Craig and I have always been slightly at odds about when a good time would be to start a family. As a baby lover and mama at heart, to me it was usually as soon as possible, however for my only child, never-changed-a-diaper hubby, the farther away the better. Sure, we both wanted kids, and knew we would have them, we just had different ideas about when (oh, and how many).
When we found out in December that we were expecting, it was a shock to both of us as we had reached an agreement that we would wait until we were 25 & 27 respectively, and were financially and occupationally sound. Oh, and Craig wasn’t deployed for 2/3 of a year.
Coming to terms with the fact that we were having a baby earlier than expected also forced us to consider future children as well, and how far apart we’d like them to be spaced. As of right now, we’re thinking about starting to try for baby number 2 after our anniversary in June 2012. It would put at LEAST 2.5 years between the kids, and give us a chance to upgrade to a bigger house and for me to put some more time in at work to qualify for another mat leave (if I do go back to work; that’s to be decided next summer).
Getting pregnant when I did wasn’t scandalous by any means. We are happily married, financially stable, educated, and homeowners, and we both have economy-proof jobs. Except for the fact that we look (and by some standards, ARE) young, there was really no reason for pregnancy to be any sort of a massive panic attack. We just needed to sit down and figure out what it meant for this year that Craig was away. I’ve said it before that in the beginning it seemed like the worst thing to experience during a deployment, but it has ended up being the best thing about the deployment. Regardless of our current life circumstances, when we first found out I did feel a little…young. I am not saying that 23 is too young to have a baby – I think it more depends on maturity and where you are in your life and relationships at the time. Maybe it was more the number for me; that it seemed a little too close to 20 and to the teens and not close enough to the mature ‘30s’.
Somewhere along the way though, I realized that I would be turning 24 before the baby comes (and Craig would be turning 26), and suddenly things seemed better. Those seemed like great ages to have a baby. I have to admit that I do have a thing with even and odd numbers. As in odd numbers look ugly and kind of bug me, while even numbers seem prettier and more calming. Weird, I know. (Because of this, our wedding was 6.14.2008, NOT 6.7 or 6.21). So that may be why our new ages this summer put me at peace about being pregnant at this time, and in some ways has added to the sense that this pregnancy was meant to be. Designed by God.
At the end of the day though, that is the most important thing; understanding God’s timing in all of this, and that if He is in it and behind it, our ages don’t really matter. He will supplement the patience when we need it late at night, the love for each other when we’re feeling frustrated, and the strength to keep moving forward even when we’ve had a few bad days (or weeks). I am praying for an easy baby for the time that Craig is away – no colic, no difficulty breastfeeding, and a good sleeper at night. It may be a lot to ask, but we’ve got a BIG God, and I figure it can’t hurt to express my fears and needs to Him.
For my birthday today I’m heading to the cottage and doing some strawberry picking with my mom and cousins. Hopefully all of that squatting will start moving her little head down into my pelvis so that she’s ready and waiting for when her Daddy comes home!
Enjoy your holiday weekend America!