|This isn't my favorite photo, but here's the bump|
Mickey was eager to tell the world, but I felt much more reluctant. I knew our friends with children would welcome us to their club, but I felt I was somehow betraying our friends without children; I guess I didn't want to tell them that we were leaving their club. However, people have a way of surprising you and defying your expectations.
I was sure that my friend Jennie would have guessed my news because she's incredibly astute and I was sure she'd have noticed that I no longer had a wine with dinner. She hadn't noticed, though, and was delighted. Likewise, our friends Bryan and Lisa (who aren't planning a family) were nearly ecstatic to hear that we were expecting a baby. Their pure joy was quite touching to me.
Telling my boss was a bit of a funny story. We were en route to a meeting when I was feeling very ill. I warned him, "Jack, I might throw up in your car and I've brought some barf bags, but it's because I'm pregnant." He's been very understanding and supportive. In fact, I walked into work yesterday to find a new, fancy chair at my desk. I've experienced some back pain in recent weeks and this ergonomic upgrade couldn't have been more welcome.
Telling my family was still nerve-wracking, but fun. Of course my mom is overjoyed and wants to talk about the baby daily. She's been incredibly good about never once asking us in four years when we would have a baby, though she really wanted to be a granny. My Aunt Tina's reaction was one of the sweetest. She began to tear up and embraced me and said, "I don't want to let you go." She said to my mom, "our baby is having a baby!" I'm nearly thirty, but I guess I'm still their baby.
Telling Mickey's family was different. I didn't feel nearly as nervous because I feel like it was his news to share. I felt like I could sit back and just wait for the words of congratulations. Mickey's parents and sister are really excited for us and I've been grateful for my sister-in-law's advice. She walked us through the baby aisles of Target and explained what all the baby gear is for. Other members of Mickey's family seemed to have a 'we guessed it already' or 'it's about time' sort of reaction. I wasn't thrilled with those responses because they almost cheapened the experience of telling them.
There will always be cultural differences between me and my in-laws, though, and they have a slightly different attitude toward starting a family. For lots of Mickey's family and cousins, having a baby is simply what you do after you get married. Perhaps they viewed our moving to Switzerland and Australia as unusual diversions from a proper life path.
In their own ways, everyone has expressed their happiness for us and that in turn makes me happy. Many people mentioned some really high expectations for our little one. People generously say that our babe will be beautiful, smart and kind. Are they just being nice or do they really believe that? I worry that s/he won't be able to live up to those expectations. If our baby is just average I know that I will still love her, but maybe other people would be disappointed.
I'm expecting the little one to be born red and squished like lots of newborns. I imagine my biological instinct/hormones will help me love the little alien creature right away, but that she might grow cuter to others as she gets fatter and less red. That's my hope anyway.
I refer to the baby as 'she,' but I do not actually know the sex of the baby. Though Mickey would rather know now, we'll be surprised when it arrives.