Breaking the Silence: Challenging the 12-Week Rule of Pregnancy

Breaking the Silence: Challenging the 12-Week Rule of Pregnancy

Breaking the Silence: Challenging the 12-Week Rule of Pregnancy

In the sacred journey of motherhood, we often encounter unspoken rules that shape our experiences. At Pamperology, we believe in the power of vulnerability to awaken our inner glow and foster deeper connections with ourselves and our communities. Join us as we explore how breaking the silence around early pregnancy can transform our journey and nurture our souls.


The Hidden Struggles of Early Pregnancy

When was the last time you felt the need to hide your joy, your fears, or your physical discomfort during those first crucial weeks of pregnancy? Or found yourself navigating morning sickness, fatigue, and emotional upheaval in silence, afraid to share your experience with others? These moments of isolation are not just challenging; they're a missed opportunity for connection and support.


The first trimester, at its core, is a profound journey of transformation and uncertainty. It's a time when our bodies and emotions are in flux, and when we need support the most.


However, our society often discourages open discussions about early pregnancy:

  • We're told to keep our pregnancies secret "just in case" something goes wrong.
  • Social media portrays pregnancy as a journey that begins at 12 weeks, erasing the experiences of the first trimester.
  • Our productivity-driven world leaves little room for the physical and emotional challenges of early pregnancy.


The Magic of Embracing Vulnerability

By sharing our pregnancies earlier and more openly, we open ourselves to a world of support and connection:

  • Community Support: Early sharing allows us to build a network of support from the very beginning.
  • Authentic Relationships: Honesty about our experiences helps us forge more meaningful connections with others.
  • Emotional Resilience: Knowing we have support can help us navigate the uncertainties of early pregnancy with greater ease.
  • Destigmatizing Loss: Open conversations can help reduce the stigma around pregnancy loss and provide better support for those who experience it.


Cultivating Connection: A 7-Day Challenge

Ready to invite more openness into your pregnancy journey? Here's a week-long challenge to help you embrace vulnerability and nurture your inner light:

  1. Share Your News: Tell one trusted person about your pregnancy earlier than you normally would.
  2. Express Your Feelings: Journal about your hopes and fears for this pregnancy.
  3. Seek Support: Reach out to a friend or family member for practical help during this time.
  4. Join a Community: Find an online or in-person group for expectant parents in their first trimester.
  5. Practice Self-Compassion: Acknowledge the challenges of early pregnancy without judgment.
  6. Educate Others: Share information about the realities of the first trimester with your partner or close friends.
  7. Honour Your Journey: Create a small ritual to celebrate each week of your pregnancy, no matter how early.

Remember, embracing vulnerability is about approaching ourselves and others with compassion and openness. It's about creating those sacred pauses between breaths where true connection and support can flourish.


Creating Space for Early Pregnancy

At Pamperology, we believe that nurturing ourselves during early pregnancy starts with creating sacred spaces in our lives. Our bath, body, and abode products are designed to help you carve out moments of tranquility where you can connect with your changing body and growing baby.

As you embark on this journey of openness, consider how you can transform your environment to support this practice. Perhaps it's lighting a CocoSoy candle during your evening reflection or indulging in a soothing bath soak as you process the day's emotions.


Embrace the Journey

Challenging the 12-week rule is a beautiful, ongoing process. It may feel daunting at first, especially if you're used to keeping your experiences private. But with practice, you'll find that openness opens your heart, expands your capacity for connection, and brings a sense of peace to your pregnancy journey.


We invite you to join us in this exploration of authentic motherhood. Share your experiences, challenges, and discoveries with our community. Together, we can create a more connected, compassionate, and nurturing world for expectant parents – one honest moment at a time.


Remember, at Pamperology, we're here to support you in creating those sacred spaces where self-reflection and healing can flourish. Explore our collection of pampering products designed to awaken your inner glow and nourish your soul's innate wisdom as you navigate the beautiful journey of early pregnancy.


Photo: Bonnie at hospital preparing for her D&E operation for Baby Ed.


More of a listener? Listen to Bonnie talk about her pregancy journey, having a missed miscariage at 13 weeks, and being vulnerable.

Listen to the full podcast on Spotify. [Listen Now]


Full Transcript:

 And so many of these stories that I'd never heard before. Because we don't share, we don't talk, we find that it's taboo, we for some reason feel like, or get made to feel like, if something goes wrong in our pregnancy it's our fault.  You know, if we don't fall pregnant and we've been trying, well, we're not trying hard enough.


It's our fault. There's something wrong with us. We just need to keep trying or we just need to stress less or there's something to do with us that we should be doing.  And so I was really blessed that  because I had told people. I was pregnant that I now had to tell people that I wasn't going to be pregnant in a few days.


That they shared their story and we were able to grieve together, which is how it should be. Welcome to Hannah. I say that a podcast by Pimpology, where we create a safe space for women to share their stories, embrace vulnerability. and be truly seen.  In a world that often shies away from difficult conversations, we believe in the power of speaking our truths.


We're here to dive into the grey areas, to tackle the topics that are often whispered behind closed doors, and to bring them into the light. Each week, we'll be joined by incredible women who will be bravely sharing their experiences, their challenges, and their triumphs.  Together, we'll explore the questions that keep us up at night.


The fears that hold us back and the dreams that inspired us forward. This is a space for empowerment, for support, for confronting our demons, and for celebrating our victories. It's a space where we can grow, learn, and heal together. But fair warning, this podcast isn't for the faint of heart. We'll be delving into real, raw, and sometimes uncomfortable territory.


We'll be pushing boundaries, challenging norms, and facing our fears head on. Because here's the thing, growth and comfort rarely coexist. But on the other side of discomfort lies transformation, strength, and the power to create the lives we've always wanted. So if you're ready to get to go on this journey of self discovery, listen on Can  I Say That.


Welcome home and let's dive in.  Hello and welcome to another episode of Can I Say That. I'm just jumping on to have another  conversation with you, which is my favorite thing to do at the moment.  I have been speaking to a few people about pregnancy and this whole stigma about the 12 week rule.  About not telling people you're pregnant until you reach the 12 weeks.


And I just want to say that's so fucking bullshit. It's so bullshit. I really, really, really hate that rule. That social stigma. And I really hope that we can, over the next coming decade, change that for our children so they do not feel ashamed if they have a miscarriage. They do not feel unsupported.  And I just, I really don't understand it.


From my point of view,  the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy are some of the hardest.  You are nervous about it not lasting and not coming to fruition.  They say one in four women have a miscarriage. But I don't even know where they get that statistic from.  That number couldn't be even higher when you think about the amount of women that may not go to a medical service when they have a miscarriage.


So we don't know how often and how much this happens, but we know it is a lot. Let's talk about nervous. We are going through a bodily change. Our hormones are changing rapidly. We are tired. We are sick. We are peeing like a trooper. We are not feeling like ourselves.  And yet, we've got to try and act like everything is normal.


It is like  No, you cannot show that. You just need to pretend like you're a human, a robot, for like the next 12 weeks because heaven forbid if you should lose that baby.  And also, we just don't want to be uncomfortable. We don't want to know. We don't care.  And I don't agree with that.  This is a time when women need to be supported the most.


This is the time women should be coming together and being like, Oh yes, I know that time. I know that feeling. How can I support you in this time? Here's some crackers in the morning. Hey, maybe I won't bring in my tuna lunch today, you know, into the office because I know that you are. Probably going to gag.


How about I, you know, we look at putting some things in place. Maybe we can let you go home a little bit earlier or anything like that. Like, oh, you had a miscarriage. That is so horrible. Why don't you just take the next week off to grieve? Instead of having to chuck a sickie and then once again putting on our robot faces pretending like nothing happened.


Because grieving is real. You're not just grieving a baby and a miscarriage, you're grieving  a life that you had envisioned. A desire that you had put into place. You're grieving for the future that will no longer happen. And shouldn't that be supported?  And it's not even just this section.  I mean, yeah, there is a higher chance of miscarriage and something going wrong in the first 12 weeks,  but life is risky.


I have known a friend that's gone through multiple pregnancy losses at 20 weeks. I have known people that have had a stillborn.  My niece, when she was born, was diagnosed with SMA, a genetic disease, and was given a year to live. That was a standard lifetime of someone born with Type A or Type 1 SMA.  There have been kids diagnosed with cancers and accidents that have happened.


You're never safe and secure in having your child there with you for the rest of your life.  My nan has lost two out of three of her children before she's gone.  So why don't we acknowledge and accept that risk in the 12 weeks and support each other and tell people and shout it from the rooftops? I'm so excited for this.


I am so excited for this. I am going to sit in this moment of excitement and love. And when something bad happens, only when, will I grieve and will I ask for support for that grief?  With my own pregnancy journal,  I was pregnant with  my first child, Zoe,  when we got the news that my brother's child had just been diagnosed with SMA.


We had never known about that before. Now, my uncle, who I'd never met, many, many, many, many, many years ago,  had spina bifida  and he passed away early from that.  And a part of me wonders, did he actually have spina bifida or did he have SMA?  Because back in those days, there wasn't this advancement in science.


They didn't even know about genetic disorders when he was diagnosed with spina bifida.  Now, my brother has a different father,  so there was a chance that I wasn't a carrier, or that my mum wasn't a carrier, or that it didn't come from our mum's shared lineage.  But still, I was pregnant with my first child, and I didn't know if I was a carrier for SMA.


I knew my brother now was. Because for genetic disorders to  show up in children they have to inherit both of those faulty genes  from both parents.  So there's actually a 25 percent chance if both parents are carriers, I think there's only a 25 percent chance or 50 percent chance that you'll get it.  And so I panicked.


I went and got the genetic test and I was a carrier.  So that means it more than likely came from my mum's side. Because The chances that both of our dads having it and then both of our dads Passing it on to us was extremely slim It was much slimmer  and so then I had to go and I got tested and then because mine came up positive I've then had to do that nervous weight of getting my partner tested to see if he was a carrier.


Now, thankfully He wasn't. That was so good. And on that note, I really do encourage every single person out there You If you have the financial ability, get yourself tested for your genetic disorders or your genetic screening. It is  so crucial. The amount of people I know these days where their kids are coming up with these unknown genetic disorders because they never even realized that they were carriers.


It is so important.  So thankfully Zoe came and went, okay.  It was a pretty difficult birth. My husband actually thought that she was dead when she came out because it was a pretty horrific birth and the shape of her head was not okay.  But thankfully she was all good. She came all good. And then when we had our next child, so when she was about eight months, we were ready to try again.


We always wanted two under two. You know, we're already in pain with lack of sleep. We may as well just keep going.  And we conceived on the winter solstice.  And I've always thought it was funny. You know how you, those women say like, Oh, I knew I was pregnant immediately. And you just be like, you're right, bitch.


Um, well, I knew I was pregnant immediately. Like, I felt this energetic connection. I felt this energetic charge. And I knew I was pregnant from that one time. And the winter solstice is really a magical time for me. And I can imagine this light King coming and being born into being.  And so I did the harmony test, which I did for Zoe as well.


And I did for this one. And I do it for two reasons. One, because I realised how important it is to testings. And two, I just really liked being able to find out super early about the sex of the baby so I could start deciding on names. I really find it lovely to have a name and communicate with the baby.


in that manner. And that's my personal preference.  And so at the 12 and a half week mark, I went into the doctors to get the results and to get the referral for my ultrasound, which I was meant to do later that day.  And I went in with my, you know, my first child Zozo,  just expecting to find out if it was a girl or boy.


I was just so confident that nothing was wrong. I, like, how could it? He was my, my, my son King. I conceived him on the first try on the winter solstice. I could. I didn't feel him. I just, I felt this energetic connection.  And so I went in and I was delivered the news  that there was a high likelihood that the baby had trisomy 18 and that trisomy 18 is incompatible with life.


And I luckily made it out of the doctor's before crying my eyes out. Actually no, I lie. I got to the front desk. I was meant to pay cause it was not a Bobbi Bill service and. I just burst into tears and ran out. Thankfully, it was a very small town, local doctors, so I was like, they knew. They weren't hounding me for payment.


They supported me and held me and then when I went in and paid, they all gave me a hug and was just beautifully supported. And it was nice to be beautifully supported because they knew what was going on.  And I had told people I was pregnant at this stage. I told so many people and I do not regret that choice.


Because what happened next was stunning.  Unfortunately, it was COVID  and so they wanted me to go to Canberra Hospital, which was the nearest hospital that does a CVS, to double check the, the test and, you know, confirm whether or not the fetus did have this gene.  And it just so happened that at the time, my daughter developed a cough  and the borders were closed.


So I had to fill out a whole mountain of paperwork to get led into Canberra because we were in Wurrumbula. It was a three hour drive  and I end up having to go by myself. This three hour drive to Canberra and on the drive after doing the research, I knew that the baby's heartbeat was no longer beating  and I got there and that news was confirmed.


Unfortunately, he was deceased and I'm going to cry.  The words that they said was,  I'm sorry darling,  he's no longer with us. I can tell he was a very sick baby.  And that just broke my heart. Like, being told that he was a very sick baby, and that they could tell that on the ultrasound.  He was a bit deformed.


Um, and it, it broke my heart.  And I had to do that three hour trip.  All the way back alone knowing that inside me my much wanted son Prince was dead  and  I Called the doctors again, and I'm like I need to come in and see you  and they're like we can't see you for a week It was a new receptionist. She didn't know what was going on.


And so I called her back again, and I  was open about it and she got me in that night and within three days I was in another hospital  going in for the surgery  and in those three days I was just given so much love and I heard and I was honored  to hear the stories of so many of my friends that had been through similar things.


People that had had, you know, miscarriages at 16 weeks, that have had to have surgeries at 20 weeks, they've, you know, decided that You know, their child was going to be severely disabled that they did not want to bring that child into the world for that pain.  And so many of these stories that I'd never heard before.


Because we don't share, we don't talk, we find that it's taboo. We, for some reason, feel like, or get made to feel like, If something goes wrong in our pregnancy, it's our fault. You know, if we don't fall pregnant and we've been trying, well, we're not trying hard enough. It's our fault. There's something wrong with us.


We just need to keep trying, or we just need to stress less, or there's something to do with us that we should be doing.  And so I was really blessed that  because I had told people I was pregnant, that I now had to tell people that I wasn't going to be pregnant in a few days, that they shared their story and we were able to grieve together, which is how it should be.


I felt so supported,  maybe not by the medical system because fuck COVID,  but  when I had to go for that surgery. It was horrible. It was really horrible. I remember walking into the hospital and we had to go down an elevator and as the elevator door opens, one of the baby carriers, um, was getting pushed around, like, well, baby trolley was getting, like, was waiting to come into the elevator and it was just as soon as the doors opened for me to get the surgery to remove my baby, it was like the baby blanket was laid out ready for someone else's baby to get put on.


And it made me cry.  And then I'm sitting there on the bed reading and they give you this tablet  to soften your cervix and you're meant to do it like 20 minutes before your surgery time. And so I had it in and I had like two hours goes by and I'm like, fuck, this is taking a long time. Like,  I really just want to be in and out.


Um, you know, my child was in daycare at that time. I had to put her into daycare. Thankfully, It was a family daycare because I didn't have any family around, so they knew that I wasn't going to be home until like 7, 8 o'clock at night, and that was okay, and my child felt deeply safe and loved there.  Once again, I was so supported by everyone else but the medical system.


And so, after two hours of having this cervical softening thing, I felt this really big urge to go to the toilet. And I'm in the medical gown. I've only just got my undies on and I go to the toilet. And when I pull my undies down, this blood just gushes down my legs. And I lose it. Like, I absolutely lose it.


I am howling and crying and I am just a dimmers. Like, instant red line panic. I did not want to see my fetus on the floor.  Now I know it's only Connie, but I just, that thought distressed me so badly.  And I didn't have my husband with me because of COVID. I wasn't allowed that support in there. He was out in the car park for hours not knowing what was going on.


And here I am just absolutely distressed. Now thankfully they, like the nurses obviously came in, they saw what was happening, they gave me some sedatives and got me in a lot quicker.  And then I got home and I got home to a bunch of flowers from a girlfriend, which I actually still have in my office. It was really beautiful natives, so I let them dry and I have got them in my office.


They're, they're a dry bouquet.  And a magnolia tree by another friend, which we planted, and we called it Ed's tree. And that Ed's tree was so special for me. And going home and seeing that, waiting for me, was like a big cuddle, it was a big support. I felt loved. I was heartbroken and I was grieving.  But it helped so much.


And how can we tell people not to tell people because of that? Like, I couldn't imagine coming home to silence and nothing and not having people try and support me like that. Like, that to me is horrendous and sad.  So thank you to all my friends that supported me, and to all of the other people in my life that deeply supported me for that.


And then when I fell pregnant with Tynan, the first pregnancy after that, I told people. And I have to admit, I was nervous telling people, because I'm like, ugh, I can't be so sure that this isn't going to happen again.  And I was a bit nervous. And I remember on the 12 week, we got the, the Harmony test again, and it came back okay.


And I still didn't quite believe it. And then on the 12 week ultrasound, when I'm there and they show you the heartbeat to start with, and I see that heartbeat, I just burst into tears. Like. just floodgate of relief comes out of me.  But that floodgate didn't last long.  And here's the real kicker that I think is what I was trying to explain earlier.


Our children are never safe.  This world is not safe.  Like, we can go at any moment. That is just a harsh reality.  And instead of that getting us down, it should be empowering. It should be a lovely reminder to feel the joy Now.  Feel the joy now. Feel the hope now. And hope is a beautiful word because hope means that the future is uncertain.


It's not guaranteed. That's why you hope. You have faith.  At 20 weeks, I got told I had complete placenta previa. It was one of the worst that they've seen. And it was in the worst position too. It was at the front, which means that having a C section is really hard too, because they've got to cut through the placenta.


I was told that there was a 1 in 3 chance that the baby would be premy. Extremely premy. I was told that it's going to be very likely.  That I'm going to be in and out of hospital for the last bit of my pregnancies with continuous bleeds. I was told that they would never know how bad my bleed would be.


So I would have to always be within 30 minutes of a hospital.  I was scared. I was nervous. Like, once again, that unknown. Everything's uncertain. Is my baby going to survive this? Am I going to survive this?  You know, I was put on bed rest. I couldn't have, like, intercourse or anything. There was a whole heap of strict procedures I couldn't exercise, like, to try and, and prevent a bleed because it's a serious condition.


Now thankfully, by some stroke of miracle, despite the fact that I had one of the worst placenta previus that they had seen, I didn't bleed once. It's a miracle. I did not bleed once and I was really lucky to have been able to go in at 37 plus 6 days and have a c section, which is like the absolute last day someone with placenta previa can go in.


Anything longer is too risky. There is a high risk of death. If I was to give birth naturally or go into labor um, spontaneously before that, like, there's a high risk of death.  And because I had an Ableed, they were able to do that, and so my child had a chance to grow bigger and bigger and stronger in there.


And then when I'm sitting, getting prepped for the C section, they were like, there is a 1 in 5 chance that you're going to wake up in ICU. And there's a 1 in 5 chance that we're going to just have to quickly put, it's like a general anesthetic in, you're just going to have to go straight under, it's going to be really quick, and you're just going to wake up in ICU from Ableed.


That's pretty scary as well. To be told that just before you're going into surgery. So thankfully, once again, I was really lucky with the C section. I only lost about 900 milliliters of blood. Now the standard blood loss for a standard C section is a thousand. And I only lost 900, even though they had to cut through the front of my plus on there.


So that was really outstanding. I was super lucky and I feel amazingly grateful for that.  Then once again,  at four weeks, my son then  developed a really bad rash.  One of the worst rashes I've seen. I don't know what was with this period of my life, but I took him straight to the ER and it was like, I had swarms of doctors and nurses coming over and checking on him.


I had people coming over and being like, can I please. Take a photo of your son's rash. They're like, that's a really impressive rash. Now, thankfully, that kind of breaks the traumatic experience of being in the ER with a son, a four week old baby that's got one of the most impressive rashes that they've seen.


But it also hits home like, okay, this isn't a little thing. This isn't just a little thing.  And I won't talk to you about the traumatic experience that then followed. You know, it wasn't too traumatic, let's be honest, like, my son survived, so I'm extremely grateful again.  But, over the next few days we were in hospital and he had some pretty sketchy times.


His heartbeat was through the roof.  Like, really, really high, really changing dramatically. They had to turn off the monitor in the room because it was, the alarm for the heartbeat was just going off constantly. At midnight on the second night, they called the ICU team in, they're like, look, we can't get his heart rate down, like, we're really worried about him.


And the ICU team in front of me was like, there is nothing we can do for this baby. Like, if this baby survives, it's up to the baby.  And, yeah, it was pretty touch and go.  And the scariest thing is, is they never found out what happened. They did spinal taps, they did all the blood tests that they could, they did stool samples and everything.


They could not find a reason for my son's immune system to have reacted like it did. And that's the thing, it was his immune response. His immune response was throwing a rash, was putting his heart into really dangerous territory, was shutting down his organs. Like, it was pretty hectic.  And I never found out what was wrong.


And thankfully in a few days he came good, and we were able to take him home, and we had a full and healthy recovery. I think it did cause a few issues going into the future which has led to that stage of Purple Crying which you may have heard in my previous episode  where I talked about, you know, he is very emotional and he is very cryy.


But that's a whole nother story. The story is  Life is uncertain.  Life is touch and go for everyone. Like, your baby isn't just, just because you've reached the 12 week mark, it's not just safe.  And if that's the case, once again, don't get disheartened by it. That's empowering. Find the joy. Find the hope in the now.


Talk to people. Get support. Love now. Love now because you don't know when. That love is going to move to the next plane of existence.  And don't be afraid to tell people when you fall pregnant.  Because if something does happen,  you want that support. You deserve that support. You deserve to be held. You deserve to be grieved with.


And you, having that support and knowing who you can lean on is going to help you All through your mothering journey, whether or not you become a mother or trying to be a mother, your mothering journey is so sacred and is so scary and is so full of big emotions  that the only way through it is to be held, supported, loved, and really let's go through it together.


Okay, well, that turned into a bit of a long,  longer conversation than I expected, but I hope it prompts you to think about Your thoughts and beliefs and your journeys, whether you've gone through a mothering journey, whether you're looking forward to going through a mothering journey. And I hope this just has one little single voice towards changing this 12 week stigma.


If you take anything from this, let's ban the 12 week stigma unless it is aligned with you. Like if you truly, deeply, 100 percent in your heart is completely and utterly aligned with when you tell people and when you're ready to tell people, I will support you to the moon and back.  Tell people when you are ready.


But don't let the world tell you not to tell people  when you want to because they are fearful.  Don't let that fear stop you from telling people and not getting that support.  Alright. Much love and light, Bonnie.  Thank you for joining me on another episode of Can I Say That? I hope you got value from this and I hope that it has lit your soul on fire, it has inspired you, empowered you, or made you feel special.


Seen and loved. If you have liked this episode, do me a favor, please hit the like and subscribe button or share this with a friend.  You can also jump into my dms on Instagram at, can I say that or come on over to pimpology au and have a look at app? Beautiful products that help you cultivate self care and self love and really some of those just pamper comfort things that we all love and need occasionally.


Until next time, I'm sending much love and light and may you be seen and heard.  Thank you friend.