When we got married we knew it wasn’t time to have children yet. I was still in graduate school and my husband was working in a job that he would have done anything to avoid getting stuck in for a lifetime. Now, granted, having a child doesn’t mean he would have had to stay in the same job forever, but the job market where we were living being what it was, changing jobs would have necessitated moving, and we figured that just picking up and leaving when I finished my degree would be a lot easier sans baby. So we waited.
I finished my degree and got a job teaching at a university overseas–and you couldn’t get us on the plane fast enough. It was a Big Adventure, and we actually congratulated ourselves on our wisdom in not having tried to have a baby: “Imagine how much harder this would have been with a baby!” “Aren’t we lucky, that we can just pick up and move halfway around the world?”
While we were living there I got a worried phone call from my brother. We were living in one of those can’t-drink-the-tap-water places, and he was terrified that we might think it would be a good place to raise a child. He actually called to warn us against this! I was appalled at what I perceived as his xenophobia (after all, millions of children are born in this place every year and turn out just fine, and in fact while living there we had government health insurance, which of course we don’t have here at home), but the fact remains that we didn’t try to have a baby then either. I couldn’t really tell you why–maybe because we had moved there primarily for my career, or maybe we just weren’t really ready yet as a family. So we waited.
And then when the opportunity arose, we moved back to the U.S., to our current city, where my husband is now in graduate school. I struck out on academic jobs in the area, so I am working in my admin job and performing as much as I can. Almost two years ago we finally stopped waiting and started trying. I immediately went out and bought a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth. I warned my husband that it doesn’t always happen right away–and that it might be 3 to 6 months before we conceived.
I didn’t know what waiting was.