Friday, January 23, 2015

How We Shared Our Exciting News

Thanks for all the encouragement about sharing such personal details about our journey.  I thought about chickening out but I'm thankful I didn't.  I do want to say, it wasn't my intention to make anyone feel guilty or to make you try to figure out if they said something to us over the last two and a half years.  My goal was just to bring awareness to the often casual question that gets thrown around.  It is hard even sometimes for me to not ask people about having kids.  The rule I usually try to stick to is if the other person brings up kids then they probably feel comfortable talking about it.  But if they don't have kids and they don't bring it up then I try not to ask about their future plans.  So, no worries and now on to the exciting post!

We had such a great time telling family and friends that we are having a baby. We were able to tell most people in person over the two weeks while we were home.  I thought it would be fun to write down how we shared and the different reactions so I can remember.  This post is long but I wanted to remember the details because it was so special to me!  I put headings if you want to skim :).
When we started thinking about how to tell family and friends I found the "Finally" shirt.  There were lots of cute pregnancy announcement shirts and there were several that were Christmassy which would have worked but when I saw the "Finally!" I laughed out loud and thought, "Yep! That is the one!"  I liked it for a few reasons.  The obvious one being that it took us a while and I was excited to finally be pregnant.  I also wanted it because after about a year of trying I was really worried that once we told people they would respond with "it's about time" or "took you long enough" or something else not very sensitive before they knew that we struggled.  I didn't want to hear those comments or get upset about them but I also didn't want other people to say them and then realize they just stuck their foot in their mouth.  So the shirt kind of worked as a way to say "yeah we realize it took a while" without having to give all the details at once.  Plus, I realized after just telling people without the shirt that it is awkward to just blurt it out and the shirt was a fun way to sneak it in to the conversation.

Here is how we shared our exciting news!
Telling Jake the First Time
The first time we did IVF, I tested on the morning of June 20th before we left for Nyköping for midsummer and to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary.  I vividly remember praying hard before taking the test that no matter what it said I would trust God's plan.  I had prayed that same prayer before every test over the last 24 months.  The IVF clinic gives you a pregnancy test they want you to use so I used that one along with a cheap one I had as a backup that I was familiar with.  I barely had time to finish the first test and start the next one by the time the first one said positive.  I couldn't believe I was pregnant!  I had taken and failed that test so many times and I did the same thing that morning I had all the other mornings and yet the test result was different.  I decided to keep my mouth shut until we got to Nyköping for a picnic lunch and then I would tell Jake.  I had a cute Star Wars Heroes board book I bought at my school book fair two years ago that I had been hiding (and lugging around) waiting until I could give it to him to tell him we were pregnant.  I gave that to him this summer and we both teared up and just hugged.  We were finally pregnant and had no clue what to do next.  It was such a cool and surreal moment.

We always take an anniversary picture with the number of years on my fingers (we might have to get creative when I run out of fingers) like my mom did with us growing up on the first day of school.  Here Jake was pointing to my belly since we just found out I was pregnant.  This picture makes me sad but I'm thankful for the new life growing inside me and to share the ups and down with this guy.

 Telling Angela and Lisa 
After telling Jake I called Angela to tell her and we just giggled about all the crazy things I'd email her about now that I was pregnant.  The next week during a fika with Lisa I told her that we were pregnant by giving her a thank you card for picking up "my grandparents" aka Jake's parents when they arrived in Stockholm and I signed the card Baby Janzen.  She hugged me which was great because neither of us are huggers but that was a hugging moment (and I was worried for a while she would be one of the only people I'd tell in person because of the timing of when we would be home).  She then pulled out a gift that she bought for the baby.  She was going to just carry it around with her until I told her the exciting news.  She was obviously hoping for the best!

Telling Jake the Second Time
For our second IVF round, I took the test on October 26th.  (If you didn't read Our Journey to Parenthood blog I found out I miscarried the first baby around 7 weeks and then had a d & c after my body failed to fully miscarry it.)  I tested the same way the first time where I used the IVF clinic test and a backup one and it turned positive pretty quickly again this time.  Jake knew the test date at one point but he has a horrible memory so he didn't remember the day I was supposed to test which was fine because then I could surprise him.  I tried to think of a cute way to tell Jake but honestly I just wanted to tell him and then to make it to the first ultrasound and see that beating heart.  Then I could let myself get truly excited.  After I took the test I pretty much just walked out and told him.  He was surprised and then we walked back into the bathroom and looked at the sticks.  Romantic and cute huh?  Not the way I had planned to tell him (because after 2.5 years you can come up with some fun ways) but I was still guarding my heart from the first miscarriage.  We did celebrate quite a bit after the follow up sonogram with hamburgers and a cookie dough milkshake :).

Telling Angela and Lisa the Second Time
Angela heard the good news right after Jake.  I called her and told her just like I did the first time.  We usually just email each other so she should know by now that if I'm calling it is probably good news! It was fun being able to tell someone.   Later that day, we went over to Lisa's to hang out and we told Lisa and Jimmy.  Lisa (my friend in Sweden who recently moved to Hong Kong and isn't my friend anymore . . . just kidding, but seriously?)   Lisa has heard more about infertility and IVF over our fika dates than she probably cares about so she got to find out early!  Jake just casually mentioned it in the conversation while Lisa was in the kitchen so it was fun to see her try to figure out if it meant what she thought it did.  I never thought I would tell people that early we were pregnant but those girls have been there every step of the way so they got the inside scoop.  After that we decided not to tell anyone else until after our follow up ultrasound.

After the Ultrasound
Two days after finding out I was pregnant we went to Italy with Jake's parents for 8 days.  It was hard not to tell them but also kind of fun to have a secret.  We had to wait about three weeks after my pregnancy test before the follow up ultrasound.  Once we saw the heart beating I couldn't wait to tell Jan, my roommates and our parents.  We always Skype with my parents on Sunday night and Jake's parents on Monday night so we decided to tell them during a normal Skype time to not tip them off which meant Jan and the roommates got to find out first!

Jan and My Roommates
Thankfully I got to do a video chat with all four of them to tell them to exciting news.  I called Jan first since she wasn't working and could Skype with me.  I told her Jake got me an early birthday present (my birthday is July 5th and the baby is due July 1st) and then I held up a onesie that Lisa gave me that says "Made in Sweden".

Kelli was able to Skype with me the next morning and I told her the same way.  I tried telling Emily on that Saturday as well but she was busy getting ready for Wes' third birthday party so we Skyped on Sunday.  Jami was attending the birthday party which meant I couldn't tell her until Sunday as well because if she knew and Emily didn't know and she saw Emily it would be hard not to say anything.  On Sunday, I Skyped with Emily but her in laws were in the room with her which put a small kink in my plans.  I love her in-laws. Dennis and Suz are great but I didn't think they should know before my parents :) or at least I didn't want to tell them before my parents. I have no idea what they heard after I hung up.  So when they went to lay Wes down for a nap I told Emily I had something exciting to tell her but she couldn't make too much noise because it was a secret.  I held up the onesie and she started silent cheering.  Then I called Jami and told her about my early birthday present.  Jami was about a week away from giving birth to her second child so it was fun catching up before a big life change for both of us.
Our Parents
We were planning on telling our parents that same weekend but Jake had a work trip on Monday so we had to move our Skype time with his parents. His mom had a busy weekend so she was just going to skip it this week.  Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal but we were HAVING A BABY and we can't just tell his dad and not his mom during our Skype call.  Plus, my parents live about 5 minutes from Jake's parent and our moms see each other at the store and throughout the week for other random things so I knew I couldn't tell my mom and then wait a week before telling his.  We ended up waiting a week before we could tell our parents.  It was a LONG week.

The next weekend we had our normal video chats.  We decided to record telling our parents which I am really thankful we did.  We told my parents first since we Skype with them on Sundays.  After about five minutes into the call I told them Jake got me an early birthday present and then held up the onesie.  It was so fun to see their reactions.  My mom kept asking if my dad knew what that meant and then the next thing I know she takes a bite of food like it was no big deal (we usually eat during lunch time).  But as soon as she took that bite things started sinking in and then the tears came.  I have rewatched that video several times and I cry every time.  I am not a crier (even during this pregnancy I haven't been very emotional).
 In shock. (Also, I think Lisa wanted to be a part of me telling my family and friends which is why she gave me this onesie, it worked!  Smart girl.)
I love the way my mom is looking at my dad here.
We told Jake's parents the next day, a Monday, during our normal weekly chat.  Their wedding anniversary is July 1st, which is our due date, so we told them we decided to get them an anniversary gift this year.  We also recorded their reactions which was fun.

I like this one of Ken looking at Janet too.
We swore both sets of parents to secrecy until we were home for Christmas.  We wanted to tell our siblings as well but since all of them have kids who are old enough to know what it means if we say I'm pregnant and we wanted to wait until passed the 12 week point before telling them.

Annie, Jake's Sister
We told Jake's sister over Google Hangout because we were seeing her pretty late into our trip back and we were afraid the news would leak out on Facebook and we didn't want that to happen.  Jake has been doing some painting and so he was showing Annie and Andrew some pictures and then the last one he showed them was our ultrasound picture.  We had our 12 week ultrasound that day so we had a great picture to show and confirmation that things were still going well.  We also recorded them.  I think Andrew wasn't quite sure what to think but once his dad got home he shared the good news so I think he is excited.

Liz, One of Jake's Best Friends at Work
Jake didn't tell many people about our struggle to get pregnant but he did tell Liz.  I really like Liz.  She is great and fun to hang out with.  Plus her husband is also awesome!  Jake called Liz to talk, which they do pretty regularly since we've moved, but he put her on speaker phone so I could hear her reaction.  She was SO excited!  She wanted to run up and down the halls screaming the good news but she had to wait ;).  She told her husband Jon and then he messaged me on Facebook saying congrats which was fun!

The Breakfast Club
A group of friends from my last school is lovingly referred to as the Breakfast Club because occasionally we were . . . possibly . . . the misfits but we all loved each other.  The night we landed in KC Amy picked us up from the airport and then we headed over to Nikki's to hangout.  We told Amy before getting to Nikki's which was fun.  Jake recorded her and in typical Amy fashion it would need to be edited before posting on here but it was exactly what I thought she would say and it just made me smile.  She was so surprised.  She was the first person I got to tell who had NO idea we were trying and that was awesome!

The plan at Nikki's was to tell them I wanted an update picture but Jake would take it and instead of taking a picture he would take a video.  During the video he said, "1, 2, Kara's Pregnant" . . . . and then there was a LONG pause.  I finally said 3 because no one was saying anything.  Nikki started freaking out and Chris was confused as to why the camera didn't flash and then he realized fully what Jake said.  It was awesome!

I have the video but this is the picture we took afterwards because I did want a new one for my board in our apartment.
Aaron and Lindsay
We had a get together with some of Jake's coworkers on the 22nd but we couldn't tell them I was pregnant yet because my brother didn't know.  My brother and Jake work at the same company so I was worried the news would spread and my brother would find out at work.  Thankfully, my parents were in town and we were able to go to dinner together.  I got to wear my "Finally" shirt for the first time and I was pumped!  I carefully put on a scarf and a cardigan before heading to their house.  I showed my parents the shirt ahead of time but made sure my niece didn't see it because we were afraid she would be able to read what it said.  Shortly after Aaron and Lindsay got home I took off my scarf and just waited it out.  I thought I caught Lindsay taking a glance in my direction but then she didn't say anything.  Next thing I know she is standing directly in front of me asking, "Am I the only one who hasn't seen Kara's shirt yet?"  I reply with, "I don't think Aaron has." Aaron looks and then they both congratulated us, with hugs.  Like I said before, I am not a hugger and I can't remember the last time my brother hugged me (Lindsay had hugged me the night before) but it really meant a lot.  Lindsay then asked Avery, my niece who is 4 and will be 5 in February, if she knew what my shirt said.  Avery replies with, "Finally?"  I was shocked.  That is a hard word for some of my previous 3rd graders! Then Lindsay asked if she knew what happens sometimes to girls in their stomach area and that is when Avery figured out I was having a baby.  I wish we would have filmed that but I didn't want to tip off Aaron and Lindsay.  Then we had dinner at Mi Ranchito!  I can't think of a better way to celebrate!
Holding Connor for the first time and hiding a big secret behind that scarf!
Grandpa Lindeblad and Uncle Bob
We drove home on Christmas Eve and celebrated Christmas like we always do with Jake's side of the family that night.  Before dinner we read a passage for advent and the scripture that night was Isaiah 9:6, "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."  Jake's mom thought Jake could read it and after saying "For unto us a child is born" he would then say, "Actually, unto Kara and me a child will be born."  I thought it was clever.
Robbie & Missy
We told Robbie and Missy our exciting news on Christmas morning.  We were hanging out at my parent's house and the kids opened a toy each to play with that day and then Jake and I exchanged a gift as our way of telling them.  Jake's present to me had something to do with a baby which would tell them I was pregnant but I didn't know what the gift was so it was a fun surprise for all of us :).  He gave me a Finnish baby box.  In Finland, as an incentive to get prenatal care they give you a box of baby clothes and supplies for free if you go to a doctor within the first 3 or 4 months of your pregnancy.  The box itself can be used as a crib because it comes with a mattress.  Having babies sleep in a box seemed strange but infant mortality went down significantly after they introduced the boxes.  We can't get one for free but there are some companies that make them to sell so he gave me that and we just need to order one.  We are actually thinking about using the box as the crib for a while since we will only be here a few months before moving back and we don't have a lot of space.  So I opened my gift and that is how Robbie and Missy found out!

Kevin, Gwen and Jon
The day after Christmas we had lunch with Kevin, his wife Gwen and Jon at Saigon in Wichita.  We decided to go with the Finally shirt again this time and Kevin did not miss a beat.  He was the quickest to spot the shirt and figure it out, out of all the times we used it.  I tried to wait until our food arrived to make it seem like I was trying to avoid getting food on my scarf.  Blake, one of Jake's other good friends, and his wife had a baby that morning so they obviously couldn't come but their news gave us a little bit of a scare.  The day before our lunch get together, Jake got a group text because Ashley went into labor but the first text that came through was Kevin's which said "Congrats, we are so excited for you two."  Shortly after Blake's came through saying Ashley was in labor but for a few minutes we thought someone spilled our beans.  At lunch right when Jon sat down he said something about a new baby and I panicked again until I realized he meant Blake and Ashley's new baby.  Times are changing for this group of boys that is for sure!

Knox Cousins
The cousin's on Jake's Dad's side of the family always get together on December 26th.  I really wanted to go this year to hang out and tell them our exciting news but we just couldn't make it down there.  We decided to Skype so we could at least see them (and so I could see their reactions).  They were almost hanging up on me when I told them I had an ornament even though I couldn't be there for the annual ornament exchange.  Then I held up a snowman ornament of a couple and the girl had the word baby with an arrow pointing to her stomach.  They were so excited and I thought it was a clever way to share and a fun keepsake to have.

Aunt Susan and Uncle John
My Aunt Susan and Uncle John stopped by for a visit on the 29th.  We had fun catching up.  I changed into my Finally shirt about 20 minutes before I left for dinner but decided to just walk through the living room without my scarf on to see if they noticed.  My aunt picked up on it right away.  "Finally? Finally?  Are you guys having a baby?" and then she started tearing up.  It was so sweet. 

Rex Friends
Whenever I would travel back to Wichita even when I lived in Olathe I tried to get together with a few friends I taught with at Rex Elementary.  I taught there my first two years and loved it.  Now when we are back from Sweden we have still been able to get together for our traditional Old Chicago dinner.  I wore the finally shirt again and I timed it a little too late :).  I feel awkward just taking off my scarf right away because it seems like I'm not that interested in what they are doing which isn't true but this time I should have done it sooner.  Chris started asking me what my plans were when we moved back about getting a teaching position so I lied and said I would be looking for a job and probably moving back before Jake so I could start the school year on time.  And then I took my scarf off.  They were excited but Chris didn't believe anything I said for the rest of the night.  I had a great time hanging out with Chris, Haleigh and Amber.  Amber is pregnant with her fourth (and probably last) baby and I'm pregnant with my first so it is fun being pregnant together!  She has already been giving me great advice!

Jake's Coworkers
We had two happy hours with Jake's coworkers while we were back.  We didn't tell them the news at the first one so that my brother didn't accidentally find out at work but we did share the news at the second one.  Jake told several people at work that day before the happy hour but I wanted to tell Christina, Dave's wife, so I could see her reaction.  They knew we had been trying for a while and Dave has actually been to Stockholm twice for work and both times we went on a trip with him.  We went to Amsterdam in November 2013 and then this September we went to Northern Ireland.  I had just had the transfer done before our trip to Northern Ireland but we didn't know if I was pregnant.  If you read the post then you might remember I fell asleep at one of the pubs which should have been a huge clue for me because I typically do not fall asleep in random places, especially public.  Once Christina made it to the happy hour I asked her, "Did Dave know you were pregnant before he went to Northern Ireland with us because we didn't know I was pregnant until we got back?"  Christina and I are about a week and a half apart which is fun.  They were really excited for us.  And Liz was excited that she could FINALLY talk about it and congratulate us in person!

Brad and Victoria
I've known Brad since middle school and then Jake met him in high school and roomed with him in college until Jake and I got married and I kicked Brad out of the house :).  Brad's wife Victoria is awesome!  We both just love her!  I've realized in life that you can pick your friends but you can't pick their spouse (let's face it, most of us have had that thought before) but I couldn't pick a better match for Brad.  I just can't wait until we can go on another trip together so Victoria and I can lay on the beach while the boys go do crazy adventurous things (guess the kids with be with grandparents).  We had a little New Years Eve get together with some close friends but Brad and Victoria were the only ones that we hadn't met up with yet so they didn't know we were pregnant.  I didn't want to wear the shirt but we also couldn't figure out a fun way to tell them.  Jake said he just told people at work the day before so we could just tell them.  Boys.  Telling people you are pregnant can be kind of awkward and out of the blue if you don't lead up to it.  We did what I referred to in an earlier post as the band-aid method.

Some people pull off a band-aid really slowly and others just rip it off.  I pull slowly and Jake rips.  We just ripped it off with Brad and Victoria.  I walked over to them when they were feeding Zion and said, "So, we are pregnant."  It definitely caught them off guard.  But my favorite part was when one of them asked for the details and Jake said something along the lines of, "We are due July 1st, it took us 2 and a half years and we eventually got pregnant through IVF, we are having the baby in Sweden, Kara feels better now and we aren't finding out the sex."  I started cracking up.  Talk about information overload!

Erin - Our former roommate . . . who says she likes me more than Jake :)
We had lunch with Erin McGonigle on New Year's Day at Iron Horse.  We thought it would be fun to tell her by asking her a doctor question since she is the chief resident in her program.  When we were ordering at Iron Horse I asked her, "Can you have crab rangoon if you are pregnant?"  She said, "Yes." So I turned to Jake and said, "Okay good, well then let's get some."  She got so excited and started tearing up.  It was awesome!

My Cousin Holly
Holly and I are about 6 months apart and have always been pretty close even though we only see each other about once a year.  I was really excited to call her and tell her.  She is planning a trip to visit us this May so I thought I'd tell her that the plans for them to visit have changed a little bit.  We were planning on them being in Stockholm for a few days and then going to another country with them but I told her I couldn't go anywhere with them because I'll be super pregnant by then.  She was so excited for us.  It was really fun talking to her about it.  I was planning on calling her mom the next day to tell her.

My Aunt Carmen & My Cousin Sydney
Carmen actually called me before I was able to call her.  She started talking about the trip to see us so it was perfect to just slip in the same line about being too pregnant to travel.  My cousin Sydney walked by Carmen shortly after that so then I told her the same thing :).

My Aunt Sharon
I wasn't able to get together with my Aunt Sharon or her family so I called her to tell her the news.  I told her I had just finished doing some browsing at Babies r Us because we were pregnant.  She was excited and thankful to not find out about it on Facebook :).

Gardner Friends
When I'm back I try to get together with my Gardner Elementary friends if possible but it is hard with so many busy schedules.  Three lucky people got to find out in person that we were pregnant.  We met at Austin's for dinner the night before flying back to Stockholm.  Chris, his family and Nikki already knew we were pregnant but Donna, (Jenny) Becker and Monica didn't.  After catching up for a few minutes one of them asked me to tell them a story so I took off my scarf and they all screamed!  It was great!  They were the last group of friends we told in person and I had a lot of fun catching up with them.
The one that showed up on Facebook that night.
 The fun one that had to wait for the Facebook official post!

If you read through all of those stories you are a rock star!  I am SO thankful we were able to share our exciting news in person with so many friends and family members.  I was maybe a little too worried about our news getting out on Facebook before I announced it.  We told people pretty slowly over two weeks instead of all at once and I didn't want close friends or family to find out on Facebook but we didn't have any spoilers!

I am working on a post with belly pictures and how I've been feeling so far so check back for that.  Plus I still need to finish the Venice post!  So much happening and so little time!  That is okay, I hear when the baby comes I'll have lots of free time . . .


  1. Thanks for sharing so much of your excitement and joy about being pregnant! There's something beautiful about your blogs and how you love to let us all know what's happening with you and Jake, especially of course your pregnancy. Congratulations again!!

    1. Thanks Mark! We are really excited. It is fun to share our news on the blog so I can remember it but also since we are so far away it feels like we are a little closer to home when people read about it and leave comments, so thanks!


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