I never thought I would get married, let alone become a mom.
When I was in college, I was certain of it. My friends were worried about finding their partner for life while I plotted how to see more of the world and keep jumping from adventure to adventure. I grew up moving around a lot because of my dad’s job, and I enjoyed feeling from nowhere and everywhere at the same time. I had no roots, no attachments, and that made me feel like no one would ever be able to put up with me, let alone start a family.
Saying this now makes me laugh because I accidentally became pregnant on the morning of our third wedding with my husband. (Yes, we got married three times, but that’s a story for another time.)
From the day I met my husband I knew there was something different about him. I kept wanting to see him more, spend more time together, make more plans. Date nights turned into date weeks and soon enough we were living together. We got engaged fast and legally married even faster. (His mom was very sick and we both wanted our four parents to be part of such a special time in our lives.)
People soon began asking when we were going to have children and we both kind of ignored the question. He knew his answer and he was ready. I, on the other hand, felt like we had so much more to do as a couple before putting our lives on pause to grow our family—that’s what I thought being parents was all about.
We weren’t trying. We weren’t preventing it either. And yet when I peed on a pregnancy test and two bright pink lines showed up, I stared at it in disbelief.
My period wasn’t even late but I had had this very vivid dream of me telling my mother-in-law while she was in the hospital that she was going to be a grandmother. That dream had been haunting me for days, knowing that she was probably going to pass away before I got a chance to tell her that broke my heart. So I peed on a stick to stop my head from playing that dream over and over and over again.
I proceeded to pee on six more tests, all came back positive. This was really happening.
I was home alone when I found out, my husband was on his way to see his mom who was in a different state many hours away. “Should I tell someone?” I kept asking myself, because I felt like maybe, just maybe, this was all part of another weird dream. I texted my one friend who I know can keep a secret and that made it feel more real.
I was excited because in my heart I knew if there was anyone I could do this whole parenting thing with, it was my husband. At the same time, I was terrified about the timing and how unprepared I was for this life-changing event.
I had to wait five more days before I could tell my husband. Five days in which blood was drawn and betas were confirmed. Days in which I spent day and night Googling what to do next, what is in the realm of normal and what is not when it came to symptoms. What I could eat, drink, do.
Having always thought I was never having children meant that I knew nothing about pregnancy or babies. To be entirely honest with you, I had never even held a newborn or changed a diaper until my son was born.
I put all the positive tests in a bag, bought a card that read “YOU AND ME” and inside wrote “and the baby growing inside my belly” and proceeded to wait—as patiently as I could—for my husband to come back home. He came in looking tired and sad after spending a week with his dying mother while I was running on adrenaline wondering what his reaction was going to be my life-changing surprise.
Thankfully I recorded him opening the card and having his jaw drop to the floor. “Are you kidding me? Is this for real? Oh my god. Really?” is all he could say. The video ends with both of us kissing and crying. I still play this video from time to time when I’m feeling sad.
My surprise pregnancy ended up being a blessing for multiple reasons. Not only were we having a son, but we were able to tell my mother-in-law the big news which became the only thing she talked about in her last weeks, helping us find names, sharing stories of my husband as an infant. Shortly after she passed away, my growing belly kept my husband afloat, he kept saying how the baby gave him something to look forward to in a time of so much sadness. My family also rejoiced, with me being an only child, my parents—who were pretty sure they were never going to become grandparents—now had someone new to spoil.
I don’t know how long I would’ve waited to try and get pregnant had we not been surprised by our son. I’m glad he didn’t give us that choice and that we get to see him grow a little bit more every day that goes by. I know that our surprise baby will always have a special connection with his grandmother, one that my husband and I will probably never understand, but cannot deny is there in his love for plants, animals and being outdoors—just like she did.