Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ready or Not...Here I Come

Recently I heard about a couple
that decided to break up
over their mismatched views
on having children.

One wants them,
one doesn't.

They are lovely and awesome
and I hope they realize
they can't live
without each other
and decide to have
3456398465 babies.

Or at least one.

I also know of one couple "trying"
and one couple getting ready to "try".

All of this got me thinking about
my total non-choice in having children.

I think being a mother was something
I assumed I would do when I grew up.

After college and trips to Europe,
gin soaked vacations,
my own apartment,
and a decked out wedding
with the man of my dreams.

In my mind the idea of motherhood
lived in the land
of Far Far Away.

The last thing I did was plan it.

With Lucas,
I found out I was pregnant on a Sunday.

Labor Day weekend 2003.

It was the middle of the night
and I was high on a cocktail
of too many things
I am still too embarrassed to name.

I was living in a big house
full of drunken strangers.

I wasn't really speaking to my family,
my best friend had just moved away,
and the other half of the chromosomes
wasn't spending any time with me
in the daylight.

I've told this story dozens of times.

About how suddenly at 2am
I realized I hadn't had my period in awhile.

About how mysteriously there was a
pregnancy test under my bathroom sink.

About how when that faint pink line appeared
I blamed the drug haze
and my blurred vision.

About how the next morning
there were two more tests.

Brighter lines.

Clearer vision.

I know the first person I told
was my roommate.

And then maybe I told a few friends.

I know I went to Barnes & Noble
and died a thousand deaths
trying to find a manual
on how the fuck I was ever going to do this.

I settled on
"An Idiot's Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth".

I know I called my mom
and tried to nonchalantly
request her presence
at an upcoming Dr.'s appointment.

And when she asked why,
my nonchalance crumbled into
whispers and sobs.

I know we were supposed
to meet for coffee that night
but we never made it out of the car.

And within weeks
I moved out of that crazy house
and back into the room I grew up in.

I gave up all of my bad habits.

It was less than ideal
and I have been so painfully imperfect,
but there was never a moment
when I doubted my choice.

Something in me just knew.

And when I started spotting
at 8 weeks,
I experienced that first
ferocious instinct
to protect my child.

My introduction
to the ever present parallel
of fragility
and tigerish indominability.

My pregnancy with James
was a surprise as well.

I do not know
what it is like
to plan for a baby.

Ovulation charts
and schedules,
financial and emotional preparedness
are foreign to this mama.

A part of me
still wishes I had had
that experience.

And another part of me
smiles knowingly
at the false sense of security
those things provide.

Because with all of the planning
no one is ever prepared
for a hurricane.