September 8, 2010

When I began my journey to motherhood I wanted twins desperately.  I prayed for twins.  It never occurred to me to have just one child, although the three-month colic episode that was my introduction to motherhood did give me pause for thought.  After we got through it, I thanked God for ignoring the twin request.  But still, I wanted a second child.  And just when you think you’ve got everybody figured out, they start playing mind games with you.  Mimi was on the fence during my first IVF while Papa was on the sidelines cheering.  But when I mentioned having a second baby, Mimi started shopping, and Papa visibly shuddered.

“One baby in the Bean family is plenty of baby,” he said as he swallowed the rest of his martini.

Maybe he was still reeling from my last pregnancy.  All of those hormones hadn’t exactly been pleasant.  (Okay, I’d been a raving lunatic who managed to stay out of the funny farm by the hair of my chinny chin chin.) Maybe the idea of at least another year without a buddy at cocktail hour disturbed him.  Or perhaps it was the postpartum hormones or maybe it was the baby proofing.  (Papa is not exactly a neat freak and keeping pennies picked off the floor, laptops closed, screwdrivers in their place, cell phones out of reach and remote controls up on high was cramping his style.) Or maybe it was that three-month colic hell that did it.

Whatever the reason, I decided not to argue.  Arguing with Papa is inadvisable.  He’s opinionated as hell, and the more you disagree with him, the more passionate about it he becomes.  And if it’s after 5 p.m. (sometimes before), he becomes even more bellicose, and sometimes he gets on the phone to recruit reinforcements, most of whom check their caller ID and don’t answer because if Papa’s calling during cocktail hour, you’re going to get an earful.  He talks loud under normal circumstances, but if he’s had a cocktail, the decibels are hair-splitting.

The trick to defusing Papa is to cross your fingers and nod in ostensible agreement, then proceed clandestinely.  He usually comes around.  Besides, the chance of me getting pregnant at 41 was not exactly guaranteed or even likely.

And so it was that while Papa was off spending his summer in cooler climes on a bicycle, I was at home shooting up hormones, and he was none the wiser, except that the IVF had been a success and now I was six weeks pregnant and had to call him with the news before he came home.

It was cocktail hour when I called him, and he still had two weeks left on his trip.  It was that point in the trip where he was slightly homesick, and he’d been gone long enough to forget the colic and the baby proofing and he was mellow enough from his vodka to decide that another baby was a good idea.

“I’ve got something serious to discuss with you,” I said.  “I really didn’t think this could happen, and I know it’s going to throw a monkey wrench into our lives, and I know you’re not going to be happy about it, and I’ll understand if you want to move out.”

There was a heavy silence on the other end of the phone.  Finally, I heard him take a drink, and he said, “For God’s sake, what is it? It can’t be all that bad.”

And so the whole story tumbled out in one big wave after another until finally there was nothing left to tell.

“Damn, Jenny,” he said, “you scared the hell out of me.  I thought it was something bad.”

“You’re not mad?”

“Hell, no! The world could use more Beans.”

“It could?”

“Damn straight!”

“What do you think about twins?”


“Just kidding.”

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn September 9, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Very cute story! I had a similar reaction from my boyfriend when I became preggo with baby number 2! Except he wanted and I didn’t! I didn’t know he wanted tho or perhaps I would have been a bit more happy! LOL

Jenn September 9, 2010 at 9:26 pm

And whose idea was Baby #3?!

Alicia September 10, 2010 at 6:42 pm

So cute!!!! Thxs for sharing!!! I want to be a mommy so bad!!!

Jenn September 10, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Alicia, you will! And you’ll be a very good one! You’ve got time.


Dede September 10, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Nice story and such adorable pictures:)

DadStreet September 10, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Great post Jenny! You have such a way with words. I’m all too familiar with IVF and infertility. Well, no not because I can’t conceive that was kind of decided at birth when they found I had a penis. Rather, my wife and I tried for 4 years to have our first child. After one miscarriage and 4 failed IUI’s we went through IVF. We were told that we had less than 10% chance of ever having children and that was “with” IVF! My wife was on the most intensive drug regimen giving herself shots twice a day in the stomach. Sounds like you might know a little about this? Somehow our little O was born on the very first try and then 16 months later Jake came along the old fashioned way.

My wife was diagnosed with decreased ovarian reserve so the fact that she ever got pregnant once let alone twice is a complete miracle.

I’m glad you found your miracle babies as well and I look forward to hearing more of your story!

Jenn September 11, 2010 at 8:12 am

I know all about those shots in the stomach!!! And what is it with getting preggers the second time? A couple I know adopted a baby after trying for years–she didn’t even qualify for IVF, and, boom, three months later, she was pregnant!

Thanks for sharing your story and for dropping by!

Jenn September 11, 2010 at 8:12 am

Thanks, Dede!!!

Lori September 14, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Such a CUTE story! CONGRATS and YES!! SO glad I found you!

Sara September 17, 2010 at 9:55 am

Love the post Jenny. God we were so opposite in our ‘twins’ thing though. I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant…but the day of my first ultrasound when I found out there was only one was the day I truly celebrated. I was petrified – twins? On my own? You’re a braver woman than I….I was already planning who I could give the louder cryer to….

Jenn September 17, 2010 at 11:02 am

My grasp on reality is sometimes a little loosey goosey. You are obviously smarter than I!

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