I never grew up hearing stories about how I carried my dolls around like babies—that I pretended to feed them or rock them or put them to bed. In reality, I probably dragged them through the dirt by their matted hair after my brother painted them with puffy paint. Regardless of my less-than-nurturing childhood, I always knew I wanted to have children.
Some people say that it’s a biological urge, the need to have babies. I’d say, yes, for some people, that’s probably true. It certainly was (and is) for me. Sure, I understand why people don’t want kids (Heidi did a great job of explaining why she is choosing not to in her blog post), but for me, there was never any doubt in my mind. It was a topic discussed with boyfriends as early as high school. My 10-year plan involved graduation from college, marriage, and children—in that order.
I did everything “correctly” according to my grandmother—met my future husband, graduated from college, got married, and waited an appropriate amount of time before starting to try to get pregnant. In those in-between years, though, there was always the nagging sensation, reminding me that I just knew that someday I would be a mom, and preferably sooner rather than later, thanks.
I wanted the late-night feedings, when it was just my child and I, snuggled drowsily together in bed, connecting in a way that only a mother can with her hungry baby. I wanted to be the one to soothe a screaming baby, and the one who hands her child to her husband and watches a strong man become wrapped around the tiniest finger imaginable. I want to be joined with the millions of women throughout history who gave birth; I want that connection with time. I want to kiss skinned knees, watch dance recitals, and chase my toddler around the house making dinosaur noises. My husband and I will be the ones staying up late worrying about how we’ll pay for summer camp or family vacations or braces. And I can’t wait.
It was visceral, this need to have a baby. I tried on multiple occasions to explain to my husband exactly why I felt this way, and could only scratch the surface of how I felt. I wanted kids, but I didn’t want to force the topic by saying I needed them. I’m sure our marriage would be wonderful without children, and luckily I knew he wanted them as well—just not on the same warp-speed timeframe I did. I slowly learned how not to press the issue, and he learned how important it really was to me. We talked. A lot. About when we wanted kids, and where we wanted to be financially, emotionally, and mentally. We worked on our marriage. We fixed up our house. And when we decided that we were ready to start trying for a baby, we stayed positive through a miscarriage and almost a year of negative tests until we finally saw the plus sign on the stick.
And now that our family of two is becoming a family of three, it all seems so much… more. Everything is more. The summer is brighter, because we think, “Next summer, we’ll have a child, our child, to share it with! This pack-and-play we’re registering for will fit in our tent trailer for camping trips!” Plans for the holidays are coming with a caveat, “Well, we might be in the hospital over Christmas—you know, having a baby.” Friends don’t have a place to sleep at our house, since the guest room is being slowly transformed into a nursery. My mom is buying sewing patterns and fabric, sleepers and baby socks for her first grandchild. My dad cried when we told him about our second pregnancy since his heart broke with ours when we made the phone call to say our first was over. Every event is special, because next year, we would have our baby with us. And my husband and I can’t wait.
Michelle promises to not cover her baby with puffy paint, or drag them through the mud by their hair. Unless that’s a new child-rearing technique. Then she’ll be all over it.