Fourth pregnancies are old news.
I figured it would be this way, and it has been. So how do you inject some fun into a pregnancy where most people have the attitude of 'We get it - You can procreate'?
On all of our other pregnancies, we just called our families after the ultrasound to tell them the gender. Word would get around from there. That seemed pretty anti-climactic this time. And once I realized that we'd be doing the 20 week ultrasound two weeks before Christmas, I knew I wanted to make this announcement a little more exciting than just a phone call.
I started looking online for ideas about how to announce baby gender to your family. Know what I found? Nothin'. At least, nothing good. Everyone and their mother throws out the cake idea where you make the inside blue or pink. Okay, it's cute. But it's also getting incredibly overused and isn't an easily performed feat from 1000 miles away. Plus, we had three sets of grandparents to announce this to and I wasn't going to pay for three different cakes to be made in time for Christmas in three different towns.
So, seriously astounded that I couldn't find any good ideas, I actually logged into my Pinterest account - which hasn't seen the light of my computer in at least a year. This didn't yield much more in the way of results. There's quite a bit out there for announcing that you are pregnant, but not for gender. I did stumble across one picture of a balloon that, combined with my Shutterfly account, led to the eventual way that we announced to our families that Baby L is a girl.
Feel free to steal my idea.
It's not THAT creative, but it's certainly a bit more fun than spending the afternoon calling all your favorite peeps.
It started with a mini-photography session with my kids. The day we had the ultrasound I made them take a bajillion pictures so I could hopefully get one where everyone was looking in the right direction and at least half smiling. This was the best one...
I made that little sign out of card stock, and am glad I did as the colors were much more vibrant in pictures than construction paper would have been.
Then I headed over to Shutterfly to make a card that we sent to all the grandparents. They were going to open them at their respective family holiday celebrations so all of the extended family found out at the same time. But the ultrasound was done on December 12, and I knew that if I was going to have cards made and sent to me AND then sent to grandparents before Christmas day, then I would have to get my card done and ordered that day.
I don't remember what card template I used on Shutterfly, except that it was not a birth announcement card. Those were all too gender specific and didn't give me enough wiggle room to make the card I already had in mind.
The front of the card...
Inside of the card...
The ultrasound pic on the inside only shows the profile of the baby.
Bryan said my little poem was "incredibly cheesy". Yes, it is. Cheesy and gender reveal cards just seem to go together. Good luck trying to come up with something that doesn't sound like a 10 year old wrote it.
When the cards made it to my house, I added the balloons that are referenced in the card.
Side Note: Props to Shutterfly for getting them to me in a day and a half. I paid a LOT for that, but still, the cards all got to their specified locations before Christmas, so I guess it was worth it.
So the premise of my idea is that each card would show up with two balloons in it - one pink and one blue.
Instead of having the card just outright tell them what the gender was, they had to do a little activity. One person blew up the pink balloon at the same time that someone else blew up the blue one. The point was that the pink one would get big, while the blue one stayed little, and they would figure out that it was a girl.
But how to keep the blue one from expanding, yet not look any different than it normally would?
Bryan and I spent an hour in the kitchen experimenting with that question. A straight pin does the trick. I was worried that if I poked a bunch of holes, they would be obvious to the person holding the balloon and ruin the surprise. It doesn't - at least not with a straight pin. You can poke a ton of holes in that sucker, then pull a bit on the balloon to stretch it, and you can't make out the holes unless you bust out a magnifying glass.
Now if you only make a couple of holes, the balloon still blows up to a pretty large size. It does lose air, but at an incredibly slow rate and people would be sitting there either confused, or waiting 15 minutes to see which balloon would get smaller.
So we ended up poking a bunch of holes in the blue balloons - like probably more than 30. This presented a new problem, albeit one we could work around. When I tried to blow up the balloon with holes - using my normal girl force of breath - the balloon expanded a tiny bit and then stopped and I could feel the air coming out of the holes. That was the intent.
When Bryan would blow up the holey balloons - using his massive man lungs - he put so much force behind the air that the balloon would start to expand like normal, but would then explode.
We figured that even if the blue one exploded, it would still get the point across to everyone watching. So i put a little handwritten caveat under the third line of the poem - One will stay flat (or explode) - to let people know that that might happen.
In case they just really didn't pick up on the hint, the back of the card looked like this...
But I covered this little pic and message with a sticky note that said NO Peeking!
We put those puppies in the mail and waited for the phone calls to start on Christmas Eve and day. I did send messages out beforehand that I wanted people to take pictures so we could see how it turned out.
My mom took a good set of pics documenting my dad, my youngest sister, Hilda, and my brother, Kiel opening the card.
Then there's Bryan's mom blowing up the pink balloon.
Their blue balloon did explode!
And my cousin and aunt getting in on the fun.
I also have one of Bryan's dad and stepmom, but it's on my phone and can't seem to get it to transfer to the internet for anything, so you'll have to take my word on that.
Everyone seemed to have a good time with our gender reveal, especially since we did it at Christmas. I will say that it was incredibly difficult to keep the gender a secret, even for a short time. That may have been the longest 13 days of my life.
And NO ONE was expecting it to be a girl, so that probably enhanced the surprise!
Like I said, feel free to steal our idea. Or make it better.
And I should probably mention that Shutterfly has no idea that I exist or that I included them in this post. They just happen to be the company I have always used for pictures and cards.