Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm Ready Right Now

The baby's cry pierced the edge of my consciousness and I woke slowly; my room at my parents' house where we were celebrating Thanksgiving shrouded in the murky half-light of dawn.

Down the hall a door opened and I heard my sister pad towards the sound of the cries.

With a few whispered words, she picked up her three week old baby girl to soothe, to feed.

It would be an hour yet before the sun rose, but my sister's day had begun.

I laid back, my eyes heavy with exhaustion. I had only one thought as I dropped back into sleep to the sound of David's slow, even breathing beside me.

I'm glad it's not me.

Ever since my sister had called me seven months before to tell me she was pregnant, I wondered how I would feel when the baby arrived.

I wondered how our family would change. I wondered how my sister would change. I wondered how I would change.

But most of all, I wondered why, at 28, I didn't feel the urge to have a baby of my own.

I wanted kids. I always had. And we were planning on it. Someday.

But when I arrived at my parent's' house for that Thanksgiving and in short order found a three week old baby in my arms, my brain screamed.

I'M NOT READY.

And I handed her over to a nearby set of willing arms.

And I worried. I worried I would never be ready to give us that someday family. That maybe I wasn't meant to be a mother.

I had always assumed that having kids was my birthright. Part of the privilege of being a woman. And I felt betrayed by my lack of maternal urges.

I also felt relieved. Relieved that we didn't have to fit a baby into our tiny Manhattan apartment. Relieved that we only had ourselves to worry about when Sandy cut a swath of devastation across our city. Relieved that we didn't have to move to our new kitchen-less house with a baby in tow. Relieved that we could settle in to our new life on our own schedule.

And we did settle in, together. We held on to each other as we built a home, learned a neighborhood, and solidified a marriage that was a mere two years old.

And together, we radiated the kind of contentment I had always hoped for. Wished for.

And I started to think that maybe there was something else for us on the horizon. Something good. Something new. Something different.

And then.

Three weeks ago I held another one of my sister's babies in my arms - a boy this time. And as he slept with his tiny head on my chest and I breathed in his sweet new baby smell the voice in my head piped in once again, not at all panicky, but just as strong.

I'm ready right now.

31 comments:

  1. ah yes. when you know, you know. i hope you don't have to wait too long to make your right now happen.

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  2. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to be able to wait for the right moment. My wife and I were thrust into parenthood 20 some odd years ago buy the luckiest accident ever.

    There's no feeling in the world like a baby that fits nicely into the crook of your arm. :)

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  3. Yay! I am so happy to hear you are ready. I can't wait til you blog us through your motherhood. Seriously. I have been looking forward to this...and of course I recognize that you are just saying you are ready and we never know how these roads will go, but you have my support 100% and I'll be cheering you on.

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    1. Thanks Christie! I can't wait to write about it, whenever the time comes.

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  4. Everyone has different timing and it can't be forced on you by others. You know yourself well!

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  5. I have felt the same way for many years - why am I not ready? At thirty, I'm still not ready. Will I ever be? I hope so, but I don't know. Until I get that feeling you described, I'm waiting.
    Wonderful post. :)

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    1. Everyone just kept telling me that you have the baby and once you do, you'll get ready, but I couldn't get on board with that. I needed to be ready before the time came, so I totally understand you wanting to wait. It's a huge life change, and you need to be ready.

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  6. Oh, I'm so excited for you! I can't wait. I didn't have my first until I was 32 (two years after I got married). My youngest is now 9 and I'm done. So I get to live vicariously when you have a baby :)

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  7. Congratulations on your readiness...dont be alarmed if it vascilates. I think that's really normal. Ken is right there is nothing like that baby that fits just right...like its a part of you! Spoken as a woman who did not physically deliver her favorite kiddo.

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  8. Aw, so sweet. I hope it happens for you soon! You will be a great mommma :)

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  9. I loved reading this and look forward to stopping back by your blog, at some point, to read about your Motherhood journey!

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  10. It's the toughest job you'll ever love. And hate. And then love again. And then want to run from. And then snuggle up to with hardly room to move.

    Enjoy the process! (And I mean that in the least raunchy way. Really!)

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  11. oh chills!! just being ready is exciting. such good times ahead.. :)

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  12. Ooooh! I love the progression you have developed here. And I remember feeling this. Yes, the not-readiness of it -- until I, one day, was there. It is magical.

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  13. So, so important to be ready. I admire your self-awareness to know when you weren't ready and when you were.

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  14. Just when I thought I had my fill of babies, my daughter-in-law came for an extended visit while my some is deployed overseas. With her, my first grandchild who is just 5 weeks old.

    Your life will never be the same again, but in a good way.

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  15. Oh, babies. Babies and kids and joy and fear and love and stress and snuggles and frustrations and joy and joy and more joy. I hope that you have fun on the journey and can't wait for the next step in your life!

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  16. It's so nice to be able to admit and accept that there are times of readiness and then times where you're not...yet. I panicked holding my now-brother-in-law's children when my hubby and I were just dating. Someone took a photo, and probably only I can see the panic in my eyes. I didn't know if I EVER wanted to have kids. But, like you, there came a right time, and a sense of peace for me of when it was right. Wonderfully worded!

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  17. Such a relatable post. I felt the same way until I was 30. I worked as a nanny through college too which may have been the best birth control ever. Congratulations on your readiness now!

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  18. Gorgeous. Every word. Here's what I'll take from this piece today: when I accept myself exactly as I am, I change AND I get to enjoy the process. Not sure if that makes sense, but your post spoke to me. And I'm happy to hear your process around getting ready to have children. Great work!

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    1. This just seemed like the kind of thing I couldn't rush. I had a million people telling me that you're "never really ready," but that seemed utterly terrifying to me.

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  19. I second what Christie said: I've been waiting for this. I mean, not like I was sitting here all like, GET PREGNANT! But I have thought before about how nice it would be to read your take on motherhood. Not that you're planning on having a baby tomorrow or anything. Just know when you do, you've got a lot of support ;)

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    1. Thanks so much :) It took a little longer than expected for me to get ready, but I'm happy to be here now.

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  20. Well said. I remember the feelings of not being ready all to well... more so than being ready. You did a wonderful job sharing your feelings!

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  21. Can you see all your readers nodding in agreement ... relating to every one of these stages at some point? I can. Thanks for sharing this personal journey!

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  22. I'm 39 and I still haven't had that "I'm ready right now" feeling, but my circumstances have never allowed me to consider the notion anyway. I'm excited for you, whenever it may happen... I hope you continue to trust your instincts! :D

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  23. I think that you just....know. What an amazing feeling to have.

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  24. I married at 28 to 24 yr old and we waited another 7 years. It's hard sometimes keeping up with teens in my 50 s not I'm still glad we wIted till we were ready. Good luck.

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