Written by Anna Baboval, 7th grade teacher and mom to threenager, Harrison.
“Oh f*ck I’m pregnant.” I can still remember hearing those words echo out of my mouth at 8:30pm on what could be described as the worst Monday ever. After a series of disastrous events to start the day, I jokingly said to my husband that maybe I should take a pregnancy test to have at least one thing go right today. We had gone to Miami for his birthday a few weeks before and had a lot of fun (aka the reckless hot kind of sex you have post massive blow out). At one point I remember saying to him, “Eh— if I’m pregnant we’ll deal with it in 6 weeks.” I was joking. Of course I was joking! Yet here I was staring at two double lines glowing bright pink the instant I peed on the stick. My partner, trying to be helpful says, “Well it hasn’t been 5 minutes yet.” I assured him that false positives don’t occur then miraculously change to negative at the end of 5 minutes. His response, “You don’t know. You’ve never been pregnant.” True!
My dating profile said it straight. I was not having kids.
Here I was at 34 years old, in a stable, monogamous relationship. We both have great jobs, we have a two year old Lab, and have lived together for 3 years. We had bypassed accidental pregnancies in the early years and yet I was terrified. I was so sure I was never going to have kids. It was in my online dating profile. I had proclaimed it from the rooftops since I was 14 when charged with a mechanical baby over a long weekend for my 9th grade home economics class. I told my colleagues. I even told my students. Yes me, the superstar teacher, who loves her kids fiercely with my whole heart was never, EVER going to give birth.
Kids up to age 21 terrified me.
What I didn’t share with anyone, not even my now husband, was that I was worried about every single possible step from conception to age 21 and beyond that could go wrong. I had never even had an IV before, how could I have a baby? It was way easier to avoid the whole thing. When asked why I wasn’t having kids, my response was always the same, “I give so much to my job teaching middle schoolers. I see the trauma and the messed up lives they have. I see the hormones and the terrible attitudes towards their families. At the end of the day I want to go home and relax. I give all day long and I want to be selfish after work. I’m too selfish to have a baby.” Most people nodded and understood, especially my teacher friends with kids. I remember having this conversation repeatedly at lunch with one of my best teacher friends, Melissa. She always told me she understood but that she thought I was doing the world a great injustice by not having a baby.
An unexpected pregnancy.
It was all too much standing in my kitchen staring at those two pink lines. I was overwhelmed, in shock, and just wanted to call my mom. How do you tell your mother, that at 34 years old, you’re accidentally pregnant? I didn’t. Instead I sat in my feelings and really felt them. The next day I had to Google OBGYN’s because mine was out of state (from a move 10 years earlier) and clearly I needed a new one. When I explained my situation to the receptionist she said, “Honey we plan, and God laughs. This is your baby.” In that moment I knew she was right. I knew this was meant to be for whatever reason. A bullet I had dodged for years had finally struck and instantly I felt the paradigm shift happen. I was going to do this and I was going to do it to the best of my ability and if I never wanted to do it again well I was okay with that, but if I did, I was okay with that, too.
Once I gave birth to Harrison (via scheduled c-section, which was terrifying in its own right) I couldn’t imagine my life without him. Watching my husband become an amazing father, the kind he never had himself growing up, made me fall in love with him more and more. I felt like the Grinch with my heart growing three sizes. Seeing my son change and grow and hit milestones gave me a different sense of pride then I had ever experienced before. Even on days where my threenager (the three’s are worse than the two’s) makes me want to rip my face off, I still miss him when he sleeps. It’s the kind of masochistic love that is reserved only for puppies and children. The kind of love and sense of pride that I am excited to repeat again this coming September with baby number 2.