Man, I was re-reading some of my blog posts about being pregnant with Roman and I had forgotten how many little details I managed to capture! My life has been so different this year, and obviously regular blogging has fallen to the wayside, but I want my precious little daughter to have some recorded moments of the things that have made this pregnancy special.
Apparently it’s my MO to take pregnancy tests when my husband is at work, so once again I found myself in a position of knowing this HUGE AMAZING SECRET before him and having to decide how to tell him. For a second time, I found myself daydreaming a myriad of grand schemes to present the information, but just as I did 2 years earlier I decided that simple and fast was best. I left the positive test on the bathroom sink and then turned on my iPhone as he came through the door (betting that his first stop would be to take a pee). Roman was my decoy as I could proclaim I was just filming him (as I often do). Of course Troy dilly-dallied that day and I had to turn off the camera for a few minutes before being sure he was headed to the bathroom. He spotted the test immediately and beamed a smile. It was a reassuring reaction, and confirmation that we would get through this together. I would share the video, but honestly, I felt like my response to his reaction was stupid, so…
(Not) Telling Family:
The early weeks were just as nerve wracking the second time as they were the first. I worried over the strength of my little embryo knowing I would just have to wait until my 8 week scan to see that things were progressing normally. We wanted to wait to tell our parents until we knew that our pregnancy was viable.
The first hurdle was my mother-in-law’s extravagant birthday party at a hotel restaurant where all the many courses are carefully paired with wine for the ultimate dining experience. We were only 4 days post-pregnancy test and I was too nervous to drink a bunch of wine. Troy and I needed to plot a way that I could get by without drinking or raising suspicions. After the 8 of us were seated at our table in a private room and I had already declared several times I AM DESIGNATED DRIVER TONIGHT, GUYS, OK, DON’T BE WEIRD ABOUT IT, I excused myself to the bathroom and tracked down our head waiter. I told him my predicament, he told me that I’m not the first time this has happened, and we agreed that I would get poured a teeny tiny splash of wine with every course (no charge) so I wouldn’t look too out of place. A brilliant plan! They even made sure to pour me last so that everyone else was busy sniffing, swirling, and slurping their wine to pay me much notice. At the end of the night as my wine-infused father-in-law studied the bill for a fortnight I thought we were busted for sure, but he signed without mentioning anything odd. All in all it worked like a charm with one exception: as we were all hugging goodbye a tipsy Aunt Di pulled a slightly inebriated Troy aside and said that from across the table she noticed the small pours and even smaller sips and was Shannon pregnant?? He said that he could neither confirm nor deny, but please don’t tell anyone. So that was a giveaway. *eyeroll*
Next, I had already planned a weekend away at the coast with my mom. She was undoubtedly the toughest to keep a secret from because I was properly raised to feel absolutely horrible lying to her. Omission was an ethical gray area I could handle, though, so I just had to make sure our conversations never came close to the topic of kids/pregnancy/huge life changes/etc. I made it through a 2 hour car ride of intimate conversation with nary a slip-up, and knew the rest of the weekend would be a breeze - after all we had some cool activities planned and those would be the center of attention with plenty of fodder for conversation. We checked into our hotel, and left to get dinner at Pickled Fish. Service went like this:
Server: Can I get any drinks started for you?
Mom: I’ll have a glass of wine.
Me: I’ll just stick with water, thanks.
Mom: Oh, you aren’t drinking alcohol?
Me: [PANIC FACE! I WASN’T EXPECTING AN INTERROGATION AND HADN’T COME UP WITH A PLAUSIBLE EXCUSE FOR NOT DRINKING ALCOHOL AT A TODDLER FREE DINNER] *says nothing*
Mom: OMG ARE YOU PREGNANT?
Me: [SHIT SHIT SHIT, SAY ANYTHING EXCEPT YES] *says nothing*
Mom: OMG OMG OMG! YOU’RE PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!
I can’t believe she didn’t go up to every table individually to tell them she was going to be a grandma again, she was that excited. I believe the word is “bursting.” Her reaction was wonderful and silly and full of love - a perfect example of my mom. She announced that this baby would be called Pickle, in honor of our location, and we celebrated with an extra gooey and delicious s’mores dessert.
Mom learned our happy little secret when I was only 5 1/2 weeks pregnant, which is pretty early and before confirmation of a heartbeat (although I did go to the doctors to have my HGC levels assessed a couple of times, and they were going up at a normal rate). She agreed to keep it to herself until we were ready to make the announcement to the rest of the family. Luckily it was only a couple of weeks later that we heard our baby’s strong heartbeat and began telling everyone else, all in different little ways.
My Nana has proudly taken it upon herself to be Roman’s “Napping Station” since he was a teeny tiny baby. To this day she will dutifully hold him in her chair for over 2 hours as he snoozes away, preferring the comfort of her arms to any bed. So to announce Pickle’s arrival we wrote up a contract that extended her napping station duties to include two babies, along with an extra set of muslin blankets. She was thrilled! I just wish I had a picture!
For Troy’s Dad and step-mom we took a casual approach and went for dinner one evening with Roman sporting a “Best Big Brother in the World” t-shirt and waited for them to notice. We ended up having to ask them to read his shirt, but it was a fun way to break the news!
With Troy’s mom we had the opportunity to visit her at her beach house in Newport, and we brought with us a card and a small basket of raspberries, since that’s how big Pickle was at the time. I think she was confused at first, but we got there.
My dad I had to tell over the phone since he lives in Sacramento, but it was still a lovely moment and conversation. We were excited to do a mini gender reveal with him when he came to visit in August.
During my last pregnancy I had a falling out with my employer (and a resulting firing) which meant I didn’t have to worry about how it was going to affect my career. This time I was in a real office setting , with coworkers and responsibilities, and was incredibly nervous to announce my pregnancy. There were at least three other pregnant ladies in the office at the time and everyone seemed very supportive and excited for them, but then again, they had been there for much longer - I hadn’t even clocked in a year yet! Not only that, but my position was only on contract for one more year, and I was worried that going on maternity leave would limit my chances at a permanent position. So I waited. And almost told my supervisor. But waited some more. As luck would have it a permanent position opened up in July and I got the job! Now I felt guilty that I hadn’t said anything. I was holding onto this big secret all darn summer, and it was making me uncomfortable especially considering the really good rapport I had with my supervisor. Finally one day we were alone in the Cove (as our work space is called) and she starts talking about our coworker who recently went on maternity leave, and I felt like it was now or never so I took a deep breath and started walking to her desk and she yells “You are! Aren’t you?” And I was like “omg yes! I thank you for starting this conversation! I was so nervous!” And she was like “I’ve known for a month! I’m so excited for you, congratulations!” I walked away from that conversation feeling really good, and the support hasn’t stopped. There were no side eyes from my new team when I transitioned positions. I haven’t been excluded from discussions about the future. They made it clear that our department has a “family first” attitude and it has been easy getting help navigating benefits and setting up maternity leave. Based on the horror stories I read on message boards, I’m incredibly grateful to have such an understanding work environment!
I mentioned in my last post that we were able to learn the sex of our baby way ahead of time, and we didn’t want to delay knowing for a second! For Roman we let my mom surprise us, and this time we got to surprise her. Actually, it was Roman who got to spill the beans #youknowilovepuns
Apparently it wasn’t much of a surprise, she had just gotten back from a trip to France and Spain and had picked up a baby girl onesie from the Guggenheim Museum! She has awesome mother’s intuition!
So, my dear Strangers, those have been some of the joyful highlights from this pregnancy. As of the day I post this I am 35 weeks 2 days pregnant, and know it’s not long before we get to meet our girl! Grant me energy and I will post at least once more before the big day. Whoa! For now, goodnight. Zzzz