December 24, 2011
Aaron and I decided to tell our parents the big news by framing copies of the ultrasound and giving it to them as a Christmas present. We were fortunate enough that Aaron’s mom flew out to visit us for Christmas this year, so we could tell both my parents and Aaron’s mom at the same time. It was a full house Christmas Eve morning, we were all in San Diego at my parents’ house: me, Aaron, Aaron’s brother Dominick, his girlfriend Sam, my sister Sharon and her fiancé, and of course, my parents and Aaron’s mom. Aaron and I had been debating on the timing of giving our special present because we wanted them opened at the same time. Fortunately, my bladder wakes me up crazy early these days, so I woke up before everyone else in the house. I decided to set out the gifts to the parents under everyone’s stockings. When everyone was up and had had some coffee, I said, “Oh look! Santa came for the grown ups this year!” (I suppose by next year, I may need to amend that statement since there will be a new generation and my generation will become the “grown ups” as well – but it worked fine for this year.)
As we sat there watching our parents open the gifts, I saw their faces shift from confusion to realization. All of a sudden, there were squeals of excitement. My mom kept saying, “Oh my gosh!” over and over again. Then there were lots of hugs and more squeals. This will be the first grandchild on both sides, so everyone was very excited. Afterwards, we opened the rest of our presents, ate breakfast and got ready for the annual Stevens family Christmas Eve dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house in Orange County.
The nice thing about being able to fast-forward by a month in the first trimester meant that we could tell the rest of the family at dinner. We had been expecting to tell our parents and then swear them to secrecy and help me hide the fact that I was not drinking. But we didn’t have to! This would be the first event all holiday season where I didn’t have to hide not drinking. Let me tell you, being in the early stages of pregnancy and having to hide not drinking during the holidays is no easy feat! There were many holiday parties where I would take a glass of champagne, hold it, and then sniff it as everyone else took their sips. Then I would quietly hand off my drink to Aaron when no one was looking. I’m not a huge drinker, but if I turned down champagne, everyone would notice!
Speaking of turning down champagne, one of my favorite parts of Christmas Eve dinner is that there is always a specialty cocktail that gets put in your hand the moment you walk in the door. Aaron and I arrived before my parents. I wanted to wait until my parents got there to tell everyone – if you know my mom, you’ll know that she would have felt terribly left out to have missed out on the announcement, even though she knew the big news. As a result, I had to say no to the yummy looking cocktail: champagne with raspberry liquor. After the third time I said “no” to the drink, my cousins started to get suspicious. Finally my parents arrived and we gathered everyone together and made the big announcement. Again, there were plenty of squeals and congratulations. I have to say, now that people know, it’s starting to feel a little more real.