Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baby Steps

I had an appointment with a new ob/gyn to get established as a new patient. As I sat there in my medical gown with a sheet over my lap, I fidgeted with a piece of paper in my hand. The night before, Donald and I had written some questions I needed to ask. When my doctor came in and introduced herself, she saw the paper and had me ask my questions first thing.

I told her that we're planning for me to stop taking birth control pills as soon as this pack is done (October 2). I wanted to know what the side effects might be since I've been on the pill for about ten years now. I also wanted to know what steps we needed to take to prepare for our eventual decision to conceive. I am already taking prenatal vitamins, so that was covered. She said we should wait three months before using no birth control at all to give my body time to adjust to being off the pill. She wrote a lab order for a rubella immunity test. She exuded very positive energy, walked me through the steps, and made it all sound so easy. I did the blood work that afternoon.

I am still trying to internalize the magnitude of these baby steps Donald and I have just taken together. We are heading towards a very new and exciting adventure together. We are also on our way to a huge amount of change and unknown.

In addition to this excitement, I also experienced a sudden sense of trepidation. What if this next step means that a lot of the things that I still want to do with my life will never happen? I started to think about what kinds of choices I would have made with my life if I hadn't gotten married right after grad school. I wasn't regretting marrying Donald; I simply wanted to consider what I would have done if it were just me, no other commitments. I was concerned to discover that I think I would have made some pretty different choices.

I will hedge here and say that who I was five years ago when I graduated from graduate school is not the same person as who I am now. So saying that I would have made different choices at that time in my life, from the perspective of my current being, is somewhat problematic. It does tell me, however, what is important to my individual development, what is important to making me who I want to be.

Having children is so important to me and to us. I want to give motherhood the proper time and effort it deserves. And at the same time, I want to give myself the opportunity to continue to grow as an individual. Several bloggers have written bucket lists for themselves. I'm not ready to write an entire one now, although these are some of the things that come to mind at the moment:

*See what it is like to live on/near a ranch where I can ride horses daily.
*Learn how to do some trick riding, especially the barrel roll.
*Live somewhere with open plains and mountains in the distance.

The next steps that Donald and I take together may not seem headed in a direction that might make these things happen. We currently live in the mid-Atlantic region and Donald's recent job prospects are relatively nearby. We are not moving West. This area tends to have English riding rather than Western.

When I talked to Donald about this, though, he reminded me that I can still work towards these things, no matter where we live. We can take vacations at dude ranches or working ranches. I can learn about horse care from anyone willing to teach me. If these are important things to me, we will find a way to make them happen.

Baby steps towards children and baby steps towards becoming who we want to be, as individuals and as a couple.


  1. I just have to comment on this too. I think it's wonderful, how caring you are for your health, for your future possibility of a baby's sake. A lot of people so carelessly enter into parenthood and you take such thoughtfulness and steps into the process. It really says a lot about you and what kind of mom you will be. I think a lot of parents have fears of losing out on life dreams, maybe you do lose, but you gain so much more.

  2. It is very normal to have these thoughts. My babies are 6 and 2 and I still wonder every once in awhile what life would be like without them. Honestly? It would be like air without oxygen. Couldn't do it. Present-minded folks always find ways to make life happen. It's just that sometimes we get side-tracked a little bit. I'd say that's what makes things a little exciting. Enjoy your baby steps. It's part of the process.

  3. Angelia - You're everywhere on my blog, thank you so much for so many comments! Your faith in my future mothering skill is very encouraging, thank you so much for saying that.

    Mindy - Thank you for much for your comment. I will do my best to focus on the steps in our journey. I appreciate your perspective as a mom and I look forward to the time when I can say that I cannot imagine life without my children.


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