The questions started a month or two after we got married and they tend to become more frequent around our anniversary each year. Friends, family, and even blog readers have all asked them in some way or another. Our timeline for trying to start a family has been ever changing throughout the three years we've been married with many contributing factors; school, living situation, income, job status, etc. But over the past six months, I've learned that no matter how perfectly planned I might think my baby timeline is, I don't have as much control over the situation as I would like to believe. It's ultimately up to the Lord and nothing we do can change that.
How do you explain your baby timeline to someone when it's complicated and you aren't even sure how to explain it to yourself?
How do you explain that if life were perfect, you'd be halfway through your pregnancy, eagerly awaiting the arrival of your baby boy or girl due late October?
How do you explain the excitement and other emotions you experienced early on a Tuesday morning in February when the pregnancy test you didn't think would be positive was?
How do you explain that within a couple of days, your future child had become the subject of almost every conversation? That you were planning your school schedule around your due date, talking about where the baby was going to sleep, and wondering how your puppy would react to his new friend.
How do you explain that you were already singing songs to the little human growing inside of you, even though you knew they couldn't hear you yet? That filling your Belly Book with details of your pregnancy and a recent photo was something you couldn't wait to do every week.
How do you explain that at your first ultrasound, when they couldn't find the heartbeat, you were a little anxious but tried to stay positive and not become too paranoid? Because you weren't measuring as far along as they originally thought you were and with your new due date, the baby's heart wouldn't start beating for another day or so anyway.
How do you explain the heartbreak and disbelief you felt a week later, when you realized that your dream of becoming a mother was going to have to be postponed a little bit longer?
How do you explain that on a Wednesday in March, you subconsciously knew that something was wrong and that when the cramping started, you spent ten minutes in denial, all the while knowing exactly what was happening?
How do you explain that you lay sobbing in the tub for almost an hour because of the pain? It hurt psychically and it hurt emotionally and it's hard to say which one hurt the most.
How do you explain that your husband was so supportive? That he went out to get whatever you wanted and that he took the next day off work to spend quality time with you just because.
How do you explain the love that you had for such a tiny human being after seven short weeks?
How do you explain that you spent the next week deleting your baby wishlist on Amazon and Target, and the secret Pinterest board that you created especially for an October baby?
How do you explain that you cancelled your order of baby shaped cookie cutters that you were planning to use a couple of weeks later to announce the news to your families? Because even though you could probably use them in the future, you didn't really want that reminder showing up in your mailbox any time soon.
How do you explain that those first three weeks were the worst? That all you wanted to do was sit on the couch in your sweats and watch Gilmore Girls. That sometimes you cried and there wasn't anything that triggered it, the tears just escaped from your eyes without permission. That when you had to go get your blood drawn each week, there were newborn babies all over the doctor's office and you wanted to cry even more. That when people started announcing they were pregnant and due in October, you were so excited for them but not at the same time.
How do you explain that three months later, it still hurts just as much as it did that first day? When you run across pictures on your computer of your "bump" and the positive pregnancy test. When your coworker tells you his wife is pregnant and her due date is the same as yours was. When you look in the mirror every morning and see those few stretch marks that came from your short lived pregnancy. When the primary kids are practicing a Mother's Day song and you're singing the mother's part with the other women in the primary. Sometimes it takes all I have not to burst into tears for absolutely no reason at all.
Because while talking to someone about all of these things makes me feel better and makes it just a little bit easier to deal with, it seems to make them feel extremely uncomfortable, no matter how close we are. There are a few people who have experienced what Joe and I have been through in the past four or five months, who have felt some of these same feelings and chatting with them is refreshing and almost therapeutic. I just wish I could join in on normal pregnancy craving/symptom/experience conversations and not have it be weird. Because I've experienced it to a degree as well, but mine somehow feels like something I have to pretend never happened.
When people ask us if we plan to have kids and if we're going to start trying soon, so many thoughts run through my mind. You should know that I want nothing more than to be a mom and we were excited to become parents this year. Some people might thing we're being selfish or that the longer we wait, the harder it will be to decide we want kids, but that's just not the case. You never know what other people are going through and questions like, "So... when are you going to start a family?" can sometimes be loaded ones. So for the past three months, any time someone has asked, I force a smile and tell them we don't know.