The Master of Surprise

If there was ever any doubt in my family about who is the Master of Surprise, I have clearly won it now.

This year has been… a gigantic mess. From having to uproot all of our plans to move to Iowa, to having family members with health concerns, to moving again during school, to facing blow after blow that just seemed to knock us down… it’s been a tough year. Something needed to change, and we all needed a bit of good news. David and I knew from the beginning that this first semester would be challenging, but if we could just make it to the other side, things would be so much better and we could breathe easy again.

As we finally approached December, it seemed that our streak of madness was finally coming to an end and we could see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. As David approached the end of his college career, the job interviews (and offers!) started coming in. I was so proud of him! All of his hard work was finally, tangibly paying off. He accepted an offer close to home and was happy. The best thing for me was to see him so happy.

So like always, I was scheming. We were past due for a surprise.

I had been planning a surprise dinner for David in conjunction with both sides of our families as a way to celebrate his graduation. Much to my surprise, everyone could make it work on a day that fit my busy end-of-finals schedule. Getting everyone together in the same place at the same time was nothing short of a miracle in itself. But this whole plan turned out to not be the real surprise.

The day before the surprise dinner, David got a phone call about a job offer for THE BIG ONE–the job he really, really wanted– and all of a sudden things turned upside-down again. The first offer he had accepted he now had to turn down at the last minute. Imagine that, us having plans and at the last minute everything changes… it’s never boring around here, that’s for sure!

And so, the “surprise” dinner now had an even bigger surprise… sharing the news about this big new job!

I love seeing the look on David’s face when I pull off a surprise. I loved that it all worked out so well. Hugs were shared, a great meal was had, and David got to share his big news about the job. It couldn’t have been more perfect, and everyone was so happy. Our family has desperately needed some good news in the past few months, and it warmed my heart to see everyone smiling and having a good time together.

Only…. David knew about the surprise dinner the entire time I was planning it. Because there was even bigger news.

Under the guise of a graduation present, David opened his small gift from me while I handed out small gifts to everyone else.

It has been so hard to keep our little secret for the past three months.

Everyone else’s gift was a wrapped frame of baby’s first ultrasound picture.

The look of surprise on everyone’s faces and the squeals of excitement were exactly what I’ve been hoping for as we’ve been planning all of this for months. The look on my mom’s face was priceless! My mom, who automatically senses when someone is pregnant, had no idea… and that was the ultimate surprise.

And to make it that much sweeter: my cousin and her husband are also expecting, and we are due only four days apart!

Things couldn’t have worked out any better. Our families finally got the good news we’ve all been waiting for. I’m healthy, everything is progressing normally, school is going well, and David is ecstatic over this new job.

In all honesty, I’ve been waiting for someone to make a negative comment about me being pregnant while in school. We’d already been planning on starting our family sometime during school anyway, so it’s not like we haven’t put any thought into it beforehand. The worst part of it has been being so sick during the past three months. Some days, I was so nauseous and just useless, I got nothing done. Having the stomach flu during finals nearly pushed me over the edge, and for a day or two I was scared to death I’d end up tanking the finals and having to repeat the entire semester. My anatomy professor, who is a saint in my book, has helped me out so much at the end of the year–but she’s also expecting, so maybe that is why she took pity on me. She was the only one who actually knew about our little one; another professor, one of my favorite neonatologists, just happened to figure it out by herself (sick + pale + not herself = the hallmarks of pregnancy, apparently). Everyone has been SO supportive, which has been a big surprise, but a welcome one. If there is anything I’ve learned about school so far and juggling outside responsibilities, it’s that there is a way to make everything work, it just has to be prioritized. I’m hoping that this stays true once the little one gets here–but I’m not the only student in my class that is either expecting or has a very young child at home, which gives me hope. That’s not to say that having a baby next summer (my last “summer” break ever) hasn’t disrupted our travel plans–our vacation to Costa Rica, and medical missions trips to Ecuador and Brazil are all canceled–or better, postponed. There will be opportunities for those things later.

Although, I’m pretty much convinced that if I can exceed nearly every single goal I’ve set for myself for the semester while being unbelievably sick (and a terrible student) for half of it, then I can do just about anything.

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