Mr. B and I stroll into the park. He holding Manly and me chasing after the Queen. We laugh at the Queen’s antics and giggle at Manly’s chubby cheeks.
Soon enough, a mom and her toddler son enter. She engages us in a conversation.
“How old is your baby?”
“3 months,” I respond.
“He is adorable!”
“Thanks,” I say.
“How did your daughter adjust to a new sibling?”
“Fine. She is young enough that jealousy issues were nonexistent,” I proudly answer.
“That’s wonderful!” She looks down, works up her courage, and tentatively asks “how far apart are your two?”
I blush and slowly respond “14 months.”
With astonishment she quickly exclaims “Wow! You are brave!”
“Well, he wasn’t planned,” Mr. B interjects.
“You are brave!” is only one sentence of many that we hear too frequently. Others include, “Boy are you busy!” and “You sure have your hands full!” These statements don’t bother me too much. It is the feelings they evoke, the responses I, or B, inevitably give that pierce my heart. I feel as if I should wear a shirt that says, “He wasn’t planned! I promise!!”
I wonder why. Why must I feel the need to apologize? Why must I lie? That’s right, lie. Why must I falsely accuse myself and my husband? Accuse us of not planning?
We did plan. Our plans were to wait until the Queen was older before trying for another baby. We just forgot to plan for contingencies.
When the Queen was 6 months old, I felt that something was changing in my body. My concerns were validated when the Queen refused to nurse. I whispered my concerns to B one night.
“Hon, I think I’m pregnant.”
“Why don’t you take a test?”
“I am not ready for that yet. I’ll wait to see if my period comes.”
So I waited. I waited and waited. Nothing.
I finally decided to take the test. Just to be sure, I took two. Both said negative. As silly as this may sound, I felt betrayed. I was 99% sure that I was pregnant.
The next morning, B called out to me–“Amber, you’re pregnant!!”
The lines were faint. The test needed a few more minutes to confirm my suspicions, but I had been impatient.
I was ecstatic. It’s true. I was so happy that I would soon be welcoming another charming baby into our household.
At the same time, I was frightened. I did not want to share the news with the world because I didn’t want to hear what people would say. Initially, I only told those whom I knew would understand, friends that would be happy for me. But, I get too sick to hold any pregnancy secrets. All too soon the moment came for us to tell our families.
“Do you know what causes that?” many asked. My joy turned to sadness. That was when we started to tell people “I promise, he wasn’t planned!”
The thing is, he was planned. He just came sooner than we expected.
I have matured. Matured enough to stop apologizing. When I hear people remark on their closeness I now respond with, “I know! It’s awesome!”
And it is. It really is.