After that first positive pregnancy test (and the three months of secret nausea, vomiting, and bloating that follow), there comes the time for each expectant mother to reveal her big news.
No, you have not really been trying to “bulk up for winter” preemptively, and no, you haven’t developed a penchant for stretchy pants simply because you enjoy the soft fabrics (although of course you do enjoy the soft, forgiving fabrics). And no, you’re not trying to “avoid wine to be healthier” (yeah, right!). Eventually you must acknowledge that you’re full of bullshit and let people know that you’re pregnant.
Some reveals are exciting – like breaking the news to your parents, who have been waiting an inordinate amount of time for you to produce something other than debt for them. And some reveals are anxiety-producing – like breaking the news at work.
When I got pregnant with Nolan I was working as a counselor at a high school. My former students (now in their junior year) were freshmen at the time, and as you are well aware, freshmen year is when kids are at the height of tact, maturity, and comfort with delicate topics. Also it’s when adolescents are the most calm and the least dramatic. And also, announcing that you’re pregnant at work is always super comfortable. So this was a perfect scenario.
I wrote the conversation down at the time, almost verbatim. I use the term “conversation” lightly, however, as the verbal explosion that follows did not really adhere to the norms of traditional conversing.
Me: “Guys, huddle up. I want to talk to you about something that I haven’t told the other kids about yet.” (This is sure to get their attention, as the mention of being the first “in” on some gossip is enticing).
Immediately, hypotheses start flying.
Dalton: “You’re getting a divorce?! She’s getting a divorce! You guys she’s getting a divorce!!”
Me: “What? NO! I’m not getting a divorce.”
Jurvet: “You’re pregnant! She’s pregnant! You’re pregnant!!” (Woah, that was quick)
At first, for a few seconds, they think it’s a joke. They’re at an age where, even though they know that “technically” teachers and assorted other authority figures have outsides lives, it’s still hard for them to imagine. Being pregnant would provide tangible proof that when I left school for the day I didn’t retreat to an airtight pod, simply biding my time until I could be back in the cafeteria to greet them again the next morning.
Upon realizing that this was not, in fact, a joke, the kids begin yelling over one another, a barrage of booming admonitions and congratulations all flying toward me at once.
Claribel: “You have to eat healthy! Ms. Faria, it’s important to eat healthy!!” (Claribel, who is typically soft-spoken, yells this with a clear look of judgment and concern as I’m absolutely crushing a bowl of ice cream right before her eyes. Did I mention that the announcement was made at the tail end of a party? And that I am a stress eater?)
Keyla: “No you don’t, you’re going to get fat anyway!” (Thanks Keyla)
Ann: “Do you have a zygote inside of you right now?” (Hmm, good question. I think so? Let me consult wikipedia and get back to you on that one.)
Luz (very upset): “I’m leaving if you’re leaving!”
Me: I’m not leaving right now guys.
Luz: (much calmer) “Ok. Can I make your baby a poster?” (Uh, sure?)
Dalton: “Babies are terrible! Babies are a lot of responsibility! I don’t want a baby!!!” (Phew)
Keyla (yelling inexplicably): “YOU NEED A SPECIAL CREAM TO STOP YOUR STRETCH MARKS!!!!!!” (Noted, Keyla, noted)
Precious: “Pregnant people creep me out.” (That’s ok Precious, they creep me out too.)
Keyla: “I think you’re having a girl, she’s stealing your beauty!” (Well, it’s a boy, but thank you for pointing out that I’m letting myself go.)
Ann: “Does Brian know?” (Uh, yes. I thought I should tell my husband Brian before I told you guys.)
Precious: “Oooh, Ms. Faria, your butt looks big!” (I should note that this was actually said as a compliment, but seeing as I am a 35 year old white woman who wears a lot of clothes from The Gap, the booty look wasn’t really what I was aiming for.)
BK: No words, just looking kind of bewildered by the whole thing and dancing around the room. (Did I mention that these were freshmen?)
The kids were frantic. Everyone was yelling and crowding around me. It was the opposite of relaxing. In fact, if I were further along in the pregnancy they probably could have induced my labor inadvertently.
And then, one final comment:
Ann: “You’re going to be a good mom. I can tell.”
How did your pregnancy “reveal” conversations go? I’m curious what kind of reactions people got from bosses, kids, parents, etc.
We told our parents at 6 weeks… It was my MILs birthday so we wrapped up an ultrasound picture (which I wasn’t suppose to have, but was freaking out so lied and told my Dr. I was spotting, so they would see me and confirm I was pregnant.TS.) Anyway my MIL is a total busybody and it killed her I told her she couldn’t tell anyone… She asked often when she could..so I finally gave her the green light… She asked to borrow the picture and box so she could present to her sister and mother in the same way I did to her. At times overbearing, maybe? But forever grateful Lily has a grandmother that loves her as much as I do…there are perks to being the first grandchild. I win!
Oh yes, being the first grandchild is the total sweetspot. There is no WAY subsequent children will get this kind of enthusiasm directed at them!
We did the whole “bun in the oven” reveal to our families. They didn’t get it at first…thought we were serving them hot dogs for our special family gathering (I guess they were really hungry). Once they figured it out, there were tears (of joy. not hunger pains).
When I told my boss, it was right after my annual performance appraisal meeting, where I was just given all of these new responsibilities (Awesome. I’ll get right on that.) His first question was, “You’re coming back, right?”
“Why, yes, I’m feeling great! Thanks for asking! No biggie that I’ve been secretly throwing up in the bathroom for weeks”
Haha I love that your family thought you were serving them hot dogs! I would probably get along with your family.
We also used a hot dog reveal tactic! We had an orange onesie in a box, and the onesie was hot-dog themed. But my family totally didn’t get it either! They were confused by the color orange (I think they were expecting blue or pink)…subtlety is maybe not the way to go in gender reveals 🙂
OMG I just laughed out load! My family would have probably been just as confused (“Why do you keep giving us hot dogs before baby news??”)
We threw a party for our family reveal. You get to do that kind of over-the-top stuff when your kid is the first grandchild/great grandchild. I almost feel bad for those that follow in Jackson’s footsteps! I got all “pinteresty” with the reveal. Here’s a photo of our cupcakes and some decorations 🙂
Anyway….I don’t remember how I came across your blog, but I absolutely love it. Thanks for ‘keepin’ it real’!
We went to CO to visit my MIL for Thanksgiving. A few days in, I started getting wicked nauseous and could barely eat. My MIL was so upset, convinced it was the “town smell” and that we’d never come visit again so we had to tell her the truth (there is actually a “town smell” but that obvi wasn’t it… although it didn’t help!). So, of course, then we had to call my parents and tell them… excitement all around… and occasional dry heaving. As for work, I work from home but was supposed to go to DC for meetings for 2 weeks so I was feverishly googling “how to hide morning sickness at work”. Although in retrospect some of the answers I found are quite laughable (Things like “I just puke in the trashcan at my desk, NBD” and “yoga pants totally look like dress pants if you accessorize them correctly” – what?) – at the time, they had me in a total panic so I told my group that I couldn’t come to DC unless they were cool with me showing up in my pajamas and dry heaving into the recycle bin all day… they were cool with me skipping the trip, lol.
Wait, the “town smell”?!?! HAHAHA! WTF? I’ve never heard of a town smell before, but this is really cracking me up. As are the solutions you googled to explaining why you might puke on your desk and “dress up” your yoga pants. Ha!
I know, it made me lol as I was typing “town smell” since we don’t actually call it that but yeah… she lives in Greeley, CO and there’s a meat packing plant there so it smells pretty nasty on certain days of the week. Apparently, if you live there, you “get used to it” but I have yet to become immune to it and the “heightened smell” that comes with pregnancy didn’t help! I seriously do not understand how women with “real” jobs hide their nausea… I’m so lucky that I work from home – I was a HOT MESS for like a month and a half… and I’m positive that, had I just thrown caution to the wind and puked into the trash barrel at my desk everyone around me would just be like “girl… get your shit together and stop drinking so much on school nights!” Who can get away with that?
I love it. This is one of my favorite comment streams yet. I wish my town had a smell! Wait, what?
And agreed, it’s pretty hard to “get away with” puking at work. 🙂
I am a high school teacher but I’m best known in my building as the director of the theatre program. I see my theatre kids more than I see my own family and most of them have been members since they were wee little freshies and 8th graders. During my first trimester I was so sick I had to start cutting back and even cancelling some show practices. The kids thought I was dying! They were literally asking if I’d been to the doctor because they were pretty sure I was going to be pushing up daisies any time now (I’m rarely sick and I almost never miss school). Fast forward to 15 weeks when I felt confident enough to tell them what was going on and they LOST. THEIR. SHIT. They were so excited it was both hilarious and terrifying at once. Baby will be here in November and they just can’t handle the wait. They’ve even named him Megatron, bless their creepy little hearts.
Stephanie – Congratulations! And also, isn’t it funny how excited the kids get about a teacher being pregnant? These kids were SO PUMPED about it and to this day every time I visit with Nolan, which is pretty often, they fight to hold him. They
go nuts. It’s really cute 🙂
No reveal to share. However, “… she’s stealing your beauty!” is one of the best lines I’ve heard, EVER.
It was a really doozy Bianca. And you know kids call it like they see it, so I could feel pretty confident that I was indeed looking like shit. haha
I, too, had to break the news to an entire high school drama club! To make it worse, I was filling in as the director because their previous director was pregnant! Ooops. So the joke was that anyone who became drama club advisor was going to become pregnant, which led to lots of awkwardness and an interesting search for my replacement. The kids instantly decided that the two drama director babies were telepathically chatting and made up voices. As the nurse, I also got a load of VERY personal health related questions. I never thought I would have to remind students it is inappropriate to ask about someone’s menstrual cycle, toilet habits, or to grab their stomach to feel a kick.
Yes, my students took the pregnancy as an open invite to comment on my changing appearance regularly. Since kids don’t BS that stuff I was very clear where I stood, looks-wise, at all times. It was lovely.
I love that the kids were asking about your cycle and bathroom habits! ha!
p.s. I really like how more than one reader today has had to break the news to a drama club 🙂
Weirdly, I can’t remember how we told my parents. I think over dinner at our house but sadly we weren’t clever enough to include any buns or ovens in the meal. Wait – it’s coming back to me – we said something like “well, you guys are going to be grandparents” in response to something, and they totally didn’t get it… even though we were pretty straightforward. I think it must just be shocking for any parent, even when their kids are in their 30’s!
Telling my husband I was pregnant, on the other hand, I’ll never forget. Sitting at my desk at work, I suddenly realized that A. My boobs had hurt for several days, B. I had unexplained digestive issues for 2 weeks, and C. I was late. So I ran out at lunch, got a preg test, and peed on a stick in a stall in the bathroom at work. Nothing like calling your husband from work and he answers the phone “Chang’s House!”, expecting you to chat about dinner or whatever… and it’s “Hey so.. I’m pregnant!” I just couldn’t wait until I got home!
And no, we don’t own a chinese restaurant, it’s just how we greet each other on the phone.
Oh yeah, telling my husband and parents I just busted out with the news. I should have thought it out a little better. When I told my mom she was in the middle of cutting up raw chicken, and I just yelled at her that we were having a baby, and she couldn’t even hug me because she was covered in chicken. Gross. Way to not create a nice moment, Liz.
And I wish I was at Chang’s House right now, I’m starving!
Love this! When I started telling people at work someone said, “I thought your cheeks were getting bigger.” Thanks co-worker, that’s exactly what I wanted to hear after having suffered through 15 weeks of nausea. I just hope she was talking about my face. Either way, not cool.
Michelle, I don’t know why you would say that, I think it’s TOTALLY COOL for people to remark about how big you’re getting when you’re pregnant! 🙂
You’re right! Haa haa. I should have told her, “Thanks! I hope my cheeks get so big they obscure my eyes!” My co-workers were the champions of making me feel special while I was pregnant. Two weeks before I went into labor I started working from home, and someone asked me during my last week in the office when my last day would be, and I told him Friday. He looked me up and down, and said, “It’s time.” That’s right, he looked me up and down. I mean, I don’t know how I couldn’t be walking on cloud nine after that. 🙂
When I finally told everyone at work, the general response was “I [we] knew it”. One of my co-workers said something along the lines of “oh yeah, I could tell because your body is changing. She’s in her mid to late 40s, I’m pretty sure she should have a little more tact.
I pretty much blurted the news to my parents over the phone, but I knew they would be too excited over being first-time grantparents to care.
My husband, on the other hand, announced it to his parents in the weirdest way. My ILs are great, though a little buttoned up. They came over one weekend morning to help my husband with a few things around the house and I was outside weeding the garden. We were saying hellos and chit chatting when my husband came rushing out of the house. He told his Dad that they HAD to get to Home Depot ASAP because our toilet was broken and I was peeing every half an hour because I was 11 weeks pregnant. Cue total silence.
Haha I love this one (specifically the way your husband told his Dad). I especially like the urgency in his tone…
My little guy is the 5th grandchild. He was the third grandchild born in a course of a year! So for my family it was like oh we got another on the way! My parents didn’t even cry! Lol we revealed to our close friends at 3 months with an ecard. Everyone was excited and super shocked. I was starting my senior year of college 6 months preggo! I was able to graduate early and literally two weeks after i was done with school my little munchkin was born! We announced to rest of the world with a fabulous maternity photoshoot!
Woah you really crushed it Leslieknope! I would like to see your entire maternity photoshoot. Maybe we can do a special edition of A Mothership Down highlighting it 🙂