Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sugar + Spice

Deciding how to tell people you're pregnant is thrilling yet nerve-wracking. Should you wait to do it in person or is calling okay? What about more modern forms of technology like email or text or Facebook? And what words to use? Do you just let it come up in conversation, create a cute story, or just blurt it out because you can't possibly keep it inside any longer? And what about the times when a friend or family member beats you to the punch and asks??

Over the course of the last several weeks, Jason and I have mostly kept quiet about little snow pea's nine month long stay in my uterus. While Jason probably would have been fine limiting that knowledge to only our parents, I just couldn't keep it from several of my closest girlfriends, my brother, and my grandparents. With each passing week, I gave myself permission to induct one more person to our secret society (yes, this is probably news to Jason).

Most of the dozen or so people I told in the first trimester have learned via the "blurt it out" method. Ashley, for example, agreed to meet me in Chapel Hill for a quick visit while I was in Raleigh for a work conference. She didn't know it, of course, but my heart was racing and I had to stop myself from breaking out into a grin as we ordered our ice cream. We went to sit outside, and just as she was taking her first bite of ice cream, I blurted out "I'm pregnant!" Her spoon literally stopped just centimeters from her lips and I'm pretty sure I saw her brain churning as she worked to absorb my words.

I basically used the same method with my parents. After Jason and I returned from our trip to California, we drove straight from the airport to my parents' house to pick up our Sydney. In the car, we agreed to wait to tell them until Mother's Day. Being as helpful as ever, I just stand and chat in the foyer with my parents while Jason packs up the dog crate and walks outside to put it in the car. Dad looks at me and says something to the effect of "You look different, what's up?" I look in the opposite direction of my all-knowing parents and try to fight back my smile. Unsurprisingly unsuccessful, I turn around, cheesy grin and all, and say "It's because I'm pregnant." Their excited yells were loud enough for Jason to hear halfway down the sideway. So much for keeping a secret.

Grandpa has been itching for me to get pregnant since the day I got married. Grandma did her best to keep him at bay, though her success rate steadily declined with each passing visit. One Wednesday evening, I drove to my grandparents with the intent of telling them the good news. I had no idea how I'd bring it up, but I figured the "blurt it out" method had worked so far. As I sit down at the dining room table, Grandpa pulls a stuffed animal off the table, hides it behind his back, and says:

"Kelley, I have an incentive for you." He proceeds to pull the white stuffed seal from behind his back, leans forward to get close to me and says, "I'll give you one if you name him Jason Augustus and I'll give you two if you name him Augustus Jason."

If that isn't a reason to procreate, I don't know what is.

"Well, what if it is a girl?" I ask him.

He sits back in his chair and ponders the question. "Hmmm, I hadn't thought about that."

"Good thing you have until January to figure it out."


Maintaining eye contact, saying it more slowly this time, I repeat, "It's a good thing you have until January to figure it out."

"JO! Do you hear what she's saying?!?!"

At a mere 97 years old, it never ceases to amaze me how sharp that man is.

Not like my dear friend, Catherine. This story is my favorite, probably because Catherine's desire for me to have a baby is second only to my Grandpa's. Months and months ago, I'd told her that I'd figured out how I would tell her when I learned I was pregnant. So one afternoon as I was leaving work I sent her the simple text of "+". I figured she'd get it immediately. Minutes passed. Maybe she was on the train without a signal. Minutes turned to hours. Did she receive it? Did she understand it? Was she upset I told her via text?

Over 18 hours later and I still had no response from Catherine. Hmmm...How to get the conversation going? So I asked her opinion on a semi-immigration case in the news at the time thinking maybe that would prompt her to follow-up on my previous text. Nope...she just gave me very educated answers to questions I cared little-to-nothing about. Sensing failure, I cut to the chase:

Huh, Catherine? Really?

And finally the lightbulb.

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