A Special Father’s Day for G…Father of Three?

About eight years ago, I started to wonder why G and I didn’t have any children. Specifically, I wondered why I could not seem to become pregnant. Everyone else seemed to have the answers, though. Here’s what I heard when the matter was brought up in discussion:

“You’re too anxious.”

“You drink too much.”

“You should stop smoking.”

“You worry too much.”

“George isn’t home enough.”

“You need to relax.”

“You just need a vacation.”

Not only were these comments offensive and uninformed, they made no sense. After all, I was relaxed. My days consisted of going to the gym, walking my dogs, doing a little freelance writing, with no real obligations or anything asked of me. Vacations? George and I went on vacations all the time back then, usually to sunny Florida where we enjoyed rustic beachfront hotels, sun, and surf. I had nothing to worry about or be anxious over, for G took care of everything.

I finally went in to see a doctor who could help. While G was in the middle of the crab season, my mom came down to stay with me for a week and I went in for an exploratory surgery. The surgery confirmed what I knew all along; there were two reasons why I was not conceiving any children. The doctor made a temporary fix and told us we had about three months to conceive before the fix ran out and I’d need to have surgery again or explore alternative options.

Long story short, we conceived Eva during the second month of that window. I called G via satellite phone in Alaska (now in the middle of the halibut and blackcod season) and shared the amazing news. When our miracle Eva was ten months old, and not wanting to take any chances on more delays or problems, we tried for a second baby and that’s how our second miracle, Vincent, came to be.

Flash forward six years, and we have two sweet, smart, and precious children. They are close in age, good friends, and the light of our lives. Now that they are “big kids,” we got rid of all of our baby things. Bye bye two changing tables, two cribs, two car seats. Goodbye bottles, pumps, Desitin, baby bags, tons of diapers in two sizes, high chair, swings, play gyms, blocks, and stacking toys.

Hey, pack your bags everyone! We’re taking trips again! The house is free of baby clutter! We have everything in order with a bit of energy to spare. The kids dress themselves, they’re easy to take everywhere, and becoming more independent everyday. For our baby fixes, we get to love our niece and cousin, “Baby Autumn” and go to Jazzercise and see sweet smiley Bella. Everything is perfect!

But wait…I don’t feel good. Something doesn’t feel quite right. Maybe I should count back some days and study last month’s calendar. Then I move to the computer for some quick research. Next, I go to the store for an unlikely purchase and make a joke to my friend, who is working the register. Cross your fingers, I say.

Back home, I unwrap the box—a three pack. (You girls know what I’m talking about.) I take one. My eyes must be tricking me. I try the second. What? I move onto the third. No way.

I sit on the surprise and shock for ten days before I can reach George, once again in the middle of the Alaska blackcod and halibut season, via satellite phone.

“You’re going to be really mad,” I say. In retrospect, that was probably not the best opening I could have come up with. George thought I had bought a new car! By the end of the conversation, I’m sure he was wishing it was only a new car.

Now nine weeks along and slowly overcoming the shock, it looks like George is going to be a father of three. This has been an extremely long several weeks. Wow. How to sort it all out? With thanks to my Jazzercise friends, the crew, our families, and a book or two, we are slowly getting used to the idea.

I’ve seen the heartbeat on the ultrasound screen and could not believe my eyes. That little peanut with the strong beating heart blew me away. It reminded me what a miracle growing life is, and what a strange thing to be experiencing it again after all the heartache and grief we went through to get our family started in the first place. 

I have a lot of questions, though. Aren’t we too old for this? How on earth did this happen? How will I ever nurse a baby all night and then get up to take my two other children to kindergarten and preschool every morning? How will I take care of three children under six, often without G? And for that matter…will I be giving birth without him this time? The baby is due during the most critical portion of the crab season in January. He absolutely cannot miss that part, for it’s a huge amount of our income for the year. If he cannot be here, which friend will I choose to help me?

Aaah. As my dear friend Amanda pointed out, that’s why we have nine months of pregnancy. Time to get used to the surprise, time to work it all out and get used to the idea of a new direction for the family. G has been a real trooper; shocked and confounded at first and experiencing a bit of denial, he has come around as he always does. Thanks also to our crew; you guys are beyond awesome. They were genuinely excited and full of congratulations for George, and as I’ve experienced, that support, understanding, and joy carries you through the doubt and concern.

Oddly, once this new baby is born, there will be about a dozen kids among G, Bryan, Brett, Johnny, and Oscar. What a great boat family, Jazzercise family, and blood family to belong to. Love all of you so much!

So, Happy Father’s Day, George. I love you for your hard work, loyalty, dedication, strength, perspective, humor, and acceptance for what is. Your two—possibly three—children love you, and so do I. More than words could ever, ever express. I would not want to go through one day of my life without you.

Comments

  1. This brought tears to my eyes. I remember my own shock when I found out about our Jacob and the many questions we had for ourselves. And if it makes you feel any better, Mike’s mom was 40 with two teenagers when she found out about her ‘oops baby’. And thank God for that for I now have her son Mike in my life!

    • Oh my goodness, now I have tears in my eyes! Your comment absolutely and totally makes me feel so much better and offers an incredible perspective on it all. Thank you, Amanda!!

  2. Beautifully written, Jen. We are beyond thrilled for you, for G, for Eva and Vincent, and all of your growing family. What an exciting time, and such an unexpected blessing! Congratulations to all of you! Sending you our love…

    • Beth, thank you so much for this comment and for your support. It seems like there is never a dull moment in either of our lives, doesn’t it? Past, present, and future…you just never know what is going to happen next. Thank you for being one of my best BFF throughout everything!!

  3. Jen- First off, congrats! Then remember we are only given what we can handle and I have known you for 32 years and know that you can handle alot. What’s another kid? You will figure it out, you always do. As far as getting rid of all the old baby stuff, no problem! The new stuff out is much better then the stuff we got 6 years ago. Happy to see that there will be another January Birthday! Again congrats!

    • Thanks, Kim! As always, your words are common sense and reassuring, as well as encouraging. I appreciate your faith in me! That makes one of us. I agree about the new baby stuff; what a difference six years makes. For example, I didn’t have an iPhone back then and certainly no pregnancy iPhone apps. Now I’m eyeballing all of Steph’s modern stuff. I’ve basically forgotten everything “baby” so she and Autumn help remind me and show me the new things. Steph can’t wait to bring a truckload of it all over…the stuff we so happily dumped on her seven months ago and the things she’s collected since then. Man. Here we go.

  4. Wow! That is quite a surprise! Congratulations on the addition to your family, I hope you keep us all updated along the way. Even though we have never actually met, I would love to help you out in any way possible… don’t feel weird about asking for anything at all!
    -Robin

    • Robin, that is so sweet. I really appreciate it. I know I’ll be taking all the help I can get. I didn’t get smart about asking for help until Eva and Vincent were about 2 and 3. It would have made things a lot easier back then, that is for sure. Looking forward to the next fishing families get-together!! I think we are getting a playground for the backyard today so maybe on a sunny day everyone can come over!

  5. my congrats go out to you and george! i know you two will be amazing parents of three just as you have been with two! also, the great thing is you will have two “helpers” this time around! : ) my prayers to you guys!

    • Abbie, thank you! The helpers aspect is a great thing. Eva is so excited. She wants a baby sister. I don’t think Vincent quite gets it yet; he keeps saying he wants a big brother. :) I didn’t want to tell them too early in case something goes wrong, but I thought it would be better to be honest about why Mommy is sick all the time and shorter on patience. Having them older and able to help will be a huge difference this time around. I’m going to let them choose all the things for the baby and involve them every step of the way (assuming all goes well). Again, I am so sorry for the grief you are going through regarding your pup. It’s been two months since we lost Toby and I miss him so much it still brings me to tears. I would give anything to bring him back. Hang in there!

  6. Congrats! First, what a wonderfully written post! What an exciting time! It will all come together for you and your family. Life has a funny way of doing that:)

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