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.