How we told our families and friends:
After my first doctor's appointment, it was hard to keep our secret from our families and friends. Together, we decided that we would tell our close friends and people who would be praying for us during this time first, as it was still early on in my pregnancy. The very first people we told were our friends in our small group from church. Because our state mandated shelter in place was still in effect from the pandemic, we weren't meeting in person. (We initially wanted to wait to tell everyone when we could be together, but in hindsight, I'm glad we didn't wait because it would have been so long and would have come as a huge surprise to them when they finally saw me and my baby bump!) As we were closing our virtual time together one Thursday evening, we mentioned we had another prayer request to add. Then, Ryan held up the Eagles onesie I had used to surprise him with, and we waited for their reactions. As they leaned in to their screens to get a closer look, we heard cheers and laughter and saw huge smiles and dropped jaws! Our friends couldn't believe our news, but were so happy and excited for us and assured us that they would be praying for us and this new adventure!
Next, we decided how to share the news with our families. I was about 8 or 9 weeks then, and my family was planning to get together for Easter. Because of the shelter in place and travel restrictions, we all understood it would be best to stay home. I'm grateful we were home at the time because it would have been hard for me to keep our secret as my sickness had kicked in, and I didn't go anywhere without wearing my SeaBands!
We had a virtual meeting scheduled after church with my extended family on Easter Sunday, so we thought that would be the perfect opportunity to tell my side of the family. However, the more I thought about it, the more I didn't want my parents and siblings not to find out first and didn't want to miss soaking in all of their reactions. Plus, when we joined our large virtual family meeting, everyone was trying to talk over one another and it was loud and chaotic--which is typical for my big family--but we knew it wasn't the right time or the best way to share our news. So, we waited to share with the larger group and chose to tell my immediate family later that day.
My sister had planned an Easter egg hunt for my niece and nephews and was going to FaceTime us while it happened since we couldn't be there in person. Keeping with the theme, we had an Easter egg that we were going to put the sonogram photo in as the prize, but the egg was too small for the photo and we realized if we showed the kids that, they wouldn't understand what it was anyway. Instead, we wrote BABY! on a piece of paper, folded it up, and placed it inside. When it was time for their Easter egg hunt to begin, my sister called us, then my parents and my brother, and we watched as their Easter egg hunt began. It was so fun to see them run around the yard and hunt their goodies down. Once their baskets were full and all the eggs were found, they went inside. The kids began to open their eggs and see what surprises were inside and we knew this was the perfect moment.
I got the kids' attention and began to tell them that we had planned to hide a very special egg for them to find, but since we couldn't be together in person, we would have them each take a guess as to what was inside. As soon as I said this, my sister started jumping up and down excitedly saying, 'I know! I know!" but we waited for the kids to guess. My oldest nephew said, "money!" so I played along and asked him to guess how much between 1 and 20. He picked a number. Then I asked my niece and she picked a number. Last, we asked my youngest nephew, and he picked a number. After they made their choices, we said we would see who was the closest and would get the prize. So we opened the egg, unfolded the paper, and held up the note to the screen. My oldest nephew read it first and exclaimed, "A BABY!?" and everyone started cheering and laughing and shouting! My sister ran to her husband and embraced him, the kids kept yelling, "baby!" and my parents cheered and cried on the other end. I so wish we could have told them in person and felt their hugs and excitement, but I am still glad I was able to see and hear their reactions to our news. It was such a special moment. We brought them all up to speed after they calmed down, and my dad said I needed to tell my grandmother the exact same way.
So, we planned another FaceTime call with her shortly after and revealed the news the same way to her. She was slightly confused at first, mainly because she didn't believe that's what we were telling her, but when we assured her it was, she cried and was so happy and thankful God was blessing her with another great grandbaby! Next, I called my other grandma to wish her a belated happy birthday and to share our news with her. She is 96 years old, so it was the sweetest thing to be able to tell her and hear her reaction too.
Because everything happened so in the moment and happened virtually, I didn't capture anything on film or video, but these vivid memories will forever be in my heart and mind.
Last but not least, it was time to tell Ryan's parents. We tried to FaceTime with them later that evening, but they were out of town enjoying their property on the lake, so unfortunately, we couldn't get the FaceTime to go through. We called them anyway, but decided to wait to tell them our news when we would see them in person a few weeks later. When we did see them, we were sitting in the living room together visiting after dinner, and my father in law brought up their annual Thanksgiving bird hunting trip. He was talking about how exciting it was going to be this year because his brother, and his nephew, and about 10 or 12 other friends and family members were going, and he just needed to know if his son was going. Ryan told him he wouldn't be able to go this year, and when he asked why not, Ryan said because I was going to have a baby and they were going to be grandparents. They looked at us in total surprise and asked if we were serious. We assured them we were, and they smiled and offered their sincerest congratulations. Then, I brought out our very first sonogram and showed it to them along with the tiny Eagles onesie. The next evening, my father in law passed around glasses of bubbly and brought me a glass to celebrate. I regretfully declined, but he told me I could have it with a twinkle in his eye--it was sparkling cider. Then, we toasted to baby Burke and our new adventure.
Once our families knew, we began to share our good news gradually with other close friends, and let the news trickle down through the family tree. All instances were met with smiles, some tears, and well wishes!
My second doctor's appointment:
My next doctors appointment took place at 10 1/2 weeks. This was a special appointment for me because not only did I get to check on our baby, but it also fell on my birthday! During that appointment, I was originally scheduled for an ultrasound, the first trimester screen for genetic testing, and the option to find out our baby's gender at that time. After talking to my husband, looking into our insurance, and a lot of thoughtful and prayerful consideration, we chose not to go through with the genetic testing and to skip the blood test to find out baby's gender early. Even with our insurance, the tests were going to be very expensive, and we knew the outcome of a screening wouldn't change anything about our baby or our situation. We know and believe that our child is a little miracle from God, regardless of what a screen might indicate.
Once we made our decision, as a naive first timer, I called my doctor's office and cancelled that part of my appointment. When I checked in to meet with my doctor, the office staff asked if I had done my ultrasounds, but when I told her I had cancelled that appointment, she sort of gave me a funny look, but I didn't think anything of it. Next, I went through the standard procedures of leaving a urine sample, and having my weight and blood pressure taken. Then, the nurse pulled out the heartbeat monitor. I was so anxious to know if we would be able to detect baby's heartbeat. She informed me we might not be able to depending on how baby was positioned, but she began the process. She moved the monitor around my abdomen but all I could hear was a "rushing" sound for a few moments. Then, as she moved the monitor lower and moved more slowly, she found the heartbeat, and I heard my baby's heartbeat for the very first time. It was so fast and strong, but sounded more like a "womp womp" to me than the "thump" of a heartbeat. I couldn't believe it, but was so grateful to know everything was okay just by hearing that sweet sound. I just wish my husband could have been there with me to experience that moment together.
If I'm being totally honest, that has been one of the hardest and most frustrating things about this pregnancy-- going through so many of these moments by myself and not getting to experience them with my husband and the father of my child, but I am so grateful for his continued love and support and peace that can only come from my Heavenly Father.
When the nurse finished, I met with my doctor. She asked how I was feeling, how things were going, and if we decided to pursue genetic testing. I told her about my symptoms and explained why we chose not to pursue the testing. She was very understanding and respected our decision to opt out. After she reviewed everything with me and ensured I didn't have any questions, we finished the appointment and scheduled my next visit in 4 more weeks.
In my second trimester recap, I will share about updated cravings and aversions, symptoms and remedies, exercise routines, when we found out baby's gender, and how we told our friends and family!
A "little bitty" life and style blogger pursuing my passions and Jesus just outside Austin, Texas. Around here, you will find interior design and home decor inspiration, home renovation updates, style inspiration, favorite recipes, and more!
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