I had planned how I was going to announce my pregnancy months before I was actually expecting. My husband and I had been trying for a while, so I had time to obsess over how we would share our big news, down to the tiniest detail. Unfortunately, the long anticipated moment didn't go as I had envisioned. Afterward, I felt as if I'd had the wind taken out of my sails. But I soon realized that just because my big reveal was a flop, it didn't mean I couldn't be excited about being pregnant. This less-than-perfect moment was also great preparation for what was to come.
In my mind, I planned to announce my pregnancy during our Thanksgiving meal. I pictured my family taking their turns around the table saying what they were thankful for. Then our 5-year-old daughter would announce, "I am thankful that we are going to have a baby brother or sister soon." Yay! Everyone would be shocked, thrilled and over-the-moon excited! Cue the hugs, tears, toasts and joy.
As we sat around the table leading up to her big moment, my daughter got cold feet. She didn't want to say her line. I took her into the bathroom, and we rehearsed one last time. "You can do this!" I encouraged her. She assured me she really wanted to be the one to share our baby news.
After returning to the table, it took several minutes of coaxing to get her to finally blurt out that she was looking forward to having another little brother or sister. Her giant announcement was met with silence. Crickets. Then, my family members chimed in with a chorus of "What? Huh?" They'd missed it.
My daughter became upset and refused to repeat what she had said. Eventually, it was made clear that I was pregnant. "Oh, wow." Everyone seemed to be in a state of shock, including me. How could my perfect pregnancy reveal have gone so wrong?
That night I felt completely deflated. Ugh. It was as if I'd been drained of every exciting thought I'd had about adding a third baby to our family. But then my husband pulled me aside and said, "It doesn't matter how other people feel about the baby. What matters is how we feel." Yes! I realized he was right.
And this wasn't the only moment during my pregnancy that did not go according to plan. In fact, if anything, the experience of our announcement flop prepared me for what would soon fly in my direction. From debilitating morning sickness to several instances of false labor, pregnancy this time was nothing like what I'd fantasized. Even my delivery was not what I expected.
So my advice to any mom whose pregnancy reveal doesn't go according to plan is to focus on how you feel about being pregnant. You don't have control over how others will greet your news. Consider the many things about pregnancy that are out of your hands: the due date, food cravings and nasty side effects. Your reveal is hardly the only thing that may not play out how you want it to. Maybe a crummy reveal is good training for your journey ahead!