Jordan’s Story


Every parent dreams of having a healthy, happy baby. When you first learn your are having a baby, you dream of all the things you and your child will do together. You harbor hopes and expectations about their future.

You never start out thinking of the worst possible scenario.

My wife, Jenny and I, were planning our baby even before we were married. During our engagement we spent long hours talking about our future together and our plans for a family.

Jenny has three beautiful children from her previous marriage. We are blessed with three wonderful boys but we knew we wanted to grow our family. My name is Charles and I did’t have any children of my own.

We were married on May 27, 2004. Almost immediately we began trying to conceive.

Jen went a few months with pregnancy test kits stocked up in the bathroom. She must have gone through two or three testers a month during the first few months.

And then she surprised me.

On August 23rd, I wrote the following in my online journal:

“My wife, Jenny, surprised me after dinner tonight.

“I knew she was tired when she got home. Normally she gets home around four in the afternoon after working a full day. Today, it was already after six.

“I had dinner ready for the whole family. I knew we would have a difficult discussion after dinner with Chris, Jen’s oldest son, about his study habits. I had a hard day, too, but I wanted to make our dinner time a relaxing and enjoyable time.

“After the dinner dishes were cleared and we endured about 30 minutes of teenage rebellion against homework, Ben (Jen’s middle son) and I started on the dishes. As we were about finished, Zach (the youngest son) told me that Jen wanted to see me in our bathroom. I dried my hand and went to the bedroom, concerned that she might not be feeling well.

“When I got into the bathroom, I noticed an opened home pregnancy test on the sink. Jen pointed to it and I picked it up. There were two pink lines on the indicator and, without the help of the directions, stood there for what seemed like several moments trying to remember if one line or two lines meant she was pregnant.

“Even though Jen and I have only been married for three months (our three month anniversary is this Friday), it seems as if we have been preparing for today for much longer. We talked about having children from the earliest stages of our relationship. It was a important to us both that we had the same expectations about having children.

“With three children of her own from her first marriage, I was concerned that she might not want any more. Of course, I was relieved when she told me she did. On the other hand, she was more than a little concerned when I told her I would like three children. She feels that four is enough.

“Even this week we cracked jokes with someone about the eight children we were planning to have. I think we are closer to an agreement about the number of children, although she thinks she’ll be done after four while I’m hoping for a large family.

“What I love about Jenny is that she wants to have a baby so that I can experience what it’s like to go through childbirth and raising a child. As an instant dad, I’ve had to come to terms with making parental decisions. I love my step-children and I am so fortunate to be able to be a part of their lives, but I love the idea of looking into the eyes of my own child.

“I kissed Jenny and I pulled her close to me so we could dance to silent music in the privacy of our bathroom. We whispered “I love you” to each other as we let the significance of this monumental moment in our lives sink in.

“Then I sat on the edge of the bathtub for a few moments wondering if I could rise to the occasion. It’s such an important step for me that I needed a moment or two to reflect. All I could think or say was “Wow.”

“‘What do you think about them apples?’ Jen asked.

“‘Them are some apples,’ I replied, resorting to one of our common exchanges.

“Jen, who is very good at all of those complex mathematical formulas we must know and use in our daily lives, told me how she figured out the estimated due date – May 8th. I’m still not exactly sure what that formula was or how she arrived at her answer, but that’s the date we’re sticking with until someone tells us otherwise.

“(May 8, as it turns out is Mother’s Day- this would later result in my ongoing joke that I was going to get my wife something really big this year for Mother’s Day.)

“Finally, our thoughts turned to who we were going to tell and how.

“We agreed that we would call my mom first. I dialed the number as we figured out a cute way to break the news. We had our plan in place as the phone rang.

“And rang. And rang.

“Voicemail! I couldn’t believe it. Here we were with the biggest news of my life – well, next to the announcement of our wedding – and my mom wasn’t picking up the phone.

“I left a message and we tried to figure out our plan for notifying the rest of the family as we tried to patiently wait for the return call.

“Fortunately we didn’t have to wait long.”

Not quite knowing how to break the news, I asked my mom if she had any plans for Mother’s Day. I told her she may have to be in Redding to help us deliver our baby.

“She screamed with delight for a moment before asking me if I was telling the truth. That’s an odd sensation. She was very happy for us.

“We had more phone calls to make and some emails to write. before we could relax for the rest of the evening. Before that, however, we had to find a way to tell the kids.

“Our kids have grown weary of our family meetings. We knock on doors and hustle kids into the living room to discuss some family issue. Inevitably there’s crying and head butting and gnashing of teeth as we work out whatever grievances we have with each other. Given the passionate debate of the after-dinner discussion with Chris, there was tension in the air as we ushered the kids into the living room.

“‘There was something we didn’t tell you earlier about tests,’Jen began. The kids groaned. ‘You did really well last year on your standardized tests and we expect you’ll do well again this year. But we thought it was only fair that if you were going to be going through all those tests, that we should have to take a test ourselves.’

“The kids sat up and paid more attention as if something didn’t quite make sense.

“Jen continued. ‘So we decided to take a pregnancy test and we got 100%.’

“I wish I could capture that moment in a picture. The look on Zach’s face as he tried to figure out what we were talking about was precious. After a few moments of letting it sink in, I made it much more obvious.

“‘Zach, your mom and I are going to have a baby.’

“We answered questions for a few more minutes and then resumed our phone calls.

“We spent much of the evening trying to relax from our day and take in the magnitude of the change that was about to occur in our lives.”

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