My Baby Story: How we told our families the pregnancy news!

One of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is getting to tell all of your loved ones the wonderful news! Although I found out I was pregnant on December 23rd, 2013, we decided to wait until I was 3 months pregnant before telling everyone. As many of you probably already know, it seems to be a mainstream agreement among doctors that during the first trimester you are more likely to miscarry than during any other trimester. We just couldn’t stand the thought of telling everyone the amazing news and then having to retract it and add all that extra disappointment and grief onto what we would already be feeling. So as hard as it was to keep that secret, we waited.

Our families are fairly spread out so we weren’t able to tell everyone all at the same time or in person and therefore had to come up with a few different ideas to make the announcement. We of course definitely wanted to tell our parents in person so we arranged to do that on a weekend in mid February of 2014. That was 2 weeks shy of the 3 month pregnancy mark but it was the only weekend we were going to be able to work out getting to see both sets of parents on the same weekend for quite some time.

How we told my husband’s parents:

BigBrotherShirt
The t-shirt we purchased for our dog Watson. (Picture from zoeysattic on Etsy)

My in-laws live locally so we are easily able to see them in person but my parents live about a 5 1/2 hour drive away from us which means if we go for a visit we need at least a weekend to do so (a day trip is not generally a reasonable possibility). We didn’t want to tell my in-laws and then have to wait weeks to tell my parents so we found a time that we could do it all on the same weekend.

Quite often when we go on road trips my in-laws will take care of our dog Watson for us while we are away. So we arranged to drop him off at their house on Friday night and told them that it was so we could get an early start on the road to my parent’s house Saturday morning. I had a doctors appointment Friday evening so my husband and I (and of course Watson) met up after that and headed over to my in-law’s house.

I had pre-purchased a little t-shirt from a shop on Etsy called zoeysattic that we were going to put on Watson that said “I’m going to be a big brother”. My husband and I agreed that after going in and talking to his parents for awhile I would excuse myself to take Watson out for a bathroom break walk before we headed home and on the way back in the house from the walk I would put the t-shirt on him and let him run back into the house since he always heads straight for either my mother or father in-law on the way in. So that’s what I did!

Watson ran up to my mother in-law first and her first reaction to reading the t-shirt was to ask if we were getting another dog to which my husband and I both just smiled and said no. Then she figured it out and was of course super excited, as was my father in-law once he caught on. The only other grandchild on my husbands side of the family was already 3 years old at the time and she lives about 3 hours away from us so they were so excited to finally have a grandchild who lives so close and that they can see all the time.

How we told my parents and brother:

ValentinesBags
The bags I made up were similar to these but without the lollipop and I sat a fortune cookie on the top layer before sealing the bags with ribbon (photo from marthastewart.com)

As planned we headed to my parents house on Saturday and arrived a couple of hours before supper. What I had done for them was put together a little cellophane bag for each person (including my husband and I) made up of various layers of pink and red candies (since Valentine’s Day had just passed). I placed a fortune cookie on top of the last layer of each bag and sealed the bags with ribbon. I had used tweezers to remove the fortunes from each cookie and replaced them with custom fortunes I had made. For example, my families fortunes said “I can’t wait to meet you in fall of 2014 (Grandma, Grandpa or Uncle)”, depending on who that particular fortune cookie was for. I placed various heart stickers on the back of each bag so I could remember which bag was supposed to go to who when the time came since they all looked the same otherwise.

Our plan was to tell them the news right after supper. I handed the bags out when it was time for dessert and to keep them from suspecting something weird was going on I just told them that I had bought these from someone at work whose child was selling them to raise money for a sports team of some sort. They just bought my story without really asking any questions.

My mother was at the kitchen sink doing dishes and cleaning up from supper and my father, my husband and myself were sitting around the kitchen table talking (my brother wasn’t home yet). To get things going my husband and I started opening our candy bags and took out the fortune cookies to crack them open so that hopefully my father would do the same. Once we read out our fortunes which were just the ones that originally came in our cookies my father started to open his. He read it a few times to himself and finally caught on to what his fortune meant and got a big smile on his face and looked at us and just winked since my mother hadn’t opened hers up yet (she was still busy with the dishes). He asked her to come and sit down and open her fortune cookie but she was focused on her work and resisted so he was persistent and said well at least come over here and read my fortune. She was finally like “ok ok fine” and came over and read his fortune. She immediately caught on and got VERY excited. My mother has been begging for grandchildren literally since the day we got married so this had also been a very long time coming for her.

When my brother eventually got home we were all still sitting around the table and had his candy bag set out on his place setting so he sat down and immediately started opening it to get at the candy. We didn’t have to prompt him to open his fortune cookie, he just went for it. He also caught on right away and was very happy and excited. He was really looking forward to being an uncle.

How we told my husband’s siblings: 

HeartHands
The picture we emailed to my husband’s siblings

We drove home from my parents house the next day (Sunday) and when we got home we thought we better get right at it and send out an announcement to my husband’s siblings who unfortunately all live many hours away from us. We decided to email them the picture you see above with the two hands together in the shape of a heart. The date in the centre was my original due date and we also actually had put in the bottom right hand corner of the picture “R.S.V.P and our phone number”.

My husband has 4 siblings and within a few minutes of sending the email we started getting group email responses and phone calls with essentially the same exclamation of “Does this mean what I think it does?!!”. They were all so excited to hear the news that there would be a new addition to the family very soon.

So that is how we made the announcement to our families. We waited until I was officially out of the first trimester to tell the rest of our extended family and friends, although I am pretty sure our mothers snuck in telling a few Aunties before they were supposed to. All in all it was a great, happy and exciting experience for us and the only thing I would have changed was maybe somehow getting the family reactions on film.

I will leave it at that for this one. I hope you enjoyed the story of how we announced my pregnancy to our families and come back again soon to check out the story of my actual pregnancy, premature emergency c-section delivery at 27 weeks after I became gravely ill, NICU experience and experience of bringing home a premature baby.

If you are interested you can also check out my Youtube channel for the video version of this story as well as the rest of my baby story.

Thanks for stopping by!

Katie

My Baby Story: How I found out I was pregnant

Tests

I am currently working on a couple of posts describing my birth story and illness which was triggered by my pregnancy and caused the delivery of my daughter at 27 weeks. These are tough for me to put into words and are  unfortunately not the happiest stories to tell so I thought it might be fun and a bit easier to first post a couple of the positive stories around my pregnancy as it truly was a great experience right up until its abrupt end!

For as long as I can remember I have desperately wanted to be a mother and have a bunch of my own children. My husband and I had been married for just over 3 years prior to my pregnancy which was a LONG wait for me but we both had very good jobs and wanted to hit some specific money savings targets before I was to go on a maternity leave and quite possibly not be going back to work at all (at least until all the kids were in school full time). We both had stay at home moms growing up and that was a really awesome experience for us so it was important to us to have the same for our children if possible.

So after 3 years of saving money, impatiently waiting and killing time (on my part) by watching countless videos on youtube of other women’s TTC (trying to conceive) journeys, pregnancy reveals, weekly pregnancy updates, gender reveals and birth stories it was finally my turn, we were officially trying! So when I found out I was pregnant on the evening of December 23rd, 2013, I was absolutely giddy with excitement and joy. That was without question one of the happiest days of my life!

The first day of my cycle that month was December 1st and by December 23rd I had a few symptoms that could have been due to pregnancy (sore breasts, light cramping and mild nausea) but I was still several days away from my expected period. My cycles are generally 27 to 31 days with ovulation usually occurring anywhere from day 10 to 14. So these symptoms could have also been due to the almost imminent arrival of Aunt Flo.

This was the first month my husband and I had been “TTC” so even though I didn’t want to get my hopes to high that this was really happening already I sure had my fingers crossed. I had some cheapie ovulation and pregnancy tests I had purchased online and my husband was at a hockey game with his brother that evening so being home alone with nothing better to do I decided I was going to take an ovulation test just for fun. I had read somewhere that sometimes an ovulation test will pick up the pregnancy hormone and show up positive even though you are obviously not ovulating. I had a ton of the ovulation test strips and only a handful of the pregnancy test strips so I wasn’t to worried about wasting an ovulation test. I had absolutely no real expectations for this test. I mean I was only on day 23 (and if memory serves me I was only about 12 DPO or days past ovulation), I was using evening (not first morning) urine and I was using an ovulation test not an actual pregnancy test. So anyway I peed in a disposable cup and dipped the strip, turned the test upside down so I couldn’t easily sneak a peek, set a timer and walked away for 5 minutes.

Well to my complete shock when I came back to look at the ovulation test it was without a doubt absolutely positive. The test line was just as dark if not darker than the control line. I had only ever seen that on my ovulation tests when I was actually ovulating. This got my mind churning. I wasn’t sure whether or not I really believed that an ovulation test could show positive for pregnancy as well. I had kept the leftover urine in the cup (just in case) so I decided to dip another ovulation test and now also one of the pregnancy test strips. I again flipped them over to keep from peeking, set the timer and this time paced anxiously for 3-5 minutes.

When I came back I checked the ovulation test first and again it was definitely positive (test and control line were the same) so I rationalized that the first one was probably not just a bad test. I then checked the pregnancy test and OMG there was a faint but definite test line next to the control line and anyone who knows their way around a pregnancy test knows that this beautiful little test line just has to be visible to mean it is a positive test! I of course screamed, cried, laughed, giggled, bounced off walls, jumped around the room and danced with the dog who was looking at me like I was crazy by this point. What an amazing feeling!!!

After awhile of letting it all sink in the skeptic in me surfaced and said “ok Katie, we need to confirm this with first morning urine and a more expensive non-sketchy internet purchased test”. So I quickly ran to the pharmacy and purchased a First Response pregnancy test so I could take it the next morning before work which would be Christmas Eve day. I didn’t want to tell my husband until I was absolutely sure and it was so close to Christmas I thought it would be fun to wrap something up under the tree for him to open Christmas morning to tell him the news.

I took the First Response test the next morning (December 24th) and to my complete thrill I got 2 pink lines! The test line was even almost as dark as the control line. On my way home from work that afternoon I decided to stop at the pharmacy again but this time to pick up a clear blue digital pregnancy test which says “Pregnant” on it when it is positive (I wanted it to be super easy to understand when my husband looked at it). I also picked up a little newborn sized onsie that was red and said “Made in Canada” on the front. My plan was to fold the onsie around the test, which I would take early the next day on Christmas morning, and then wrap them up and put them under the tree for my husband to open along with his other Christmas presents.

Christmas morning arrived and I nervously waited as we slowly got through opening the presents under the tree. I was trying to save the “special announcement” present for last since it would be hard to focus on anything else once that one had been opened up! I thought I was going to go crazy as my husband finally slowly opened it up and started to look at what was in the package. I knew he had figured it out once a smile started to cross his face. He kept excitedly saying “holy cow, already?! That was fast!”. He gave me a big hug and a kiss and we enjoyed the rest of what was one of the most memorable and wonderful Christmas holidays we have ever had!

Stay tuned for more happy posts on how we made the announcement to our families and how my pregnancy went up until I became ill. I will also get the birth and illness stories completed and up as soon as I can.

Katie