That I will get pregnant.
I know, I know, what on earth am I on about? Am I posting this on the wrong blog by mistake? It must sound positively daft after my declarations of being ready to just do it despite the practicalities of our life situation not being exactly ideal. But, it’s also very, very true.
We have a really nice life. We also have a very busy and pretty tough life, where some evenings we can just about manage a cuddle and chat on the sofa, before one of us is snoring into the armpits of the other. However, our busy days (and, not infrequently, nights) mean that we earn enough money to keep ourselves housed, fed, clothed, and entertained, with a little left over most months to put aside for our future. And when we really need to hold a small, soft, sometimes-pretends-to-be-vulnerable creature, we even have the cat, who is always willing to comply. So with all of that good fortune (and I know how lucky we are, especially in this economic climate), we seem to have hammered out a really happy balance for our tiny family. Just.
Which brings to mind that wise old adage: if it ain’t broke… why the heck would we want to go and royally fuck with what we’ve got? I keep asking myself the question…
Enough as that is in itself to give me palpitations and keep me awake at night, that’s not all. I haven’t even started on the what ifs yet:
- What if I do get pregnant, but can’t stay that way, and have repeated miscarriages? How many will be too many? How will we cope with the loss?
- What if I do get pregnant, but we learn partway through that there is something terribly wrong with the baby? Both of us are pretty sure that we couldn’t cope with having a child who we knew would be born with very serious problems, but how serious is very serious? Where do you draw that line in the sand? Does that make us totally selfish assholes?
- What if I do get pregnant, and I’m really ill, or have a really difficult pregnancy? How would I manage with my job? How would I cope on my own during the week, with a husband living two hours away?
- What if I do get pregnant, and everything is just fine and dandy and normal? How the heck would I still cope on my own during the week? Who will rub my feet, or my back, or my belly? Who will make me dinner when I come home in the evening and promptly fall asleep on the sofa? What will happen to me when I get too big to get out of the bathtub on my own? Does the fire brigade come to rescue naked, slippery, stuck, pregnant ladies?*
And so it goes on, and on, and on, each one more ridiculous than the last, but each one fueling The Fear, and adding to that little knot in the pit of my stomach that can paralyse me entirely if I look it straight in the eye. And I know in my head how unhelpful what ifs are, and how useless it is to surmise over vaguely theoretical possibilities, but my heart just can’t stop them coming. So, it’s no wonder that some evenings one of us will say, usually in response to some antic or other of the cat, ‘Oh, that will be so much harder to do/undo when there’s a baby!’ And then I’ll snicker nervously and ask the Boy whether we really shouldn’t just get a dog instead?**
I know there’s nothing else to do but take the giant leap of faith that parenthood requires, and trust that our relationship is robust enough, and that we will survive and adapt, and that things will be OK. In fact, that they will be more than OK, because having children will add so much to what we already have. (I’m a firm believer in that, for sure.) And I’m certain that the fact that neither of us has shown any reluctance at all to, erm, get on top of it, so to speak, is testament to the lack of any real ambivalence about our decision.
But, still, this thing, it is huge. And there’s no denying the fact that at times it absolutely terrifies me.
*Missing that village again…
**He hasn’t said yes yet.