Things You Probably Haven't Thought Of

It's the moment you've been waiting for: you have a positive pregnancy test and you want to tell the world (or just your husband). Do you blurt it out over dinner or do you attempt the more subtle approach?
Marianne Hales Harding

It's the moment you've been waiting for: you have a positive pregnancy test and you want to tell the world (or just your husband). Do you blurt it out over dinner or do you attempt the more subtle approach?

Passing the test
I don't discount blurting. It was my method of choice for telling my husband the good news, after all, and the straightforward method does prevent any misunderstandings. I tried to be a little more coy with two friends of mine who were already mothers. "I just passed a test that I know you both passed," I managed to stammer, with a goofy grin on my face. They looked at me blankly. I reverted to blurting. Sometimes you have to stick with your strengths.

I had always imagined that I would come up with a creative and glorious way to tell my family and friends, but when the moment arrived I was completely awash in the hugeness of the fact that I AM PREGNANT! I couldn't spare a brain cell for any other thought. Perhaps if I had given the idea some substantial thought before that fateful double-line morning I would have come up with something better than "I just passed a test that I know you both passed."

One popular method of spreading the news is a child's T-shirt. If this is your second child it would read "I am going to be a big brother/sister." This also works for the second grandchild in a family ("I am going to be a cousin!"). This works best when you are sending a picture of the child to the interested parties. It loses what little subtlety it has when you have to pluck the child from his/her toys and make sure everyone takes a moment to read the T-shirt. I'm not sure that in the hubbub of a large family gathering anyone would notice such a T-shirt right off the bat and some of us just don't have the patience to wait for the light bulb to go off.

Other creative methods are connected to whatever gift-giving occasion is nearest to the time you want to tell the world your news. Jessi, a GeoParent message board mom, found out about her pregnancy just before her mother-in-law's birthday. She called her and told her that they had gotten her a present, but it was on special order and she wouldn't get to hold it until February (when the baby was due).

Framed ultrasounds are other gifts that scream, "I'm pregnant!" If you don't want to wait for the ultrasound you can simply give a baby picture frame with a note that reads, "Picture to arrive 7/3 (or whenever you are due).

Sparking conversation
One of my coworkers discovered she was pregnant just before her anniversary and so she gave her husband a beautifully wrapped package of baby things over a candle light dinner. Of course you could always make yourself the present, especially if you are a person who doesn't like to tell until you are beginning to show. Showing up for Christmas dinner with a big red bow around your bulging belly is sure to be a conversation starter.

For the first grandchild in a family anything with the word "grandparent" displayed prominently is a gift that says it all. You can give a grandparenting book, a shirt, a mug, a needlepoint pillow, a refrigerator magnet -- anything at all. Toys for "Grandpa's Toy Chest" or children's books for "Grandma's House" also get the message across. You can even simply call your mother and ask for "Grandma." (This works best, of course, if your grandmother doesn't live with your mother.)

Some people go to great lengths to create an elaborate message for their friends and family. My favorite is the couple that gathered their unsuspecting family at a nice restaurant to celebrate their anniversary. As soon as they sat down one of them excused themselves to go to the bathroom and, instead, handed special "menus" to the waitress. A few minutes later the waitress arrived at the table, introduced herself, and said, "These are tonight's specials" as she handed out the fake menus. The only options under "Tonight's Specials 2003" were "Girl: a beautiful blend of your favorite daughter and son-in-law. What a sweet girl she will be!" and "Boy: a cuddly blend of your favorite son-in-law and daughter. What a charming little boy he will be!" In bold lettering at the bottom it read "We're having a baby!" and the fine print underneath read "All forms of payment are accepted, including love, hugs, kisses, cookies, play dates, ice cream, tender moments etc."

There are as many ways to tell people you are pregnant as there are women who are telling. Let your imagination run wild. Just remember to quickly confirm their tentative excitement -- no one wants to shout out, "Are you pregnant?" if you're not. A successful creative telling, though, is a story you can tell for years to come.


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