Sunday, August 4, 2013

MY FIRST PREGNANCY - Telling People

SHARING THE NEWS

Spreading the word that you’re pregnant is bittersweet. It’s a life changing event for you, but for others it may just be a “oh, cool” kind of thing. I was lucky that most people we told were excited for us. One thing that could affect how people react is how you tell them. You could just blurt it out, like we did for the most part, or you could plan something special to tell people (or at least certain people).

If you look online for “ways to tell people you’re pregnant”, some neat ideas come up. Unfortunately for us, none of them were very relevant or feasible. However, for a few people, we wanted to do something cute. It’s not easy to plan something for ALL the people you want to tell, especially if you have a large family.

My husband’s family is on the west coast, with only his immediate family here in the area (VA). We get together every Saturday for lunch, so the weekend that I hit 12 weeks, we just kind of blurted it out. Greg goes “so Hillary’s pregnant”. His mom knew because she’d guessed it just a couple weeks prior to that, but his dad got the biggest grin (he adores babies; he’s like the baby whisperer). Greg’s brother and his wife were pleasantly surprised as well. She’d just had her third child so she started offering up clothes and baby stuff I might need (which later came in handy!).

My family tends to be a little…dramatic. So we wanted to do something for them. They’re about an hour away in MD, so we thought we’d tour around one day to make the announcement. I knew I had to tell my mom first or she’d never forgive me. So she was our first stop. She’s been really into crocheting baby blankets, so I figured the way to tell her would be to open up the pattern book to the one I liked and tell her I wanted that one and let’s go shopping for yarn. It worked out and her eyes got big and she asked “are you pregnant?” and got really excited. She immediately brought out her old maternity clothes (which unfortunately didn’t fit me at all even before weight gain, sigh). She was just all kinds of giddy.

My uncle lives out of state so we called him and just told him. He was happy for us, but no special reaction. My aunt suspected we were there to share happy news, especially since Greg almost never goes with me when I make a trip to visit my family. She offered a lot of support and was very happy for us as well.

It was my other aunt’s reaction that takes the cake though. My grandmother is in a nursing care facility and isn’t mobile enough to leave, so my aunt is always reminding the family to go visit her (especially me). She didn’t know that I’d already spoken to my grandmother and told her the news, and that she’d told me the place was kind of in lockdown due to the a widespread flu bug. When I walked into my aunt’s house, one of the first things she asked was if I went to visit my grandmother and she was about to lecture me when I said no. I held up my hand and talked over what she was about to say warning that I couldn’t get sick right now. My husband and I were not prepared for her reaction from that statement alone.

“OMG, since when?” I didn’t even know how to react, so I just said 12 weeks and she screamed like a banshee, hugged the oxygen out of my lungs, and yelled out the front door to her hubby who was washing his patrol car that I was pregnant. Greg and I looked at each other with nothing more than “holy crap” written across our faces. We never would have guessed she’d make that connection so fast. Our only complaint about that reveal is that she was angry she was the “last” to know, regardless of the fact that we told my family a day before we told Greg’s. That was supremely frustrating.

So you see that it can be fun to tell people, and it can be a little anticlimactic – just a little bittersweet. One way or another though, the fact that you can finally talk about it and admit the reasons you’re tired and sick all the time is a good feeling.

What that brings about though is questions that you may not yet be able to answer. Questions that include: the sex, the nursery, names, breastfeeding, sleeping, registries, shower, etc. etc. Well, you don’t know the sex until about 20 weeks, the nursery is still a dream at this point, names are still way up in the air especially if you want to wait until you know the sex, breastfeeding is a decision to think about as are many other choices for after the baby is born, sleeping arrangements vary is another thing to consider over time after you think it over and all, registries happen after you shop around and start planning a shower which doesn’t happen until well into the second trimester, so the easy answer to most questions is “I don’t know” or “too early”.

In the first trimester, you try not to make nursery plans just yet or do any shopping of any kind (other than reading material) just yet, in case something goes wrong. So once you’ve hit that landmark 12 weeks and spread the word, you can start making plans and at least let yourself window shop. That’s really the glory of this moment. Telling people makes it real and marks the moment you can let yourself relax and enjoy the fact that you’re bringing a tiny human into your life.


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