Pregnant

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!

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15 thoughts on “Pregnant

  1. Can't wait to have motherhood in common with you! As with everything you ever do in life, I know you will embrace it with true "Amanda Zeal" and I will be all the richer from reading about/hearing about/SHARING (preferably more of the latter) your adventures and your reflections on them. I too remember those college conversations (though I want to go on record saying that I DID know the man I would share parenthood with, just not the genetic makeup of my children :o) and I remember thinking you would make great parents and hoping that someday you'd decide to go for it. It will change you in ways you cannot imagine but not into a different person, just into another version of the wonderful you that you already are. So excited!!!

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  2. Congratulations! Kelly Rand's tweet introduced me to your blog. I'm writing this while watching our 10-month-old play. I, too, insist on maintaining my own pursuits, and my relationship with my partner. We see our friends, we work, and we love our kid in ways we never understood love before. Enjoy your adventure!

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  3. Congrats again! Lately, I had the same thoughts you described. Not getting any younger so should I want to have a baby?? Plus, I'm not even married so I get that extra question – Why don't you get married? I think it's pretty special that you and your little one will share the amazing zodiac of the Dragon (luckiest sign) 🙂

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  4. It's so lovely of you to share the process behind your decision. I have always been terrified of the idea, but so many of my friends have such fulfilling lives as parents. It's probably not in the cards for us (my answer has always been no, which probably doesn't turn into yes) But I love my friends and their kids. We're glad to share their adventure as honorary aunt/uncle. 🙂

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  5. Being just a little ahead of you in this whole first pregnancy thing, I want to say, welcome. ;-)I never saw you and Jordan as people who would inevitably have kids – for pretty much the reasons you described above – you two have a beautiful completion about you, and so many pursuits enriching your lives. That said, now that you ARE having a baby, I can't wait to see you two with an all new Hirsch person made from a part of each of you. Wow. Maybe because it was unexpected, it's all the more exciting. We also didn't feel a strong sense of "must procreate" and even now, full of maternal hormones, I don't get all sappy over other people's babies. I never really did. But we sort of thought, yes, we'd like to have a kid, someday. We eventually decided we were not getting any younger, and the option would go away (or become vastly more complicated) if we didn't just do it. So we did it. Can't wait to see where it takes us.And where it takes you. *high five*

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  6. Well, Katie, you very nearly made me cry! What a sweet and loving comment. *Thank you* and *high five* right back atcha!!! 🙂 You are going to be an AWESOME mom. Karen – you're right, "no" probably doesn't turn into "yes," but… Jordan's "maybe" was a pretty strong "no" for a while there… so, you never know. But as I said, I reject the notion that the only path to a fulfilling life = parenthood. I'm sure this is going to be amazing – but I'm sure your life will continue to be amazing, too, with or without kids. Just look at the fall you're having!!Thanks again everyone for the lovely words 🙂

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  7. Oops, I see my earlier comment didn't take — so I'll attempt to recreate it:Michelle, I also can't wait to add this experience to the (long) list of things we share 🙂 And your comment re: Chris is duly noted 😉 (And was in my mind when I wrote the post! Note, I said "most" of my friends… ) Kim, I'm so glad to "meet" you, and your comment is very comforting. Everyone – just, thanks 🙂

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  8. Nico and I are honored to have played a part in your journey to motherhood. We can't wait to meet this very fortunate baby and to watch the three of you treasure your life together as a family! Go team Hirsch!

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  9. Amanda I'm so delighted you're delighted about the news! I was exactly the same way about wanting kids: I never, ever pictured myself with children but then one day it was just BOOM!, like a message from The Great Beyond – "Time to have a child now." And then later The Great Beyond said, "There must be two. The second one will be a girl." And so it was written. Having and raising your own children is literally indescribable to someone who doesn't have kids. And it's a giant leap of faith. I'm glad I jumped and now have two smart, hilarious people to enjoy. And to think we made them up FROM SCRATCH! Big hugs to you & Jordan.P.S. May is the BEST month to be born 😉

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  10. Thanks everyone!! It's reassuring to hear how many moms there are out there who were once in the "I never thought I'd do it" camp. I guess I always assumed most people were like those girlfriends of mine in college — always knowing it was something they wanted. Silly me to assume!

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