I would be lying if I said I always wanted a baby. I was pretty on the fence about it, and felt I could honestly be happy long-term with, or without one. What I wanted was a dog. Badly. I had names picked out, and dreams of my dog and I becoming a talented and sought after search and rescue team. One where we always found the victim before it was too late, and people chanted our names like in the end of that movie “Rudy.” But alas, I already had three unruly cats and a husband who was decidedly less enthusiastic about converting our small apartment into an animal shelter, so a dog was out of the question. What he wanted, eventually, was a baby. Because why commit to 12-15 years of care to something that will worship you, when you can commit your whole life to raising something that will eventually, without question, tell you they hate you? I begged him, I pleaded with him, I pouted, but he wouldn’t budge on the dog. “One day we will have a baby” was his line of thinking. “One day I will have a marvelous dog” was mine.
So there we were. Years passed, and we plugged along happily married with our three cats and our respective future mammal plans on the shelf. We slept! We drank beer! We ate out! It was wonderful. Then one day, my best friend moved far away, and I had what WebMD would call a “quarter-life crisis.” This culminated in me drinking a full bottle of wine, and half a bottle of champagne with a neighbor friend who had a new baby. While crying about how much I missed my buddy, my neighbor said “You should have a baby!” to which I responded “It’s not the right time.” And then the skies parted, time slowed down and she said: “It’s never the right time.” For some reason this struck me as especially profound, and her words echoed around the room. I could see them, dramatically floating above her head like in a comic strip. All of the sudden, I needed a baby, like right-now-this-very-second-I-can’t-possibly-wait-any-longer-I-must-have-a-baby! What she said just seemed so true, except in my head it got a little jumbled and quickly became “Now is the best and only time to have a baby.” I glided gracefully home (or stumbled, I don’t remember that part as clearly as I do the rest), and pranced (bounced) downstairs to where my husband lay sleeping and declared: “We should have a BABY!” He sat up, wide-eyed and suspicious the house had been broken into, and watched me crawl into bed and pass out.
The next day brought a rip-roaring hangover, and a new feeling: I need a baby. I NEEDED the baby. Baby, baby, babybabybabybabybaabbby. It was all I could think about. This was strange, as prior to this day, I had never had these kinds of feelings before- and feelings they were. I felt the need for this baby in my bones, and in my stomach and in my heart. It was as if my neighbor had pulled some sort of black magic voodoo trick, and jump-started my biological clock while I was innocently drinking heavily on her couch. It was all I could think about (baby), and all I wanted to talk about (baaabbbyyy) with my husband who (BABY!) handled it like a champ. We talked, he said “It’s not the best time” (he was a year away from finishing his PhD), so I said in my most confident and knowing voice, “It’s never the right time.” But because I am not a voodoo witch, the skies didn’t part, time did not slow down, and the words did not dance above my head in dramatic fashion. Not having the same effect on him, I sweetened the deal with: “Honey, it takes the average couple 6 months to conceive!” which gave him the illusion of time. “Even if we get pregnant right away, which is like, super unlikely, 9 months is basically a year,” I said. As if during those 9 months you have nothing to do to prepare for the birth of the child, and life continues on as normal with zero interruptions.
After our big chat, two very surprising things happened: 1). My very rational, patient husband agreed to my irrational, and impatient plan to reproduce post-haste, and 2). We got pregnant, post-haste. With the appearance of two pink lines, all of a sudden the gravity of the situation hit me. Sitting on the toilet, pee-covered stick in hand I thought “I’m going to be a Mommy.” Then, in the back of my head a tiny voice chuckled: “Gottcha, Sucker” said my Ovaries to my Brain. “Ruh-roh,” my Brain replied. “Ruh-roh.”