I knew that my son, Al, and his wife, Jen, were trying for their first child. That they lived on the other side of the planet only slightly diminished my joy. This would be my first grandchild.
One afternoon my phone rang. My heart leapt when the caller ID showed it was my son. My heart clenched when I heard his voice.
"Mom," he gasped. I knew he'd been crying.
"What is it, son?"
"Um..." His voice cracked.
My heart broke as I heard him trying to control his breathing. "Just blurt it out, Al. What is it?"
"Jen was pregnant."
Three words. The silence stretched as my head spun. Was. The word that stole his breath had now stolen mine. My poor baby. Oh! Poor Jen. I swallowed hard and whispered, "I'm so sorry."
Another moment of quiet passed. I heard traffic, and knew he was driving. "Is Jen with you now?"
"No, I was at work when she called. I'm driving to get her and take her to the hospital now."
"Son, I cannot think of a thing to say that won't sound like a platitude. But please, know that I will keep you in my prayers."
"Thank you, momma." I recognized his attempt to swallow his tears.
"You'll call me just as soon as you know Jen is OK?"
For the next hour and a half I stressed over what might have happened. How Jen must be suffering. I'd never experienced a miscarriage, but I'd held the hand of women who have. Jen's pain could not be understated. My tears finally slowed. My breathing finally evened out. I couldn't wait any longer. I called him.
"Baby, how's Jen?"
"We're just leaving for the hospital. I'll call you when I know something."
That's what I get for being impatient. I took a deep breath, resumed pacing.
Another hour went by. Another hour of pacing, of tears from imagining what Al and Jen must be suffering.
Finally, the call came. My heart raced as I stared at the caller ID. After a deep breath, I answered in as a smooth a voice as I could. "Hi, baby. How's Jen?"
"They found a heartbeat."
With those four words I almost dropped the phone. I couldn't speak. My heart raced as my head swam.
"Mom? Did you hear me?"
"Oh my God! Baby! Congratu-friggin-lations!" We shared a moment of joy-filled laughter. Then I asked, "So, Jen is OK?"
"Yeah, she's good. Listen, you can't tell anyone until we're sure the baby is fine."
"OK. I've got other phone calls to make, but I'll call you later, OK?"
And that was the announcement of my first grandchild's arrival. I can only hope that this little devil doesn't make a habit through its lifetime of this kind of introduction. It'll kill me!