I tried to get pregnant last month. And by try, I mean… I very half heartedly attempted to get pregnant. I would describe my activity as “not avoiding it.” I found myself reading a lot about discharge… which was incredibly sexy. I will never look at egg whites the same. And then every time I felt a cramp or pull within 24 inches of where I think my ovaries might be I was certain eggs were just falling out and it was go time. Tightening in my hamstring? Let’s get some sperm in there just in case.
I was nauseous for 30 minutes last Tuesday and practically had this next child’s first and middle names finalized by the time it subsided. I had even come to terms with the fact that it wouldn’t fall under the ideal astrological sign. In hindsight, I think I ate some bad Pastrami.
For 11-ish days I thought there was a chance that I could possibly be pregnant. And as soon as I thought I might be, I went full panic and was certain I had made an incredible mistake.
Babies blow up your life, in the best and the worst ways.
I’m a realist. I can’t envision a pregnancy without 365 nights of broken sleep flashing before my eyes, bleeding nipples, and cries that nothing can soothe. Blood soaked pads and broken hair.
Will this next baby be the answer to my prayers and dreams and then some? Yes. But she’ll also be my undoing. I’ve learned that neither putting yourself first or last when it comes to motherhood will do; you walk a tight rope between selfish and self-care.
She’ll mean regaining the weight I never thought I’d lose. A mushy stomach and extra skin. I don’t pretend to marvel or enjoy the total destruction of my body. Worth it – yep. Welcome it – nope. And I have only just now put a comfortable distance between me and the newborn carseat, I get phantom pain in the crook of my arm and shudder when I see it in the basement. I’ve broken free from the chains of a diaper bag, just long enough to know what the tease of freedom feels like. I was getting used to leaving the house with only 37 packages of graham crackers for my toddler.
She’ll be a long pause; a distraction from the dental work I was supposed to get done a year and a half ago, and the masters degree that I’ll probably never finish. The dreams that will be perpetually put on hold, the necessities that will fall in importance.
She’ll be worth it, but for 11 days I thought about the price this family will pay. The perfect schedule that will be blown up, the distance a baby puts between a man and his wife, the reallocation of responsibilities and the shortage of energy to meet needs.
She’ll be ceaseless joy and boundless love, and a confirmation that when you build a family, you dismantle your life. If only for a little while.
So I’m going to enjoy more red wine than usual, stay up later than I should, and savor this part of my life, before I step into the next month… with an ovulation kit and fertility predictor app on my phone.
Scarlett is a stay at home-ish mom, bartender, and wife. You can follow her on Instagram.