Next time, I want to get pregnant by accident. Because getting pregnant on purpose is stressful.
The process is full of endless second guessing. Are we ready? No, but are we really ready? What's a justifiable reason to get pregnant? If I'm sad every day that I'm not, is that good enough reason to go for it? I'm 25. Is that too young? We've been married less than a year. What will people think?
Well, that was my process. Tim's process was endearingly more simple. His had two levels: "I'm not ready yet", and "now I am". I will always envy his ability to make assertive decisions while I hem and haw and worry for weeks over what to do.
Back in February, we were having these talks a lot. We were almost ready, but not quite set yet. Then, I found out that I was a potential candidate to be a bone marrow donor, and I couldn't donate if I was pregnant. What a sweet relief it was to have an important reason to wait! And it was my only reason for the 8 weeks it took to determine that I was not the right candidate to donate my marrow. This coincided with the birth of our niece, and I then felt helpless against the overwhelming desire to start this process in my own family.
In the first days after Zaylee's birth, a few well-meaning people said out loud what my brain and heart were mercilessly screaming at me: "you're next!", "don't you want this too?", and the classic "whenever you're ready...". Oh, what this did to me.
It's not that I felt like I needed to meet anyone's approval. When people suggest ideas that are wrong for me, they're easy to brush off. I couldn't shake this because it was a deep, private desire of my own heart laid bare and spoken out loud.
The ride home from visiting the maternity ward felt so severe. At first Tim didn't understand. "It's not a big deal. Don't pay any attention to what other people say."
"It IS a big deal! And it's not because of what anyone's saying. It's what I'm feeling and what I've been wanting for so long."
Wait, how long had I been wanting this? I've always known I wanted to be a mother. I remember being 5 years old and squeezing my baby brother so tight he would cry every time I held him. When I was in my teens, I would dream freely about getting married and having babies. In my single twenties, I shut down those desires completely out of self-preservation. When Tim and I got serious and started talking about marriage, I started to dream again, this time about little dark-haired technologically inclined sassy Franco-American children. And now that we were settled and happy in marriage, the deep desire to start a family was past longing. It was primal. It was pain.
There was nothing to wait for. I wanted a baby more than a house. More than a Master's degree. More than another major-responsibility-free year in my twenties. More than a good night's sleep and more than the money we save by being childless. I wanted this more than any of those big things that couples usually want to get settled first before having a baby.
We took a few more weeks to pray about it, and then it was firmly decided.
We would try.