Someone in comments a few posts ago asked how we went about deciding to have a baby. It’s a good question seeing as how we look at each other now and wonder, “What the fuck were we thinking??” I know, logically, what we were thinking: yay baby! But pregnancy is a big bundle of cannot-anticipate, and I would have never thought it would be so debilitating or feel the way it does.
I think that if I would have been willing to get pregnant on our 4th date Kamel would have been totally down with it. Since I’ve known him he has wanted to have kids. He has been ready. Ready ready ready ready.
I was not ready. I had a list of things I wanted to do before getting pregnant. If I jump ahead a minute, I must tell you that we did none of the things on my list. Here is my list:
- Own a dog
- Go to Greece
- Publish a book
There may have been more, but they probably came and went depending on the breeze.
When we were dating we talked about kids. We talked about how many we wanted, we talked about how we wanted to raise them, spanking, religion, and what we thought they would look like (hairy, doomed to be hairy). When we were engaged we talked about bigger fertility issues: what if we couldn’t get pregnant? Would we go down the medicine path? How far down the path would we go? What about adoption? We discussed parenting hypotheticals: What if we found drugs in our kids’ laundry? How do we feel about snooping? How do we feel about the roll of technology in our kids’ lives? We talked names. We talked names until we were blue in the face and then we talked more. We talked realistic timeline, and there was a certain point, before we were married, where I suddenly realized I was ready to have kids. I had never wanted to have a baby in the realistic way. Hypothetically, yes… but I had been focused for my entire life on NOT making a human. And then suddenly I was ok with it. It was very literally like a little switch went off.
After we were married we thought realistically about a timeline. We thought initially to start trying sometime in the winter after our July wedding, but then we had a really difficult December and I didn’t feel comfortable attempting to add another person to our mix until we figured out some newly-wed shit. And we did. We figured out some basic things and we still work on figuring out some basic things and we move through our relationship by tackling issues as they pop up and calling it like we sees it.
Kamel was always ready, but it was never in a pushy way. Kamel is the furthest thing from pushy you’ve ever seen. It was more like he was always up for it. So when I said I was ready, his response was, “woo hoo!” and when I said I wasn’t his response was, “ok, no problem.” We both went into our marriage knowing that having kids was something we were both excited for, but we also knew that if it wasn’t in the cards we were totally, 100% ok with spending the rest of our lives staring at each other. What we didn’t expect is how flipped upside down being pregnant would turn our little worlds. We are rolling with it. We make decisions about how we want to handle the pregnancy and the baby together. We discuss the items we want to buy, the fact that we’re not having a baby shower, how we will handle future holidays, traveling with babies, how we want our lives to look and feel when another person is involved. We tackle the pregnancy weirdness together. If I’m sick at work Kamel drops everything and comes to pick me up, he goes to every appointment with me, gets me breakfast in the morning and has taken on the bulk of household duties. It has nothing to do with me being pregnant and being spoiled and everything to do with being a team. Pregnancy is not just affecting my life, it’s affecting our lives and I wouldn’t and couldn’t have it any other way.