Yesterday didn't start out too well. For the past two days, I've had some pretty bad lower back pain, and I've been completely exhausted, all day long. While my husband and I were shopping for some supplies for our crafty baby project at Michael's yesterday, I had to leave him with the basket to go lay down in the car. All of a sudden I felt light-headed, really warm, and as if I were going to pass out. Luckily, my dear husband channeled his inner Martha and came up with a very creative way to break the news.
We came home, and after a few hours of rest I was feeling better. We set to work preparing for the brunch. I made a "Brunch Bake," a recipe my friend Andy sent me. It was a great recipe to use (and a hit this morning) because you can assemble the whole thing the night before, and then bake it in the morning. It's made with a puff pastry shell, ricotta cheese, spinach, red pepper, eggs, and some cheddar cheese. Here's a photo of it from this morning when it came out of the oven. I'll post the recipe soon.
Once I finished making the Brunch Bake and had stuck it in the refrigerator, we set out to work on our little project. My husband bought unfinished wooden hearts, and he painted each red. He bought a paint pen, and on each wooden heart, I wrote a word that represented the character trait of the person who would open it. For example, "Faith," "Generosity," "Wisdom," "Humor," and my grandma's read "Family Love."
Then, on craft paper, I wrote a little message to each person, describing their character trait. I placed the paper in little red boxes we bought, tied each with a ribbon, and attached the red hearts to each box. Then, we put them on the table in front of a placecard with each person's name on it, as we strategically wanted my grandma and great aunt sitting next to eachother for videotaping purposes (we videotaped "the telling" for my sister).
Everyone arrived (except my aunt and cousin, who couldn't come because my aunt was sick), and they took their seats. One by one, each person opened his or her box and read the personalized message aloud. When it was my grandma's turn, she opened her box and read the following:
"You show 5 children and 11 grandchildren the true meaning of family love in all that you do.
Each of you was given a personalized message indicative of a character trait we hope you'll share with your future niece, nephew, or great-grandchild.
Kristi is having a baby!"
My grandma immediately burst into tears and kept shouting, "I'm going to be a great-grandmother!!!"
My great aunt said, "I better start knitting!"
My great uncle said, "I didn't know we were coming over here for this!"
They were thrilled beyond belief. And seeing their reactions made this a little more real, as talk immediately turned to names, and cribs, and nursery designs, and work plans, all things my husband and I haven't even allowed ourselves to think about, much less discuss.
Later on, we called my mom and put her on speaker phone. We sent her the ultrasound picture, but just told her that she had to go on her computer and look at a "cool picture." So she did. And once she figured out what she was looking at, she was in complete and total shock. She kept saying, "I can't believe it!" I think it was registering that her life (which is very much travel-oriented with her 4th and horrible husband) is going to change dramatically if she wants to be an active part of the baby's life. She even said herself that it was going to take awhile for the news to sink in.
So now, at 11 weeks, everyone knows. Except my dad, and my coworkers, whom I don't plan on telling for awhile. It's a weird feeling. I have this degree of responsibility I didn't feel before. But I also got the distinct sense that this new baby is going to bring a degree of hope to each and every member of my family, but especially to my grandma. Her reaction was exactly what I wanted, and she was so, so happy in a way I haven't seen from her in years. She's having minor knee surgery on Wednesday, and she's been nervous about it for awhile. I know her spirits are lifted by the news, and that she feels she finally has something to look forward to. And that makes me feel really, really good.