I’m excited to get started on all of the things we have to do to get ready for the baby. There’s tons to buy (more on that in a future blog, no doubt) and we have to make a bedroom for the kid (JJ’s already been recruited for painting duty). It’s a bit early to get started on all that, but in the meantime we can still have a lot of fun telling everyone the news.
Before I get into individual stories, it probably makes sense to set the stage with respect to timing.
October 19 – Pee stick informs Meg that she has something growing inside of her.
October 20 – Meg tells Jay that she’s knocked up.
October 21-22 – Villanova Homecoming. It’s our 5 year reunion, so a bunch of our friends that we don’t get to see often were coming.
November 7 – Meg’s birthday, and the first time we’ll really get to see our families.
November 23 – Thanksgiving, which becomes basically a last ditch effort to see people to tell them.
A bunch of people were surprised to hear this, but our families were not the ones we told first. We didn’t want to do it over the phone and there was no way we could keep our mouths shut. Besides, this meant Meg wouldn’t be drinking at homecoming, which would inevitably cause questions.
No disrespect to anyone we told, but there were a few people who had a particular funny reaction, or we had a really cool surprise way of telling, that I want to make sure we have recorded. It’s kinda long, so get settled in.
Rob and Jen
A few years ago, I was at work and got an instant message from Rob.
“Are you and Meg engaged yet?”
“Cool. I win.”
Don’t get us wrong, it’s not that we had some sort of competition going on, but it was a damn funny way of telling me he was engaged. Now we found ourselves at homecoming, waiting on line for beer.
“Is Jen pregnant yet?”
“Cool. I win.”
While that was funny, the best part of this announcement was still to come. A split second later, his face turns serious.
“This isn’t good.”
I honestly had no idea what he was talking about. He went on to explain that he and Jen have an agreement that within 2 months of one of his close friends getting pregnant they’d start trying. When we got back to the group and he told Jen, she got all excited for us, hugged Meg, and then immediately turned to Rob.
Sorry dude, if I knew I could have bought you a few months.
Kristy and Brad
Brad is my jiu-jitsu instructor (cheap plug) and Kristy is his wife. It might seem like a random set of people to be excited to tell about our pregnancy, but there is more there than you’d think. In fact, I was actually really excited to tell Kristy.
Kristy is one of, and in most cases the only, girls who trains jiu-jitsu with our class. She knows her shit and isn’t afraid to hit the mats and beat the shit out of the guys (don’t get me wrong, she’s not butch or scary at all). Many moons ago when I first started training, her and I used to talk a lot. It turns out, she and Brad were getting married the week before Meg and I. Somehow, that led to a really weird situation. We’d spend the class trying to break each others’ arms, only to sit on the mats at the end of the night talking about wedding stuff. Well, talking is a bit of a stretch; everyone reading this knows I didn’t “talk” about the wedding, I bitched about it.
Back in August, when I started training again, Kristy was still regularly at the gym. However, since my return we haven’t had a chance to fight each other yet, since she was 6 months pregnant at the time. I now found myself spending my post-training cooldown talking about baby stuff. In doing so, I told her Meg and I were trying. She was the perfect outlet: disconnected from all other friends and family, and even better, she was pregnant herself.
By the time Meg got pregnant, Kristy was 9 months pregnant and ready to pop. We were once again following her and Brad in life events. I wasn’t sure when I’d actually see her in class again, but sure enough, the first class after I found out there was Kristy, waddling around on the training mats. We talked about how she was doing and all the normal “When the hell is that baby finally going to want to come out?” stuff. After that, she followed up the way she did every week.
“So how’s Meg?”
Every time she asked how Meg was, I knew she was waiting to hear if she was pregnant. I think it still took her by shock, but once it sank in she jumped up and hugged me. Amazingly, I was able to touch her shoulders despite the seemingly 15 month pregnant belly she was carrying around.
A few of the guys I train with were around and congratulated me with an air of “Thank God it’s you and not me”. Brad came by shortly after and Kristy excitedly told him the news. He turned and looked at me with a completely serious face.
“You mean you had intercourse?”
He started laughing right after, but his reaction was something I had often thought about. Whenever someone finds out you are trying to have a baby, the reaction usually is “Oh, thats so exciting.” The underlying fact in that conversation is that you were just congratulated for having a lot of sex. Somehow, that part of it is lost and becomes acceptable when its for the goal of a baby. It’s also why it’s really obnoxious to pester a newly married couple, asking if they were trying to have a baby right away. Leave me, my sex life, and my wife’s womb alone, we’ll tell you when there is news.
A quick follow up on this. Kristy had the baby on November 8, a healthy, long baby girl named Ryan. I was pushing for the 7th, which is Meg’s birthday. On another creepy synergy between Brad/Kristy and me/Meg, I was talking to Kristy on Thursday before class.
“Did you get a due date?”
“Ya, July 1, though the whole thing is so unexact that it’s basically just that week.”
“That’s so weird, Brad’s birthday is July 2nd.”
So, based on the exact science of coincidence with Brad and Kristy in life events, my prediction is the baby is born on July 3rd.
It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that I was really excited to tell my parents. The original plan was to wait until the weekend of Meg’s birthday. That was taking too long, so we made up a totally bullshit excuse to go see them on an earlier weekend. Thankfully, they didn’t see through it. I did managed to mildly piss off my dad with the excuse, but that was a casualty I was willing to accept, knowing the news was a get out of jail free card waiting in the wings.
I still owed my mother another birthday present, so we totally reused the picture frame idea. We picked up a grandparents type picture frame and reused the “Picture due in July” concept. She initially “Aww”ed at the frame. She then began to count on her fingers the time between then and July. Coming up with less than 9 months, she quickly put two and two together to come up with baby.
The ensuing series of shouts, hugs, and happy dances made my dad wonder just what the hell DVD I bought my mother to evoke such a reaction. Once I explained what happened (my mom was still parading around the house in the background), he was full of both shock and happiness the likes of which I haven’t seen in him before.
We attempted to tell them the rest of the relevant stories and details over the course of the next two hours. For a while, it was hard to keep my mom in her seat, with her breaking out into another iteration of the happy dance. At one point she leapt up and I suddenly found myself with the phone as JoLynn congratulated me. On another occasion, I had to stop her from calling my grandparents so that Meg and I could tell them the news in person.
Babci and Grandpa
In case you can’t see the theme here, I love the idea of surprising people with the news. Babci and Grandpa are my grandparents on my dad’s side. In case you don’t know, “Babci” is Polish for “grandma” and “Grandpa” is English for “grandpa.” I’m not sure how my sister and I never really got into using the Polish word for grandpa, which I won’t bother typing out since it would throw my spell checker into a seizure and I’d probably break a finger in the process (yes JJ, I reused the Wiarolomny joke, but no one reading this other than you knows the original reference so it’s funny again).
That did give me a nice path to tell them about the baby. I wanted to somehow ask them how to say great-babci in Polish. I told my parents of the plan ahead of time, which comes up later in the story.
When we got to their house, I honestly forgot we had to tell them about the baby. So a solid 30 minutes pass of us all just talking. I finally remembered when I noticed both my mother and father sweating profusely in anticipation. I actually enjoyed this, and made them suffer longer than necessary.
My dad helped to set things up, somehow transitioning the conversation into him learning more Polish. I finally asked about great-babci, and then followed up with “Good, because you’re going to be one in July.” Tears, smiles, and the three generations of males did the family shot of Crown Royal in celebration. For the record, my grandfather and father could both drink me under the table with that stuff; my college self is embarrassed.
Meg didn’t tell Melissa so much as Melissa just flat out guessed. The tradition with these two for the past few years has been to develop a nice, hearty Thanksgiving appetite by spending the night before drinking until they can no longer feel feelings. As the time approached this year, Melissa gave Meg a call to plan their annual braincell extermination.
“Are we going out the night before Thanksgiving?”
“Is there something you have to tell me?”
Personally, I think Melissa was already suspicious. About two weeks before, they went to dinner. Meg simply ordered a Sprite, which apparently (I wasn’t there, but let’s be honest, even if I was I would exaggerate the actual events anyway) prompted an inquisition from Melissa. This was followed by Melissa outlining the nutritional pros and cons of Sprite, such as it being caffeine free. I interpret this seemingly odd conversation as Melissa analyzing out why Meg would suddenly have a desire for Sprite.