The Great Bump Watch Debate: Where do we draw the line?

By Kaitlin Stanford for

Show of hands: Who's been tuning into the Style Network's reality series Giuliana & Bill lately? If you're with us on this one, then you probably caught the recent episode when Giuliana and her husband, Bill, head to a routine ultrasound, only to find that they've miscarried -- right around two months and after a draining round of IVF treatments. And then of course there was last week's episode, which showed both Bill and Giuliana struggling to figure out how exactly they were going to move past it all. Bill thought it would be best to get back in the saddle right away, while Giuliana wanted to take a break, recoup, and throw herself back into work. (And hey, who can blame her?) It can't be easy to go through something so intensely personal in front of millions of strangers. But then again, Giuliana and Bill signed up for it, right around the same time they signed on to a reality TV show. Giuliana recently told TV Guide, "We thought about it and we were like, If we don't show this, then we're going to tape 10 episodes of complete lies."

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We do have to admire their honesty and willingness to be open with something lots of couples face but rarely talk about publicly. Everyone goes through those first few touch-and-go months of pregnancy, keeping the news a secret until they reach that definitive three-month mark. But when a miscarriage happens, it's impossible not to be hit hard with a ton of emotions -- and as we saw with Giuliana, it's not all just about mourning the loss of what could have been; there's often a heavy dose of self-inflicted blame the mom-to-be goes through, too.

But all of this did get us thinking about our gluttony when it comes to celebrities and pregnancy in general. Save for Bethenny Frankel, who famously peed on a stick (and in a wine bucket, let's not forget) for cameras, most celebs try hard to keep the details of their pregnancies under wraps, as the rest of us speculate for months on end about whether or not that slight bulge in their middle is a baby bump or simply the result of a heavy lunch. And let's admit it, we're even a little annoyed at them for not sharing right away ("Why won't she just admit it already? What's the big deal?"). But really, why would they share? The rest of us non-famous types wait until we're safely out of our first trimester before spilling the news even to our coworkers, right? So why do we expect celebs to make a big announcement to the press as soon as they get a positive stick?

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With a rash of celebrity miscarriage announcements making headlines lately, it's impossible not to feel at least a little guilty for feeding into the whole bump watch thing to begin with. Last month, news of Kelsey Grammer's girlfriend miscarrying swept the web (along with his soon-to-be-ex wife's allegedly not so delicate commentary on it), and last week, talk of Lily Allen's second miscarriage was making the rounds. Even Mariah Carey, who recently broke the not-so-secret news that she's expecting, shared her own painful miscarriage experience on Access Hollywood. The question is, did these celebs really want to share their experiences with us, or did they feel forced into talking publicly about it? After all, in some cases (like Lily Allen's), we've been tracking their bumps for months. So we can't exactly not notice when it's there one day and gone the next. It's horrible to think that our insatiable need to know all the details from the get-go may put some women, famous or not, into a position where they have to share such a personal piece of information that they'd rather keep to themselves.

If there is a positive in all of this, though, it's the fact that for the millions of women around the world who miscarry each year (studies show 10 to 25 percent of all pregnancies end this way), being reminded that they're not alone is surely a comfort.

What do you think? Do we all need to chill out a little when it comes to the bump watching?

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images / The Bump

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