A Sweet Surprise

Forty-one years ago today:

I had given birth to a beautiful baby girl in the early morning hours.  And now I was too hyped up (and on drugs) to sleep.  Our new baby girl had been a wonderful surprise (back when the sex of the baby was always a surprise) because Hubby and I already had two year old Gunny, so it was exciting to now have a daughter too.  Hubby had gone home to call our parents and then get some sleep.

I didn’t expect to get to tell anyone the news first-hand, but I couldn’t resist calling my mother-in-law to see what she thought, because I knew she was hoping for a girl, since their only two grandchildren so far were little boys, Gunny and his cousin Tim.

Little did I know that Hubby hadn’t been able to reach his parents and had gone to bed for a little much-needed sleep without having told them the good news.

So I called my mother-in-law about 8 a.m.:

Me:  Hi.  How are you?

MIL:  Fine!  How are you doing?

Me:  Oh, I’m fine.  I was just wondering what you thought about having a granddaughter.

MIL:  Ohhh, I think that would be wonderful.  Do you think that’s what you’re going to have?

(Yippee!  I suddenly realized that she didn’t know the news — there was someone I was going to get to tell first!)

Me:  Well, I don’t have to wonder any more — I had a little baby girl this morning!

MIL started yelling, “Art, Art, come here quick!  Sandy had their baby and it’s a girl!!”  Then to me on the phone, still yelling, “That is such wonderful news!  What did you name her?”

Me:  We named her Jennifer Elaine.

There was a moment of silence as MIL absorbed that piece of news.  Hubby and I hadn’t told anyone the names we were considering.  But Hubby’s youngest sister, a late-life baby like me and much adored by the whole family, was 12 year old Elaine, and she was almost more excited than her mom about the prospect of maybe having a little girl in the family. So we knew she would be thrilled to have the baby named after her.

MIL:  (in a suddenly soft, emotional voice) A little girl … named Jennifer Elaine.  That is wonderful.

I’ve always remembered that early morning call I made, because it was so nice to get to be the one to tell my sweet mother-in-law that she now had a granddaughter … and, even better, one named after her much adored youngest child.

So, DD came into this world as a wonderful, early morning surprise to her Grandma H., with whom she went on to have a very special relationship.

Happy Birthday, Daughter Divine.  You have blessed all our lives in so many ways.  We couldn’t have asked for a better daughter.  We love you even more with each passing year.

Love, Mom

15 Responses to A Sweet Surprise

  1. Linda says:

    How sweet! You told this story so well that I could almost hear your mother-in-law’s emotional response. How nice that you were able to have the honor of breaking the good news to her.

  2. Cathy says:

    DD is 2 days older than our oldest son-in-law! (Not Beth’s husband)

    I always started crying as soon as I heard my parents answer the phone and Sam would have to tell them what we had!

  3. Hilary says:

    That is a very touching account of your MIL’s reaction. Happy 41st birthday to your daughter. Sandra, you must be in the world book of records for having a second child by age 3. ;)

  4. Cheryl says:

    I, like Linda, could almost hear your MIL thru your story!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DD!!

    • Barb says:

      What a wonderful memory about your MIL and DD. Happy Birthday, DD!
      Hope all is going well with your recuperation…through the family grapevine, I heard you saw Edie.

  5. Amy O says:

    Happy Birthday!! She is a big blessing! I always know I will get a big hug when I see her! Wonderful birthday story!

  6. Sandra says:

    Linda — It really did feel like an honor, because I KNEW how excited she was going to be when she heard the news. A great memory for me.

    Cathy — I imagine it would be an emotional time for a new mother even WITHOUT the drugs! :)

    Hilary — Yes, you’re right. I MUST have been verrrrrry young. :)

    Thank you, Cheryl. :)

    Barb — Yes, it was a big surprise for me to happen to notice Edie walking past my door, and even a bigger surprise for her to see who was calling her name! :)

    Amy — Thank you for always being such a good friend to my baby. :)

  7. Debbie says:

    That was such a darling post. I too have a wonderful MIL and 2 daughters. Hope your daughter had a wonderful birthday!

  8. carlahoag says:

    Happy Birthday to your daughter. It’s a warm and cozy feeling to remember the births of our children, isn’t it?

    Your mother-in-law’s reaction was perfect!

    P.S. My middle name is Elaine. That’s another thing we have in common. How wonderful your relationship sounds. I remember her photo on your blog awhile back and she’s beautiful as well.

  9. Margaret says:

    What a wonderful story, such a great memory! Happy Birthday Jennifer!

  10. Sandra says:

    Debbie — Thank you. She has truly been a blessing. :)

    Carla — I’m not even surprised by our similarities any more. :There are so many. Yes, she is pretty, but I always reminded her, “pretty is as pretty does.” :)

    Margaret — Thank you. It was another one of those stores that was fun to share and nice to get written down for future generations. :)

  11. Such a sweet story, Sandra! My dear mother-in-law was so thrilled to have granddaughters after having only sons (and four of them at that)!!! Hope you are healing well! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  12. Sandra says:

    V — It sounds like kind of a theme with grandmother’s doesn’t it? I know I delight in our five granddaughters, but only having ONE grandson makes him pretty special too. :)

    Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful too, friend.

  13. Julie says:

    Oh, I just loved this post! I never knew that story and I love hearing about Grandma H. She was a sweet, sweet soul! I miss her!

    Happy Birthday, a few days late, to DD!!! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! So much to be thankful for!

  14. Sandra says:

    Yes, Julie, you were all blessed to have Grandma H. She was a very special person.

    We are having a wonderful time with Jen and the girls. Hope you’re having a great holiday weekend too.

    Love, Aunt Sandy

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