I realise I really should put some sort of update on here about our baby news. I keep being unsure of what to write. It’s hard to strike a balance between personal news and personal detail I’m willing to share. Like anything ‘big’ that happens to me, I don’t really like to talk about it like normal people seem to. It feels like getting engaged all over again—exciting, thrilling, terrifying, and something I feel is intensely private. However, just like my wedding, I know that as time progresses I will be glad that I didn’t keep everything completely to myself, because there is joy in sharing the good things of life with friends, acquaintances, and even strangers.
So how does the former self-proclaimed ‘child hater’ decide to have a baby? Well, for one, it is a matter of simple psychology. To the contrary of what I told anyone who knew me in high school, or in various situations since, I never actually ‘hated’ children or babies (I was also never actually evil, and kind of annoyed that some of you gloried a bit too much in that tag for me because it showed you really didn’t get my sense of humour). What I hated, or at least strongly disliked, was being expected to care and enjoy the infants and children of the people around me; to pretend that I enjoyed dealing with someone else’s squalling and vomit-covered baby, or pretentious little monster-child, just because I was female. Try explaining that and people refuse to understand you. Say, “no thanks, I hate kids” and they immediately start ferrying the little darlings away from you. Works a treat.
For another, marrying a man who is everything you have ever wanted in a companion for life really makes having a child with him the next logical step. A lot of times you hear sappy things like “we wanted to create an expression of our love”. Those aren’t words I’d use. I would say that my husband and I are completely enamoured with each other, best friends, etc. We’re both really creative, we have similar interests, we lead a fairly abnormal & adventurous life, and we know a lot of great & eccentric people. It seems like a total waste of being alive to not share all this with another being who shares our crazy mixture of genes. If we can raise our children to be as eccentric (and awesome) as we are, then I think we’ll have done a good thing. Some of the well wishes from friends have said as much.
Until we knew whether or not we’d achieve this blessing without a lot of pain and sacrifice, we felt it wise to keep up the ‘no, no baby plans yet’ line. When you’re newly married, Catholic, and rather vocal (at least off the internet) about how you totally agree with the Church’s position on contraception (and that you’ve always felt that contraception is wrong, even before you converted), people tend to think you’ll get pregnant before you get back from your honeymoon. And until you’ve tried natural family planning from both angles, you can never be sure if it’s working because it’s working, or if it’s working because something’s not working. I knew that the road of fertility challenges would be painful enough to walk without having everyone constantly asking about our plans for having a baby or thinking I was pregnant every time I had a stomach bug.
Success happened a lot faster than I’d dared to hope. In fact, I was so certain that I wasn’t pregnant that I spent an anxious ten days thinking I had suddenly developed Type II Diabetes or something worse. After yet another day of feeling utterly exhausted, crampy, tearful, and needing to use the bathroom every hour, I decided to buy a pregnancy test so that I could confirm I wasn’t pregnant so that I could just relax for another fun round of female complaint. I had barely even had time to “lay the stick on a flat surface” before the two lines appeared confirming what I thought was impossible. My mind flashed back to my mum’s tales of how when she found out she was pregnant with me she ended up crying (with joy) on the bathroom floor. Here I was clutching the sink, grinning like an idiot, with tears rolling down my cheeks. Genetics.