I suppose it's time to learn how to cope with this loss of control since I'm growing a tiny human in my body, and life as I know it is about to become more unpredictable than ever before.
As we sat in the car ride down to my in laws house, trying desperately not to ruin the giant baked cookies bouncing around in the trunk, we rehearsed how we would share the news. It would be simple; we'd sit down for dinner all together, and as conversations started to die down and plates began to empty, we would announce that we brought desert and we would exit to the car to grab the boxes of cookies. Upon our return, we would open the boxes and display our news for everyone to see, followed by hugs and kisses and congratulations.
But as we pulled up to the house, there was an unfamiliar vehicle sitting in the driveway that I didn't recognise. And as we made our way into the house, I realized that my father-in-law had invited their missionary family to join us at dinner, even though he knew we were planning the big reveal tonight.
The problem wasn't that I was worried about sharing our news with the missionaries, it was that I only had enough cookies for the number of people I thought were coming. And those cookies were all decorated perfectly with each and every family members name, preordained with the title of Aunt, Uncle, Grandma, Grandpa, Great Grandma and Great Grandpa.
And being the obsessive compulsive planner that I am, the thought of my perfect night being ruined by a lack of pre-decorated cookies was about enough to cause this hormonally challenged pregnant girl to cancel the entire execution of our reveal.
Seeing my anxiousness, my father in law attempted his best shot at covering up his mistake by calling up a cousin to explain that we were short on desert, and asking her to purchase store bought dough, bake similar sized cookies and bring them to the house so the missionaries wouldn't be left out.
Which would have worked beautifully, except that the cousin asked to take care of his mistake was at the nail salon getting her toes done. So by the time she had finished her pedicure, ran to the store while trying not to smudge her freshly painted toes, purchased the dough and baked the cookies, we had already been done with dinner for over an hour.
And as I helped clean up the mess in the kitchen while the rest of the family sat around making forced small talk, waiting for this strangely secretive desert, the missionary family decided it was getting late and it was time for them to take there three small children back to where they were staying to pack and get ready for their departure the next day.
I watched the five reasons my perfect plan had gone horribly wrong say their goodbyes and head through the crowd to the back door.
And just as I thought I was going to burst out in a blood curdling scream of anger, frustration and pure self pity, cousin Amy blew through the back door holding a plate full of ginormous chocolate chip cookies, bless her heart.
We didn't waste a second of this precious distraction. We both raced over to the nook where the boxes of cookies were hid under a pile of newspaper and brought them into the center of the kitchen. I remember fighting with the lid to my box as my husband made some embarrassing comment then yelled out, We're Pregnant before I even knew it was time to reveal.
Once again, he just couldn't hold it in until the appropriate time.
Lucky for him, before I could even comprehend what had just happened there were hugs, congratulations and cookies being eaten all around. It felt so strange to answer questions about when the baby was due, if this happened naturally or with treatment, and how far along I was. Something that had previously been a secret was now public knowledge, and it felt all wrong-and so right-at the same time.
It wasn't until later that I found out my surprise that night at my husbands premature reveal was shared by only his youngest sister and one set of his grandparents. Being the awesome secret keeper that he is, he had already shared the news with one set of grandparents, his brother, sister, aunt, uncle-and yes-even the missionaries.
So the Costco lady was not his first breach of our contract.
But after a very real threat to not share the news even with him next time until after I'm well into the second trimester, I just had to forgive and forget.
The boy is excited. He's going to be a father by next Spring, and even the wrath of his newly pregnant wife wasn't enough to douse the fire of pride he's been building for the last few months. He doesn't share my fears and will probably never fully understand them, so for him, this news is just too much to keep stuffed inside his big, fat, secret-spoiling head.
As for my families smaller reveal there was genuine surprise, thought the day still didn't go quite as smooth as the picture in my head.
We had planned a family dinner with just my brother and his fiance and her two kids, and my sister and her husband and their two kids at my parents house on Sunday afternoon. The dinner was to celebrate our families recent wedding anniversary's, and although they didn't know, we would also be watching the CD of our family pictures afterwards, complete with the added pictures of the two of us holding our positive pregnancy test.
But my sister works early on Sunday mornings, and decided that she wouldn't be able to make it to dinner on Sunday afternoon because my two nephews just couldn't possibly survive without their naps, and they wouldn't take them if they were around all of us at our parents house. Then she decided that we should just wait to get together until our family pictures were done, so that we could watch them all together.
So the first surprise went out the window when we had to tell her that the family pictures were, in fact, done.
But she still wouldn't cooperate and make it to dinner. So we ended up telling her she had to be at my parents house no later than 4pm so we could watch the pictures together before church at 5pm that night. But as the rest of us sat there enjoying our dinner, my sister-in-law reminded us that the kids all had to be at church about twenty minutes early that night to practice an upcoming youth night skit.
And my sister didn't make it to my parents until twenty after 4pm.
So as we rushed into the living room and started to play the CD of our family photos, everyone enjoyed the first fifteen minutes of them but began to nervously check there watches towards the end to see if we were going to be able to finish them before it was time to leave for church. And as the last six pictures of my husband and I holding up our pregnancy test flashed across the screen, no one was really looking.
My heart was pounding with nervousness and excitement as my mom finally yelled out what's that? and pointed to the screen. I remember my sister's face, and my sister in-law as they stared at the pictures with the most priceless confused looks on their faces.
My ever excited husband predictably yelled out it's a positive pregnancy test and we're pregnant, so no one would have to guess, and my still confused sister asked if I was going to have a baby.
Well, I sure hope so.
Once again, our news was welcomed with hugs and congratulations and I found myself answering the same questions all over again, but with a bit more excitement and relief this time around.
As hard as it was to let go of the fear, telling our families spurned a wonderful sense of release, and everything finally started to become more real.
But none of that compared to what I saw on the black ultrasound screen today. The second heart in my body that had resembled a tiny, sedentary gummy bear attached to a yolk sac a few short weeks ago was now a rapidly moving, dancing little human. We could see hands and feet attached to flailing chicken arms and legs, and a precious little face with a tiny, perfect little nose.
It was so strange to lie there on the table that resembled one that I'd been on so many times before over the last few years, but this time my legs were not up in stirrups. They were relaxed, laid out in front of me as the tech rubbed a wand over my exposed, slightly swollen belly, projecting a picture on the screen of a baby-my baby-doing what appeared to be a series of crunches inside of my uterus.
Today, I saw an answered prayer on a glorified computer screen. I held pictures of my child's profile, and heard the thundering heartbeat rumble at twice the speed of my own.
God could have said no. He could have chosen a much different path for us, one that didn't include a biological child. We were almost prepared for that path, had nearly come to accept it, but then God chose to intervene and bless us though we deserved much less.
He said yes, and now we are sharing cookies and pictures with our families. I'm holding pictures of my little one's perfect profile, and watching it dance, kick and wiggle on the screen. I'm blogging about my first pregnancy, and scolding my husband for sharing our news before I'm ready, and I'm finally, joyfully, happily, pregnant.
Someday's, nothing seems to go right, and my plans have never really worked out the way I've wanted them to.
But God's are much better anyway.
"Sometimes we must get hurt in order to grow. We must fail in order to know. Sometimes our vision is clear only after our eyes are washed away with tears."