Hello blog. I started you because the handful of people with whom I’m comfortable discussing this with is currently very small. Because, you see, I’m not even pregnant. Not yet. People announce pregnancies. They might in some very limited circumstances announce that they are trying to conceive. But I’ve honestly never heard someone say, as I am now, “after three years of marriage spent being severely paranoid about getting pregnant, I am ready…or so the Excel spreadsheets tell me.”
That’s spreadsheets, plural. There are several. There’s the financial spreadsheet, the insurance spreadsheet, and the spreadsheet that’s a time bomb. But my favorite is the due date spreadsheet. As the name suggests, it tells me when our hypothetical baby will be born, but there’s so much more. From it I can weigh the costs and benefits of spending the summer huge with child or curled over a toilet vomiting. Whether I would prefer maternity sweaters and stockings or sun dresses. And whether or not DH will need to miss studio to make it to the birth.
I don’t know how other people make the decision to make a baby, but for me, the spreadsheets carried the day. And it makes me sound robotic. Inhuman. Certainly not motherly. And sometimes I wish I had a tender soft-focus revelation of myself as a mother, but that’s not what happened. What happened is the spreadsheets and a truly bizarre dream.
Okay, “dream” is misleading. Just as there are lots of spreadsheets, I was practically plagued by baby dreams. They started last year when every female I knew under the age of 30 was pregnant. DH’s friend honestly called him one day dancing around the topic of whether DH had a vasectomy. It was nuts. The peer pressure was immense. Middle school had prepared me to “just say no” to drugs, but nothing in life prepared me to attend law school in the *ahem* fertile Utah Valley.
So baby mania produced dozens of wacky baby dreams, chronicled in e-mails sent to my friend, Lit Chick. Creating the spreadsheets made them go away temporarily. Yet as the time bomb spreadsheet clicked closer to my ideal time, they returned with force.
But one was different. I held my baby in my lap and kissed its enormous cheeks. It was so real I could feel his smooth baby skin under my lips and I couldn’t stop kissing this gorgeous giggling infant. My infant. And then, because it’s a dream I was suddenly detonating a bomb. I went back to grab my baby, but it had turned into a cat. My dream Self cared little about this transformation, so I stuffed the cat into my duffel bag and jumped out the window before the building blew to bits.
I can’t make this shit up.
Still, something about that giggling chubby child in my dreams stayed with me. And it melted my paranoid heart. And for the first time I can remember, I wanted a baby–not just because the spreadsheets said it was a good idea. But because I want a family. I want to be a mom. I want to see my husband be a dad. I want to raise a smart, funny, fair kid.
So that’s how it happened. Not a twinkle in the eye but spreadsheets and a cat baby dream.
Our kid is going to be so weird.