I grew up in a big family, and let me tell you… Two parents + five kids + one grandparent all living under the same roof = perpetual chaos. At least for our household. This could be because our household was a tiny one-bedroom apartment in the heart of San Francisco.
Regardless, having so many siblings, and being the eldest, it gave me a very early head start on thinking about babies. At the age of 12, I was helping out immensely with the upbringing of my (then) 3-year-old brother. I’d watch endless episodes of “A Baby Story,” and my favorite toy was a baby doll. A little weird? Yes, okay, a little weird. But I just found them so fascinating. I knew then that if I were to have kids, I wanted them earlier rather than later.
Fast-forward to many years down the road. Somehow, my thinking had evolved from knowing I wanted kids, to firmly believing I didn’t want kids. This has mostly to do with the fact that I had some self-image issues as a teenager (who doesn’t?), and so the idea of pregnancy unpredictably changing anything and everything about my body really scared the heck out of me.
But, then I married the love of my life. After two years of him occasionally mentioning “If I had a son, I’d never let them ___!” or “If I had a kid, I’d want them to ___!” I started thinking about it more seriously. I had known since I had met him in 2006 that he wanted kids. He wasn’t one of those guys who said they might want kids. He knew he wanted kids. And while he hoped I changed my mind, he had resigned himself to the fact that we may never have any. I didn’t tell him I was thinking about it, but I took the next year to internally mull over the concept of our having kids.
Selfishly, I have to admit one of my biggest concerns was that I didn’t really want to share my husband. I love him, dearly, and it already feels like we don’t spend enough time together. And I mean quality time. Not him sitting on his iPad reading the news while I’m reading a book on the couch, and we just happen to be in the same room together. So if I occasionally felt neglected when there were only the two of us, how might it feel if a baby were thrown into the mix?
Finally, I couldn’t get any further in my thoughts without having someone else in the conversation. I broached the topic with my husband. I expressed my concerns (one of which was that he might not be attracted to me anymore if I gained a lot of weight), and he soothed all of my worries. We also discussed waiting another 5+ years v.s. having kids in the immediate future. We both felt sooner was better than later, since neither of us was getting any younger.
So it was decided. We were going to have a baby, and soon.
Two months later, after having our first go at it, I found out I was pregnant two weeks later, a few days before Christmas. And that was the beginning of our journey…