This weekend, I realized that I must be more unmistakably pregnant.
I had a birth early Saturday morning. While there, one of the nurses asked me, “when did this happen?” as she pointed to my belly. She and I know each other pretty well, and she has had five of her own kids, so it wasn’t surprising to me that she asked me.
Today we went to a bris for Fred’s friend. We were surrounded by mostly strangers. I was wearing a dress that I think made me show more. Right away, the first people we talked to asked me when I was due and if it was my first. This was my first encounter with complete strangers asking/assuming I was pregnant. It felt weird! We got asked a few more times.
Later I went to the hospital to round on my patient. Some of the nurses already knew and made some comments about me showing more now. I had a few other people who asked me or mentioned it as well. One woman had seen me the night before in scrubs and hadn’t noticed but asked me today. It’s funny how people react and say “I didn’t know”. I have to say to them, well I’m not exactly the kind of person who runs around and just announces it.
Tonight we decided it was time to out it on social media. We had typed our announcement a few days ago while on the way back from Wisconsin. We posted it, along with our 16 week sonogram picture. It was so amazing to see all the positive comments and love! It definitely made us feel special and loved!
Today is my father-in-law's 65th birthday. We got together to celebrate with Fred's sister and family too, and we figured it would be the perfect time to tell his nephew and niece (ages 12 and 7) about the pregnancy.
I really wanted to be creative about it and came up with a game of charades. They love to play games as family, so it was perfect.
We didn’t have a pre-made Charades game, so I made up my own cards with index cards. They included things like “mowing the lawn” and “playing baseball”. It certainly wasn’t hugely creative. I also only made about 15 cards.
My father-in-law would suggest he wanted to play a game. In order to get the kids on the same team as Fred and me, we did oldest vs youngest. This put the kids on our team.
He suggested the game. Since we didn’t have a lot of cards, we just played one card per round. We started with the youngest acting out the cards so almost everyone would have a chance to act them out.
When it came to Fred’s turn, he started acting it out. His sister was recording it on her phone. It took the kids a little while to guess (they kept guessing right then guessing something else), but they eventually got it. It didn’t actually click with them at first and then they thought we were joking. When they did finally realize, it was really cute and they were super excited. His niece is the youngest grandchild and she was saying how happy she was not to be the youngest anymore.
It was a really special moment to share with our family. I’m so glad we got to tell them in such a fun way!
We wanted to think of a fun way to tell Fred's nieces (ages 22, 19 and 14) that I am pregnant. We also wanted to tell them all together (two are in college). Since they were all home for a weekend, we were able to do this today.
We arranged with Fred's sister ahead of time that we would tell them. We FaceTimed one of them and spoke to everyone all at once.
We went through all of the normal catching up first and talking to each person. Then we said, hey we want to send you a funny Snapchat and see you open it together.
We had taken the pics already so we sent them. There were three:
They screamed in excitement. Right away one of them said “Frelaby!”. This was a nickname for our baby (since we go by Frelaine, it worked well).
We answered their questions and talked about it a bit more. One person asked the due date and I told them the reason I wouldn’t tell them. Then at least two of them admitted they would be asking me about when the baby was coming, which justified my decision not to tell them/anyone.
We had been trying to tell Fred's sister about the pregnancy for a few weeks, but we kept getting delayed.
I searched my brain for a good, creative way. Finally, I just came up with printing a picture of an ant and writing “Linda” under it. We were going to give it to her and ask her to help us solve a brain teaser. I printed that paper and carried in my purse a few weeks before the actual date.
We got to their house and his sister had so much to talk about, we could barely get a word in! Finally, we asked Fred's mother to go play with his niece to distract her (since we weren't ready to tell the kids yet) and we were able to get his sister alone.
Fred asked if she would help with a brain teaser and handed her the folded paper. She opened it up and screamed “I’m going to be an ant?!”. We shushed her and his niece (from the other room) said, “what?”. His sister quickly made up something about having ants in our house (which we don't, btw) and it wasn't questioned.
Here is the picture we gave her below.
When we found out about the pregnancy and figured out the EDD, we realized it would be so fun to tell our parents on the same day when they were together on Christmas.
The waiting proved to be difficult to some degree, because my mom arrived on 12/21. After lots of fake drinking and some other hiding, we actually managed to keep it from her. Thank goodness she’s not very observant! And it was well worth it.
On Christmas, we arrived at their house. Lucky for us, very shortly after arrival, my mother in law suggested we open gifts. We saved the best for last.
We framed the picture (which really looks like a little blur, haha) and bought two matching frames. We insisted that they open them at the same time and for his parents, to open it together.
Fred’s parents noticed first. They both jumped up and ran to us. My mom was a little slower to realize, maybe even from a bit of shock about it. I caught her with a little tear and she stood up too. Everyone was extremely happy! Hugs all around :)
Fred’s dad did say he had a slight suspicion from the week before. He had made a whole pitcher of whiskey sours and I kept saying no. He said he wasn’t sure, but there was a glimmer of hope and thought about it for him.
My mom was the most surprised since we had been with her for 4 days already and she hadn’t noticed. We pointed out some of the funny things she missed (fake drinking, especially the night Fred drank two beers), mentioning my breasts looked bigger, etc.
Midwife note: There are actually several websites devoted to fake drinking and how to do it. I'll spare the links, but a quick google search should yield plenty of options.
We were so happy to give our parents this wonderful gift. Fred's father said, “take all the other presents back, this is the only one we need.” and his mom said “you guys will make great parents." My mom said she couldn’t believe “my baby is having a baby.”
As expected, Fred’s dad would be periodically grinning when I looked at him for the rest of the day.
Midwife note: When to tell people about the pregnancy is a very personal decision. There is no right or wrong time or too early. We chose to tell our parents at just over 6 weeks. This was based on many factors, but most importantly was that if I were to miscarry, we would tell them. We wanted to be able to lean on them for support. My philosophy as a midwife is the same and I tell my clients the same thing. If you would share your miscarriage, why not share the news of the pregnancy?
A pregnant midwife living and working in New York City