We are having a baby!

I have been writing this column for seven years now, and throughout that time period I’ve shared a lot of old stories with you. But over the course of the next six months, and especially starting this summer, I’ll have many new stories to tell.

The reason I know this is because my wife, Carmen, and I are expecting the birth of our first child in July!

I’ll never forget the day she told me she was pregnant because it was actually the evening after our Thanksgiving lunch at work.

The staffs of the Times-Tribune and the Sentinel-Echo met up in London around noon for a potluck meal. By about 2 p.m., everything was winding down, and we all went back to finishing up our work day.

Typically, I work in the evenings, but on that day, Editor Erin allowed me to wrap things up a little earlier so that I could go on home for the night. This ended up giving Carmen her first chance to share the big news with me because it was a rare week night that we were both at home together.

I walked into our bedroom to change clothes and noticed a box on the bed but didn’t pay it too much attention. Then Carmen asked me if I saw what was in it, and so I gave it another glance.

She had placed a baby onesie and her pregnancy test in there to surprise me, and that’s when I finally started to put 2 and 2 together.

So after we celebrated and shed a few tears of joy, she told me she was about four weeks along, and had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for about a month later on December 17th.

We both really wanted to tell our parents right then, but we thought if we could hold out another month, then we’d be even more certain about the baby, and it would be a nice Christmas surprise.

For Carmen’s parents and my dad, we surprised them each with our first ultrasound picture in a frame. For my mom, who already has three granddaughters on my stepfather’s side of the family, we made a little collage to include their photos as well.

As we expected, everyone was over the moon with excitement, and all of them said they had a feeling one way or another that this announcement had been coming.

We went back to the doctor a few weeks ago for Carmen’s 12-week checkup, and the baby’s heartbeat was still going strong at 150 beats per minute. At that appointment, we also let the doctors know that we wanted to have the genetic testing performed so we could be prepared for any abnormalities. They took a blood sample and told us we would hear back from them within the next week or two. Along with that testing, we would also be able to know the sex of the baby, and we both agreed that would be fine.

Carmen got those results back over the phone about 10 days later, and since I had no Thanksgiving holiday to give me the evening off, she actually drove down to the office to let me know what they said. She surprised me again with another onesie, but this time to let me know that we were going to have a little boy! She also told me that they did not find any abnormalities after the test.

Up until that point, we had really only shared the news with immediate family as well as a few friends and coworkers. But after getting those results, we were ready to announce it to everyone, and so last Saturday we took to Facebook to let the whole world know.

Both Carmen and I are definitely excited about our baby boy and everything that is yet to come. We’ve already been planning things like the shower and what we want his nursery to look like. We’ve still not made a final decision on his name yet, but I think we’re starting to narrow it down.

There’s definitely a lot of work that needs to be done here around the house, and everything will no doubt change after our baby arrives. But we’re looking forward to meeting the little guy and to become parents.

However, it absolutely is not lost on either of us that every baby who is born is a miracle and a blessing from God. We already feel blessed just getting this far in the baby’s life, and we just hope and pray that everything continues to progress well for our boy.

So to anyone who takes the time to read this, both Carmen and I will certainly appreciate your prayers this year. Like many folks, I’m often guilty of trying to tackle too much on my own. But with our baby, I want the Lord to know we need Him every step of the way.

I’m certainly excited to be a father, though, and I can’t wait to share more stories about our baby with you all over these next several weeks, months and years.

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