Our Bittersweet Baby Announcement
I wasn't born to be a mother. As fortunate as I was to find my calling early in life, motherhood wasn't at the top of the charts when it came to life plans. Last I counted, I have seven older siblings, six nieces, and three nephews, not to mention in-laws and out-laws. That's more than enough for one family. Don't get me wrong - kids love me! I like them, but I've never been 'in like' with them. I carry our dogs around like small children, yet I give small children a pat on the head when they do something cute. While all the other ovaries in the room flock to the tiny, drunk humans, I'm the strange, cat-like creature who may or may not give them attention. Of course, this is seen as a challenge for any kid, so they quickly come poking at the one non-attention-giving adult within eyeshot.
Kids are cute, and more importantly, they're hilarious! They tell it like it is while the rest of us coat our opinions and thoughts with a smidge of sugar. There's definitely a lot to be learned from the little squirts!
We weren't exactly trying not to have kids, either. We all know how babies get here, and well, we weren't actively doing our part to avoid the situation. After almost nine years of neither trying nor tying, I became comfortable with the idea that Thomas was firing blanks. Or my eggs had rotted. Whatever the case, we never had to schedule a face-to-face meeting with parenthood and continued to teeter-totter on the whole 'to have or not to have kids' thing. That was the question.
Weeks 4 and 5 of this summer's West Coast adventure left me feeling nauseous, which we chalked up to the windy mountain roads and constant elevation changes. After that many hours in the car, everyone was slightly green. At one point, I asked Thomas what we'd do if I actually was pregnant, and he said, "Nah. Don't worry about it." I didn't. Not really, anyway.
We got back to Texas, bought a fertilizer kit to confirm or deny any suspicions, and watched as a faint plus sign appeared in front of us. The stick got a good shaking and Walgreens got another late night visit from Thomas, who graciously made the trip to pick up pee sticks. The stick maker clearly made a mistake. There it was again. Or was it? Were our eyes playing tricks on us? If I turned the stick at an angle, the plus sign turned into an 'x,' which didn't mark the spot. Yes, clearly, that was the case.
There was no need to start designing a baby announcement, as it was an 'x,' not a '+' sign.
Most cry when they receive such wonderful news, and trust me -- I did my fair share of crying! I'm ashamed to say that the tears rolling down my cheeks weren't entirely made of joy, though. They were 85% terror, 12% bewilderment, and maybe 3% joy. A baby wasn't in the plan. We were going to sell all our furniture and pack up whatever stuff we had left to travel around for the next year.
How selfish could I be? While several couples we know were actively trying to get pregnant, here I was sobbing at the idea of sharing future trips and hours of sleep with another human. Was it the idea of having kids or screwing them up that scared us more? I'm still not sure. I've heard new parents don't even dream at night after the baby arrives. Alright, I made that part up, but I do know our lives are about to change drastically. It is reassuring to have a husband who's bound to rock the baby-wearing, butt-wiping thing. He's going to be fantastic dad! That's a given. To say we're ready would be a stretch, but we're bound to love this thing almost as much as our dogs, and that's A LOT!
Six months in, and the pregnancy glow (initially attributed to sweat from added anxiety) has started to take up residence. I'm surprising myself with regular shopping trips to etsy.com to pick out cute baby accessories and have discovered that planning for a pint-sized person is actually kind of fun! And exciting. Yes, I am excited! Thomas jumped on the kid ship right away while I was more or less struck by its mast, but I'm happy to announce that we're both paddling away down what's hopefully a smooth channel in this RELATIONship. There have been a couple of scares, which I assume comes with the territory of orchestrating and analyzing an alien invasion. We're keeping our fingers crossed that this kid turns out to be as ornery and awkward as her parents. Guess we'll find out in April!
Good wishes are greatly appreciated. God, help us!