Day 3 Reverb Prompt: How did you become more of a grown-up this year? Or did you pull a Peter Pan and stubbornly remain childlike?
Oh, this year. It has been a hard one in many ways, but has also been the most incredible as well. Last year Noah and I did something that neither of us had done on purpose before. We decided to have a baby. I know how blessed/lucky/fortunate we are to be able to decide to have a baby and actually be able to have one. I have so many friends who struggle with this and it hurts my heart thinking about it. This is a subject very near and dear to me, being that my first pregnancy was very unplanned and very unwanted by everyone involved. (The whole being-pregnant thing was unwanted, not the baby. The baby was wanted from the first moment I learned of her existence.)
My pregnancy with Liliana was also unplanned, even though it happened when I was married. It was much more emotionally difficult than my first. I’d thought that the next time I had a baby, it would be a happy occasion, not one that heaped more shame and this-is-your-fault-ness on me. By the time Liliana was born, everyone was stoked about her arrival and it was a joyous, happy occasion, but the pregnancy itself was an emotional hell for me. I decided I never ever wanted to put myself through that ever again.
Two years ago, when Noah and I were going through marriage-ending hell, he mentioned something about wanting another baby. Not in a marriage-saving way, but in a family-completion way. I thought he was insane. Nobody had ever said anything like that to me before. My pregnancies with my girls had been met with disappointment and anger. I’d never done this having-a-kid-on-purpose thing. Many months later, when we were living in Saskatoon, he brought the subject up again. Nine months AND ELEVEN DAYS later, Preston was born.
So how does this tie in to being more of a grown-up this year? I had a baby this year on purpose. I felt more grown-up being ready to have a kid on purpose. It’s something that grown-ups do, right? The whole deciding-to-have-a-family thing? It’s an immature and irresponsible thing to get unexpectedly pregnant, right?
(This isn’t to say that anyone who gets unexpectedly pregnant is immature and irresponsible, that’s just how others made me feel with my previous pregnancies. It’s how I felt.) (Although I’ll admit that being pregnant at 17 is immature and irresponsible, I like to think that I was mature and responsible in how I dealt with it after the fact.)
My pregnancy with Preston, although it was, by far, my toughest physically, was my most wonderful one emotionally. I went through a lot of emotionally hellish things while I was pregnant, but not related to the pregnancy itself. Noah was over the moon when I showed him the positive test. He was excited to hear about every prenatal appointment and he dreamed with me about what our child would be like. He was so much more impatient than I was when our due date came and went and then eleven more days went by. I love that we got to do that together.
We are done having babies now, and I am so grateful that I got to experience it this last time. (I feel like I have to mention that I’m grateful for my girls, too, but you already know that.) It’s funny, though, that even though we’re done with the whole having babies thing, we’re not done naming them. We have names abundant and speak of these hypothetical children often. Apparently both of us are insane.
As for the how-have-you-remained-childlike aspect of the question … have you met us? There is your answer.