Being a mom was always at the top of my dream list. In fact, I wanted it so badly that it actually became a point of fear in my life & I worried that I’d never be able to conceive & give birth to our own children. I really had to suppress those negative thoughts & give thanks for the possibility of motherhood.
I’ve always felt the need to nurture deep down in my heart. When I was little, I used to get upset that my parents wouldn’t let me babysit. At the time the problem was that I was so young that I still needed a babysitter myself. I loved my dollies and there was one particular stuffed animal troll that I loved with a passion so much that I actually worried about it’s well being all the time (stuffing & all.)
The night of our wedding would have been my ideal time to lock in a baby. But since that didn’t happen in January of 2015, every month after, when ol’ Aunt Flo appeared, I got a little emotional that it wasn’t our time…
In December of 2015, there where a few moments when I should have known I was pregnant. We went to our friend’s farm house for New Year’s where I drank an excessive amount of vodka & had a hard time catching a buzz. (Oops! Sorry little babe!) Then there was the trip to Miami to celebrate our anniversary when I didn’t finish a single glass of Pino Grigio at dinner before the check came (this was totally unlike me. I was a solid 2-3 glass girl, for fun.)
Alyssa called it. “You’re pregnant! Oh, I’m gonna rub that little belly! Take a test! Let’s find out while you’re in Miami!”
“No, no, I’m gonna wait. I’m sure my body is just off from the holidays.”
So we flew home from Miami on January 6th & I decided I was going to take the pregnancy test the next morning so I had that good morning pee they say is best for the test. I had a store-brand $4 test that my girlfriends Tracie & Rosemary gave me at my bachelorette party as a gag gift shoved away in a drawer in our bathroom. I figured I’d give it a whirl. Well, the next morning came & I stumbled to the bathroom & mid-stream, I realized I wasn’t taking the test. I totally forgot. I blew it. “Tomorrow morning I’ll try” I thought… “and, man, that would be cool if we were pregnant” because the next morning was our one year anniversary.
That following morning, January 8th, exactly one year to the day since we said our I-Do’s, John had me up at the crack of dawn so I could take him to the airport to catch a flight to Arizona where he had to DJ for the Bama vs Clemson championship game. He hopped in the shower & I ran into the bathroom; bladder full & cheap pregnancy test in hand… my heart beating out of my chest. “I’m gonna pee on the stick!” I shouted as he shut the shower door.
Away I went with the peeing, semi-shaking & trying to keep my nerves together. They say you’re only to supposed to pee on the end for a few seconds but I gave that pee all I had to give, fully saturating that cork for good measure. I pulled the test a little closer to my face so I could get a better look at what I was reading. “X” “Well what does X mean?!” I referred to the basic legend printed right there on the stick “X = Pregnant.” That’s all I needed to know.
Fully clothed, sweats & all, I got directly in the shower with John. “Look! LOOK!” Crying a type of cry I didn’t know I was capable of (& I’m an emo-type girl. I feel all the feels & usually can get a good tear during a diaper commercial or at the finale of the Bachelor when he proposes to his pick, even if she wasn’t my fave.) But THIS cry was a new development for me. It was so drastic that I scared the living shit out John, who couldn’t see what I was so “emotional” about with all of the shampoo in his eyes. “WHY ARE YOU CRYING?! What’s wrong?? You’re scaring me!” I finally gathered myself together enough to spit out the words “I’m… PREGNANT!”
Out he got. Dazed & confused.
It was too early for this poor guy to process the words that were coming out of my mouth: “You’re going to be a father!”
“Okay? Okay! Great! Umm… I think you should take another test…”
The poor guy was experiencing a total mind-eff at 7:30 in the morning. Talk about rocking someone’s world.
We hugged & kissed & both kind of stared in the mirror in a daze at ourselves. If you’re a parent, you can agree with me when I say, THIS moment, THIS is when your life has changed forever.
I drove to the airport at a snail’s pace in comparison to my typical Andretti-style aggressive driving. We had precious cargo on board, here people! Literally, that very morning, my whole mind set changed about EVERYTHING. Petty, stupid, silly little things that may have semi-mattered to me before, were now pointless & I no longer had time to think about them. I was so overwhelmed with the joy of the news that we received that it consumed me. I loved that instant need to protect this sweet little baby that I had only ever dreamt about conceiving.
A few days later, I was off to work at the Detroit Auto Show where I wanted to keep our pregnancy a secret since we were so early on (only 5 weeks at that time.) While I was there, I woke up one morning to a small amount of blood. I was devastated, thinking the absolute worst after this emotional high we had just experienced. Luckily, my good girlfriend, Rosemary, who is from that area, squeezed me into an emergency appointment with her friend who is an OB, who reassured me that it was just some implantation bleeding which was totally normal. That morning, at that doctor’s appointment, I was lucky enough to see the little rice-sized baby’s heartbeat on the screen & I knew in that moment, that – THAT was our baby.
Heather was working with me at that show & knowing we had 2 weeks together in Detroit where the only thing we did outside of work was work out & drink wine (great combo, BTW) that she would be onto me after a few days. So I had to tell her. Heather was the first friend I told after Rosemary. She knew shortly after I spilled the beans to my sister, Jes & before either of our parents knew. H is a total baby doll & cried tears of joy with me there in my hotel room where we talked about my scare, baby names & had some good laughs about memories & future possibilities.
Alyssa heard the news a few months later when I took a trip home to Florida to tell my parents (who are totally over the moon, BTW! First grand baby!) I met up with Alyssa, Heather, Gretchen, her grandson, Cade & Nan at Islands of Adventure/Universal Studios where we walked up to the entrance to the Harry Potter ride. Everyone in the group already knew my secret except for Alyssa. I just had to see her face in person when she got the news. “Who’s gonna go?” Gretchen asked as she addressed the group. I looked up at the sign & pointed to the “Do not ride if: You’re an expectant mother” portion of the warning, “Oh, in that case, I can’t get on.” Alyssa squinted up at the sign & I could literally see the pieces of the puzzle forming the full picture in her mind. She looked at me: “No. NO! I KNEW IT!” We hugged & cried & it was an absolutely awesome day.
We are due September 6th & I seriously can’t believe this is my life. Some days I have to remind myself “Jenna, YOU are pregnant. YOU!” since this is such a dream come true. The gender will be a surprise because if it is a boy, I will not be able to handle all of the Star Wars stuff this child will receive. #ThanfulNotThankful
We had photographs taken to document these moments. Aspen is a friend of mine from Florida who moved to Nashville a year ago with her adorable love, Ray, & their two sweet boys, Hudson & Beck. I am so lucky that she was willing & able to shoot us in a loft studio downtown Franklin & couldn’t be more pleased with our photographic announcement story. She is a total sweetheart & an absolute genius with the camera. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as we do!
To contact Aspen & hire for your own life event (or for whatever your photographic needs may be!) click here Mingo-Photography.
Thanks for all of the love! We are definitely feeling the good vibes… all 3 of us!
-Jenna (& Baby)