I am not pregnant. Lest you think that this is some cutesy, backwards-day post of me announcing that I am, in fact, pregnant, I'll lay my cards out on the table right now. Not. Pregnant.
But for a week, seven long days, I thought maybe I was.
Steven and I are of the nauseating sort that share the minutia of our days and thoughts with each other, so it was strange that I did not tell him. But I'm good at processing my thoughts, and not so good at figuring out how I feel about my body. Obviously. So I quietly waited and calmly googled caffeine intake during pregnancy to find out if I could drink my morning coffee because dammit I wanted it.
I see the way that women tell their partners that they are pregnant. With secret, serene smiles. With meals full of baby carrots and baby potatoes and leg of lamb (which is weird - let's eat things that are like babies?), with tiny hockey jerseys, and I wondered, should I try something adorable and memorable? When people ask, should I put on a big smile and say it was planned, or it's a surprise but we are so happy and excited?
...I would be pregnant along with people I love, I thought. That would be nice.
...We could tell Steven's parents at Christmas time. They would be so happy.
...I am married to the man I love, we like kids, we could make it work financially.
...This is God telling us that this is His timing, taking the decision out of our hands.
But there was no excitement in me. Just dull dread and fear and confusion, wondering why I didn't want this and what was wrong with me.
I grew up wanting children, and I think Steven and I both assumed that after we got married, after an appropriate amount of time (whatever that is) we would slowly want to grow our family and decide it was time. And, frankly, we haven't. Which fills me with a whole different kind of fear and dread.
...My sisters and friends have passed me by. Our kids won't play together. We will be alone.
...My 29th birthday is just around the corner.
...I've never been pregnant. I don't even know if I can get pregnant.
...I am selfish to value my career and my lifestyle.
...When we finally want children it will be too late.
There have been times that I wished for an unplanned pregnancy, because the weight of decision is just too heavy.
When the pain finally came, I didn't take my usual ibuprofen. I let it wash over me as I sobbed out of relief and confusion and asked Steven, "Are we doing this wrong?"
Am I doing this wrong?
I know - I am certain - that everything will be fine, better than fine. I know that everyone is different, that whatever comes we will handle, that we will live a full life loving the people around us regardless of who they are or how they get there.
But I fear that there is no rulebook for women like me, who grew up in the country but live in the city, whose body is willing but mind resists, for whom 30 may be the new 20 but their biology has not been informed. Who are blessed with the luxury of control. Who are firmly caught between two worlds of fulfilling adventure and ambition and having children. I know it doesn't have to be a choice - I see people who courageously live both - but it sure feels like it.
I got myself a fancy coffee and a croissant this morning, as a celebration or a consolation prize, I'm not sure. I left my comfortable home with my amazing partner to arrive at a job that I care about. I am very happy. I just worry that I'm not supposed to be.