I said that in going through all my old posts I could not believe that some were from a year ago, they felt much older. One of those was definitely this one where I talked about our thoughts on having a baby. Obviously, so much has changed since then! Our tentative plan was to have a baby sometime after Chris’s tenure in the spring of 2014. Here's what changed our timeline and made us feel ready to have a baby a little sooner:
Chris got baby fever. He said that when he was out to lunch with colleagues in the spring there was a woman in the group who was very pregnant. At one point she described how she could feel the baby move. Chris said that for some reason that made pregnancy seem more real and suddenly he felt so excited about us going through that soon. Isn’t that funny? But I love it.
I found a job I love. This is sort of a funny one because I mentioned wanting to potentially stay home for awhile when we had a baby. So why would I want to find a great job? When I was working at jobs that I didn't like I felt bored and restless; I felt that I wasn't contributing to the world in the ways that I had envisioned for myself and wasn't making use of the undergraduate and graduate degrees that I worked hard to get. I didn't like the idea of quitting a professional job without ever being on a career track in the first place.
Being at my previous job I knew that I wouldn't want to leave a baby to spend my days doing something so unfulfilling. I felt that our baby would benefit more from me staying home than I would benefit from going to work (if we could afford it). But now I have a job that I love. It's challenging and engaging and I have supportive co-workers who are also working moms. At my new job I had this feeling come over me that "everything will be fine" if Chris and I both continue to work full time and have a baby. I felt very optimistic about it. Previously I just couldn't see how that equation would work out.
In my current job we feel that the benefit I'll get from continuing to work is greater than the benefit our baby would get from me staying home full time. I also see benefits in enrolling our child in a high-quality day care where s/he will get to interact with other children and be taken care of by people who have chosen to work with children as a profession. This is a deeply personal decision of course and I can only say what is best for our family. If I've learned anything by reading the number of parenting blogs and books that I have it's that there's no one way to be a loving parent, it all depends on your situation and values. And who knows - I haven't had a baby and returned to work yet. I feel that it's 99% likely that I'll continue to work but maybe the scales will tip the other way after I meet our little one! I also realize that parenting will be a constant lesson in flexibility!
I think so often we want to see things in black and white, right and wrong, but I already see that parenting isn't like that in many situations. We can learn so much from each other and it's so important to respect all the parents out there who are making the best decisions for their families based on their situation.
So, this brought us to the beginning of the summer and we figured we were as ready as ever! We were so so surprised when just two months later we got a positive pregnancy test! I had been convinced that it would take at least a year because my cycle had been so erratic in the past. In hindsight I think it might have been stress from my old job! I recognize how incredibly lucky we are to have been able to conceive so quickly and we continue to feel so thankful.
We got a positive pregnancy test result the weekend before we went to Montana! As you can imagine, it made the trip all the more special because we had so much to daydream and talk about. It was also so fun to call my parents to share the news from the porch of our bed and breakfast in Missoula. I was sitting with Chris, looking at the river, and able to get them both on speaker phone to let them know they'll be grandparents. It was awesome!
More to share next week; have a lovely weekend!