I must have wide, crazy eyes when I tell people I'm pregnant, because they almost always ask if it was a surprise. And I almost always say yes, even though it wasn't, really. It was planned, technically, but in the sense that one day I said, "I don't know, maybe we should do this," and the next (or maybe the day after that, I'll never know) I was pregnant.
So, yes, it was a surprise. A surprise that one June afternoon I decided I wanted kids after all.
I found out the morning after shooting a wedding. I woke up groggy and exhausted, like I always am after a wedding, and even though my period was only a day late, I somehow knew even before I took the test. It felt more like a formality than a moment of truth, but still I jumped when the tested blinked "Pregnant" before I could even dry my hands. I probably swore under my breath at least once; the details are a little foggy now.
I wish I could say my first reaction was to do something really spiritual, like start talking to God about it, or cry or something. Instead I did the only thing I knew to do, which was to pour the Chemex coffee and settle into the couch with Google - "pregnant now what".
It's kind of a long story, how this pregnancy came to be, after all my years of wondering if I even wanted kids. Maybe I'll tell it later. But for now, let's just say it was a very spur of the moment decision influenced by the fact that if we waited until our fifth anniversary in November, I would have a baby smack dab in the middle of wedding season next summer. More of a logical, practical decision, made as I was drying the dishes one summer afternoon, than a swimmy emotional one.
And now the surprise is that I'm excited about it. That I suddenly want to hold babies every chance I get, that I like walking around with this tiny, lime-sized secret. I feel feminine, in the way that way you feel feminine when you wear a slip under your dress, or remember to put lotion on your legs. I'm even starting to believe that I can do this, this motherhood thing.
From my journal five weeks ago:
"I don't feel ready to have a baby yet. But I do feel ready to be seven weeks pregnant. And next week I'll be ready to be eight weeks pregnant, sitting in a doctor's office distracting myself with Reader's Digest while waiting for my name to be called. And that's how I'm going to take this - one week at a time."
And that's how I've been approaching this pregnancy, and most likely how I'll be approaching the rest of my life. I'd say it's working so far, given that I've only had one meltdown, and that was at the park one morning when I realized I couldn't ride bikes for much longer. Also, the time Trevor ate the last slice of bread.
P.S. I know that for many women struggling with infertility or miscarriages, my story may seem obnoxious or insensitive; I'm truly sorry. I promise I don't mean it to sound that way. I can only tell my own crazy story as honestly as I can, and for whatever reason this is how it's happened.