Is there anything more exciting, terrifying, life altering, or mind blowing than announcing your first pregnancy?
I remember I was so eager to share the news that I could hardly wait for the pee to dry on the pregnancy test before I was texting pictures of it to my friends and family.
Never mind the fact that you can see my underwear around my ankles in the background and there are pee stains on the viewing window, I’m having a baby!
I’ve never really been one for dramatics or artful presentations: you can tell by looking at my hair and clothes most days. There are some people out there who take their pregnancy announcements to the level of performance art. I once knew a couple who announced the presence of their first “bun in the oven” by putting an actual bun in an actual oven and telling their parents to check on dinner.
I’ve heard of couples that revealed their news to their families during a rousing game of charades, over the radio through a song dedication, through cryptic puzzles and spelled out in icing on a cake. The sky is the limit on creative ways to share your most joyful news with the ones you love: the sky, your free time, amount of energy, and budget, that is.
My anxious, urine soaked photo paled in comparison to the dramatic geniuses getting pregnant out there every day.
And that was my first pregnancy.
The one thing all the couples above have in common is that the pregnancies they were announcing were their first. By the time the second, third, fourth, or (God help me!) later pregnancy comes around there simply isn’t time to plan an intricate reveal. There are other things that take immediate precedence, like sleep, diaper changes, more sleep, nipple cream, butt paste, sleep again, and Game of Thrones.
When I found out I was pregnant with my second son, I quietly told my very close friends and family, then waited a few weeks before sending individual messages to the rest of my friends who had probably figured it out by then, but were too polite to ask why I was fat and green all the time. Bless them.
There were no theatrics, no fireworks, no deceptions, and no formal announcement gatherings. I had a two year old and a migraine instead.
With my third pregnancy, I hid in the bathroom upstairs, alone, peeing on the familiar stick to confirm my secret suspicions. Once verified, I casually dropped the news into conversation with my husband first and then my mom later that day:
Husband: So, what would you like to do today?
Me: I don’t know, but I’ll tell you what I already did: got knocked up!
Mom: I’ve been on a diet for a couple weeks now. Do I look thinner to you?
Me: Yeah, a little. Do I look fatter?
Me: Because I’m pregnant.
That was about as creative as it was going to get.
While my second pregnancy announcement was simple, quiet, and personal, my third was quick and dirty. Kind of like the conception.
In my slightly terrified, sleep deprived, hormonal frenzy I decided to announce my accidental third pregnancy to the world via the internet. Surprise friends, family, and a bunch of strangers I’ve never met!
It was a one shot, all in, game changing announcement that required minimal effort on my part. Exactly like the conception.
Hey, once you’ve gained 50 pounds twice, had your vagina sewn back together twice, had milk leak from your boob in public more times than I want to count, and somehow agreed to do it all over again, nothing is sacred. Which brings me back to my original thought: you can tell how many children a woman already has by how she announces her pregnancy.
First pregnancy announcements are creative and full of excitement.
Second pregnancy announcements are quiet and full of joy.
Third pregnancy announcements are loud and full of embarrassing and revealing information.
I’m not sure what happens if you have a fourth pregnancy; maybe this is the point when you stop announcing them and simply show up to the next family reunion with an extra kid. Would anyone really notice at that point anyway? I’ll let you know if I ever find out.
If I’m not too tired.