I love planning… knowing what I’m doing well in advance of when I’m doing it, when it will begin and end, and what potential issues may arise. When it came to planning my family, I had no idea how little my conceptual plan would matter. The thing is, I always wanted to be a mom. When I was a little girl, I wished every night on the first star in the sky that someone would leave a baby on my doorstep and my mom and dad would keep it, so I could take care of it. Seriously… you can’t make this stuff up! When I decided I was ready to be a mom and it didn’t work out exactly as I had planned, I thought my world was going to fall apart. In the end it all made sense; sometimes you just need a little faith.
I met my husband, Sam, a few months into my freshman year of college. I knew almost immediately that he was the man I would marry. Although it scared the hell out of me, I dove into our relationship headfirst, sometimes fighting incredibly hard when it seemed our lives were headed in different directions. We married young; I was 24 and he was 25. Our foolproof plan was to simply be newlyweds for a year and then think about having a baby. It was cliché, but we thought it made sense for us. We traveled a little, laughed a lot, and didn’t worry about much.
Five months after our wedding, during the week of Christmas, I missed one birth control pill and was late taking three more. This was not part of my plan! I was on the pill for seven years; not once had I ever made a mistake in taking it. I was borderline psycho about not getting pregnant. Whispering about this major oops in the spare bedroom of my in-laws’ home, we decided it must be a sign; let’s have a baby!
We had sound reasons for getting a jump-start. We both had steady jobs, a small but decent savings, and we lived in a nice neighborhood in a great, little starter home that was perfect for a baby. We generally liked being around babies and young children. I knew I would have as much maternity leave as I needed, and our health insurance covered just about everything. It was perfect!
I didn’t get pregnant until the following September, but that moment when I asked Sam how he’d feel if I stopped taking the pill, and he agreed to stop and “see what happens,” I knew we were on the same page. We were a team; we were ready. When our oldest son was born, it was like he had always been there. He was our future; he was our plan. Parenthood, beginning with that first conception, hasn’t gone according to my master plan, but I whole-heartedly believe that the timing of both of my children has been just right.