So last night we decided to make it “official” that we are expecting (as if the real baby growing in my belly isn’t official enough) by telling our parents about our little friend. We put it off a little longer – a couple months – than I think others may think standard to notify close family because we wanted to have private time with Bebe before the circus begins. Several weeks ago, there had been a few days when I felt tremendously sick and sad and just wanted to tell my mom, but I staved it off and now I’m really glad I did. I understand that it’s not a choice for everyone, but I’m glad we waited to tell the fam because I feel like me, my husband, and the baby had a special time together when we all had our secret romance together.
First we Skyped my mom and my brother to tell them together. The big excuse for the call, which I had suspiciously been reminding them of every day for the past week, was the eve of my brother’s 26th birthday. My mom was talking about how 26 years ago that night, she was feeling miserable and huge and trying to assure my dad that she indeed had no baby in her and did not need to go to the hospital, a la Pam from The Office. I then commented, “That’s funny; I don’t feel too bad right now. I guess everyone’s different.”
She got it right away and was super-excited to hear that our plan to get pregnant this year had panned out. She promptly got down to the dutiful mommy business of worrying about me and fretting over being here when the baby comes. She’s an ESL teacher and I could immediately tell that her inner monologue was, “But Spring Break is in March…what if the baby comes in – God forbid – April?!” She really wants us to live closer to home, Memphis, but I reminded her that North Carolina is a heck of a lot closer than our previous abode in Seoul, South Korea. She then half-jokingly checked to see if we would be up for having the baby in Memphis. I love my mom and am so glad to finally be making her a first-time Nana, or Mimi, or whatever bizarre grandmother name she receives.
Then my brother arrived to the Skype convo and immediately started the conversation in the same way he usually starts them: “What’s cookin’?” I tried to make him guess but my husband got exasperated with me and my inclination to unnecessarily prolong things and I finally told him. My brother’s response was very gratifying for me: he literally dropped his jaw. He’s going to be a great uncle.
Then we called my husband’s parents. Unfortunately, his dad has been in the hospital for several weeks for a prolonged illness. When we first found out he had been admitted, I wanted to tell them because it would obviously give my in-laws something to look forward to once Ben’s dad had recovered. But my husband pointed out that if something were to happen during these fragile first months, it would not be encouraging to have to deliver the news to them.
Luckily, my mother-in-law was at the hospital when my husband called so they got the news at the same time. Her reaction was extremely exuberant. She’s been hoping for a grandchild from us for awhile now and was excited enough when I told her a few months back that we were going to start trying to conceive, so when she got the news that we were expecting, she was elated. She’s already a fantastic Bubby to my husband’s nieces and nephews, so I can’t wait to see her in action with Bebe.
When my husband told his dad, I could immediately tell that it really lifted his spirits and gave him a reprieve from the annoyances and frustrations of not having his health on his side right now. Any prolonged stay in a hospital is trying to say the least, so the knowledge that his son was going to be a dad is sure to be an encouragement.
This morning I told my aunt who I am very close with. Some of my most treasured keepsakes are pictures of her holding me when I was an infant and me holding her sweet little girl when she was an infant. Throughout my life, one of the odd things I’ve fantasized about and become fixated on was the moment when I tell her that I’m going to have a baby. She responded exactly as I knew she would: with glee and the reassurance that I’m going to be a great mom and that although my family has been through a lot through the years, they are a fantastic group of people to be surrounded with during this time.
You may have noticed that I didn’t mention telling my dad about the pregnancy. Sadly, he passed away unexpectedly ten years ago when I was in college. I’ve lived through a lot without him now: finishing college and graduate school, getting married, living and working in Korea, and countless adventures in-between. But as the span of time gets longer, I’m almost glad and certainly reassured that the pain of losing him still means a lot to me. There’s still a lot I can learn from the example he left me and how grieving through the loss of him makes me a stronger person, a person who’s more fit to be a parent. Needless to say, I love him a lot and rest in the knowledge that he’s aware of the joy we’re feeling over the upcoming arrival of Bebe.