Oliver and I are not kid crazy people. I define that as: we both agreed we wanted them someday, but we don’t assault random infants on the street to pinch their cheeks and make goo goo noises.
Once we’d established that both were theoretically open to them in the oh-so-distant-future, we didn’t talk about them again until a year or two after we were married and then as something still to come. We had time. We weren’t in any hurry. There were things we wanted to do and accomplish first. We were happy to wait, even as our friends and siblings married and started having kids. We weren’t in any rush.
The first time we really got serious about the topic was in planning the move to China. During our visit it was clear what most of the expat wives did to occupy themselves while they were there. After learning about the hospitals in Beijing, the cheap and plentiful household help, and the tight knit community full of kids it was easy to see why it made sense. I wasn’t super eager about it yet, but it was clear to me that it would be a good idea to try and start a family while we were over there (in addition to starting my sweatshop empire of course).
After that move fell through at the last minute, the idea remained and so we stopped trying not to have kids. And then time went by and nothing happened. I was fine with that at first. I figured it would take some time anyway, so I didn’t worry about it. In fact I think we sort of forgot about it and just went on with our lives.
Eventually, I noticed that nothing was happening.
I was pretty sure we were doing it right, but began to think that maybe something else was off. Without making a big deal about it, I decided to pay a little more attention to timing and bought an app for my iPhone. I felt a little stupid doing it but thought ‘what the hell?’ It seemed that the act of buying was enough, because before I could really start using the calendar, I was pregnant. Apparently all we’d really needed was a vacation in Austria.
It’s funny how you react to such news. Even though it was something we were trying to achieve, I wasn’t sure how to feel. It was thrilling. It was weird. I was bursting to tell Oliver. I didn’t want to tell anyone.
Once you accept it’s real you immediately start rearranging your life in your head, even though you tell yourself not to start counting on anything. You know you shouldn’t but you do it anyway. Future trips area all of a sudden in question. You don’t buy that dress. You think twice about a long term project at work that you would normally go for – it’s more than a year, you won’t be able to finish it right? You plan but don’t plan, you consider all the changes, but nothing is set in stone. It’s a weird time because everything is up in the air, a big question mark, and there’s nothing you can do but wait. And say nothing.
Saying nothing and not counting on anything is hard.