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Published on March 10, 2020

Surprise pregnancy announcement requires careful planning ... and luck

By Stephanie Johnson / The Bulletin

My first trimester of pregnancy was over. I felt like a new person. My body had settled into its new function, and it was finally time to unveil our three-month-long big secret.

But, we needed a plan.

Thanksgiving was right around the corner, which was lucky, because all of David’s family planned to be together in one room at the same time. That doesn’t happen unless it’s a holiday or a celebration, so the timing was perfect.

We wanted to do something Thanksgiving-themed, but where to start? How could we make it something special? That is when David came home with an award-winning pregnancy announcement idea.

We would purchase a toy turkey and have each person grab a wooden feather and a Sharpie and write down what he or she is thankful for. We couldn’t do it alone, so we spilled the beans to his sister, and she took over the planning so we wouldn’t risk giving it away accidentally.

I made personalized wine bottle labels and put them on bottles of wine for each person in the family as a celebratory drink after we made the announcement. I left my name out for obvious reasons.

As Thanksgiving approached, I wore my loosest-fitting clothes and stretchy pants to hide my growing baby bump. We pulled into the driveway, said hello to everyone and hid the bottles of wine upstairs in a closet where no one would look for them.

It was hard to act like nothing was going on that day. I was so anxious and excited to see how our family would react. As we ate, laughed, and enjoyed our Thanksgiving, the “Thankful” turkey came out, and it was time for the announcement.

As David’s sister told everyone the rules, I remember standing there with the biggest smile on my face. I probably smiled for a full 10 minutes and didn’t say a word. Come to think of it, I wonder why no one picked up on my behavior. Maybe they didn’t think it was all that weird.

We were handed our wooden feather and Sharpie. I wrote “Thankful for baby Johnson”, and David wrote “Due June 2020.” We returned our feathers, and they were placed in the turkey. Once everyone was done, the feathers were read out loud.

“I am thankful for brownies and my family,” wrote my adorable nephew as he took a bite of brownie. If that wasn’t the cutest thing ever, I wasn’t sure what was. Our feathers were read last.

“Stephanie and David are thankful for baby Johnson, due June 2020.”

Everyone started looking around, maybe in shock, disbelief, happiness, or all of the above. We must have done a better job hiding it than I thought. With everyone looking at us, I yelled “Surprise!”

I handed everyone their bottle of wine with the announcement. Our plan could not have been carried out better.

Hug after hug, there was growing excitement in the room. I think about that feeling a lot. I compare it to going to the fair as a kid for the first time and riding carnival rides with the wind blowing through your hair while eating cotton candy. Maybe it’s messy and risky, especially after eating, but at that moment, it doesn’t get better.

We then recalled how I was pregnant at the family reunion and at a wedding and how no one had a clue.

We had pulled off a great surprise, and we only had to hide it for three months, and at two huge family events.

Luckily, we were able to tell our family before Christmas, or I think I would have exploded.

All this occurred on David’s side of the family. I never had a chance to hide anything on my side. When you work in the family business, there are few secrets – actually, none.

It was time to start researching items for our baby registry, but that will have to wait until another column.

(You can reach Stephanie at stephanie.bulletin@gmail.com. Or by writing to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)