We Are Both Right

Were We Ready for a Baby? Define “Ready.”

©Tinneketin/stock.xchng

When it comes time for family planning, does the stork get an opinion? ©Tinneketin/stock.xchng

We were fools. Absolute and utter fools.

Here’s the scenario: It’s the late summer of 1999. Y2K fever is starting to really take hold. I am a newly-minted 25 year-old, my husband is 26. We have been married for a year and a half.

T. has a part-time job — some of the first in many steps on his way to a career. The hours are awful, the pay even worse. While his office is only about ten minutes away from our two-bedroom apartment in a quiet suburb, because of the nature of his work, he is often sent to various locations at strange times, sometimes hours away from where we live. His schedule is always changing — we can never predict when and where he will be at any given time. And while he has been at this particular job for over three years, the opportunity for advancement at this place is bleak — moving to another state could be in our cards.

I’m an associate editor at a national consumer magazine. I love, love, love my job even though I too am a low rung on a very long ladder. The hours are O.K. but the pay is not. My commute to work involves an hour-long train ride and a 25  minute walk. I’m also enrolled in graduate school (student loans aplenty), pursuing a master’s degree in publishing. I leave the house at 6:30 in the morning and on days when I have classes, I don’t get home until after 10 p.m.

We are broke. We never see each other. Our apartment, while charming and certainly a decent enough size, is really only ideal for two people.

Sounds like a great time to introduce a baby into the mix, doesn’t it?

We apparently thought so, because that August, I made an appointment with my gynecologist and asked him what my husband and I needed to do to so we could have a baby.

(That came out wrong. Obviously we knew what we needed to do to have a baby, but we wanted to know what we needed to do ahead of time vitamin and health-wise so our new little one would have every advantage.)

Seriously though. We have three children — one of which was a “surprise.” That it was not our first, but our third, astounds me to this day.

But as it turns out, everything turned out just fine. Better than just fine. That October, I was promoted unexpectedly — complete with a slightly higher salary and my own office (with a door — great for hiding morning sickness in the first trimester). In December, T. was promoted too — a full-time job that came with a huge jump in salary and health benefits. And in January of 2000, we found out we were pregnant with our first baby, C., who joined us in our new house that September.

It’s funny how things work out. I wouldn’t say we were in a rut before we found out about C., but it was only when we planned to have a baby that things really began to happen for us.

New jobs. A house. A baby.

Our family.

It was risk we took, for sure because things could have easily gone the other way. But that can always happen, can’t it? Life changes in an instant — sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. Our thinking at the time was, emotionally we were ready and that was the most important part. The rest would fall into place.

And it did.

Just how we planned it.

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What about you and your family? How much pre-baby planning did you do — if any at all? Why?

Suzanne and her husband put a little more thought into the planning to have a baby process. And you know what? Everything turned out just fine for them too — eventually.

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