Those who know me well, and even some who don't know me as well, know that I did not plan to have children. I love kids, they are great to play with, but then I like to hand them back to their respective parent and return home to my nice, quiet, clean, baby-free home. Steve was on board with this no-baby plan and we were going to fill our lives with exciting trips, vacation homes, and a very relaxing retirement (hopefully no more than 15 years away). It was all planned.
Buuutttt- you know what they say, "While you are making plans, God laughs." I don't know who "they" are, but I've heard this a lot, so just go with it.
Steve and I were planning our anniversary trip and had just about decided on Napa. He was really putting on the pressure to book the trip (apparently when we got married, I became his personal travel agent), and I kept forgetting.
Let's rewind about 2 weeks. (Sorry if this is TMI but it is necessary for the story, so deal with it.) We went to visit my family in Florida and while there I told Steve that my boobs seemed really sore. I also noticed they seemed a little bigger, but wasn't sure if that was just my hopeful imagination, so I kept that detail to myself. I figured it was just the normal thing that happens about the same time every month (catch my drift???), and ignored it. But rather than lasting a day or two, it lasted a few weeks. I joked to Steve that I might be pregnant, at which, we laughed it off and poured ourselves another glass of wine. Then I started doing the math and realized I was about a week late, which is sometimes normal for me, but not with the other symptoms.
OK, back to the travel plans and no more TMI.
I was finally getting around to booking the trip....Steve may have nagged a little bit that day....but as I went upstairs to get something out of my nightstand, I had this twinge to take a pregnancy test just to be sure I could enjoy this trip to wine country. I happened to have an extra test from a slight scare a few months ago (I told you being late was sometimes normal for me), so I nervously went and took it. Being the brainiac I am though, I only had the test and not the box or the instructions that would tell me whether two lines was positive or negative. As I saw the 2 lines glaring back at me, I had a very uneasy feeling that this meant positive, but I wasn't sure so I sped to Walgreen's to find said box and get the truth.
There it was, in bold, on the front of the box: 1 line negative, 2 lines positive. I began to cry. Not sob, but cry. I composed myself as best I could and found a manager to unlock the case of expensive tests so I could be sure. I bought an EPT 2 pack (they have good commercials and have been around forever, so I went with it) and rushed home with tears streaming down my face. I chugged about 4 bottled waters to make sure my bladder would provide the supplies needed for the tests and took one. When the plus sign showed up, I cried a little harder, drank some more water, and took the other one. When it showed the bright blue plus sign in about 15 seconds, I began to shake and sob.
All of my plans, my glorious plans, shattered. Now there would be a new plan. I have to care for another person besides my husband (who is self sufficient most of the time), I can't be selfish anymore, I will probably never own the Chanel purse I have drooled over and dreamed about so many times. This happens to 16 year old girls on MTV, not me. What is Steve going to say? Will he be happy? I was just about to get a job; will that be ruined? My brain wouldn't stop and I couldn't compose myself, so I did what any red-blooded American woman would do, I turned on Oprah and lost myself in someone else's drama so I could forget my own for just a minute.
As I sat watching the big O, the strangest feeling came over me; I was suddenly very protective of this new life inside of me. Although it wasn't planned...at all...I now didn't want anything bad to happen to it. Then I remembered the dinner party we had 2 nights before and the mass quantities of wine that were consumed. Cue the next round of panic.
I sent Steve a text asking what time he would be home and then suffered through the longest 3 hours of my life, waiting to see/hear/experience his reaction. You see, my husband is a planner, a thinker, an analyzer. He shopped for his first Cartier watch for 2 years before buying it.
Steve came home and did his usual "walk around, take off his tie, get a glass of water, check the mail" routine as I was screaming on the inside for him to come sit down so I could change his world forever. Finally I had to say, "Please come sit down, I need to tell you something." Probably should have chosen better words, but I was in no state to filter myself. With a look of slight panic and nervous laughter, he sat down and asked if I booked the trip. I told him that I hadn't. He asked why and I uncovered the 3 positive pregnancy tests. Then I began to sob again. More nervous laughter from him and then he asked why I was crying. I told him I wasn't really sure and that it wouldn't stop happening.
We had a talk about it and he was very calm but didn't get excited or upset...have I ever said how hard my husband is to read???? He said he would have preferred to have been married a little longer, but it is what it is.
That night in bed, I started to cry again and confessed to Steve that I felt like a bad person. I went on to explain that some women try their entire lives to have babies and are never able to, and here I was pregnant without even trying and really not happy about it. Steve sat silent for a few minutes and then being the "fixer" that all men are, said "well, I've never ever considered abortion, but I can't imagine anything worse for a child than being a parent when you have no desire to be." I consider myself pro-choice (that is the only liberal thing about me), but not for a happily married, financially stable, healthy individual. I could also never imagine asking Steve to violate his morals and principals like that. Also, do you remember that protective feeling I had almost immediately? I told him that although this baby wasn't planned, that I didn't want anything to happen to it and that I will be the best mom I can possibly be and provide the best environment I possibly can. I also know without a shadow of a doubt that he will be an absolutely phenomenal dad. (He always wanted kids but said that at this point in his life he was perfectly fine with the plan to not have any.)
Looking back, it seems so strange that we even had that conversation. I am so thankful to have a husband who cares about my feelings and happiness, and that we have an open line of communication where we can have conversations like that without any judgement. I am also so thankful that God gave me that immediate feeling of protectiveness, so this wasn't even ever an option.
I am not sharing this so I can be judged or to fish for words of encouragement, I am sharing this because if I felt this way, I'm positive other women have also. It was shocking to me the amount of friends who have since confessed to me that their pregnancies weren't exactly planned, that that they were nervous, terrified, hysterical, etc. but never told anyone. Here I thought I was alone in these feelings and that they may never go away, and that was a very lonely place to be.
Don't worry about me. I am becoming more and more at peace with this addition everyday. It has not gotten in the way of my job search, we made it to Africa and back safely, and I am already starting to plan the nursery, education, trips, college, and career choices (okay, maybe I'm getting a little carried away). I am still scared to death to bring a life into this world (I can't watch the news anymore or I might be too afraid to ever let this baby out of my body), but I know that if the girls on 16 and Pregnant can do it, Steve and I can more than handle it.
OK, this was long and if you are still with me, you made it! I promise the future posts will be shorter winded and maybe even feature pictures. If that's not a teaser, I don't know what is!