Saturday, August 03, 2013

Pregnancy FAQs

Here are some questions that everyone is frequently asking. Let's get 'em done in one fell swoop. The more interesting ones will get posts of their own eventually. Lucky you!

Is it a boy or a girl? A boy. There. Now you know. Usually we drive our families crazy with complex riddles to figure out the gender, but this time around, we figured the pregnancy reveal itself was surprise enough for everyone.

When are you due? Toward the end of September.

Will they let you on the plane to go back to the UAE? Emirates requires a doctor or midwife note starting at 29 weeks, so I had to get one to come to the US and I'll have to get another to fly back at 34 weeks. The cutoff date for flying with Emirates with a single pregnancy is 36 weeks.

What about your job? I am taking fall semester off. I'm hoping to go back for spring semester, but we'll see.

What about your MA? I will defend my thesis sporting an awesomely awkward, very recent post-partum body, complete with leaky boobs and ill-fitting maternity-or-maybe-just-fat clothes. Sigh.

Do you have a good doctor/hospital in Sharjah? Yes. Home births, water births (except for one place in Al Ain), and midwife-assisted births are illegal in the UAE, but I have a nice OB at a nice hospital that opened up in our area about 18 months ago. I am so thankful that I won't have to risk traffic and drive to Dubai to have a baby.

Were you sick? Yes.

So is this why you decided to go to the US this year after all? Not at all. In fact, my being hugely pregnant this summer was a strong disincentive to spending 15+ hours on a plane, etc. I did that three times while I was pregnant with Miriam and my body never really recovered.

OK, why the elaborate surprise thing? This requires a multi-part answer.
1. I don't like being pregnant so I tend not to tell people, including family, in the early weeks anyway, so
2. by the time we knew we were going to the US, our families (and everyone else) still didn't know I was pregnant.
3. Kind of as a joke one day, I said to Jeremy, "hey, what if I just walked off the plane 7 months pregnant and it was a total surprise to our families in the US???"
4. We laughed, and then looked at each other and were like, "no, SERIOUSLY!!!"
So that's what we did. It was just something fun and not many people get the chance to do it since they, you know, tend to see their families in person from time to time.

What were the rules of this surprise? Once we were committed to this little game, I asked my friend Yvonne for advice (she once kept a pregnancy secret for 8 months). After talking to her, we realized how important it was for no one to know, or for everyone to know. There's really no in-between. Otherwise you're dealing with hurt feelings and misunderstandings and the surprise getting spoiled. The rule was, if you hadn't seen me and my huge belly in person, you didn't know I was pregnant. In the entire United States, only two people knew: Jeremy's brother Scott, because he visited us in Sharjah after I was already showing (thus adhering to The Rule), and his wife, Katie (because we weren't about to ask him to keep a secret from his wife).

Did anyone ever come close to spoiling the surprise? Yes. Magdalena came really close to mentioning it during videochat sessions with my family, bless her eager little 4-year-old heart. When I complained on fb about McDonald's not having "protocol" for serving me a diet Coke float, a lady from my ward posted a comment saying something about regular Coke being better for the baby (I was able to delete the comment before anyone saw). Most miraculously, my family, who were in the habit of tuning in to the online broadcast of our church meetings, did not do so for those few crucial months where they would have been able to see my condition.

That said, someone did have the surprise ruined, and that was my sister Teresa. I went to church two weeks ago in Oregon, and then we left for Idaho Falls. Teresa went to church in Oregon the next week and basically had a long conversation/argument with a lady in my parents' congregation about whether I was or was not pregnant. This lady was convinced that I was, rightly so, because she had seen me one week before. Teresa kept trying to tell her that no, I wasn't. So awkward...but also so hilarious. I wish I could have been there.

Did I miss anything?


Susanne said...

Loved this! I'll admit that you surprised me because a post you did awhile back convinced me you were satisfied with two little girls and you didn't want any more kids. Thanks for satisfying our curiosity. And that's really funny about your sister trying to convince the lady in Oregon that you were not pregnant. I imagine Teresa was stunned when she found out it was true.

Why did you think your MIL knew already?

Are the girls excited?

Can we see a picture? :)

Bridget said...

We thought MIL knew because a few days before we drove to IF I was on the phone with her and said something like, "oh, did Jeremy tell you..." and she finished it with "...that you're pregnant?" I was so shocked I just kind of sputtered and didn't know what to say. Then we both laughed and it was like, maybe she was just kidding, but maybe not...? I'm glad her surprised wasn't spoiled!

Suzanne Bubnash said...

It wasn't that funny for Teresa, and probably awkward for Betsy too.

Liz Johnson said...

Ok, that's REALLY interesting. I have more questions about the birth culture in the UAE. I assume only planned home/water births are illegal? They don't prosecute you if you simply have a precipitous birth before you make it to the hospital, right?

How's the cesarean rate in the UAE?

Are you hoping for/planning for another natural birth? :)

I think I actually saw that coke comment, but I just chalked it up to something being weird. Never in the furthest recesses of my brain did I suspect you being pregnant. That's amazing!

Do you have a name picked out? Or not yet?

Nemesis said...

Shut up, you are pregnant??? Congratulations!!!

Crys said...

What, I leave my computer for four days to get this wedding done and you get yourself 7 1/2 months pregnant! Haha hurrah! Love your family surprise! I'm impressed with your secret keeping abilities! I love these kind of surprises. When I found out I was pregnant with Sadie Jason had just left for a month long trip to Jordan. I decided I was going to surprise him with a t-shirt when he got off the plane. But then he called me the week he was suppose to come home after 33 days and asked if he could stay a couple of more weeks and I started crying and said, "but I'm pregnant." Haha surprise ruined. When I got pregnant with Cheetah we didn't tell anyone for 20 weeks. I mean like no one, even people we saw on a regular basis and it was glorious. I feel like early announcements just make things drag out FOREVER and I also hate the question, "Are you almost due." Don't tell anyone until you are almost due and the answer can always be yes :) Although I do have to say my sister most recently returned the favor and it was shocking to show up at the wedding and see the baby on her hip and the 22 week baby in her belly....paybacks :) Congrats again!!!! Hope the flights can be as comfortable as possible for you!

Britney said...

Wonderful news!! So excited for you!!

Rob and Sara said...

Congrats! I love that you were able to pull off the surprise for your family. That is truly awesome.


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