There I was, a recently married 36-year-old, with all the fear of an unwed teenager. I’d just peed on the stick and was hoping, with every ounce of hope I had in me, that that second line wouldn’t appear.
I put it on the counter and walked away.
I waited the longest, most short-of-breath 3 minutes of my life…
Then waited a 4th, just to be sure.
There was NO. WAY. I could be pregnant. I was a newlywed. An older newlywed. And I wanted my husband and me to be that cool couple who traveled everywhere, got frisky all the time, slept as long as we liked, and had no worries.
I didn’t want a baby.
I went back in. One dark pink line.
*Wait… is that a faint??… turn it into the light… hold it up a little higher… is it??*
Yep… another ever-so-faint pink line.
*Both hands on the counter… steady, now… deep breath in, deep breath out… knees holding up okay??… yep… look into the mirror…*
This can’t be happening. There are people downstairs in the living room who have no idea what I’m up here doing. I’m supposed to go back down looking normal. I just came up here to make sure I WASN’T pregnant. Not to confirm I WAS!!!
MY. LIFE. IS. OVER.
I did not want to have kids. At 35, I did know that I wanted a husband at some point in the (preferably) near future. But I knew that I didn’t want kids.
So, on my first date with Steev (Tinder for the win!) I took the very first opportunity I could to make sure he knew that. He was 37 then (me, 36), so I was under no illusion that he was childless.
I mean, it would be cool if he didn’t have any, but I was fully prepared to date a dude with kids. It probably meant that my “no kids” philosophy would be better received, anyway.
So when the do-you-have-any-kids conversation came up, my exact words were, “No, and I’m never gonna have any, by the way.”
Ha! My abrupt, no nonsense statement startled him. For a split second, he got a confused/surprised look on his face, before brushing it off with a laugh.
He did admit he’d always wanted kids (to my utter surprise, he didn’t have any of his own), but sounded sort of noncommittal and then waved off the conversation.
That was July 27, 2014 at World of Beer in Pensacola. Fast forward five months later, he was on one knee in the snow after a horse-drawn sleigh ride in Breckenridge, asking me to marry him.
Fast forward six more weeks, we were married in a quick civil ceremony on the beach back in Pensacola.
Fast forward two more months, our friends and family made the trip to Pensacola for the white-dress wedding and reception.
Then, he flew away for three months of duty on an aircraft carrier (probably prudent to mention here that my hunka-hunka-burnin’-love is a naval aviator).
During those several whirlwind months, the subject of kids did come up once or twice more. He was convinced he could talk me into it, I was convinced I could talk him out of it!
I know, I know… sounds like a disagreement that should’ve been reconciled before we got married, eh?
But, y’all, we were in the love bubble. Either way, we knew that we wanted to be with each other first and foremost. Kids or no kids, we wanted to grow old together. So we jumped in…
Back to the present
After three months in the Pacific Ocean, Steev’s aircraft carrier was making a one-month stop in San Diego before heading back out to sea again. All the way over in Pensacola, I packed up my things for a month away, hightailed it to Cali, and met him at the pier.
Oh, the nerves! He left just a week after our wedding, and after a mere 3 months away, I was all freaked out that he might not like me anymore. What can I say… I have all the maturity of a teenager.
I shoved all the jitters aside as I awaited his departure, and, to my relief, his face lit up as he spotted me from the gangway. It probably goes without saying, but the reunion was nothing short of fan-freaking-tastic!
Our month was filled with boot knockin’, sushi eatin’, and lots and lots of alcohol consumin’! And one night – literally one. single. night. – of not being careful enough.
I can still remember saying to him, “Wow. We shouldn’t have done that. We absolutely can’t let it happen again!”
And we didn’t! So we were in the clear…
Except… It only takes one time.
Three Weeks Later
Rather than return to Pensacola, I flew from Cali to North Carolina to be with my sister for the birth of my nephew. I had just started to wonder why my super-predictable cycle was a couple days delayed. But then, a couple days later when she was induced… cramps! Yay!
I was able to spend the day focused on his arrival, instead of the worry that had crept into my mind! It was only when I was back at my sis’s house 15 hours later that I realized I still hadn’t started.
Three days later, and still nothing. By then, it was all I could think about.
OK, enough. Let’s just take a test, get the negative result, and stop worrying.
Somehow, I truly thought that was what was going to happen. Even as I waited for those three minutes to go by, freaked out as hell, I still thought the anxiety would quickly be turning to elation when I saw the negative result.
And then… It didn’t …
What. The. HELL??!!?
A shiver literally went through my whole body. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. My heart jumped into my throat. I got dizzy.
I wish I could say that was a joke, but nope. I was legit distraught. For several minutes I screamed, “No, no, no. NO. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” in my head (there were people downstairs, remember?!).
After I caught my breath and slowed my heart rate to the point where I could no longer feel it beating out of my chest, I gathered the test, the plastic wrapper, and the box, wrapped it tightly in the CVS bag, and stuffed it at the bottom of my overnight bag. There could be no evidence!
Ridiculous, right?? Straight juvenile! But, it’s the honest-to-goodness account of how I handled the situation. A grown, married, financially-secure woman hiding all evidence that she took a pregnancy test.
I rejoined my sister, best friend, and three-day old nephew downstairs. I tried my best not to look stoic and subdued the rest of the night as we chatted and celebrated the new little man in our lives.
With mimosas. That I secretly started making with ginger ale instead of prosecco.
On that note, there wasn’t a day in the last month that I hadn’t been drinking. Or eating raw fish. I mean, I’d never wanted kids, but I’m not a monster… If there was one in there – if I’d actually made. a. person. – I didn’t wanna doom the little thing.
I started making a list in my mind:
- Make doctor appointment and figure out if I’ve effed this right outta the gate.
- No more alcohol – done it before, can do it again.
- Start exercising… I mean, it’s been on my list, so maybe this’ll be what actually lights a fire under my ass.
Just two days later the doctor confirmed it, and the next 6 weeks was spent trying to get through the five stages of grief as quickly as possible before I told Steev. Yes, I waited 6. more. weeks. to tell him.
(Okay, real quick… I didn’t wanna tell him over the phone, and his carrier was making another port stop in Chile 6 weeks later. So I gave myself a 6-week deadline to come to terms with it so I could break the news with some semblance of isn’t-our-life-wonderful joy, rather than our-lives-are-over despair!)