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Monday, May 12, 2008

And so it begins, well sorta.

I just realized today after 15 weeks of pregnancy that I haven't been keeping a blog or a journal. Actually, I read a post on a message board from someone who regretted not keeping a blog, and it made me feel guilty (it's not like I came up with this blog idea on my own - I can't take all the credit). I often wish that my own mother would've kept a better journal about how she felt during her pregnancy with me. Everytime I ask her if she felt this or that, she stares at me blankly and says she can't remember. Since I can't remember what I ate for breakfast this morning, what better way to memorialize the most precious time of your life (sans the vomiting, chronic constipation, heinous mood swings, and massive heartburn)? Now when my future son or daughter asks me how I felt at a certain stage of my pregnancy, I'll say, "Child, go read my old blog." There, very simple.

So, let me catch you all up to speed. We all know I'm pregnant. This is good. I found out on Thursday, February 21, 2008. Here's the obligatory pee stick.

And another test b/c I'm crazy and had a hard time believing it was true! HEY, don't judge me!

So, we had been trying unsuccessfully for about 9 months or so. All during that time I envisioned all of these sweet ways of telling Joe that he was going to be a father. I would be very creative and cautious so as to not give away my wonderful little secret too quickly. Yeah, that lasted about 20 seconds. As soon as I saw the positive result, I was on the phone calling Joe up like a crack whore in need of her next fix. He knew what was up almost immediately and sat in stunned silence for a good minute or so. I just sat there shaking and smiling and shaking again and smiling some more. He wasn't able to talk long since he was at work, but he came home from work shortly thereafter and was still completely shocked. I guess I was expecting more excitement from him, but it was a huge announcement, and since I wasn't delicate at all in my delivery of the news, he had a lot to digest. I don't think he really believed I was pregnant until we were on our way to the Olive Garden to tell my family the good news.

On my wedding day my mother was pining for grandchildren. It was no secret that she was ready to be a grandmother - a woman who looks younger than me wanting to be a grandmother. Wow. So, I seriously couldn't wait to tell her the good news. She knew our struggles throughout the entire process and had been praying so hard that it would all come together for us. Our plan was to tell my mom, dad, Nicolle (sister) and Trent (Brother-in-law) in person at the Olive Garden (their favorite restaurant). I called my mom that next morning and asked if they would want to go out to eat that night. She agreed. I tried to disguise my voice as best as possible, but it was really hard keeping my big announcement a secret from her at that time.

So, my idea was to have a little box with a rattle inside. I would include a card that said, "You're going to be a grandmother/father/aunt/uncle" and have the wait staff bring it out during dinner. I couldn't find a rattle ANYWHERE, believe it or not. So, I settled on a pacifier that actually said, "Grandma/Grandpa" and one with a cat head for my sister and Trent.

I packaged them up every so carefully in Easter Chinese take-out boxes. Why I used Easter Chinese take-out boxes, I'll never know. I digress. Joe and I decided to swing by Target on our way out to take another pregnancy test. I told you I was crazy, now didn't I? My fear was that it was all some weird dream and that I'd tell my mom and it not really be true. It was true, though, the Target test proved it. So, off we went to Slidell to dine at the OG.

We get to Olive Garden and I call my mom - they're going to be late, as usual - like 45 minutes late. So, Joe and I get a seat at the bar to wait for them. I'm pregnant and sitting at the bar, just one more thing that makes me classiest woman of the year. I digress. Joe and I specifically asked for a table for 6 (not a booth), and the chick said that a group just sat down at the table, so it would be a while. This worked out b/c we were still waiting on my parents. So, we ordered an appetizer and a glass of wine. Joe drank most of the wine and put it in front of me right before they got there so as to make them think I was drinking the wine. Just one more step in my evil plan of deceit.

My parents finally get there and we wind up waiting at the bar for another hour and a half (no kidding). Can you imagine how freaked out I was at this point? I was just SO ready to tell them! I kept pretending to sip my wine, and my mom would say, "What if you're pregnant?" I said, "Nah, I don't think I am - no symptoms (I hate lying to her, but I had to, God forgive me)." Then my dad and Trent kept wanting to re-fill my glass of wine (that Joe had sipped out of earlier) and I kept having to dodge them and be like, "No, maybe once we sit down, I've already had two glasses and am starting to get sleepy."

The funniest thing was while we were sitting there, my mom blurted out, "We were thinking that maybe you had an announcement or something!" Then my sister, totally clueless, kept saying, "No, mom, Natalie can't test 'til Sunday!" Then I just played it off and said that I doubted it and I felt bad b/c she had gotten her hopes up, etc., and then she dropped it b/c I think she really believed me at that point.

Prior to taking our seats, Joe pretended to go ask how long it would be to get our table, and while he was up there, he filled the wait staff in on what we wanted them to do (bring out the gift boxes during the meal and present them to my family). What's great about Olive Garden is that everyone there knows my family b/c they go there every Friday, so they're always given the royal treatment and they surely didn't disappoint last night! Joe's plan was to head out to the car when we were walking back to our table (pretending to go to the restroom) and get the boxes to give to the waitress.

The table for 6 FINALLY left and we were taken to the table. I swear, it was totally worth the wait b/c it was a huge table in a secluded part of the restaurant, almost in its own room. How great was that?! My serious concern the entire time was making a complete fool of ourselves at the restaurant, but where we were located was far away from other people, so it was truly perfect. The sucky part was that Trent stayed behind talking to an older gentleman at the bar. Joe was looking at me like, "WTF do I do now?!" With Trent sitting there, there was no way he could go to the car and get the boxes and not give something away. Not sure what happened after that point, but Trent came to our table shortly thereafter and didn't look like he knew anything, so I guess Joe pulled it off.

As each passing minute went by, I could feel myself getting more and more nervous. The waitress kept coming by our table WITHOUT the boxes and I was like um, hello? Finally, my mom said, "I have to use the restroom" and we all went together as ladies usually do. While I was walking to the restroom, I was able to catch our waitress and ask her to bring out the boxes as soon as we got back to the table.

We get back to the table and within maybe 3 minutes she appears around the corner with the boxes. I had them labeled on the bottom so she would know to whom to give them. At first my dad thought they were candy, so he pushed his box over to me and said I could have it (totally clueless). I pushed it back to him; he pushed it back to me. Finally I said, "No, DAD, YOU open it!" By this time my mom and sister had already started opening theirs and he soon followed suit. This was their reaction (better with pictures):

Mom's/Niki's reaction when they read the card

Dad's reaction - he was a little confused by it all at first Me hugging dad w/ mom and Niki stunned in the background

So, they were just ecstatic. My mom didn't freak out as much as I thought she would mainly b/c I think she was just in shock. Of course after a few minutes the worrying mother side of her said, "Oh no, now I'm going to worry about you even more over the next 9 months!" My dad was excited. He said I was "stout" enough to have a healthy pregnancy. Not sure if he thinks I'm a short, fat gnome or what, but that one kinda made me go . Then he kept saying stuff like "This child is going to have a golf club in his/her hand by the time he/she is 3." Oy! So, all in all it went really well. Everyone was TOTALLY surprised and seriously had no idea it was going to happen like that. My mom knew in her heart I was PG but certainly didn't expect it all to go down like that. So, mission accomplished!

We told Joe's parents the next night at Chili's! They were also completely surprised by the announcement although I suspect they had a feeling we were going to be announcing something big since we wanted to go out to eat vs. eating at the house. I wanted to make it a little more special and surprising. So, we made boxes with the "I love grandma/I love grandpa" pacifiers and were on our way to Chili's. Once we got there Joe arranged with our waiter to deliver the boxes during our meal. The waiter was actually a former student of Mrs. JoAnn's, so that was kind of neat! He did a great job. They were quite stunned initially, and it took a while to sink in just what we were trying to say to them. They were extremely excited, though - it went off perfectly!

Mr. Bruce's expression is hilarious!

Mrs. JoAnn is excited about her first grandchild!

Chris gives a thumbs-up Joe and Natalie So, that's how it all went down! This blog will probably go down in infamy as the longest blog ever written, so I'll cut out of here for now. I plan on updating soon with little tidbits that have happened to me along this journey into pregnancy. So, stay tuned!

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