Since I’m new to blogging, I’ve been participating in blog hops hosted by some of the blogs I read. So this post is inspired by the “Show Us Your Life” (SUYL) blog hop hosted by Kelly’s Korner. This week’s SYUL topic is: How did you share with your husband and families you were pregnant?
Basically none of my announcements went as planned. It was our first child, and the first grandchild for both of our families, and we’ve learned from our mistakes.
I took a pregnancy test on April 15th 2009- tax day. I was pregnant! I was due December 24th 2009, Christmas Eve. It was first thing in the morning, but my husband, Mac, had already left for work. We had spoken about how he’d want me to tell him and he expressly forbade me from telling him over the phone. That meant I’d have to wait all day for him to get home from work. Needless to say, it was a long day.
When he finally did get home it was late- I think around 9pm. He’d had a wretched day at work. He was burned out and grouchy. I asked him to sit with me on the couch and tell me what had happened. Basically an all around, no good, very bad day. So he went on for about 20min telling me all about how unhappy he was at his job and how he’d really like to leave it, but it would be risky in the faltering economy, etc.
Well. Hearing all that made me wonder how he’d take the news that there was no way he could leave his job because he’d be a dad and there would be no way we could survive as a family of three on my paltry post-doctoral salary. FAIL.
So finally, I said, “Well I have some news that might make you feel better,” to which he replied an unsuspecting, “What?”
I said, “I’m pregnant,” not in a particularly excited or joyful way, but in a calm yet happy way.
Well, he was ecstatic. He turned around and hugged me saying the news had turned one of the worst days into one of the best. WIN!
We kept it our little secret for several days since we wanted to tell our parents in person. We knew we’d wait until the second trimester to tell everyone, but wanted our immediate families to know right away.
The next weekend his parents were visiting from out of state and on the second night of their visit, while we sat in the living room, Mac asked them, “So, how good are you at spoiling?” His dad thought he was asking them for something and replied, “Why, what do you need?” But my mother-in-law was quiet and it was clear the wheels were turning in her head. A few more hints and they realized our news. My mother-in-law got teary eyed and there were hugs all around. Mac did a great job with his announcement. WIN!
The next weekend we decided to go and visit my parents so we could tell them. I was heading to their house early to go see a Broadway show with my mom and her friends, Mac would join us on Friday night. (My sister couldn’t make it- despite my pleading- so I had to tell her over the phone. She was thrilled. She already had a niece in her husband’s family, a joyful, smart, funny girl, but was excited to welcome a new little baby.) It was torture being with my parents and not telling them. While traveling down to the show, I was sitting next to my mom’s friend when she asked, “So, when are you going to be a grandma?” and my mother looked at me and said, “You’ll have to ask her!” Ironic.
Friday came and Mac didn’t arrive until very late- my parents were already in bed for the night. So, the next morning, at breakfast, as my mom was about to sit down I said, “Well, we have some good news and we have some bad news.” That was my first mistake- apparently my mother jumped right to worst-case-scenario thoughts. “Which do you want to hear first?” I asked. My mom asked for the bad news first, she was still standing.
So, I said, “Well, we’re not going to be able to come and visit at Christmas this year.” My mother’s reaction was kind of “OK, so what?” I continued, “The reason is because I’ll be having a baby.”
The reactions from my parents were not at all what I expected. My mom immediately hung her head and started to sob. She blubbered some barely intelligible things like “I’m so happy” and “I’ve prayed for this for you.” My dad on the other hand said nothing- just continued to eat his breakfast. FAIL.
Later my dad said he kept quiet because the moment was all about my mom. He was happy and excited, but more reserved. My mom just said that I was mean to say the good news/bad news bit and that she was overcome- having worried we might have trouble conceiving (as so many couples do) and so happy that we didn’t. She also told me never to scare her like that again.
A few months later it was time to tell the rest of our friends and family. I had recently turned 30 and Mac had put together a slide show of my first 30 years as a gift. The ending said, “Beautiful Daughter, Loving Wife.” We decided to use the slide show to share our news- so he added “and Mother (coming this Christmas)” to the list along with a comical record scratch to the music.
I e-mailed the link to everyone (and put it on Facebook) with the message, “I thought you might get a kick out of the slide show that Mac put together for my 30th birthday- since a lot of you appear in it! It’s kind of long, so if you’ve already seen it, or don’t have a lot of time, at least skip ahead and check out the last 30 seconds for the surprise ending!”
By and large it was well received and the congrats flooded in. However, I think some people were hurt they didn’t get a phone call and had to find out “with everyone else.” I know one dear friend was particularly hurt. FAIL.
I did manage to smooth it over with her and apologize. I made sure to call and tell her, over the phone, that Mabel was a girl so she was first in the know.
Overall, our announcements didn’t go exactly as planned. We’ve definitely learned some lessons. Hopefully things will go more smoothly if/when we have news to share about a little brother or sister for Mabel.