Being pregnant is often super exciting, especially if you're set to become a parent for the first time. Everything feels new, and the anticipation over finally meeting your little one can be beyond overwhelming in the best possible way. It's one reason why baby showers can feel so special — and why it usually means so much to pregnant mamas-to-be to have a supportive tribe to celebrate with. And that's why recent stories about women announcing their pregnancies at friends' or siblings' baby showers or weddings have had the internet all riled up. The common argument is that it's selfish to steal someone's "moment." But this viral Reddit story from a mom whose sister announced her pregnancy at the mom's baby shower turns those narratives on their heads and sets an incredible example.
Reddit user Ernieball is a California woman who is pregnant with her first child after a frustrating battle with infertility. In a recent post, she shared that her older sister actually waited until her baby shower to reveal that she, too, was pregnant for the first time — but although stories of "thunder-stealing" siblings seem to be all over the internet, this heartwarming post was actually anything but. Ernieball wrote about how she and her sister are two years apart and had grown up close, and that even though they now live far from each other (her sister lives in Minnesota), they had both been each other's rock during their respective attempts to start a family.
Ernieball wrote that, given the difficulty she faced trying to conceive (she and her husband tried for 19 cycles without any luck, before she even told her sister what was going on), she decided to wait before publicly revealing the news of her baby's gender — and that, in fact, it was Ernieball's sister who actually found out the gender first, and broke the news to Ernieball and her husband in "a mini 'gender reveal' slideshow. Ernieball explained that she had planned to share the news with everyone once her baby shower rolled around, but when her sister told her that she would actually be pregnant when she came to California to attend her shower? Well that seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up.
In what she described as "the baby shower reveal to end all reveals," Ernieball explained that in addition to announcing to her family and friends (by way of a giant box filled with mylar balloons) that she was carrying a boy, she also put out a separate box, without explaining what it was for. And after the commotion over her gender reveal settled down, she gave that box to her younger brother to open.
Comparing the event to all the Christmases the two girls spent excitedly opening presents that basically contained the exact same thing (like the year they each got a Smooshie in two different colors), Ernieball wrote,
...The mysterious fifth box was opened … and up floated a bundle of balloons containing a message:
'Look, Ernie’sSis!' said Ernieball. 'I got a Smooshie!'
'Look, Sissy! I GOT ONE TOO!!!'
'Baby X, Coming April 2018!'
And from behind the bushel of boxes and balloons my brother comes tearing around to seek out my big sister amongst the crowd of our family and friends –
'You’re PREGNANT!?!?!?' he cries — and all she could do was nod.
Two seconds of complete silence...
And the crowd. Goes. Wild.
At the end of the sweet story, Ernieball noted that, as far as she was concerned, there was no such thing as stealing anyone's thunder, and wrote, "the only thing better than one baby, is two." And that's something that definitely seems to have resonated with her fellow pregnant Reddit users, because upvotes and comments have been pouring in.
Many of them wrote about how emotional the story actually made them (I mean honestly, just try to read it without tearing up a little!), while others shared how awesome it was to read such a positive story about something that can so often leave pregnant woman feeling totally hurt or disappointed. (Though it is worth noting that Ernieball was 100 percent in on the plan — this story may not have had such a happy ending if her sister had decided to reveal her pregnancy without giving her the heads up.)
Of course, the idea of "thunder-stealing" doesn't only happen in pregnancy, but it seems to be a parenting topic that a lot of people feel strongly about. According to TODAY Parents, more than half of the 12,000 parents who responded to the site's 2016 survey about baby names said that "baby-name stealing" was totally a thing, and that you shouldn't give your kid a name you know someone else already has their heart set on. And skewering pregnant celebs for their apparent thunder-stealing is totally a thing: when rumors surfaced that Kim Kardashian had hired a surrogate to carry her third child, many on social media criticized her for apparently trying to take the spotlight away from Beyoncé, who had given birth to twins only two days earlier.
Of course, what Ernieball's Reddit post proves is that not only does having someone announce their pregnancy at your baby shower not have to be totally offensive and devastating, but it can actually be a beautiful way to make the celebration that much more incredible. After all, if you've got an awesome sister, could there really be anyone you'd rather share your pregnancy thunder with?
It may not be for everyone (sometimes siblings can actually be the worst, anyway), but it's no surprise that a story like this one was such a hit. At a time when it can seem like the bulk of what you read on the internet is either heartbreaking or infuriating, a totally love-filled story is probably the very thing the world could use right now.