Answer: Telling folks the news
What influenced your decisions regarding letting folks know the big news, and when to do it? Did any responses surprise you? With hindsight, would you have done anything differently?
There were only two people who knew we were trying to conceive – my wife got one person (her sister) and I got one person (my best friend). We kept it that way to prevent people from asking us how it was going and/or being disappointed if things didn’t work out. We were also blessed with flexible-enough work schedules and turnheaded-enough bosses who didn’t notice all those long lunches. Anyhow, we decided that when we started trying, that we’d give it a go, but would not use heroic measures to get pregnant – that if it didn’t come easy, we’d get another dog. And maybe some more cats. Proper cats.
Those two people, of course, were the first to know, moments after the pregnancy kit told us**. What influenced us the most was first telling people that we knew would be 150% supportive in the case that something went wrong between that three month window while the kid was settling into her home. So that was really only left to family members (hers immediately, mine about a week later). Everyone else had to wait until the 12 week ultrasound revealed a happy, healthy baby. That’s when we told bosses, co-workers, Facebook, and sent out a holiday newsletter (since it was around Christmas) telling friends and extended family.
A lot of people were surprised that they didn’t know we were trying, which I always thought was kind of funny. Maybe because, in real life, my wife and I live kind of private lives. But we don’t broadcast much, and the two people who knew were over-the-top supportive in ways that it was all that we needed (you know, besides the support of you fine readers). But even my co-worker said, “I didn’t even know you guys were trying?!” and I remember thinking, “Why would you know?” Maybe it’s different with straight folks? But there were more people than I expected who were so surprised to have been kept out of the loop.
I was surprised a little by the grumpiness of my brother in law (who is adopted), who was angry that we didn’t choose to adopt. But he’s also uninformed about the challenges of adopting a kid as a same-sex couple (er, rather, single lesbian) in the state of Virginia. He’s uninformed about a lot of things, but it surprised me that he jumped there first, before considering being excited for us… not even a little.
I was pretty satisfied about how we told folks. The timing of the holiday was nice, as it gave us a specific non-baby reason to spam all of our friends/family and drop in the little nugget of information without it being what the whole email was about. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, but it was an effective forum to let people know who aren’t holiday-newsletter worthy, even if it meant telling those-people-I-went-to-high-school-with-whom-I-never-liked-but-have-on-my-friends-list-for-stalking-purposes.
In hindsight, I don’t think I would have changed anything, really. It was nice to “surprise” people, and also go about the conception process without inviting people into our lives and have to answer pre-pregnancy questions (me vs. her carrying, donor questions, procedure/medical questions, etc.) that go along with knocking up a lesbian. I didn’t mind answering questions after we were pregnant, but I wouldn’t have wanted to beforehand. Also, who doesn’t like surprises?
**Today, actually – 10/10. Happy positive pregnancy kit day!