Monday, February 6, 2017

The Big Reveal(s)

In this age of viral pregnancy reveals and gender reveal parties and such, some folks have been asking if we had any cutesy ways to tell our family that we are pregnant. By the time I popped positive on the at-home test, even I was convinced (and, to be honest, hoping) that we would never have children, so no one was expecting us to be expecting. We knew this would be a fun opportunity to surprise everyone, and holidays were landing right around that crucial 12 week mark. We were especially careful about not dropping the baby bomb too early after losing our first pregnancy. All of our family knows at this point, but I have to admit that it was fun to have a little secret between the two of us for about 12 weeks. 

It was equally fun, though, to reveal the news over the course of the Christmas holiday. My parents were visiting us (a trip that was planned months before I got pregnant), and their trip was perfectly timed for my 12 week ultrasound, so we told them we were going to the mall to get me a swimsuit before our jaunt to the Great Barrier Reef. We actually took them to the OBYN's office, and while they were surprised, they had had their suspicions. The sonographer was very nice about 3 people crowding into the exam room with me so my parents could see our first look at all the fingers and toes. My dad is not going to be able to meet the kid until its first birthday, so I'm glad he got to share in this special moment. 

They then had to keep the secret for a week and a half until Christmas when the news was revealed to my sister and brother, who were with my sister's family for Christmas morning. We FaceTimed them as my niece opened her gift from Tyler and me: A puzzle made out of this photo:

Tyler's reading a parenting book and I'm trying to put a pacifier in Kitty's mouth. She was NOT a willing participant in this little project. 

The funny part is that our niece had zero interest in the puzzle, which we predicted. Hard to get excited about a blank white box (the company packaged it that way to aid in the surprise) when you're surrounded by Santa's haul. Thankfully, as predicted, the white box piqued my brother-in-law's interest and he put the puzzle together real quick. I screenshotted some of my sister's reaction when she was called over to see the finished product. 

So that was my family covered. 

The next day, while we were on a train in New Zealand, it was Tyler's family's turn to learn the big news. I should pause at this point to tell you that Tyler went home for a quick visit in October, right after we found out I was pregnant. I love my husband dearly, but he is REALLY bad at keeping secrets, and with just the slightest bit of nudging from a bottle of wine, he let slip to his brother that I was With Child. I wasn't upset, in fact it came in handy because we had co-conspirators in our little plot to tell his family. 

I will pause again to say that Tyler's brother and sister-in-law had just had a baby, the first grandchild, so everyone was out at their house for Christmas and all the talk was about The New Baby. We knew that any of the typical, "The best parents get promoted to grandparents" t-shirts/photo frames or baby booties in a box with a note like, "hold on to this until I come visit" type of gifts would be assumed to be about The New Baby, so we had to get creative. 

Well...we didn't get all that creative. We found a seller on etsy who does the pregnancy reveal wine labels that are so popular, but she let me customize it a little bit. 

I thought the koala was a solid hint that this baby was going to be in Australia and the whole summer baby part should be a tip off that it wasn't The New Baby we were talking about, but a Whole Other Baby.

As predicted, though, the grandparents didn't get it. Seriously, NO ONE was expecting us to ever get pregnant. 

What I love about this whole reveal is how sweet my in-laws are. Even though they totally don't get a). why we would send them wine all the way from Australia when they were in the middle of California's wine country and b). what the wine label is all about, they are polite and fake it with their signature, "That is so sweet!" and "This is great!" lines they give when they don't want to seem ungrateful but they also just want to move on so they can stop being the center of attention. 

As predicted, Tyler's sister puts all the clues together and gets it first. A few minutes after this video was taken we got a tearful FaceTime call from Tyler's mom who apparently cried for the rest of the afternoon because she was so surprised and happy for us. 

Shout out to my sister-in-law's sister (my sister-in-law-in-law?) for filming the whole thing and coming in clutch with the Croatian explanation of what was going on to someone off camera so as not to ruin the surprise. You're awesome, Val! 

Once all the parents and siblings were informed, we sent a quick message to my aunt who was at my grandparents' house with the rest of my extended family celebrating my grandfather's birthday and all those branches were taken care of. 

While most people take that as the signal to put some big reveal on facebook, we didn't feel any rush to call attention to our little secret at all. Even though the average age for a first child in America is climbing, we feel like we are late to this little party since our facebook feeds have been filled with big pregnancy reveals for years. We also have several friends who are struggling with infertility, so we want to be sensitive to their feelings because we know it is not easy to see all the ultrasound photos when all you want in the world is to have some of your own. 

So we will keep all the baby talk on this blog. If you want to hear the news and see the photos, be sure to follow us. I'll do my best to keep everyone updated. I remind you, though, the purpose of this blog is to give readers a vicarious international experience, so I will be focusing on our vacations, new adventures and every now and then my struggles with becoming a mom in a foreign country. With all that is going on in America right now, I can't promise that I won't get a little political. I can promise, however, that I am not going to be a Mom Blogger who reviews products or chronicles her kids' every moves. I know every mom will roll her eyes when I make the sweeping declaration that I will not be the kind of mom whose entire world becomes centered around her children, but those moms also don't know me and my stubbornness very well. When I set a goal I meet it, and I intend not to lose myself by gaining an extra person in my house. I will talk about being a parent, but I will talk about being a parent in Korea, or China, or Mozambique...or where ever we end up. 

Go ahead, put in your bets for how long it'll take me to become completely obsessed with this little parasite growing inside me, just keep those kinds of predictions and comments to yourself. They only fuel my intent to stick to my Sweeping Declaration. 

In the meantime, enjoy this ride with us folks. We're so excited to try this whole parenting thing while overseas. We have-no exaggeration- talked about raising globally-minded well-travelled kids overseas since our first days of dating all the way back in high school. Let's see how these dreams shape up.

Vicariously yours,

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