Friday, January 29, 2010

Spreading the Word

I realize that I'm backtracking a little, but I have to comment on the initial and varied emotions that ran through me when I found out I was pregnant because they were somewhat astronomical. Of course there were feelings of disbelief when that Plus Sign appeared, followed quickly by joy and excitement. I was alone in my apartment when I peed on that stick so I really didn't know what to do with myself. Of course I had to wait until my husband came home before I could even think about telling anyone else this life changing news. When he did get home I was ridiculous: I turned off the TV and sat up all straight trying to think of a fun or clever way of telling him. Right away he knew somethings as up, "did you get a job?"

"No," I answered (for the record I got a job within a week of finding out I was pregnant).

"You're pregnant," he pronounced.

I was shocked that he had seen through me so quickly and I had lost my opportunity to tell him the news in some creative or memorable way--oh well.

We were dying to tell our families, but I convinced my husband to wait until I'd seen the doctor and we had a little more information. Every one's first questions: "What's the due date?" or "How far along are you?" So we sat on the big news for a week or so. When the doctor told me I was 8 weeks along, I was surprised and extremely excited. The general rule that women follow when it comes to announcing their pregnancy is to wait three months. This is because, as my doctor explained, one-third of healthy, normal women will miscarry for no reason during that initial 3-month period. This, to me, was a shocking statistic, and one I took to heart. But I didn't let get in the way of my enthusiasm for the growing life inside me. I was grateful that we only had to sit on the news for a month: how anyone could hold it in for three whole months is beyond me.

We told our parents and some close family members and friends--people I felt I would need to tell if things did go wrong, which thank the gods they didn't. But now I had put all these people in the position of keeping their lips sealed until I gave the go ahead. For the most part everyone really impressed me with their ability to keep quiet, but there's always one, isn't there? And in my case there were two!

My sweet, amazing father-in-law who is, all in all, a very trustworthy person, was too overwhelmed by the news that he would become a grandfather to hold it in. It's funny receiving a congratulatory email from people that you did not share top secret news with. Then my loveliest West Coast friend, whom I might add was experiencing some baby brain of her own (she was around eight months pregnant at the time), told two of her friends who I happen to know. A little awkward, but nothing that couldn't be fixed with a light scolding and a quiet pleading.

It's a funny time, those early months. There is so much going on and yet you have to stay quiet and calm for the most part. A friend was asking if I was buying baby things and getting things ready, but it's funny: at first you are so filled with excitement and energy that you probably could furnish a nursery in one day, but you're forced to bottle that energy up and keep it all in. You have to acknowledge that 1/3 pregnancies aren't going to make it to week 12. My body was going through so many changes and the feeling of being pregnant was so present in my everyday and yet most of the people I was encountering had no idea. I was full of plans, hopes, and dreams, but it was too soon to take action. It was a paradoxical time and I'm glad to be through it now.

I'm calmer now that I'm almost 14 weeks. I feel so glad that I've been able to tell almost everyone the wonderful news. I think it was worth the wait to hear people's excitement and congratulations when I told them. There has been an outpouring of love and support from friends and family that has overwhelmed me. My baby's first gift has already been received and it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about that little, yellow, hand-knitted bib sitting on my dresser and waiting for a baby. I'm sure it's the hormones talking but so far this ride has been the most amazing experience of my life and I am just thankful to have amazing people to share it with.

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