1 + 1 = 3 (I’m Pregnant)

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31 weeks pregnant, September 6 2012 (Note the appropriate tee-shirt!)

I’m pregnant. Not the “I-just-peed-on-a-stick” kind of pregnant. I have been expecting our own little Canadian-Chinese-French (in alphabetical order) for over eight months now (33 weeks exactly).

Yeah, I know, I hid it.

Believe it or not, even though I was given the “birds and bees” talk many years ago, finding out I was pregnant was a bit of a shock to me—don’t ask, I know exactly how it happened—and I needed time to get used to the idea. And here I am, eight months later. Ahem. Bit late for a baby shower, but not too late to share funny stories!

It all started in late February after coming back from Central America. One morning, I woke up feeling like crap. I thought I was having a hard time adapting to the cold weather or that I had caught a winter bug. I also blamed it on the stress because I had just learned my mother needed emergency surgery, and I was getting ready to fly to France to be by her side.

But my body and I have been together for a long time, and deep down I had doubts. It didn’t feel like he flu.

The day I woke up and couldn’t look at the contents of the fridge without gagging, I knew something was up. I had been grocery shopping the day before, and food had looked appetizing enough then. And I am never nauseous. I have puked exactly twice in the past ten years, and in both instances, there was a logical explanation for it: once was on a winding road in Mexico, and the other one on the infamous Honduras to Belize boat. Food had never made me sick. It was odd.

I took a pregnancy test. It came out negative. But I still felt like crap and I couldn’t eat much over the weekend. I had no energy and I had to drag myself out of the house.

The following Monday morning, I mentioned my mysterious condition to a friend I was chatting with.

“Your body seems to be fighting something,” she said wisely. “Maybe the flu? That or you are pregnant!”

She was only half-joking. “I thought about it,” I typed “but the test I took was negative.”

She gave me the name of another brand, a more reliable one she claimed—these things are expensive, I hadn’t exactly splurged on a name brand.

I shut down my laptop and got dressed. I needed to be sure.

I felt like a 16-years-old who had just enjoyed a crazy slutty weekend when I handed the pregnancy test to the cashier. Buying a pregnancy test at WalMart on a Monday morning isn’t the classiest thing I have done… look at me, “People of WalMart” I am one of you!

Unable to wait until I was home, I locked myself into one of the supermarket’s bathroom stalls (another trashy moment!) and did what I had to do. And I waited, an eye on my stopwatch and the other on the stick (that is slightly harder than it seems).

Sure enough, a few minutes later, the word “YES” appeared on the stick.

See, that’s the perk of pricier pregnancy test. You don’t have to decipher the badly-written notice to interpret the results—you get an unmistakable “yes” or “no”.

And my pee had brought up a “yes”.

I had a closer look at the test, calmly threw it away, flushed, washed my hands and walked back home.

Fifteen minutes later, I stepped into the room where Feng was working. I stood at the door for a second.

“Okay, I am pregnant,” I blurted out before bursting into tears.

“Why are you crying?” he asked.

“I am not sure” I wailed.

Yep, I was pregnant.

“The pregnancy test brand you recommended works fine,” I wrote to my friend later on. “I am pregnant.”

I had to repeat that sentence in my head several times because it sounded unreal. Me, pregnant? Seriously?

“Is that… good?” she cautiously replied.

“I think so,” I said. “We will work things out.”

Deep down, it wasn’t a surprise. We wanted kids. While I wasn’t necessarily feeling ready for it, I have never imagined not having children. And I didn’t want to try to get pregnant—I wanted to let nature make the decision. Apparently, it had decided that now, at almost 29 years old, I was ready.

I called my mother. I thought she deserved to know, with the upcoming major surgery and all. Plus I’m the oldest kid in the family my mother loves children. Some days, I can’t help thinking she has been waiting for me to get pregnant for a good fifteen years—yeah, she probably wouldn’t have minded me being a teen mom!

“Remember the bug I thought I had caught?” I said. “Well, it’s not a bug. And it will get better… like in seven or eight months.”

She understood right away. “You… you are expecting?” she asked.

Yes I was. She was overjoyed but I told her to keep the news to herself for the time being. I wanted to make sure everything would be okay, and I needed time to get used to the idea.

Meanwhile, I had to deal with more pressing matter: booking a doctor appointment to confirm I was pregnant.

That day of March 5 felt unreal.


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Zhu, this was a very hilarious yet serious post at the same time. Being a male, I am sure I cannot experience the thoughts and feelings that you have, when you found out you were pregnant. I appreciate your candor about the whole thing; you know me, but I don’t believe that babies are automatically gifts from heaven and a reason to be joyful for. Some people want it, some people don’t, and sometimes, it brings cognitive dissonance.

    Anyway, since you’re already eight months on, I suppose the baby will be there soon. Good luck on your new adventure!

    Oh, I was also wondering, if I can get your snail mail address. I’d like to send you something non-electronic, if you don’t mind… 🙂

    • You know what, “even” being a male I’m sure you can relate a bit. Feng did. It’s not so much a woman thing vs. a guy thing, and guys go through a lot too during these nine months!

      Cognitive dissonance… yep, you are a linguist and a Phd 😆 Just kidding, this is exactly the right term for how I felt.

  2. Wow! A baby! Very cool. I raised 4 kids. Well, I had some help. Now I’m into grandkids. I am really excited for you. For sure, in a month or so your life will shift gears and never be quite the same again. Sell your TV now. You will be too busy watching the baby and marveling at how beautiful and brilliant he/she is. You and Feng will make great parents. Congratulations. PS. I would like a snail mail address too.

    • Phew…! I wasn’t watching much TV anyway, and I’m sure the baby will come commercial-free 🙂

      You have a lovely family Bill, I met them though your blog and I know that you know you are one lucky man.

  3. Wow! That’s huge news! Congratulations Zhu! I feel like I know you even though we haven’t met and I get the feeling that you will be a wonderful mom! I can’t believe you hid it for so long!

    • Thank you! Believe it or not, I “hid” it from my friends abroad that long as well, and I only told extended family at around 5 months. I liked keeping it a secret, although it’s also fun when people know!

  4. Your story gave me goosebumps. I’m so happy for you! I’ve got no doubts you’re both going to be great-travelers parents. Pleins pleins de félicitations !!!!

      • I’m going to be in Ottawa, possibly before your due date but it depends on the clients… when is your due date? You say it’s too late for a baby shower, but it’s never too late for baby stuff!

        You must’ve really squeezed in that England/France trip under the wire, too, since airlines don’t like late-pregnancy flying! And doctors won’t sign off on flying after 8 months (?).

        • I’m due towards the end of October, around the 26. It’s not exact science though! I’ll be around and I’d love to see you if you come up, it’s been a while. 🙂 No gifts needed, just having a coffee would be fun!

          I wasn’t showing much yet when we flew to Europe a few weeks ago, with a jacket you couldn’t tell. I actually have a story… I shall tell it soon!

  5. Hey, congratulations Zhu ! I am following your blog since almost a year and this is my first comment. I am glad to write it about such a happy piece of news ! By the way, many thanks for your posts and your beautiful pictures. I always enjoy your articles 🙂

  6. Hi Zhu, such great news – I’m so happy for you! How have you managed to keep it away in photos for so long? You couldn’t really tell in your pictures from Europe!

  7. Hi Zhu,

    Contrats !! I am like sitting with the iPad in Jean Le Sage airport and feeling happy and excited. Beautiful news.

    I would give you a very unFrench hug right now. If I. could.

    Loving thoughts to the three of you.

  8. Ohh my gooooodnessssss!!! Congratulations on such wonderful news Zhu! I am so pleased for all three of you. I hope the next few weeks, months and years are really good to you x

  9. I so very much wanted to cry Zhu….cry tears of joy….I cannot imagine just how time flies when I look at my two daughters and I’m sure you will get to enjoy the bundle of joy and embracing motherhood and your hubby….fatherhhood 🙂

    Hmmm…indeed you hide it well and I’m sorry for not being around updating and checking on posts……My mother has been in and out of hospital and things just get busier and busier.

    I will be updating soon and hey..I want to be ‘there’ and ‘here’ with you as you embrace motherhood my dear friend 😀

    • There is no need to apologize, you have a very busy life and I’m sorry to hear about your mother–I hope she gets better! I appreciate the well wishes and the support whenever 😉

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