Reflecting on My Life a Year AgoMadelinePetersen
Once upon a time my husband and I decided we should try to have a baby. Living in a culture where most couples marry young and have children as soon as humanly possible, we made the somewhat taboo choice to wait four years before we even tried for a baby. (You can stop rolling your eyes – to us four years seemed a very long time.)
Each month when I discovered I wasn’t pregnant, it felt like I was being punched in the face. What if we had waited to try and it was going to take us years to conceive? What if I couldn’t conceive at all? I felt like I had the world on my shoulders.
After what was just a few months of trying (but to us felt like a few years), we were frustrated and discouraged. This was a difficult time for us on another level too. My husband had finished his teaching certificate with hopes of securing a teaching position for the next school year and time slowly passed us by as we hoped and waited.
I felt like I was ready for a change…any change, so on a whim, I started looking for teaching jobs overseas. If we couldn’t get what we wanted here, why not escape and travel the world a bit? I found an organization that had positions in Eastern Europe, and they even had vacancies in my husband’s field. After only a few short weeks, my husband had secured a job on a NATO base in western Hungary teaching his favorite subject. We started mentally preparing for an adventure.
Steve and I started doing the prep work for our trip, including physicals and updates to our vaccinations. As I was sitting on the exam table at the doctors office, I was asked when my last menstrual cycle was. I started thinking about it. How long had it been? A month? Five weeks? Six? I told the assistant the date, and she gave me a good long stare. “Are you sure you aren’t pregnant?” Of course not, I thought. I am very irregular and clearly defective in terms of reproduction. I assured her, it couldn’t be the case, and I went home.
Her question echoed in my head. I couldn’t think of anything else, and now that I was thinking about it, my breasts were tender and hadn’t I started laughing at nothing in particular and then burst into tears the day before? Oh man. I had to take a test to put myself at ease. I called my husband and attempted to casually suggest he buy a pregnancy test on his way home.
When he came home, I shut myself in the bathroom and waited for the stick to tell me whether I had finally become pregnant. Before I knew it, the stick was clearly showing two lines, I checked the instructions just to make sure that I was reading it correctly. I slowly walked into the living room and told my husband that we were finally, actually having a baby.
We were ecstatic but then I started to cry, and unfortunately these weren’t happy tears. I knew in that moment that our European adventure was disappearing before my eyes. As we laid in bed that night I cried out all my disappointment, so I could start preparing to be overjoyed with our pregnancy.
If Tate hadn’t come into our lives we would have been coming home from Europe just about the time that he was born. I no longer regret it. It was definitely the right thing for us at the time. But it is really strange to think about the fact that instead of having a son right now, we could have passports full of stamps. I’ll take my little boy over that any day.
image : flicker | Sopron