Well, this is a blog post you only get to write once in a lifetime (probably…): I’m pregnant! With a baby. Estimated due date: May 7, 2012, just a few days into my 36th year.
I never thought I’d have a baby. Really. I’m married to the love of my life, who I was lucky enough to meet in high school. We’ve been together since 1994. And until 2011, we did not think a baby was what we wanted. And then it was.
I remember sitting around with girlfriends in college, all of them saying, “And one day, I’ll have kids…” — and thinking, “Ugh, yuck, how can you know that?” Most of them hadn’t even met the people they’d eventually marry. How could you know you wanted a child in the abstract? This made absolutely no sense to me.
And then I got married at age 23, and everyone said, “Oh, wow, aren’t you young to be getting married?” — and then, in the next breath, “So, when are you having children?” The idea that getting married was just a stepping stone to making babies really pissed me off. It still does. I got married because I am madly in love with my husband and wanted to share my life with him. It had nothing to do with procreation.
Then, in my 30s, all my friends started having kids. As I watched them, I had mixed emotions. On the one hand, I started to feel a yearning, almost despite myself. My friend Wendy’s son, Nico, slept on my chest when he was barely a week old and something in me stirred. On the other hand, it made me sad to see some of my friends as moms. They seemed enslaved to their children. And some of them seemed to lose their identities outside of motherhood. This was very unappealing to me, and I wondered, how could I live the full, creative life I desired and also have a child?
Plus, Jordan just wasn’t interested. Whatever yearnings I had — he was immune. And I certainly didn’t want a child more than I wanted to be with him. At some point, I knew that if he was ever ready to take the plunge, then I would be, too. I said to him, “I think this could be a very fulfilling adventure to take together. But if it’s not what you want, then I know we can have fulfilling lives without a child, too.” I firmly believed that, and I still do. I am ready for the most awesome adventure of my life. But I don’t believe having children is the only path to fulfillment.
Then, last summer, I went to a new OBGYN for my annual check-up. “Do you and your husband plan to have children?,” she asked me. “Oh, that’s still a question mark for us,” I answered. “Well,” she said, “in my experience, ‘maybe’ never turns into ‘no,’ and it will only get harder as you get older.”
Boom. At first, I was offended — who the hell did she think she was?! We had just met. Then, I was grateful. She was right. It was time to make a decision. Shit or get off the pot.
And so Jordan and I started talking about it in earnest — not in a “maybe, one day, we can decide later” kind of way, but in a “wow, it’s really time to make a decision” way. And at some point, we just took each other’s hands and decided to take the leap.
It’s funny, I’ve written so many times over the years about how constraint breeds creativity. In our case, having a deadline of sorts for this huge life decision really propelled us forward.
And now we’re thrilled. And terrified. And ecstatic. And terrified. And for the past 3 months, I’ve been in an exhausted, nauseous haze — which, by the way, is why I’ve barely blogged… but now I’m back, and ready to explore a whole new set of life experiences here. To be clear, I have no intention of becoming a full-on “mommy blogger,” because I have no intention of making “mommy” my entire identity. But as I continue to write about all aspects of my life, and share my ideas about everything from culture to yoga and more, I will surely weave in reflections about this incredible new journey I’m on.
We’re having a baby!