Pictures taken the night we found out we were expecting a baby.
I started blogging because I like stories. I like to listen to stories and tell stories and read stories.
So here's a story.
In June of last year, Greg and I were enjoying a few days at my family's cabin. The day before we had found out that we had been scammed out of $1200. After two days at the cabin we would drive straight to Boise to board a plane to go to Hawaii. I was supposed to be excited, but mostly I was stressed. Losing $1200 will do that to even the most calm of people.
The few days in the mountains were a necessary reprieve for us. We left the heat, stress, the craziness of the city where it belonged and fled to the cabin. We had lost $1200, yes, but it seemed to matter less at the cabin. There were long, late breakfasts and afternoons of tennis. Campfires and card games. Naps and barbeques. The world seemed to slow down for a few days so we could catch our breath and re examine what was really important.
All of my siblings but one were there. (We missed you, Mindy!) All of my siblings except for my little sister have kids. There were children everywhere. In the garage and in the loft. On the fourwheelers and on the swingset. Running on the tennis court and crying for dinner.
Greg loves children and he wore himself out playing with my nieces and nephews. He worked tirelessly to win their affection. He played and joked and told stories to beat the band.
Our last night at the cabin, Greg and I sat on the swinging chair on the front deck. It was almost dinner time. Inside there was the usual commotion of preparing a meal and hungry children. Outside the weather was perfect. There was a slight breeze and the heat of the day was wearing off. The sun was lowering in the sky.
"Bonnie," said Greg as we swung, "I want my own kids."
"I know you do, sweetie," I replied. "You will make a great father someday."
"Bon, I'm not talking about someday."
I was taken aback. "What does that mean?"
"I'm talking about now. I'm talking about trying now. Not waiting any longer."
I resisted. "You said we wouldn't have kids until we've been married three or four years."
"We've been married two and a half. If we start trying now by the time we have a kid it will be three to four years."
"Now, Bonnie. I'm tired of playing with someone else's kids. I want my own. I want to be the parent."
I searched for reasons not to. Selfish reasons came to my head- we hadn't been back to visit his mission in Russia yet, we didn't have enough money saved yet, I didn't want to be tied down yet, I didn't want to get fat yet.
"Bonnie! Greg! Come in for dinner!" My brother shouted out to us.
"Greg," I tried to protest, "I'm just so scared. I'm not ready."
"And that's fine," he said. "You don't have to be ready yet. But know that I am."
"How can you be ready? Our life is a mess. We have nothing figured out."
"Maybe this will help us figure it out."
"I feel like that's a terrible reason to have a baby."
"Maybe. Maybe not."
I sat in silence for a minute, letting the proposal sink in. I had thought we would wait at least another year to start trying. Suddenly every "someday" in my life felt immediate, pressing, urgent.
"Just think about it," Greg said. "I don't expect your decision right away, I just want to plant the idea in your head. Just know that I'm ready whenever you are."
"Bonnie! Greg! Come on! We're all waiting for you!" My mom was yelling for us this time.
We left the conversation there, to settle in with the swing and sagebrush and setting sun.
We went inside. Someone said a prayer on the food. Greg squeezed my hand three times, our secret code. I. Love. You.
For the next few days I let the idea float around in my head. Could I be ready now to have a baby? Could I be ready in nine months? Eleven? A year?
We spent one more day at the cabin and I didn't say a word about it. On Saturday we made a 6 1/2 hour drive up to Boise. That night we went out to dinner. Neither of us mentioned it, but I could tell by the look on Greg's face that it was constantly on his mind. He had a certain sparkle in his eye, a certain mischief.
Sunday morning our flight was delayed. Greg wanted to watch ESPN in our hotel room. I was antsy as can be. I knew with a six hour flight coming up that the last thing I could do was sit in a room. So I went for a walk. Toured the great city of Boise.
I let the thought fly around up there along with the other thoughts that are constantly swirling around like what kind of gas mileage are we getting and what are we eating for dinner? I tried to come up with some substantial, good reasons to keep waiting. But I really couldn't come up with much. My 27th birthday was a week away... even if we started trying now I'd be 28 by the time I had my first child. A few of my siblings have had trouble getting pregnant. What if we couldn't get pregnant? What if it were a three year process and then I was 31 by the time I had my first child and it took four years to get pregnant with another. I was possibly limiting the number of children I'd be able to have, and for what reason? Because 27 seemed too young to start trying? Because I liked my schedule of teaching, blogging, and eating limitless amounts of guacamole?
And so I decided. Just like that. I just didn't have any reason not to, and it may be a weird reason to decide to get pregnant, but for me it was enough. I don't know that I would have ever been the type of person to get 100% stoked and high on life thinking about babies. I was never going to be so ready for kids that I was doing cartwheels. I'm just not the type. But when I thought about it that Sunday morning, strolling the streets of Boise, I felt peace. And that was enough.
On our plane ride to Hawaii I whispered to Greg that I was willing to start trying. He didn't stop smiling the rest of the way over there.
Now, almost a full year later, the doctor tells me that there is indeed a baby growing inside of me and that in approximately 12 weeks this baby will force herself out of me, with or without my consent. I can not keep that baby in, no matter what I do.
I admit that the thought terrifies me. I am one of the few pregnant people I know who wishes that pregnancy could go longer than 40 weeks. I enjoy playing tennis whenever I want, reading on my balcony alone, indulging in long hot bubble baths. I love teaching, I love snuggling in bed with my husband, I love sleeping in on Saturdays. In three months that will all be gone, given up and thrown to the wind.
I don't think I'm ready to have a baby. I don't have a crib set up and I know nothing about breastfeeding and the only birth plan I have is EPIDURAL NOW. Sometimes I almost feel guilty for this, I look at other moms and how excited they are to have their children and wonder if I'm missing some womanly link. Why aren't I as anxious as they are to meet their baby right this second? Why do I want to hang on to my non-mother life just a little longer? At lunch the other day a teacher started telling me that I can take castor oil and have my baby come two weeks early. I opened my eyes wide and thought to myself, "Why in the world would I want her two weeks early?! I'm going to have her for the rest of my life!"
Going off of birth control was honestly the most terrifying decision I have ever made. I think back to that conversation on the swing though, the earnestness in Greg's eyes, his pleading. I remember his excitement on the plane, how he kissed me hard and said, "WHAT?!" when I told him I was willing to try. I remember that morning walk in Boise and the peace. The absolute peace.
And the truth is that I do know I'll love it, despite the fear. Fear has been the precursor to every good decision I have ever made in my life. It preceded my moving to college, my mission, my marriage, my teaching career. I don't know if Heavenly Father has ever showered me more abundantly with blessings than when I have been trembling with fear.
So I suppose I'll sit here, shaking in my boots and scared to death, and say... bring it on.
But please. Let her come at least a week late.
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