17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Making the Big Announcement

I haven't quite gotten over Alyson P's comment on this post regarding a most terrible and downright yucky way to announce a pregnancy (sliding a positive pee-stick pregnancy test into someone's drinking glass--to make matters worse the "someone" had been struggling with getting pregnant themselves). To try to bring balance back into the world, I have to share a really awesome way someone in my family made the announcement not too long ago.

Our family has a MyFamily website where we all share and try to keep track of each other. With 80 of us, it's about the best we can do. There have been numerous "announcements" (mine among them) made on the website, most including a scan of a recent ultrasound. Nothing "special", but it gets the word out. And with 3-4 babies born in our family each year, we're far beyond the "first grandchild excitement".

This all changed a couple months ago when a member of the family cleverly changed their username on the site to "Guess Who" and put up a poll called "Guess who's Pregnant". With almost 20 "eligible" women to pick from in our family (some of whom are already grandparents and some of whom are quite recently married), chaos ensued. People started making their sure guesses, phone calls were made, doubts came up. DH and I started to take this game very seriously. We needed to start weeding some people out. Who has had hysterectomies? Who's already gone through menopause? I know these are personal questions, but we had to know. More phone calls. More detective work on MyFamily sorting through fake accounts and a trail of "member invites". I finally made a phone call to my sister where I told her it had to be her son and daughter-in-law. We were sure of it. She said she thought the same thing and had already left them a serious phone message that they had better tell their mother first.

More detective work on the website was done by dh and he called to say it has to be your sister, Lea. He was sure of it. I worked up the guts to call her and make the accusation knowing full well that she had suffered a painful miscarriage a number of years back and to the best of my knowledge had come to terms with the fact that her family was complete (and with her youngest turning 8, I think most people thought the same thing).

She had no idea what I was talking about. She hadn't even been on MyFamily that day to take part in the family uproar over the mystery pregnancy.

I felt terrible. Nothing like a surprise call from your sister to open up an old wound and rub salt in it.

I told Dh he was wrong and need to keeping searching for clues. He responded that it had to be them, or a really smart computer hacker. Well, the problem is, we have a few smart computer hackers in our family. One person that actually makes her living from computer hacking. I immediately made the accusatory call which ended with "you'd better not be lying to me". No dice.

About a half hour later dh called back to say he found more evidence and the fake member accounts all pointed back to Lea's husband. It just had to be them.

So once again, I gathered all my guts together and decided to make the call. I can't believe I did. But this time, when my sister answered I immediately asked to talk to her husband. I knew I couldn't face her again. I laid out all the evidence and eventually he broke. It was them. They were pregnant.

They promised to make the announcement later that night on the website and I promised them my secrecy. Over the next few hours, the family was still going nuts. Phones were ringing off the hooks. At one point my jokester brother's family claimed the pregnancy (their youngest is 11). People actually believe them. And then a series of pictures of different women in the family (pregnant, nursing and non-pregnant alike) chugging from wine-looking bottles appeared on the website (don't ask what that was about, but you can be impressed that we all had such quick access to wine-looking bottles). Finally, my sister Lea posted her ultrasound and really claimed the pregnancy at the end of the night (which half my family missed because they actually believed my brother and went to bed).

Now that's a way to make an announcement! How did you make yours? Did it involve deception, computer hacking and making your sister feel terrible just to hide your secret?


  • Great Story!
    posted by Anonymous ESO at 1/30/2008 10:08:00 AM  

  • That was a pretty awesome night. You have to admit that the whole twist was pretty awesome. We got a few congratulation phone calls. My mom wasn't even home so my dad made me pretend I was her to accept the congrats since I sound a lot like her on the phone. Hahaha. What can I say? I am a Mortensen through and through.
    posted by Anonymous Mia at 1/30/2008 10:21:00 AM  

  • I bought those books Just Me and My Grandma and Just Me and My Grandpa. I wrapped them for the grandparents.

    I bought 2 little dolls from that movie A Bug's Life, that were Ants, and wrapped them for my two sisters and a box of cereal called UNCLE SAM CEREAL for my brother Sam. The plan was to have everyone open their gifts together and figure it out, but my sister forgot her license at the airport and she and my Dad had to come on a later flight. I couldn't wait to tell the early group b/c I didn't know how else I could explain my BIG GULP of Seven Up that I drank in lieu of eating or drinking anything nutritious (barfing my guts out). HOwever, it was kind of fun to do the surprise over again a few hours later.

    For me it's a lot about the anticipation and less about the actual surprise.....

    For #2, I don't remember. I don't think it was as exciting. I think I basically said: I'm pregnant!
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/30/2008 12:44:00 PM  

  • We bought our son a t-shirt that said, "I'm a big brother!" We put it on him and sent him to go hug grandma. Then we had to tell her to read the t-shirt.
    posted by Blogger Melinda at 1/30/2008 12:57:00 PM  

  • I'm impressed that so many people are able to keep it a secret for so long. I immediately called my family as soon as I took the positive pregnancy test. And I sent a picture of the two pink lines to a couple close friends via email. I just could't wait. But that story is fabulous!
    posted by Blogger Katrina at 1/30/2008 01:20:00 PM  

  • Let's see: Hubby - I went to see him at work and dropped the positive test on his desk. He has his own office, so that could have been weirder. Except his boss walked by when he was giving me a congratulatory (?) kiss. Embarrassing! LoL

    A friend I went to the temple with right after seeing hubby: "Hey, look at this picture I took..." and showed her the picture of the positive test.

    His parents: Jeff showed his mom a video I'd taken of his brothers on the camera and then said to look at the next picture, too, which was of the test. She had to double check to make sure she was reading it right, though I don't know why I'd have a picture of a negative test. Then, she showed Jeff's dad and he asked "Who's pregnant?" With only two married kids and one of those with a 3 month old baby, it was a silly question.

    My parents: I slipped a picture of the positive test (I should get a copy framed, lol) in a Mother's Day card. We went home a few weeks after Mother's Day, so I didn't mail it. Mom opened it and flipped. It was awesome.

    Everyone else we just told... boring.
    posted by Blogger Erin Marie at 1/30/2008 03:07:00 PM  

  • A friend of mine came up to me and said: "Are you pregnant? because I am." I thought that was classic....I will never forget it.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/30/2008 04:50:00 PM  

  • I guess I'm one of the "boring" people who just blurts it out, usually after waiting the first three months so I'm pretty much dying to let it out by then. But people are always so excited and so is family, husbands, etc. Maybe next time I'll be more creative or something?
    posted by Blogger beth at 1/30/2008 09:32:00 PM  

  • That was a great story, Carrie. Thanks for sharing.

    I'm one of those boring people who's never done anything creative to tell people. I call my mom and dad and tell them, and usually my sisters. Then I tell my husband he can tell people if he wants, and let the news spread from there. I don't like actually telling people, because they get excited and say congratulations and it's wonderful, and I generally feel so miserable I just want to growl at them. So I let others spread the news.
    posted by Anonymous Vada at 1/31/2008 09:38:00 AM  

  • My husband's brother and his wife took a picture of their shoes, their toddler's shoes, and a pair of baby socks, and emailed it to us, asking if we noticed anything about it. We thought the baby socks were the toddler's socks and were confused why they sent us a picture of their shoes for a couple weeks, until my mother-in-law finally told us what it meant.

    When that baby was a couple months old, we went out to dinner with them and my in-laws. Partway through the meal, they asked us "How many Dusey's (replaced with our last name, of course) does it take to change a light bulb?" We all made guesses, thoroughly confused again, before they told us five, which didn't make any sense to any of us, as we all share the same last name, and there were eight of us there for dinner. After several minutes of confused silence, my mother-in-law asked them if they were expecting again, then thought they were joking when they said yes, and it took the rest of the meal to get all figured out.

    After all of that, I really didn't want to make my family horribly confused by telling them in cryptic ways, so I just told them, and my friends, once I'd had my first obgyn appointment. My mom knew a little earlier, because we went to visit them, and I couldn't quite hide the beginnings of my morning sickness. Same with my in-laws. I told my DH first, of course, but ended up having to tell him over the phone while he was in an airport, because I took the test while he was on a plane to a different state, and couldn't wait the three days until he would be getting home to let him know.
    posted by Blogger kadusey at 1/31/2008 07:39:00 PM  

  • My brother and sister-in-law asked us if we wanted to see a video of their baby (he was the first grandchild who was nearly 2) we all said yes and they put in their ultra-sound video for number 2...we were all confused for a second and then super excited. I thought it was a really cute way to tell everyone.
    posted by Blogger pepper at 2/01/2008 12:00:00 PM  

  • I called my mom on mothers day from a business trip in Mexico and before I could get it out, she nonchalantly said, "Your pregnant." I asked her how she knew and she said she'd known for weeks... "mothers intuition." I thinks she's crazy! I told her not to tell anyone (b/c we miscarried before) and my dad went to a wedding and told the WHOLE family!!!
    posted by Blogger Amanda at 2/01/2008 12:16:00 PM  

  • Vada,

    I totally share the news just like you. Except for usually I just tell my mom and tell her to let everyone know--too big of a family to call everyone personally. The family website also makes it easier to spread the news. I'm also usually not in the most "creative" state of mind during those first 3 months either.

    But with all the fun we had with my sister's big announcement, I might have to try something different next time.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 2/03/2008 08:40:00 PM  

  • I love what your sister did!

    Me... well, I would be the infertile left alone... We just did our 4th IVF, and last, and chose to tell no one... what a relief to not be hounded by questions of "did it work."

    In my dreams I guess I would never tell anyone.. too many hopes to shatter- I would let them figure it out on their own...
    posted by Blogger Melzie at 2/05/2008 05:16:00 PM  

  • This is such a fantastic story. We are expecting baby #2 and we searched for creative ways to announce - the family website "takes the cake" in creativity!

    And to Melzie - we have had 2 successful IVFs, don't lose hope. Have faith!
    posted by Blogger KimLefko at 3/11/2008 04:04:00 PM  

  • This is such a fantastic story and extremely clever. We have recently searched for ways to announce as we are expecting our 2nd baby. I must say the Family Website "takes the cake".

    And to Melzie - don't lose hope. We have had 2 successful IVFs. Have Faith!
    posted by Blogger KimLefko at 3/11/2008 04:07:00 PM  

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