Saturday, August 18, 2012

Testing It Out on Strangers

So, there I was, finally seated on the last flight home from an awesome work trip in a city far away from home. A woman in a business suit shoves her bag under the seat and plops down next to me. We're both tired and a little loopy from airplanes that don't show up, flights that keep getting delayed. We smile at each other, make small talk as the plane gets ready to lift off. We both had good weeks. We're both looking forward to being home.

"Any kids? I have two."

"Well, one's on the way....."

"Get out! Oh you're gonna love it...." And she then goes on to tell me to eat everything and anything I want since breastfeeding "sucks the fat right out of your body. It's freaky at first, but you get used to it and holy shit you can eat fritos without even stressing." I'm barely paraphrasing here. And then her TMI alarm went off and she went back to reading her book. I smiled politely and did the same.

And there you have it. I said it. Of course she assumed I was pregnant, not my surrogate, but why insert details into a conversation that will never be remembered with a person you don't know? At this point, it's not important. What's important is that one is on the way.

Measuring 7 weeks 6 days as of today. 8 weeks tomorrow. Right on schedule. Heartbeat is 155 bpms. Good and strong.

Back to "the telling." I blame Paz. She started it.

The night before we were at yet another conference-hosted party (yes, people! Paz and I in the same city, doing work-type stuff. Being ooh soo professional, but basking in the serendipity of being there together and being able to spend some quality time with each other, and Vanilla Ice, and KC and the Sunshine Band, but those are stories for another day). So, this party. Me and Paz. And this incredibly tipsy guy telling us about his life in Colorado and how much he loves to snowboard, and how cool it will be to get back on the slopes this year after a few years off to raise his son. He can't wait to be on the mountain with his son. Out of nowhere....

"She's pregnant!!" Says Paz pointing to me, who thankfully is sipping a mineral water.

His eyes light up. Mine try not to register shock. Do I clarify? Let it ride? It is really that far from the truth? We're pregnant. I just don't happen to be holding that baby in my belly. I smile. Say nothing, other than "oh yes its quite early," because I can see him eying my gut. The stinker.

And it really wasn't until the words were said out loud, with other people listening, that this really registered with me. And I am fairly certain that's why Paz did it. Not for snowboard guy, but for me. We are going to have a baby. Baby.

Baby, baby, baby.

And now that the seal is broken, I've started to wonder how best to share the news with our non-blog reading family and friends. I'm not ready yet. M isn't either. But we have started to think it through. Family will be easy. They know the road we've been down and that gestational surrogacy was the path we were exploring. They just don't know that we're cruising along on it right now.  With a baby on board. I am sure we will share the news with friends as it comes up. No worries there.

That leaves the folks that need to know because M and I will be taking some time off work and will be appearing around town with a real live baby some time this spring. Mainly, work colleagues and bosses. At what point do we let the cat out of the bag? For me, that list extends a little farther out than M - members of my association, my Board, the lobbyists and consultants I work with - I will need to explain why I'm not in the thick of things next budget season. Do I give them a heads up now? The latest possible moment? Somewhere in between?

People: what did you do? Moms and dads via surrogacy, adoption, any way that didn't involve an obvious visible indicator that a child would soon be joining your family - when did you alert folks beyond your tightest circle of trust? How much or how little of your story did you share? I'm curious because we are veering into being more than just your story to tell. More on that later, but for now, tell me.

When did you tell your boss?


Nadine said...

My story is long.
Work knew at around 19 weeks, not my choice but they wanted to fire me for being I hospital and missing 10 days work because of stoopid ivf infection. I had to tell them, they had zero compassion, but I kept my job for another few months util we could hire and train someone. Doctor arseholes.
Family found out after the 26 week mark.
Neighbours found out at around the 30 week mark.
Everyone else is a pick and choose, some never know, some I tell. Once you get through it all the mommy group scene can be pretty horrid, lots of women talking abou how amazing they and their bodies are because of their all natural home birth in a water tub(but that's another story).

Anyhow, I waited until viability was reached before doing any real telling, but that's me.

Great getting that 7 week u/s out of the way! How exciting :).

Lori Lavender Luz said...

My boss knew of our efforts, and she knew that it could happen at any time. And it did! One morning I called her and said "we're in labor" and soon I headed to the office to pick up all the things I'd need to meet reduced work responsibilities at home.

If you did happen to be holing the baby in your belly, when and how would you tell? I suppose you get a little more leeway this way.

Jealous of Snowboarder!

Hi, Paz!


Rebeccah said...

We adopted our first, and I told my boss when we were officially in the "pool". Which turned out to be a good thing, since we got our surprise baby in a last-minute placement six weeks later! I called human resources the next day and said, um, I won't be in for awhile ...

Anonymous said...

Paz here.... Relieved to read that my outing of you, far from home with a stranger we will never see again was OK. I was hoping it would be nice to wear that mom-to-be tag in a safe place and just bask in it. You sctually glowed with a rather large smile when we both looked at you. Glad the simle wasn't from envisioning my death at your hands!!

What an unbelievevably fun time we had together!!! Thanks for helping me have a super fun bday, I needed the lift being far from home on such a big bday.

Hi Lavender Luz!


Heather said...

I love that you are testing it out - saying it out loud. You are expecting a BABY!

I told work at 15 weeks, mostly because that is the point when I start to look pregnant. I told family and friends right away with all 6 pregnancies (2 resulted in babies coming home, 1 stillbirth, 3 miscarriages). I'm an open book with my friends, and it didn't seem right to tell my friends and not our families, although I would have prefered to wait until after the first trimester with them.

Our families are pretty great, but they seemed to me more...I can't put a word to it. They said things like, "Oh Heather, I don't know HOW you can keep doing this! You are so brave! You must be sooo worried! I could never keep trying like you. You are so strong!" I think they thought they were being supportive, but it just annoyed me. But that is what familes do, they just push certain buttons all.the.time. Good thing we won't do that to our kids, right? ;)

I think if I was in your shoes I wait until after the 1st tri; after the nuchal translucency screening. But you may not even opt to do that.... it's too hard for us to know what is best. Just tell everyone when you can't keep it in a second longer.

You are going to have a BABY!

Clare (smiling scar) said...

I have nothing to offer on the front of how to tell... but just wanted to say congrats on sharing the news that you have on one the way:) planes are perfect for trying such great phrases out:)

And I am glad Paz got to get you a moment to bask in your happy news:)

niobe said...

I don't think I mentioned anything to family and/or friends until shortly before (or in some cases after) the babies were born.

And when I say "shortly before" I mean at around 35-38 weeks.

I told my boss sooner, at around 28 weeks, because I had to arrange for leave -- which I figured I was going to take whether or not I actually took home a baby.

luna said...

with our first, my colleagues knew we were "waiting" to adopt and that it could be a last minute situation. when we "matched," I told my board that it was possible and shared the due date, but they knew it wasn't certain. but honestly if it didn't happen I was going to need a hell of a break from my life anyway. so I arranged the longest leave I could get, regardless.

with our second, well I didn't find out for a while, then I waited until the big ultrasound showed a healthy looking viable baby, which was at about 24 weeks. then I was so high risk that the delivery date kept getting pushed up, so I had to keep going back on the date. then I got put on bedrest and had to phase out even sooner, in Aug. they were loving me, I tell you.

do whatever feels right for you. as with adoption, it's a more invisible kind of "expecting" that sometimes may require an explanation, but don't feel like you have to offer it up to everyone, you know? it's your story.

~Hollie said...

HA! "THE SEAL IS BROKEN" reminds me of pee breaks at the bars in college. HOLD IT... HOLD IT... ahhaahahaha. Yeah for you! Enjoy it all... every moment.

~Hollie said...

whoops, forgot to answer your question. I told boss about the entire process, as she is well just incredible. And I had to take a TON of work off for IUI, IVF, OHSS+++,chem preg etc. She had to know SOMETHING. She was incredible and didn't say a PEEP to anyone. Everyone else at work knew at week 13. Fam just kind of trickled... some started at week 10, then I think everyone knew by week 13ish.