In 1979, I was thirty-four years old and still really wanted to have at
least one child, especially a girl. I knew it would enhance our lives.
George wasn’t really too hot for the idea but I firmly thought he was finally
mature enough to be a parent. We agreed to it and if it turned out to be
a boy, we would have another. If the first were a girl, then we wouldn’t
need to try again.
I started checking my temperature every morning to see when I ovulated.
We tried all kinds of things. After nearly two years trying, we had given
up. George decided that he wanted to go on a diet and he stopped drinking.
I think that did it. I was thirty-five when I found out I was pregnant.
The doctor told me you would come the 23rd of July. I read a
book and counted from what I thought was the conception date and came up
with July 10th.
During the first three months, I caught the Swine flu that was going around.
This really worried me because I read that if you are pregnant, during
the first trimester, the virus can cause damage to the baby. I took no
medications for the flu but had anxiety about what the virus might do to
the baby. If anything were wrong I’d have blamed myself for catching the
virus. At twenty weeks, I did have an amniocentesis and an ultra sound.
After two to three weeks of worrying and hoping the baby was ok, the test
result came back normal. Then they asked me if I wanted to know what the
gender was. Since I really wanted a girl, I thought I should know so I
could prepare myself if they told me that I wasn’t getting my girl. They
were 99.9% sure the baby was a female. I was happy but still nervous throughout
the pregnancy because of the Swine flu. If anything were wrong, I would
have had an abortion. I would have hated to do it but I knew it would not
be right for us.
Jenna Carol was born at Los Gatos Hospital on
July 9, 1981. After the delivery, I was quite sore because I had stitches.
Beyond that, when I took her home I was just scared of not knowing what
to do. I did have my mother come over and she gave Jenna her first bath.
I thought, maybe with the baby, we could become closer. It didn’t work
Carol (Gma) with Jenna 1982
Instead of working five days a week, I started
working three because I wanted to be with my baby. She was born with an
enlarged heart and had a spinal of electo cardiogram the second day. Because
she was born tongue-tied, she couldn’t suck milk from the breast. Right
away, she lost weight so we started on the bottle. I wouldn’t let her out
of my sight. For the first three months, I would get about three hours
of sleep. Between two and four we would be awake. She would be hungry and
then wanted to play. Jenna cried when we put her in the crib, so she slept
with us in our bed. We took her everywhere with us. I was a very happy
mother. George has been an excellent father to our daughter, Jenna. I think
I have put a lot into being a parent because of the hurt of my own disappointing
relationship with my mother.
On a ski trip to Lake Tahoe, January 27, 1984, George said, "Lets get married."
We had rented a lovely home on Tahoe Keys for our ski trip. One night,
our friends Bob and Mary announced they planned to get married the next
day. George said we should all get married together at the house. I started
phoning people to come up. Alma (George’s mom) and Jenna were already with
us. I only had ski cloths, so I went shopping for a dress for Jenna and
myself. Twenty-four hours later, we were all decked out with a food buffet,
wedding cake and about twenty guests at the house for the nuptials. Jenna
was in my arms as I said, "I do." George and I have been married
for seventeen years and together for twenty-seven years.
Joan & Jenna