We had about $100 in our checking account, an unspeakable amount of school loans to pay off, no car, and no property in our name. But, oh yeah. We were ready to have kids.
I was working in television, traveling monthly for my job, and coming home at all hours most days. My husband was a medical student, considering a surgical residency in which he would work more hours than actually exist in a week. But, come on! We were totally ready to have kids!
We were living in a tiny, New York City one-bedroom apartment, going out and partying every weekend we could. We had no idea where we would be living after my husband’s graduation from medical school, or whether I would be able to find another job. But we were ready for kids, oh yes. We were ready.
At least I was. All I could think about was getting pregnant. After about seven years of living like a married couple with my husband, we made it official with a wedding. A year later, we were living in Manhattan and thinking about the future. We both wanted kids, but I wanted them immediately.
But then my husband dropped a bomb: we had to wait. Possibly until after his residency was complete, which would be another unthinkable five years. Jump cut to me, bawling in the shower, dramatic music swelling to crescendo. I felt like someone had died, I was so devastated.
So I stopped taking the pill.
Upon reflection, this was not a mature decision. It was certainly not a respectful decision. But it’s something that I did, in my desperate play to force the issue. And guess what?
It didn’t work.
The universe taught me my first important lesson of parenthood: you need to wait. And wait I did, until after my husband changed his mind to pursue a different, more family-friendly residency. And matched to one in his home state, where we would be close to his parents and closer to mine. And then it waited some more, until after we moved, I found a new job, and we upgraded to a gigantic two-bedroom apartment with a view of the ocean.
What was it waiting for? I like to think it knew I had some maturing to do. That I needed to have a few more discussions with my husband, to make sure we were both really ready. That we needed to have a financial plan that would include taking care of a child. That I needed to stop partying so much and get back in to shape, eat healthy, and ready my body to support another life. That the universe needed to see that I was ready to think about someone other than myself and to put that person first. Basically, that the universe needed to see that I was ready to be a mom. I like to think it was all that, but it was probably just the Clomid. One dose, and I was pregnant. Finally, happily, ecstatically pregnant, and suddenly realizing how completely un-ready I really was.
Which was perfectly right.