Last night was the dinner we arranged to have our parents sitting together so we could tell them the news.
I was not looking forward to the parents questioning us like when did we conceive, when did we know, what doctor are we going to see… OMG. Kill me now.
Like we ourselves barely knew anything at this point – being questioned just wasn’t going to do anything for my nerves.
I likened my perception of how it would turn out to being almost as bad as Chinese New Year. When your relatives are asking “so where are you working now?” (same place I’ve worked for the last 4 years Aunty so-and-so *rolls eyes), when we were younger – “when you going to get married?”, and in the most recent CNY – “when are you going to have kids”…. it’s as harrowing and tedious as getting your teeth pulled out.
(Okay, to be fair, I have actually had very pleasant experiences at the dentist. Even though I had to pull out 4 pre-molars for braces :P)
I really appreciate that people would be interested in my life, but to be honest, I would feel a bit better if people wanted to show their concern by trying to actually remember a little bit about me instead of asking the same things all the damn time. There’s a big difference between ignorance and asking the same question every year and actually acknowledging you’ve heard what I’ve said before. It’s quite easy to go “are you still doing (the same thing)” or “how’s the (some project I mentioned) going!” to show that you really do care.
At the very least it would show you are actually interested in me and what I do instead of trying to shove your nose in my business and tell me what to do. *ROAR!*
On the other hand, these are my parents and in-laws. It’s extremely unfair for me to want to hold back the joy of grandchildren to come. I am trying to slowly come to terms with my selfishness and be a little bit more sharing and caring, as much as it would pain me to be under the radar in that situation. In all honesty, it would help me to look at things I may have forgotten to think about myself. So maybe I shouldn’t blog like I’m ungrateful for their concern, because I’m not ungrateful. I’m just… nervous and being very defensive about everything.
I’m quite an introvert but I don’t mind being the centre of attention. Again, there is just a very big difference from having people show concern for you and when people are shooting you with questions and not giving you your space to be yourself and comfortable.
Like at our wedding, it’s like you have your friends who are 100% about helping you handle things so you don’t have to worry about it, just understanding you and taking problems under their wing.. That was an amazing experience for me. I really couldn’t have asked for a better wedding party who lent us the support and allowed us to just enjoy the whole event.
However with having a baby, I don’t think I’ll have a moments’ peace as it is, having to take care of the baby, what with all the “you should do this”s and “you should do that”s. “Drink more herbal soups” and “don’t do this and that kind of activity”…
Again I’m probably over thinking and things probably won’t be as bad as I make it out to be, but I can’t help but feel a little pressures by finally releasing the news to the family. And even more so because it wasn’t the intimate type setting that I envisioned things to be.
We wanted it to be immediate family only. Meaning both the mums and John’s dad and that’s it. It’s a pity my brother is in London, or he would have been privy too. No grandparents, no aunties nor uncles. NOBODY ELSE UNTIL WE ARE READY!
Apparently ever since we moved out though, there was an arrangement for John’s maternal Grandpa and the aunty who stayed with him to come over for dinner every night. We were really not looking forward to having more people fuss over us. As it was, we were barely geared up to spill the beans to our parents as it is.
After talking about it and really just breathing through a paper bag about the whole ordeal, we figured we’d just play it by ear – call them out to the study and tell them separately, or really just come to terms that we’d have to let more people know than what we originally intended.
We also wanted to make sure that even though our parents would know about it, that they wouldn’t go and tell the whole world that they were going to be grandparents just yet. We wanted to wait until things were more confirmed, like we had our first ultrasounds or what.
I just don’t want to set this whole thing up to be so happy and excited and then something happens and everything falls through. And we have to somehow tell everybody that we’re not having a baby anymore. And yes, this seems to be a recurring fear of mine. Not that I actually think that it will happen, but because I want to cover all bases.
I read this blog post that a friend put up on Facebook a few days ago here. I really got a sense of peace that God was watching over me in a way. By putting up signs around that I really shouldn’t be too worried no matter what goes on.
At this point, I resigned myself to ask the parents some questions and be a little interactive. More importantly, to right now, not jump to any conclusions about what would happen until we actually told them. At the very least, my mum and my mum-in-law would be able to give me a LITTLE insight in what it would be like to be a pregnant lady.
So with our parameters set, we went to dinner.
Telling the Parents
It wasn’t what we expected. Things really fell into place.
John and I kept looking at each other nervously like when should we tell them, WHEN should we tell them. When SHOULD we tell them..
I got nervous when my Father-in-Law brought out a bottle of wine and asked if I would like to partake. I normally do have a tipple at dinner so I’m hoping I didn’t sound too squeaky when I said that I would just share a glass with my hubs,
After we had finished eating, John’s Grandpa got a bit frustrated with the TV because he couldn’t find the show that he wanted to watch and suddenly announced “OKAY. GO HOME.” He normally speaks in Cantonese so for some reason, English is always at higher than normal volume. With that, the whole external entourage took their cue and made for home, leaving the original party of intention behind.
Stage was set. We just had to open our mouths.
My mum was getting rather fidgety and wondering whether she could go home too or at least watch the TV since there wasn’t anybody doing so now. I’m thinking it was because it’s a bit awkward for her to come over for dinner with the in-laws for no special occasion at all.
We had originally conned her into coming over on the pretense of wanting a good home-cooked meal (that I didn’t have to slave over the stove for) and she was more than happy to come over and eat because my in-laws have impeccable taste in food. I’m supposing that she DID suspect to a certain extent that it was a little out-of-the-blue, but came she did, and with nary a query.
That said, when she asked if I could turn the TV on for her, I (almost vehemently) replied that “No, I could not. Please sit down and don’t be antisocial.”
So we all sat down in the living room.
The hubs and I started looking each other up and down again as if we had some magic eye signal that would serve as the “Now ah?” gesture.
We had agreed prior to the meeting that my hubs would do it – be the one to open his mouth and blurt the words out.
“So actually, there is a reason why we’re here today… We are… err…”
I refused to help.
His mum kinda caught on pretty quickly and said “Announcing ah?” She had a smile that was getting larger by the second growing on her face,
“Ya… We’re pregnant.”
The reaction after that was actually quite. Disappointing. Okay maybe not disappointing but rather a fair bit more muted than the whoops and woohoos that we were expecting.
I came across this video a few weeks back that featured a couple who broke the news to the soon-to-be grandfather and he was literally in tears from the happiness.
We didn’t get tears but we got a “well done!” And “Oh!” And “Congratulations!”
Felt quite weird seeing as they were going to be grandparents they should be congratulating themselves too!
Good-naturedly we thanked them for the congratulations and told them the pre-arranged spiel about how we didn’t want them to tell the rest of the relatives until ultrasound pictures were on hand for display and we got the murmur of ascension all around.
“Most important is for you to get through the first trimester.”
I was actually so thrown by the reaction that in my nervousness I started babbling about my perceived non-existence of morning sickness symptoms. Information that I earlier had thought I would never volunteer. Quite amusingly both my mum and mum-in-law chimed in “not yet” and have each other a knowing smile.
That makes me quite scared actually. What do they know that I don’t.. *shiver*
I further continued babbling about my mad list of things to do in the hopes I would get some gynae recommendations or a little bit of friendly advice. My mum-in-law was quite cynical about them being able to give relevant advice since the last time they had babies was… Well us. So they said just go ask your friends. They at least would be able to give us more up-to-date information and contact points which to be fair, is going to be correct. (I’ll still ask them what they think once in a while though. It doesn’t hurt to have mummy’s opinion right?)
I actually think they were pretty shocked with the information to be this calm and collected with regards to the news. My dad-in-law looked like he was a quite ready to call it a night after having to drink the wine that I couldn’t partake in. But he perked up considerably after the news regaling us with a story about how he had gone about to apply for my husbands registration in the good old days.
Moving on, they also probably thought I was pretty psychotic when I said that the hubs and I had actually given enough thought to the names and that we may want John’s grandpa to have the delight of picking our kid(s)’ Chinese name(s).
My grandpa-in-law isn’t Christian and we had in all good intentions, meant for him to pick the names for our baby. Until tonight when we were reminded that he would want to do the whole calculation of ba zi literally meaning 8 characters.There’s a whole science behind name poking for auspiciousness and prosperity and good luck through life and while it doesn’t hurt to get it done right, the Good book says its unnecessary for us to bank on such superstition.
While this conversation on the astrology and cosmic significance on a person is way too long a discussion for now, it’s definitely something we’ll need to explore if we truly want to pass the naming of our unborn to the grandpa of the family.
Besides giving him the respect to accept, unconditionally, whatever name he eventually chooses, we’ll have to really think if we want our unborn to have a Chinese name based on superstition – it will probably have some psychological effect on us not just the baby under the circumstances. And we are definitely keen to avoid putting an unnecessary burden or pressure to live up to or rue the meaning behind a name.
It was getting rather late so we said our goodbyes and made promises to see them again soon and of course give them updates when we had seen a doctor and whatever.
my mum gave us a lift home and I felt a little more comfortable to talk about more about my worries and uncertainties. Not that my to-do list hasn’t indicated everything already.
My mum normally doesn’t come up with witty retorts and neither does she have things to say on the spot when something happens. In that sense she is a lot like my hubs – quiet and contemplative and generally taking the time to understand a situation before commenting. So while she was driving she just listened to me talk and clarified a few points here and there.
But it really made my night when I received this message from her when she got home after dropping us off.
Sigh. Such a good feel good message to know your mummy loves you 🙂
All-in-all it was an uneventful evening given my initial apprehension of breaking the news. And we’ve got more people we can talk to about the pregnancy and look for emotional support and quality advice.
I might actually really be starting to look forward to telling more people now 🙂 except my boss. How do I do that?
Feeling a ray of optimism,