Wednesday, May 30, 2012

When We Found Out

*About a month earlier*

“What’s wrong?” Tom asked, frowning.

“I…I just felt sick all of a sudden.” I set down my chip and sat back. My stomach flopped and I took a quick sip of water. Tom and I were out to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Normally I love the place and chow down on chips and tortillas. But this time…something felt off.

“I didn’t get you pregnant again, did I?” Tom joked, popping a bite of tortilla in his mouth.

“Don’t be silly—” I began. Then the blood drained from my face. Wait. When was my last period? March, right? Yes. I had bled for two days. I remember being ecstatic because it meant I wouldn’t have my period when we went to Hawaii. Normally I keep better track of my period but well, after finding out Tom would have to deploy things had been crazy. It was the end of April now.

“I—” I started.

Tom set his food down, concerned. “Are you pulling my leg?”

I swallowed. Shook my head. “My period is late.”

No, we didn’t bolt out of the restaurant. We finished eating. Well, I mainly picked at my food. And then we eventually got a test, I peed on it, and told Tom to tell me how many lines it showed.

“What means what?” Tom asked, grabbing the box. “Two means no, right?”

“Two means pregnant,” I said softly.

Tom’s tongue practically fell out of his mouth as he stared down at the test.

I took the test from him and there it was, clear as day. Two dark blue lines.

“But how?” I said. “I’ve been taking my pill every day. I never forgot once.”

“These things happen,” Tom said in a faraway voice.

“But..” Well, I mean obviously these things happen. How many times have I heard the story of a surprise baby from birth control that failed? Birth control was only 99% effective. There’s that 1%.

“But..” I tried again. I did the math in my head. “But you’ll be deployed when it’s born.”

Tom hung his head. I could see that he had worked out the numbers in his head, too. “I’ll be deployed when it’s born.”

This is when the panic set it. “But I can’t…how can I…how can…we live in a 3 bedroom house. We don’t have room. We barely have enough room for us. I don’t know how to cook for 5 people. What are we going to—”

“What’s going on?” Tommy appeared in the kitchen and he was staring at Tom and I with confusion.

I suppose we could have lied to him. But really, he saw me panicked. What could I have said? That I was depressed that Dick Clark had died?

“We just found out that you’re going to have a little brother or sister,” Tom spoke up.

Tommy’s eyes went wide. “You promised that Natalie was going to be the only one,” he yelped. I could see tears forming in his eyes. “You PROMISED. You said she was it. I can’t take the crying. I can’t take it.” Tommy clapped his hands over his ears as though he could already hear the baby howling. Tommy has Aspergers and certain sounds upset him. Crying is one of them. When Natalie was a baby she cried a lot and he had to run upstairs screaming several times. It’s like crying cuts him like glass.

“Tommy,” I said, trying to pull him towards me.


“Tommy, you won’t speak to us like that—” Tom warned.

“THIS IS ABOUT THE SEX ISN’T IT?” Tommy bellowed.

I almost fell over at that. What? How did he know about sex? He was still my baby. I mean, yes, he’s ten but…

“Go to your room until you can calm down,” Tom said. “You don’t speak to us like that.”

“YOU PROMISED!” Tommy shrieked, thundering up the stairs. I heard his door slam.

This is when I started to cry. “We’ve ruined his life. We did promise him.”

Tom pulled me to his chest. “We haven’t ruined his life. He can’t dictate what happens. He’ll get over it.”

“Mommy? What happened to Tommy?”

Oh no. Natalie. And she was clearly baffled.

“You’re going to have a new brother or sister,” Tom said, rubbing my back.

Natalie blinked at us. Then she said, “You mean a new baby?”

I nodded.

A smile began to form on Natalie’s face. I began to relax. Phew. She’d be easier. She’d be—

“But I won’t be the baby anymore?” Natalie asked softly. Her chin started to quiver.

No. No, no, no, not her too.

“You’ll always be OUR baby,” Tom promised.

A tear rolled down Natalie’s cheek as she walked out of the room.

“She’s going to be the middle child now. You know what they say about middle children,” I sniffled. I pulled a paper towel from the roll and dabbed at my cheeks.

“WHAT do they say about middle children?” Tom wanted to know.

“That they’re…unhappy. Starved for attention. Or something. Right?”

“I’ve never heard that. Natalie is strong. She’ll be fine. She’ll fight for her attention, you know she will.” Tom signed and stared at the pregnancy test. The lines were even darker. “Well, there goes our retirement plans.”

Great. Now HE was starting.

“There goes my SLEEP!” I joined in because everyone else was being all sad-like. “There goes my freedom. Natalie starts Kindergarten this fall. Do you know how ready I was for some peace? Do you know how mortifying it is to be pregnant at the same time as SNOOKI?”

Tom looked taken aback. “What does Snooki have to do with anything?”

“Nothing. I’m just saying. If everyone else is so upset, well, misery loves company, right?”

Tom was silent for a few seconds. Then his fingers reached out and touched my stomach. “You know,” he began. “I had noticed you were starting to get rounder.”

I stared at him, eyes blazing. Was he calling me FAT?

“Of course I didn’t SAY anything because I didn’t want to get slapped,” Tom finished quickly. “But..” He rubbed my stomach. “This isn’t a bad thing. It really isn’t.”

I sighed. “I know.”

“We’ll manage.”

“We only have three bedrooms.”

“We’ll manage.”

I bit my lower lip. “I mean, on Little House on the Prairie there really weren’t any rooms. All the kids basically slept in one area.”

“You see?”

“Tommy was so upset.”

“He’ll get over it. If he doesn’t, he can move out in 8 years.”

“What if he resents us forever and has to see a therapist and will say that he had a great life up until his mom got knocked up for the third time?”

“It’ll be ridiculous. He’ll get over it,” Tom repeated.

“How am I supposed to go through this with you deployed?” I wondered. A tear slipped down my cheek.

Tom wiped the tear away. “We’ll manage.”


  1. Awwww, you have a wonderful guy right there. And he's right. You will manage. :) Best wishes to you all, you're gonna be just fine.

  2. Congratulations! I have two friends who were recently in the very same position. It will all work out, and that smiling person will melt everyone's hearts in the family. Hugs to you.

  3. I would have freaked out too! I just got my youngest through kindergarten. The freedom is fantastic, but it can get a tad monotonous. Babies always make things more FUN. Except maybe the lack of sleep...sorry about that one. I love the way you tell a story. I sometimes wonder if I breathe when reading

  4. Aw Tom is so sweet, and he is right - you'll manage :) I'm sorry that the kids took is so hard. Congratulations though! It will be a little tough, but once you get into the swing of things they will go great :D

  5. I'm sorry, I couldn't help but laugh...... You two seem like amazing parents, and your kids are great! A 3rd baby will be a blessing and the kids will adapt! I'm a middle child myself and I turned out ok :) Good luck to you!

  6. I had 2 of my 4 without my husband, good friends and family will partially fill the gap! And if you live on base you can get a 4 bdrm, but the move will be on you. Congratulations, this baby was meant to be for a reason!

  7. He's a smart guy, that one. You will manage. Congratulations!

  8. Not only will you manage, but you'll wonder later how you ever got along without little person #3. I promise. :)

  9. You guys will manage! Tom is right! Hope everyone is taking the news a little better now that they've had a chance to adjust. Before you know it, Tommy and Natalie will be excited about having a little brother or sister! Hang in there! and keep us updated!

  10. I can't imagine how hard it is to go through pregnancy and deployments but I definitely appreciate your husband's service!(Oh and good luck on the baby!!)

  11. My mom planned exactly zero of her three pregnancies. If that makes you feel any better. Tom's right, you'll manage. You have an amazing husband and a fantastic support network. Tommy and Natalie will come around in time, and they'll both love that new baby with everything they have. Everything will be awesome.

    Also, check for post-partum doulas in your area. I just found out that's a thing and I'm so incredibly jealous that I didn't know about this when my daughter was born. Seriously, a lady just comes to your house after the baby is born and does laundry and/or cooks and/or takes care of the kids so you can shower and take a nap? Yes, please!

  12. Congratulations! You will manage...God doesn't give what we can't handle with his help...and that of our friends. Everyone's going to want to lend a hand with Tom deployed. And the kids will come around.

  13. Congratulations and best wishes. I hope the adjustment gets better and that the pregnancy and delivery are uneventful.

    I got pregnant once while using birth control and once after only one night without. It happens.

    I am sorry about the upheaval this is causing you and your family. Again, best wishes.

    Stopping by from SITS.

  14. I'm happy you have such a great partner! If Snooki can do it you can too...Tommy will be'll be fine! But what the hell do I know I have an only child!

  15. Aw, that was the best story ever. And Tom is right... you will manage.

  16. I had a huge knot in my throat the entire time I read this. Everything will work out exactly as it should :)

  17. i've gotta admit, when i read “He’ll get over it. If he doesn’t, he can move out in 8 years.” i busted out laughing!

    your husband is right though, on all accounts :) everything will be fine, and this is a happy time. the kids will adjust and be happy before you know it :)

  18. This is sweet...but I would freak out if I found out I was having another. Let's hope I don't fall in that 1 percent w/the birth control :('ll manage...just we like we would manage. And it won't be so bad...not as bad as we make it up in our heads.

    I grew up with two younger brothers, and we lived in a 3 bedroom house. It worked out fine.

  19. OMG, OMG, OMG!!!! I am so excited for you!!!!! You will manage, you will make it through this and Tommy will be OK. Trust me on this.

    Alex is much like your Tommy and we have 2 little girls after him. He got through it. Sure, he asked for us to return both of them like they came from Walmart or something but I stand firm---it was the best thing we ever did to him (with his asperger's) was to give him siblings. They love and care for him and sure, sometimes they want to kill each other but he learns so much from them.

    Amber---this will be OK. It will. And I'm right up in Kansas City, KS so we're close. Tommy may be out of town but you have friends that are here and can help.

    I am so happy for you. (((hugs)))

  20. A surprise baby can be SOOO stressful. I hope you guys are all managing well! Things figure themselves out, right?

  21. Oh. My. God. Two simultaneous thoughts: you guys are an amazing couple and if anyone can make this work, you will. AND: when is the world going to realize you are the 21st century Erma Bombeck, flood you with book and movie offers? OK: third thought: the Brady's only had 3 bedrooms, right? Except for Alice's room. Oh, and the basement and the office. And they weren't real. Never mind. And congratulations! (Make that the first thought, OK?)

  22. It will be okay. It is difficult, but I know you will be okay. xoxo

  23. Oh! Bless you all. I hope that deep down everyone feels peace and the excitement will come.

  24. Aw, Congratualtions!!
    it must be so bittersweet: the joy of new life, but the sadness that Tom will be deployed when it arrives.

    my older 2 were less than impressed when forthcoming #3 was announced. My boy declared quite hotly "no more girls" and then stormed out of the ultrasound room when it was revealed "Pink!". 5 years old and he headed alone straight back to the car! LOL

    We also only have 3 bedroom house, and I can tell you now, 2 1/2 years grows close in little houses :)

  25. Well, I didn't see that coming! I understand how you were all really surprised, but I'm betting everyone will rally. I love how calm and supportive Tom is, and the kids will come around. The big sacrifice I see is that you may have to cut back your blogging to every other day for a while. (Seriously, you might need to just ignore us from time to time but I hope you won't quit because there's gonna be great blog fodder at your house! Hugs to you, Amber.

  26. Both of the little girls I take care of are surprises, and they are amazing - and their families are just more beautiful with them there.

    You can do it, but please, don't be afraid to ask for help too.

    Above all, congratulations!

  27. My mom was pregnant with myself,my sister and my brother and me for at least 3 years. She,and my dad,got married in 1977 and tried for 3 years before they had me,my sister and me. Do I wish I had more time without them? Yeah! Sure! That would've been nice but then I look at my eldest nephew. He's 10 and his younger brother is 5. 5 years is a huge difference but they are closer then any pair of brothers I know. The fact is children are resiliant. They bounce back faster then we give them credit for! Tommy and Natalie will be fine! Get them involved in helping to pick out clothes,pick names,and all and they will be fine. Tom is absolutely right about that. It sounds much worse then it is. Babies are miracles and you will all band together to support the miracle and they will be there to support you because you all love each other and that's what family does!

  28. Oh,and one more thing. My sister is a middle child and she gets more attention then me and my brother put together! The reason I mention it? Not all middle children are disturbed. Okay,my sister is but that's just my opinion. Lol. Congratulations and stop worrying. Everything will be fine!

  29. I felt like I was right there in the room with y'all. And I busted out laughing at the Snooki remark.

    Tom is right. You will all manage just fine. And you have all of us out here to support and cheer you on!

  30. I'm right there with you. I'm in the "I have a newborn and a 21 month old, how do people do this?" part right now. Like you, my Tom always says that "We'll manage," and it's true. Babies are such a overwhelming blessing. :)

  31. Not to be all - hey, let me tell you my story - (doesn't that always happen when you're pregnant?) - but I found out I was pregnant right after the hubs deployed for 15 months. He was gone the entire time, got to come home for the birth and then came home for good (that time around) when our son was 5 months old. I didn't have any older children, but it was ok. You don't have someone to go drive and get you ice cream in the middle of the night, but you certainly don't have someone hovering over your shoulder, saying "Are you sure you want to eat that? Does the baby really need that 5th Oreo?" Haha!

    Plus, Skype, AIM and videos of all of your appointments are great ways to keep in touch. Plus, the videos are fun for the kiddo to look back on later. Here's hoping the time passes quickly! :)

  32. Awww, you made me tear up (not a difficult thing lately, but still....).

    It won't be easy, you know that, but you will manage. Tommy will adjust and so will Natalie. And so will you and Tom. That baby will come into your family and before you know it you won't be able to imagine how your family existed before he/she came along. I am so happy for you - this baby couldn't happen to a nicer family.

  33. Tom is right, you will manage. Best of luck.

  34. Just when I thought I was going to cry, you got me with "Do you know how mortifying it is to be pregnant at the same time as SNOOKI?” I laughed hard at that one.

    Listen to that wise hubby of yours, you will manage. I am excited to follow your progress and dream of what a third pregnancy would be like. Our ship has sailed in that department and two happy boys grace our household. One being an Aspie. I SO can relate to the "you promised". You have not ruined him, it just takes our little guys time to warm up to new ideas. Perhaps some noise blocking headphones are in order. It could be a family gift! Everyone could use them. LOL!! Take care and chin up.

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  36. That sure sounds like a day you will never forget!

  37. You have a wonderful husband! I'm tearing up reading this. Tommy is older and has more experience with the crying. He'll be fine! And maybe the baby won't be a crier!


  38. What if he resents us forever and has to see a therapist and will say that he had a great life up until his mom got knocked up for the third time?”

    HA! I have a therapy fund for my kids... not a college fund.

    Darlin' they are all going to be in the therapist office for something some day... another sibling is the least of your worries. :)

    Things will be fine. And who knows, the new baby could be a God send for Tommy... especially if it's a boy.

  39. Amber - you realize that Tom needs a new motto - right? It should be something more like..... "We're fucked!" ... oh and good job on having an Apocalypse baby... lol.. you realize you'll have the baby just in time for the end of the world ... ha ha ha....

    You know I'm only joking!! I'm super excited for you ..... I actually looked at Dennis and said ... "Well, if Amber is pregnant, must mean I am too - we have kids about a month apart, always!"

    He wasn't happy about that..

  40. Congratulations. Every baby is a blessing.

  41. Hugs, hugs, hugs!!! Everything really will work out. But it's OK to be sad sometimes and stressed out too. Chin up and try to enjoy this time. And your sleep while you can!!!

  42. Congrats again!
    It makes me a little scared that you got pregnant on the pill, I must admit.
    Hopefully the rest of the pregnancy goes smoother than the announcement.

  43. My husband deployed when I was 7 weeks pregnant and came home when our DD was 8 weeks old. Tom's right, you'll manage and you'll later wonder what you ever did without that sweet little one. I'm currently pregnant (29 weeks) and I can honestly say that sometimes I miss being pregnant while my husband was deployed. He didn't get the effect of the hormones because I was always so excited to talk to him and I got the bed to myself. :)

  44. My third child was also a "surprise" (in fact, I was also #3 and a surprise). I know that nobody's going to ever say "my kid was unplanned and OMG I wish I'd never had that brat". But seriously, when I occasionally look back and think, 'wow, we thought we were done, what if we hadn't had her?' it gives me a chill. I love that kid to pieces!

  45. Just popped in through SITS, and wanted to say congratulations! I know of so many people who’ve had surprise babies...but they were always happy stories in the end. Best of luck to you and your family!

  46. I still squee when I'm reminded you're pregnant again! :) I feel bad for Tommy, but as with asperger's, he will find a way to cope with it. It won't be easy at all, but you're a wonderful little family as it is. You'll only get stronger! :)

    My assumption that this baby was conceived in Hawaii was mistaken. Boo.

  47. Maybe you had one of the types of pills that was recalled in February? Timing is right. Basically the packs were packaged incorrectly, so the pills were off.

  48. Oh, I thought to myself when you first posted about it that if anyone can have a baby while their husband is deployed, you can.

    You are tough and so are your kids. It will all work out. And maybe the baby won't even cry.

  49. Wow, what a story. All children are a blessing; you will manage. God always provides. Congrats to you and your family.


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