This pregnancy is unplanned. It happened because I screwed up on my birth control, and we didn’t “play safe”. Unplanned, but not unwanted; every day, I dream about this little life we’ve made and I feel deeply at peace. For several years, I had no desire to have a baby — ever. Ever. Then Christmas 2007 rolled around, two weeks before my 25th birthday.
Every December, my mom sends me a Christmas ornament; every year, those ornaments sit in a box waiting for a tree to be hung on. Chris and I never buy a tree. Those ornaments never come out. I remember how much pride my mom took in her tree, with all of its mismatched old ornaments, lopsided garlands, and unevenly distributed tinsel — as we sat in Chris’ aunt’s house, with her perfectly manicured fake tree that could have come straight out of an L.L. Bean catalogue. It had been four years since I’d spent a Christmas with my family. I missed my cousins running around, I missed all the pets playing together; I missed the green bean casserole, the yams with marshmallows, the stress of preparing the house for dinner guests only to realize, once everyone was sitting together laughing, that blood is more important than the dust bunny in the corner that we missed.
I realized… for both Chris’ family and mine, the “new generation” hadn’t started yet. My mother’s house would be getting quieter every year as my siblings and cousins grew up, becoming more mature, carrying on more adult conversations. Most of us had grown out of sitting at the kid’s table.
I wanted a baby then, sitting there staring at this “perfect” Christmas tree with my husband at my side.
It didn’t seem right to want to bring a life into this world when I had hardly started my own — I have no “higher” education, nor do I have a job. Blame Immigration, whose red tape has kept my hands tied behind my back for nearly five years now. I didn’t tell Chris how my mind had changed; he didn’t say anything to me about wanting to start a family. We just coddled the dogs and spoiled each other. Still, our parents seemed eager for grandkids and the comments started coming: “I don’t want to push you, but when…” “That’s a big backseat … now all you need is a baby back there!” “I don’t think I’ll ever be a grandma…” We smiled and bore these comments, shaking them off with a casual “Oh, maybe someday!”
We didn’t intend to become parents for at least another three-four years. I needed to get my residency status here in Canada, get a part-time job, start school, get some sort of diploma/degree, find a career, and THEN have a baby. Our life just didn’t seem stable or adult enough to fit a child into, and I felt confident in our plan.
Sometimes women know when they’re pregnant. I knew within the next week. Something just clicked in my brain; maybe it was more that there was virtually no way I could not be pregnant (we are a hyper-fertile couple). I knew, when I went to a friend’s birthday party weekend at the beginning of June, that I should avoid drinking. When I went to visit my family in mid-June, I hadn’t taken a pregnancy test, I wasn’t suffering from any symptoms of pregnancy other than a vague fatigue in mid-afternoon, but I knew. My period was late. This, in and of itself, wasn’t a worry to me; I had never kept track of my cycle and figured that I was just remembering the week incorrectly. So when Chris, via MSN Messenger, asked if I’d started my period yet and then, in a shaky follow-up, “When should we start worrying?” I had already settled in my heart that I was pregnant: A few days ago…? I replied.
“What do you want to do?”
Long ago, I had made up my mind: unless there were extenuating health-related circumstances, I would not abort my husband’s baby. We’re adults. If we make the choice to have unprotected sex, then we make the choice to bear all consequences. I hate the word “consequences” in this context; it sounds like a punishment. This isn’t — our baby is a blessing. So I told him this.
And all he typed back was: “Okay.”
Then, being the man that he is, he immediately tackled the finances, rebalanced our budget, and started looking for a two bedroom apartment. I honestly thought he was unhappy about the decision, but our communication was all online or through brief phone calls while he was at work, neither of which are conducive to in-depth conversation. But when he came down to pick me up, our eyes met, and he hugged me fiercely as if he hadn’t seen me in months rather than 10 days, I knew he was ecstatic.
We’d had sex under the pretense of ignoring basic biology while both delighting in the possibility of creation. And we want what we’ve gotten.
So, to you, the little gymnast that has been kicking my abdomen with a fervor that makes me think you want to meet us as much as we want to meet you — you are already the best thing that has ever happened to us.
We love you.