likes" to make it true.
I thought about everyone who would see such an announcement. I'm sure there were (and are) people in my social circle that are struggling with fertility issues and miscarriages. I know that when I've dealt with pain or loss and saw other people living their best lives in such a public way, I felt like shit. I didn't want to cause that pain for anyone else. Was I hiding from the world out of fear of hurting someone's feelings? Of course not. I was just living my life away from the "upload" button.
And I thought about my husband's Ghanaian culture, in which they typically don't discuss their pregnancies, let alone announce them, until eight days after the babies are born and a celebration takes place. They keep their pregnancies close and quiet. They think about the chance of loss and their deep-rooted beliefs in spiritual attack and curse.
For all of these reasons, my pregnancy was announced only to those who I spoke with and saw frequently. But I'll keep sharing my stories — the stories I choose to share — with the world. I'll keep scrolling through social media and smiling at other birth announcements, because that's what that parent wanted, and there's nothing wrong with doing what's right for you. I'll keep connecting and using these platforms as a New Age journal. Will I share my pregnancy if we decide as a family to have another baby and are lucky enough to be blessed? Probably not in the form of an official announcement. But I do know that no matter how a woman decides to share her news with others, whether that's with a cute Instagram photo at 20 weeks or a large baby bump photo two days before she's due, it should always be celebrated.
Editor's Note: This piece was written by a POPSUGAR contributor and does not necessarily reflect the views of POPSUGAR Inc. Interested in joining our POPSUGAR Voices network of contributors from around the globe? Click here.