Monday, March 17, 2008

The pregnancy board

My local church congregation (read: Mormon ward) has something called a "pregnancy board." In the bishop's office at our church building, there is a large whiteboard that the leaders of the ward use to record various logistical details of the congregation's functioning. Written on that whiteboard are all the names of the people who are in charge of the Primary (children's organization), youth groups, women's groups, etc. And in the lower-left corner of the whiteboard, there is a small (but expandable) space set aside for the last names of the women in the ward who are pregnant. This is the pregnancy board.

Jeremy just informed me that the guys in the ward don't really care about the pregnancy board, but it comes up in conversation among women at church not infrequently. The board is not in a public place where everyone can see it, but most members of the ward go into the bishop's office at least occasionally, and it's easy to steal a glance at the board to see who's expecting.

Or, at least, who the bishop and his counselors think are expecting. Because mistakes have been known to happen.

Several weeks ago, Jeremy, Miriam, and I went to dinner at a friend's house (remember the
licorice chocolate?). After dinner, the husband casually stated, "so, you're expecting again, right?" Jeremy and I were flabbergasted and caught totally by surprise, and it must have shown on our faces, because he immediately backtracked and said, "well, I saw it on the pregnancy board!" Apparently, "Palmer" was written in that special lower-left corner of the whiteboard and he assumed it meant me. The awkward thing is that he was, and has been, the only person to ask me directly if I was pregnant - it made me wonder how many other people had seen "Palmer" on the board and just assumed it was true.

I happened to be in the bishop's office a few days later and noticed that my name had been erased. I asked one of the bishop's counselors, as nonchalantly as possible, why "Palmer" had been written on the board. It turns out that it was referring to another Palmer in the ward who was actually no longer in the ward and had had her baby four months earlier. They were just tardy about erasing it from the pregnancy board and inadvertently managed to manufacture a false pregnancy rumor.

The joke, of course, is that - tada! - I am pregnant, and so it wasn't really a false rumor after all.

The stats, if anyone's interested: I'm 20 weeks, or halfway, or 4.5 months, or due at the beginning of August, however you prefer to understand it. We find out if it's a girl or a boy on Thursday. Both of us are hoping for a girl but I think we'll get over it eventually if it turns out to be a boy (and in which case I will delete this sentence, of course). I'm still running 4 - 5 times a week and biking the other one or two days, which will freak some of you out and seem totally normal (and maybe even wussy) to others. We didn't share the news with friends or family until I was 16 weeks pregnant, just because. There were three exceptions, though. We ended up telling one of Jeremy's former bosses when we were trying to weigh our options for summer employment, just so he could give us better informed advice. And of course, we told our friends that night after dinner, even if their assumption was based on questionable intelligence.

Eventually, maybe I'll get around to telling the bishop to put my name back on the pregnancy board. If it isn't there already, anyway.


Jen said...

HOLY COW!!!!!!! Congratulations! I, for one, am TOTALLY surprised! So well done, well done. Will you be giving birth in Vermont?

Someone once asked me how far along I was....after I stood there, silent and numb, wondering what to say, she said, "I'm on page 150" referring to the BOOK I was carrying in my HAND.

It takes all kinds, I suppose.


Jen said...

Oh, when I mean "totally surprised," it was meant to mean, "I had no idea--good secret-keeping guys!" I didn't mean it in that rude, pregnancy-board-way of, "Wow, I'm surprised that you two would have the nerve to procreate again."

Just to clarify.

Bridget said...

Ah yes, I forgot to address the Vermont question in the original post. Yes, if all goes as planned, the baby will be born in Vermont. They even have a birth center right in Middlebury and an associated midwifery practice, which is exciting.

And Jen, this news is on the roomie board somewhere...buried in some random thread, probably.

Jen said...

how did I miss that??

Sarah Rose Evans said...

Congratulations!! That's so exciting!

Liz Johnson said...

Congratulations!! I, too, am totally surprised!!!

Ok, not really. But that's ok. Congratulations anyways. I'm excited to hear the gender. :)

Liz Johnson said...

We used to have a clipboard passed around RS (this was in Wymount, if that helps the image) where women would note down if they were pregnant, when they were due, where they were delivering, etc. This stopped when a girl who apparently was having fertility woes burst into tears when handed it. Smooth. Real smooth.

Eevi said...

Your guys' faces were hilarious when Troy asked about you being pregnant. I'm glad his straight forward question didn't jeopardize our friendship.

I'm excited to hear the sex of the baby. And by the way, you are looking great and I'm impressed by your running and biking:)

Mikael said...

I am in awe that you are running still!!!! I stop excersizing the moment I got prego (way too sick to even walk).
And you must be so tiny and not showing at all! By 7 wks along people were thinking I was 20 wks. And again, I am so impressed you don't have the urge to shout it to the world, it is SOOO exciting!!!
Why do you not want a boy? Boys rule!!! Well, girls do too.

Bridget said...

Mikael, tiny I am not. But the jogging stroller hides my tummy pretty well so I don't get too many weird looks when I'm out running.

When I was really sick in the first trimester, I found that if I could at least go running that day, it helped me feel so much better. It was just the getting out the door to actually go that was so difficult.

The Ensign's said...

Well I'm soooo excited to hear if it's gonna ba a girl or boy. Maybe you'll get a nice butt shot like Lili so there are no questions. By the way boys are WONDERFUL!!! Girls are a lot of fun, but Aeden is sooooo easy going.

Michelle said...

Hey Bridget-- So I thought about emailing you, but I decided that since you wouldn't recognize my email you might not open it. Anyways, I'm Nancy's cousin,I've commented a few times on here. I noticed somewhere (I can't seem to find it today)that you said there was a birthing center where you're moving this summer. Does that mean you're going for a natural birth? What method are you using? Are you taking classes for it? I'm trying to figure out what I should do and if I can learn on my own and not take classes... anyways, so I thought I'd ask you what you thought! I apologize if this is too public a place... that's why I went back to an older post... You can email me if you want at Thanks for any insights... :)

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