Does a baby have to be in my future? Who says you have to get married and then have kids (besides my parents and my in-laws and a lot of America)? Maybe times are changing. Maybe it’s OK to be just me and my husband.
That was me in April 2012. I had just gotten married the previous fall and I wrote a whole column in Ink magazine about getting asked, “When are you having kids?”
I wasn’t close to being ready. (Not that you’re ever really ready to have kids — the truth to that cliché is a whole other column.)
I kept a list of new restaurants my husband and I could go out and try. We loved to travel and hadn’t been to Europe together yet.
Then in May 2013, my father-in-law had a heart attack. It scared us. My husband and his siblings rushed to the hospital to be with him. And I thought, “If we don’t have kids, who will come visit us in the hospital when we get older?”
I also thought about my own parents; they’re older than my husband’s. If we were going to have kids, I would want them to know all of their grandparents.
So after some long conversations, we decided to go for it. We did take that trip to Europe first. That’s when we started trying.
But nothing happened. So we kept trying. And nothing kept happening. I was 33 and a professional worrier. I cried every month.
I wrote in my ovulation tracker notes: “Something is wrong with me. I was dumb to think I could get pregnant.”
Then after five months, not long at all, really, I got a second pink line on my pregnancy test. I was scared and thrilled out of my mind.
About a week later, I miscarried. There are no words to tell you how I felt, but I will say the miscarriage showed me just how much I wanted a baby.
As soon as the doctor said we could try again, we did. And on March 10, 2014, I got my second, second pink line. And on Nov. 16, 2014, I got my son.
Do I miss my old life? Sometimes yes. Being a parent has lots of difficult moments.
But my new life has lots of great moments, too. I get to watch my son roll from his back to his tummy — he just learned how and loves it. I get to see him smile and laugh, which always makes my day. And most recently, I get sweet baby kisses.
He pulls my face close, plants his mouth on my cheek and drools on me.
Moments like that are the best. I look forward to sharing more of them with you.
Pamela E. Spencer is a former Kansas City Star writer and editor. To reach her, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.