March 21, 2005
Watching Oprah several months ago, I gasped to see myself on TV. As ordinary women confessed to double lives of shoplifting and compulsive gambling, I realized that I was living the double life of waiting to try to conceive.
Did you catch that? Not trying to conceive--but waiting to try to conceive! The I-want-to-make-a-baby-right-now-but-I-am-not-because-of-XYZ-still-all-I-think-about-is-getting-pregnant waiting to try to conceive. The I-purchase-baby-clothes-on-clearance-and-hide-them-in-my-closet waiting to try to conceive.
"Hello, my name is Martha, and I am a babyholic."
Yes, I have even created on-line baby registries under fake names. Here's the funny thing: my goofy alibis were sometimes already taken. So I know I'm not alone.
I haven't always been this way. I've always wanted children, but I wanted other things first: education, career, and husband. In that order. At the age of 28, when it hit me that I had all three (after some bumpy roads of course, but that's another story), I realized that having a baby was a real possibility.
That's all it took.
Next thing you know, I'd sneeze--and convince myself that it's an early sign of pregnancy. One thing I've learned, there's nothing like a home pregnancy test to invite Aunt Flo for a visit. She'll come within hours of that call.
Why the Big Secret?
In most cultures throughout time, it's simple: you find a mate, and you make a baby. You make lots of babies. For most people in the world, love-making and baby-making are the same thing. (Hard to believe, I know.)
Not so in my little enclave of acquaintances! One day I casually mentioned to girlfriends that I might like to get pregnant this spring. They looked at me like I'd announced a plan to divorce Tom and marry a billygoat.
"Are you serious? Why would you want a baby so soon? You realize that your life will never be the same. You need some time as a couple. I would never get pregnant so fast."
I was breaking a taboo. So much for those hormones that prepare your body for baby-making and give you that desire for children. In my microcosm, you simply do not get pregnant before three years of marriage. Whether you marry at 22, 25, or 30--you wait three years. If you get pregnant one month sooner, you might.... umm.... let's see.... You know, I'm not sure. Rebel that I am, I'm putting this taboo to the test.
So why, with baby fever kindled, did I not go for the gold right away?
Well, there's that whole husband thing. Yes, he plays a part in this story. Tom, also known as Mr. Patient Logical, likes to have a plan. Back when we were engaged, he suggested we begin work on the poop machine on April 1, 2005. That would give us two years alone as a married couple and time to build our savings. We both liked The Plan.
You don't mess with The Plan. No siree, baby fever or not! Plus, when I could detach my head from my heart even just a little bit, The Plan still seemed like a good one. Though I did convince Tom to move up the date to March 1st!
So here we are, March 21st, 2005, a bona fide married couple trying to make a baby. I feel like such a grown up.