Friday, June 16, 2017

How to tell the world you are expecting- in ten easy steps

As you may have guessed by the title, I have some big news.  In the form of a big (and growing bigger by the day) belly.  And, no, it is not due to all those French pastries.  At the ripe young age of forty-ish (indistinct grumbling) ahem years old, I am five months along with baby number two.

Frankly, it took me a while to get used to the news as I peered at my drugstore pregnancy test.
And then I started telling other people.  Seems easy enough but there is something of a fine art and maybe a bit of protocol to telling your entourage such news.  If you find yourself in this situation, I have now created this guide...just...for... YOU!

1. Tell your significant other.  Seems logical enough to start with the father.  Remi was pleasantly surprised though we had both hoped a second child would come along.  Just took a bit longer than expected.

2. Tell your doctor.  In France at least, the next step is seeing your GP to get a blood test to confirm. My doc started yawning half-way through my rehearsed speech (yes, I do rehearse these kinds of things) and asked my matter-of-factly if I wanted to keep it.  I guess he sees all kinds of situations and never knows what state of mind the mother-to-be may be in.  "Of course!" I said.

3. Tell your work bestie who will find out shortly anyway (see step #4).  My great friend Caro was kind of the litmus test.  Her reaction warmed me immensely as she started shrieking with happiness on the phone.  If she was happy for me, I knew most of my friends and family would be, too!

4. Tell your boss.  Although there is apparently no legal obligation to tell your boss before the first three months, it is recommended in France.  Pregnant women are protected from firing in most cases as well.  My stressed-out boss started giggling uncontrollably after congratulating me.  Could have something to do with the fact that my co-worker had just told him the same news a month earlier about herself.

5.Tell your family members.  Now when you live overseas this gets tricky.  I needed to find a time to call them and find a way to naturally slip this sort of news in the conversation.  When I asked my sis if we could FaceTime during her lunch break, she got suspicious.  She knew something was up. For my mom, I told her to make sure she was sitting down.  With my dad, I told him they might need to slow the pace during our upcoming summer trip as I would be a bit "weighed down".

6.  Tell your GYN.  I had tried to call her first.  But she had retired since I last visited her.  So I went ahead and made the appointment with the OB/GYN department at the hospital.  I was frankly a bit worried about being judged for being an over-forty mom.  And though they said it is not highly common, they do see other moms in my age group.  No judging here!

7. Tell your first-born.  Was stressing this one.  As an only child for eight years, Juliette didn't quite know what to make of the news.  At first she said she wanted to stay an only child (too late for that). Thus ensued about a month of unconcealed animosity towards her unborn sibling. Once she saw the size of some baby clothes a friend lent me, she realized this little creature would be like a doll at first. Now she is eager to meet her new baby sibling. But I know it will be a bumpy ride for a while there.

8. Tell your in-laws.  They, too, were taken aback.  My MIL said something to the extent that I wouldn't be going back to work (as some French moms take up to two years off with the second child, though not paid at their full salary, mind you).  My FIL said there would be a big age difference between the two (nine years when baby arrives in October).  I reminded him there are 17 years between him and his youngest brother.  They have both said positive things since then, but they are, how to say, old school French!

9. Tell the rest of your friends.  Do not be offended if I didn't personally tell you by phone or text or FB messenger of my news.  Time differences and time constraints have made it difficult to do so. Plus, it is tough to just announce this kind of thing in a messenger conversation when we don't always communicate through this medium but more by comments on FB or the occasional email.  So, friends, consider yourself now fully informed!

10.  Tell Facebook.  Debated when and how to divulge this information.  No, I didn't have to but as it is starting to show, and I will no doubt post pictures of bébé on social media one day, might as well tell all.  'Tis the modern world.  At least I didn't tweet it.  (@world: baby on way. If u don't congratulate me, ur a loser! #preggers).  Nah, I chose the blog route, true to form.

Did I leave anyone out?  Like I said, no hard feelings if you are just now discovering this news. Better late than never. I'll leave you with a pic of the proud sister-to-be and me.