It’s the Holidays — What Were You Expecting?

Wait, what?

It was Sunday, November 7, the first day of daylight savings time, and I was fired up about the extra hour. In fact, I stretched it to two by sleeping til 8 as opposed to my regular 7. True to form, Lovie did no such thing. By the time I stumbled into the kitchen, the tiny trio were already finished with their breakfast and out of their highchairs, roaming about like diminutive tyrants as my industrious wife cleaned their royal carnage. The sweet scent of syrup told me it was pancakes the monarchs had devoured.

I felt like such a deadbeat for not being a part of the culinary efforts that I offered to assume full responsibility for two-thirds of our toddlers. With Pookie at her dad’s house, that would leave my wife just one child with which to contend. And one child? That’s a flat-out layup.

Biggs wanted to stay with Mommy, so I corralled Monster and Peanut and took them upstairs to the playroom where, by complete coincidence, there happened to be a television tuned to ESPN, thereby allowing me to preview all the day’s upcoming football contests. In front of said TV sits a blue couch — an extremely comfortable blue couch.

The table was set for some good ol’ fashioned multi-tasking via a controversial but effective supervisory technique known as sleep-parenting. I, um, read about it. In a book. Or magazine. Somewhere.

Anyway, there I was, minding my own business, sleep-parenting on the comfy blue couch in the bonus room with Monster and Peanut playing contently nearby (and quietly—which is critical for sleep-parenting), when Biggs stumbled in with the phone.

“Call Mommy.”

I quickly dialed her cell, concerned that my often misinterpreted sleep-parenting was about to be called under attack (yet again).

“Hello,” she said from the kitchen.

“What’s up, babe? You need something?” I asked, in my best wide-awake voice.

“I’ve been obsessing over something that I have to tell you about.”

“What’s that, honey?”

“I think I’m pregnant.”

Holy shit.


“I think I’m pregnant.”

Holy, holy, holy shit. As in the very most holy of shits — I’m talking Mahatma-Gandhi-type fecal matter, here. Okay, stay cool. Obviously a false alarm.

“What? Why do you think that? Are you late or something?” I asked, suddenly no longer worried about my voice. I was confident that it was far from sleepy-sounding.

“No. I’m not supposed to start until next week.”


“Stop worrying, then. I’m sure we’re good.”

“I don’t know,” she countered before continuing with my boobs, this and my body, that.

“Well what do you wanna do about it?” I asked.

“Take a pregnancy test,” she answered.

“HELL no,” I replied. “That’s WAY too much drama for a Sunday. I am NOT signing up for that.”

Twenty minutes later, my candy-ass was double parked in a blue handicapped zone outside of Walgreens while Lovie was busily be-bopping along the family-planning aisle. Only the three screaming toddlers in the backseat reminded me that we were planning no such thing. Neither one of us wanted to have another child.

“Sorry,” Lovie said as she got back in the car. “Couldn’t find it right away.”

“Did you take it?” I asked.

“Are you crazy?” she answered. “I’m not taking a pregnancy test inside of a drug store. I’ll wait til we get home.”

“No you won’t,” I answered. “You’re taking it now!”

“What? You’re the one who didn’t even wanna do it today to begin with.”

“True,” I began. “But since you overruled me, I’m all about finding out as soon as possible. So, chop-chop, Pooh Bear. Where do you wanna take your test?”

“You’re getting coffee, right?” she said.

“You’re gonna rock a pregnancy test at Dunkin Donuts?” I asked.

“What’s wrong with Dunkin Donuts? There’s usually a line for the drive-through. I can take care of business while you’re waiting.”

Which is exactly what my beautiful wife did. And it timed out perfectly. Just as we were pulling away from the pick-up window, she was walking out the door. And by the time the dust settled, I wound up with a large coffee (cream and sugar), a bagful of glazed donut holes, and…

and a fifth child.

In what can best be described as complete role reversal, for once, the triplets were quiet as church mice, kindly leaving the crying to Lovie and me, which we did as quietly as we could, stealing quick glances at one another and holding hands above the center consul, our soft sobs occasionally interrupting the sing-songy banter of Dora and Diego.

Another baby.

Onesies. Baby gates. Johnny Jump-Ups. Bodreaux’s Butt Paste. Those velcro things that attach to and dangle from the car seat handle.

Another baby.

Boppy pillows. Blankets. Diapers. Bottles. Burp cloths.

Another baby.

Gliders. Bouncy seats. Vaseline. Baby Bjorns. Rattles. Exersaucers. Those plastic, squeezy bugger-extracting dealies I’ve never seen anyone use.

Another baby.

Holy shit.

Eventually we pulled it together and went to a different Walgreens, one where we had understood we could get an actual blood test. But the pharmacist said we were misinformed. They had no such test there. She did, however, look at our pregnancy test and confirmed what we had suspected. It appeared as if Lovie was, indeed, pregnant. False negatives, she explained, happen from time to time, but false positives were exceedingly rare.

Three hours earlier I had walked into the kitchen feeling guilty for oversleeping. That moment, I was stumbling through a drugstore in a literal state of shock, watching silently as Lovie compared two different brands of prenatal vitamins.

Unplanned child number five. The one we thought was impossible to have. The one we thought could have only come about with the assistance of fertility treatments. The one our calendars say will arrive just in time for our 42nd birthdays. The one that…

Holy shit. What if there’s more than one?

The first ultrasound’s next Tuesday. I’ll make sure to provide y’all with regular updates as this is sure to be a wild ride. But I can promise you one thing. Lovie, Pookie, Monster, Biggs, Peanut, Briggs (our dog), and me? We’re up for it.

We’re good like that.


Photo: MorgueFile

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • Laura

    XOXOXOXO! If anyone can handle it, y’all can. Love to you both!

    • Anonymous

      Laura — thank you so much. Love to you and your crew. hope to see you at church soon! xo

  • nic @mybottlesup

    dude. :) stoked for your family.

    also, i always thought there was something so magical about dunkin donuts.

    • Anonymous

      nic, there IS something magical about the double D.

  • SarahB

    Whoa. I’ve heard the only acceptable reaction to a pregnancy announcement is, “Congratulations!” So there you go. Would that I could also hand you a bottle of bourbon or some other tasty beverage. Here’s hoping all looks good at your doctor’s visit.

    • Anonymous

      Sarah — thank you! (and i’d gladly take bourbon!) we obviously decided to come out way early on this. we held the news about the triplets inside for the entire 12 weeks, and, well, we just decided not to go that way this time. THOUGH we did think about waiting to tell until we figured out how many there are. (surely just 1, right?) there were several factors. one of them was the holiday season. we wanted to get it out before Thanksgiving. and other factors, too. like my mom. i really wanted to tell her. she’s in great health, but she is 81. and you never know. and the other, for me, at least, was because my sister, Holliday died last month. (i’ve still not found what it takes to post about it — not sure if i ever will.) and it’s just such a reminder that life is very short. and we have to celebrate every little bit of it. so we have a very come-what-may attitude about this.

      very much hoping and praying for the best. humbled to be blessed with the chance to perhaps become parents yet again, but also very understanding of the extremely limited role we actually play when it comes down to charting the course of our lives.

      sorry for the long response, but it just kinda came out. thanks, again, sarah, for your nice comment! (and your offer of bourbon!)

      • SarahB

        John, I’m so sorry about the loss of your sister. You’ve written so kindly and well about her before. I’m sure you will find the right words in time. Good thoughts heading your way.

        • Anonymous

          i hope i find the right words. i posted something called the Goldsmith when we knew her death was imminent. her services were beautiful. unique, indeed. and they deserve to be captured. how i wish she were alive to hear our news. thank you for your nice words. you have a big heart. i can see it from here. xo

  • DCUrbanDad

    You guys are gonna give the Duggars a run for the money.

    • Anonymous

      ah, the duggars. that mom’s uterus? it’s the size of a luxurious and spacious downtown loft, no?

      we gotta ways to go before that happens. and i can assure you that this will, indeed, be our last child. now that we realize that, um, i’ve got SUPER SPERM, we’ll make sure we tighten that shit up via whatever means we need to. even if i go under the knife. (i’m weird about surgery…phobia.)

  • http://LifeofaNewDad otter321

    I’m sure it was shocking for sure, but that is still awesome news. Congrats to you and the whole family. I’m excited for ya’ll. I’m excited for me too because the stories coming from your house are only going to get better.

    • Anonymous

      it’s crazy. that’s for sure. my mom once said stories happen to people who can tell them. (in fact, that’s the fist line of one of my manuscripts.)

      and i suppose that stories, do, indeed, seem to happen to me. the odds that Lovie was actually correct about her hunch are staggering. she wasn’t even late. it’s so weird waking up on a normal day and finding out you’re expecting your 5th child 3 hours into it.

      • http://LifeofaNewDad otter321

        I can’t even imagine how that must have changed your entire outlook on life. What a life changer. One to two kids is one thing four to five seems quite another. Hope all goes well at the first ultrasound. I’ll be praying for a single.

  • Tara R.

    Wow… best wishes for you and Lovie!

    • Anonymous

      thank you, Tara. won’t you come back to Ktown and help us out??


  • PJ Mullen

    I guess it’s a good thing we change the name of your blog when we revamped it, huh? No matter what you say I smell a sequel and I seriously will enforce my copyrights to the title I offered up on Twitter :) In all seriousness congrats to you, Lovie and your crew.

    • Anonymous

      your title was awesome. your friendship? even better. thanks so much, buddy.

  • Maryellen T

    Holy SHIT John, I was not expecting that. That’s insane! Congratulations?

    I owe you an email! Someday, someday.

    • Anonymous

      maryellen — how ’bout it, girl? hit me up via email anytime. thank you so much for reading! hope you have a great thanksgiving. will you be headed our way by chance?

  • Chris Singer

    WOW! Happy for you guys and excited for the potential of you starting your own swim team since obviously you have…oh never mind… 😉

    • Anonymous

      yeah. pretty sure it goes without saying that i got some sick-ass swimmers. they’re not afraid to

      GET ER DONE.

  • Staciekeller

    Awwww. CONGRATULATIONS! So happy for you both!

    • Anonymous

      thank you, stacie. hit me up if you get down here. wanna catch up in person!

  • The JackB

    My people would wish you a hearty Mazal Tov. Me, I just say keep those super powerful shooters away from my wife. I have been out of diapers for so long I wouldn’t remember what to do. 😉 Very happy for you all, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

    Sounds to me like you just got fodder for a new book. Trippin Out with a Baby

    • Anonymous

      jack — i’m nothing if not virile.

  • Jessie

    WOW, congrats! I have a five year old, and twin three year olds….and this is my fear, an unplanned fourth. I am convienced that it would be triplet girls though, as we already have three girls.

    May the force be with you!

    • Anonymous

      jessie — i hear you loud and clear. in subsequent posts, i’ll go more into it, but, really and truly…we just didn’t think it think it was possible w/out help (which we weren’t seeking!).

  • Mandy

    Congratulations! Merry Christmas! Holy Crap! Hahahaha…

    I’m so excited and happy for you and Lovie… if any two people in the world are deserving, wonderful parents, it’s you. You are SO up to the job, and this new little JCO will have the best siblings ever.

    So so happy for you. :)

    • Anonymous

      mandy — you’re the best. i’ve been missing you!

  • Eric D. Bolton

    The kid’s name has got to be Dunkin..

    Congrats Osborne Family.. very happy for you..

    Are you going to keep giving the Duggars a hard time??? :)

    • Anonymous

      Know what’s funny? i’d have to go back and check, but i’m pretty sure i knew about us when i wrote that Duggar piece for babble. HA! (i’m an idiot.)

  • Carey

    Mother of Pearl! Sweet Fancy Moses! and ummm….Congratulations!? Tripp and I have had a good giggle about who would have guessed the couples that have come out of our high school….certainly Bill and I are right behind you and Lovie! However, we could have a hearty belly-laugh at who would have guessed that you two would be the procreators of the century! Can’t wait to read all about it! Better you than me…oops I mean, Better parents you could never find.

    • Anonymous

      shit. if i had a nickel for every time Lovie hit on me in highschool, i’d…

      have no money. like none. so point well taken.

  • Opus

    OMG!!!!!! Congratulations! Hope everything goes well. Your sis is watching out for you.

    • Anonymous

      opus — i think my sister is getting a huge kick out of this. your comment was awesome and gave me chills. thank you for leaving it!

  • Neeroc


    • Anonymous

      thank you, neeroc! i’m fired up about it. (now that the shock has worn off)

  • Juli Westgate


    • Anonymous

      Juli!!! thank you!

  • Your Daily Z

    WOW! Congrats, dude. You handled that better than I would’ve.

    • Anonymous

      i’m not sure how well i handled it. i cried for a bit and was honestly dealing w/ some tough feelings for the first two or three days. but i kept telling myself it was logical and that i was mourning the loss of the life i had assumed would be less difficult for the next few years.

      once that grieving process was complete, though? it’s hard not to be fired up. i’m madly in love with my wife. she and the four children we have make my world go round. i’m hoping and praying that everything turns out okay with our fifth!

      thanks for the comment.

  • muskrat

    Oh my. Can you buy back into that granite company that was doing well?

    This reminds me of this post:

    • Anonymous

      your post was funny. thank you dropping the link.

      even if i could buy back into that company, i never would. i very much wanted to leave the company and i’m thankful that i was able to do so.

      trust me. we’ve got everything under control. (btw…you’re not one of those guys who always talks about $, are you? b/c that’s two or three comments now w/ $ as a stated or unstated theme…)

      • muskrat

        No, but when we had an “oops” pregnancy, I did stress (and still do) about our inability to sell our small house (or keep paying a mortgage on an empty house if we move out w/o selling).
        I know y’all are fine. I don’t know how to show love without being a bit of a dick.

        • Anonymous

          good. just checking! when we learned about the trips, we moved into a house that has 3 floors, 5 BR, 6.5 baths and a bonus room. so we’re probably okay on space. but we always thought we’d move in a year or two. out to the lake. now we’ll probably stay b/c we’ll need the room.

  • El

    I took 2 of my tests in Target, and told my husband over dinner at Chili’s. A public place quelled his fainting and screaming! congratulations! You are in for more of the wild ride!

    • Anonymous

      el — more of the wild ride, indeed. that’s hysterical about Target! and a chili’s follow up? classic. great stuff. thanks for the well wishes!

  • Box of Chocolates

    Congratulations! Wow, you are going to be a dad……again! I think that calls for another book to be written. LOL. Yee-haw!

    • Anonymous

      not sure about it calling for another book to be written. but at least we can close the book on one thing — we are officially crazy. thank you so much for the congrats!

  • LBH

    Scary as it sounds, congratulations! Can’t wait to see what comes of your next book!! :)

    • Anonymous

      @LBH — thank you! we’re very excited. (and freaked.)

  • Anonymous

    Holy Moly! Congrats to you both!!! I will be sending you strength beyond strength!

    • Anonymous

      when you send the strength beyond strength, would you mind throwing in a few diapers? thanks, buddy.

  • Momo Fali

    Oh my goodness! Congratulations!

    • Anonymous

      mark it down and circle it — i love me some momo fali. thank you so much for your well-wishes. and for the wonderful FB exchange the other night.

  • Anonymous

    Tell the truth: did you let the cat out of the bag because you didn’t think I could keep your secret for longer than a week? :)
    I TOTALLY could have kept my mouth shut about it until you, Lovie, and the baby were on your way home from the hospital. :)

    Congrats again!!!

    • Anonymous

      um, no. that wasn’t it. though maybe it should have been… hmmm… LOL

      thanks, buddy!

  • Lynn Joy Baack

    6, 7, 8, hmmmmm, love it- this will be a piece of cake with all of the experience you now possess! The joy another one will bring to you will far outweigh anything else!

    • Anonymous

      lynn joy, how ’bout that shit? can you believe it? i wish holliday were here to hear the news. i know she already knows, but still… hope you’re well. come visit. (and babysit.)

  • Anonymous

    awww congrats to you & your family….it’s always a scary prospect of having more children when you think you’re, but it’s funny how we are suddenly ok with it once we know it’s for certain. it’s that instant love that takes over once you know. this is just gonna add more tales for you to tell :o)

    • Anonymous

      ciara, you’re so right about love. once it gets its hands around something, a lot of the petty things that were original concerns just melt away. (um, we’re still freaked, though!) thanks for the comment!

  • cami

    Congratulations! I can understand it’s scary. For me/us it would be a question of whether we could cope with the whole babystage again mentally and if we could have more help. I’m just hoping that if we have a similar accident (which is technically possible), it will happen after the twins have started school (at almost 3 y, not in US) next year. First time commenter here, I love reading about your kids. And now there will be even more to write about, yay!

    • Anonymous

      cami — your comments are always appreciated. whether they’re for the first time, second time or the i-don’t-knoweth time. (w/ twins, who can blame you for having a hard time keeping track?) and you nailed it. for us, the hard thing will be getting back to that baby place in the brain. after having been there for so long and so intensely given the fact our little guys are finally getting out of it. mentally, we’ve been checking out of it for good, all along. but, hey, the way we see it, we just gotta change our mindframe. yet again! thanks for your comment!

  • cami

    Hm, first time commenter? Not really, but then I have the memory of a goldfish.

  • Sexandthesingledad

    Ho. Lee. Shit. I guess JCO has some powerful man seed. If you need to know how to stop this from happening, please go check out my latest post–Dr. Snippy Snip. There is some good advice in there for you my friend. Congrats!!!!

    • Anonymous

      dude, even reading a post about snippy snip might make me faint. hence the reason why i’ve never actually gotten one. plus, we always figured if she ever got pregnant, it wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. turns out it’s one of the greatest things!

  • Jean

    I enjoy your blog very much, you seem like a really great guy. Congrats on your wonderful news, you are a very lucky man. All the best to you and your growing family. :)

    • Anonymous

      Jean — just a quick note to tell me how nice your comment was. it actually made my day. and i agree — i’m a very lucky man. i hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friend.

  • SeattleDad

    Congrats to all of you. Way to go JCO.

    • Anonymous

      thanks, james. i really appreciate it. crazy stuff…

  • Krystyn

    So very happy for you guys. Congrats.

    • Anonymous

      krystyn — thank you! hope y’all have a great thanksgiving.

  • Kristen@Motherese

    Oh my goodness gracious, congratulations! Thanks for sharing this news which made my efforts to catch up on blog reading totally worthwhile. I hope Lovie is feeling okay (said by a woman who spent several of the last few months with her head over the toilet) and that you all enjoy this wild ride!

  • Gigi aka Tripletmom

    Awesome and Congrats… and you know what after triplets taking care of only one baby has to be a walk in the park!
    BTW I´m Tripletmom from Strollerderby and of course I´d love a copy of your book so i´ll take you up on your offer :)

    • Anonymous

      hey there. we found out just yesterday that it looks like there *is* only one. thank goodness! so, if you’ll email me your best mailing address, i’ll zip you a copy of my book. it’s the least i can do for a fellow triplet parent. if you like it, i hope you’ll tell your friends. um, if you don’t, i hope you won’t! (HA) my best email is have a great day…

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