Jennine recently released the shackles of a full-time job in advertising to be at home with her family. Newly married with an infant daughter, Lindsay, she is discovering what it means to be a mommy. And now she's expecting her second.
Pregnant. That's what the EPT pregnancy test read as I looked down in disbelief. How could this be? This wasn't supposed to happen yet.
I had just gotten married and then spent two wonderful weeks in Maui for a honeymoon, coming back in time for the holidays with family. And, to begin our new life together.
In the midst of planning our first "married" holiday together, I was getting nauseous at some unusual things. One evening, my affectionate husband tried to give me a kiss after eating a handful of Planter's peanuts. Overwhelmed by the scent, I pushed him away in disgust and made a run for the bathroom. Shortly after, the smell of coffee turned my stomach. This, a totally foreign concept for one who couldn't drive by a Dunkin Donuts without stopping for a cup.
My husband put words to my condition the night of the "peanut" incident (as he called it). "You're pregnant," he said with quirky grin on his face. The words stopped me in my tracks. I quickly did the calculations and remembered the timing of our honeymoon. Ohmigod! Our honeymoon. Off to the drugstore we went to get a pregnancy test to see if he was right. That night, my husband loitered outside the bathroom while I took the test. After a few minutes, I opened the door and held out the EPT test that read "Pregnant" in bold letters.
Time just stopped. Amazing how one word can change your life forever. Shock and surprise was our initial reaction. So much for spending a year or two getting used to being married before staring a family. Heck, I was still getting settled in my new home. My mind was racing with thoughts, questions, and concerns. I was pretty anxious.
Don't get me wrong; I've always wanted children. It's more that life had become pretty predictable and I really was expecting this yet. I moved in with my husband shortly before we got married and maintained a semi-long distance relationship before that. So, I didn't have a doctor in the area. And, I still had a demanding job that was 1-1/2 hours away from my new home. How was I to make this work?
Besides, how accurate are these tests anyway. Should we tell family and friends yet or wait? What about work? When should I break the news there? How far along was I? What about the chance of a miscarriage?
My husband wanted to waste no time in telling his family, who lived locally. I, the ever-cautious one, thought we should wait until we were absolutely sure. With reluctance he agreed. That same weekend, we were invited to his parent's birthday celebration (mom and dad both have birthdays right before Christmas). I opted out, as there was no way I could even look at birthday cake, let alone eat any without getting sick. I'd be a dead giveaway for sure. So, John went solo explaining to the family that I wasn't feeling well.
We scheduled my first visit with my husband's physician that very next week. She was so nice and spent quite a bit of time with me talking about her experience as a new mom and even recommended a few books about childbirth. She then sent me to the labs for a full battery of blood work...and to confirm pregnancy. Two days later, she called me personally with the results. "Congratulations," she said. "You're going to have baby."
OK. I was starting to get excited about the whole thing. I figured everything would fall into place. My husband beamed when I told him the news. He gave me a big squeeze and we decided it was safe to break the news to our families.
We called my parents first, who live in Ohio. We huddled next to the phone receiver when my mom answered. All we said is "Merry Christmas, Grama!" It took her a few seconds and then she cried out (actually she kind of screamed), "Oh, Jenny!" She had some family and friends over for a holiday party, and just started hollering to all who were present that her Jenny was pregnant. "This is the best Christmas present you could give me," she proclaims, "I love you both."
Next, we told my husband's family over Christmas Eve dinner. Dinner went off without a hitch. I was silently hoping no one would notice I wasn't drinking wine and barely touched my dinner (mostly in fear of setting off a wave of nausea). After dinner we all were gathered in the living room with coffee and dessert. John's mother asked me if I was having coffee (apparently, it was noticeably absent from my hands). Then she smiled and asked, "You look really pale tonight. Are you OK?" John quickly took over, not wanting our news to be scooped. He looked directly at his parents and said, "How do you feel about having more grandkids?" As their mouths started to open, he blurted out "We're having a baby!"
The room burst into an excited chatter. John's mom said, "I knew it! I knew it the night you didn't come over for our birthday. John said you were nauseous. I thought you were pregnant." John's three sisters all approached with hugs and well wishes as did John's folks. Our child was to be the 2nd grandchild in the family. As John was one of four siblings, and the only boy at that, his family immediately predicted we would have a girl. And, that we were destined to have all girls. His mom and sisters chuckle at the thought of John being surrounded with only females in his family.
Beyond the nausea I didn't feel or look different yet. So sharing the news with our families did make my pregnancy feel real. Yes, it took some time for us to really accept our new reality. And, I still wondered if we were ready to be parents? Wondered how this would change our lives?
At our first ultrasound, I held my breath and watched this little sprite swimming around. Not feeling any movement inside my belly yet, I watched the monitor in amazement. How miraculous. My eyes welled with tears. Wow. My baby is real. I exhaled. Ready or not, we are going to be parents.
Welcome to Crib Notes... Please share your personal pregnancy stories with us below.
Coming next: In full bloom. They say that a baby changes everything. Well, it starts with your body.