November 24, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - To tell my story it is important to share the reactions of my parents when I told them of my pregnancy.
I was 24 years old and working full time at a job that I really liked. I had felt quite flu-ish when someone suggested I might be pregnant. Impossible, I thought. So I took an at-home pregnancy test that instantly came back positive. I took several deep breaths.
I kept my secret for a few days while doing much thinking and soul searching. Finally, I picked up the telephone and called my Mom and told her my news. She began to cry tears of sorrow and, I imagine shame, for my future and their present. I knew she loved me and was hurting for me. Mom would tell Dad at the appropriate time, whenever that was.
How surprised I was when seconds later my telephone rang and it was my Dad. The first words out of his mouth, which I now cherish, were “Jeanne, we’re going to make this scar into a star!” Relief and gratitude for parents who loved me so much poured into my heart. I was not going to be rejected or thrown out into the street to fend for myself.
Back at work, people told me to just get an abortion and get on with my life. Deep inside with wisdom only from God, I responded that abortion was murder and I could not kill my baby.
I did let the father of this baby know that I was pregnant. He had moved away to Texas and though he suggested that we get married, the lack of verbal and emotional support expressed over the telephone, told me loud and clear that I would rather be “single and happy than married and miserable.”
The pregnancy progressed and everyone in my large family - I am the oldest of 6 children - started to get excited about the birth of this first grandchild and niece or nephew. I moved back home and waited for my baby to be born. Daniel John made his arrival on April 26, 1984. My Mom and 4 sisters were all present. Everyone agreed that life and birth is always a miracle and there was great rejoicing!!
In my heart I knew it would be just ‘the two of us’, Mommy and baby, and no man would get near me now, and maybe, ever again. I had 4 months being home with Danny until I went back to work part time at a new job. My Mom delightedly watched and cared for Danny, which was a tremendous blessing! The two of them developed a very strong love for one another that still exists to this day.
Part time hours became full time work. When I got home at the end of the day we would all gather in my ample bedroom and drink a beer (good for breastmilk) while I nursed Danny and then passed him around to be burped and held, for he suffered from colic. These were precious hours of laughter and sharing with my sisters and Mom that we all treasure.
My next younger sister got engaged to be married and I volunteered to be the photographer. I took my camera to the local camera store where I had pictures of my darling son Danny developed. There I hoped to be given some tips on photographing weddings. Brian, the store manager, was there and helpful, as usual.
Four days before my sister’s wedding I literally ran into Brian as he was coming out of his camera store. He asked me if I would like to go for a quick soda while he was on a 15-minute break. I said ok. That short break turned into 1 ½ hours where Brian finally made the connection with the woman who brought in baby pictures and the woman who was getting tutored on wedding photography, and that they were one and the same: me.
When I told Brian that I had a 9-month-old son, he paused ever so briefly and said ok and we continued talking. In his head and heart though he already knew I was “the one” because I had told him I was Catholic. He had been waiting for years to find a Catholic girl!
What a wonderful ‘date’ that was! When it was time to say good-bye, I put out my hand to shake hands and he opened his arms for a hug. WOW! Then he asked if he could see me again! After I said yes (as calmly as I could), I drove home as a very happy gal and then burst into the house shouting out for all to hear, “He asked me out! He asked me out! The nice guy in the camera store asked me out!”
We did go out and we talked most every night on the phone. After 2 months I asked Brian what he would like for Danny to call him. Brian’s exact words were, “Have him call me ‘Daddy’!”
Those were the sweetest most endearing words I could ever hope to hear, except maybe, “Would you marry me?” and I did hear that less than a year later when Brian proposed to me on my sister’s first wedding anniversary.
So the girl who thought no one could ever love her because she had a baby, got married and lived happily ever after. We celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this year with all of our 8 children.