Somehow in the span of a little less than two weeks, I’ve grown up.
I didn’t feel that different after my wedding on the 11th. Don’t misinterpret that sentence; the day was one of the highlights of my life, as I was able to share it with so many dear friends and family. Despite all that, it just wasn’t a terribly life-changing experience. Maybe it’s because the wife and I had been together for six years prior to finally tying the knot and we’d already done the whole For Richer And Poorer, In Sickness And Health thing throughout those years.
However, things changed massively on the 13th, the day after we got back home to Pennsylvania. For the last month or so, the wife had been feeling kind of ill – especially at night – and would often find herself so nauseous that she ended up rushing to the bathroom and giving the old technicolor yawn. At first we thought that it might be some changes in her medication, but as the days stretched into weeks and turned into more than a month, the wife suggested that we buy a home pregnancy kit.
“Just in case,” she said. Just in case, because we’d been together for six years after all and never even had a pregnancy scare before, primarily because of her medical issues. She suffers from polycystic ovaries, a condition that makes it virtually impossible to have children. While both of us wanted to have children, we had resigned to perhaps becoming foster parents or adopting a child somewhere down the line since it looked like a natural child wasn’t in the cards, and we’d spent many a long night in the past talking about the issue. Wanting children desperately and being physically unable to is a special kind of hell that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, as the emotional pain and anguish you suffer from having something so important to you be so consistently out of reach is absolutely crippling.
Imagine living with that kind of pain for many, many years until you finally give in and, sadly, resign yourselves to the fact that you’re simply not going to be a parent – at least not to a natural child. Then, imagine the kind of incredible emotional upheaval you go through when you’re looking down at that little blue stick, purchased “just in case,” and you see this staring back up at you:
Next thing you know you’re talking about maternal fetal medicine, baby names, and making plans to consult a financial planner. Never in a million years did I ever think the phrases “I’m going to have to make itemized deductions this year” and “we need to find a safe, high-yield investment” would ever come out of my mouth in a completely serious manner, but now apparently I’m suddenly a grown-up.
This kid is still six months away and already I’m trying to figure out how to put enough money aside so that we can eventually clean up my student debt, move to a larger place in a good school district, and start saving for a college fund, all while putting enough money aside in order to afford what I’m sure will become an unending stream of plastic garbage bags filled with soiled diapers and empty coffee cups. Meanwhile, we don’t even know if it’s going to be a boy or a girl.
Either way, I predict my future is most likely going to consist of thinking up some creative kid-safe curses after stepping on a lot of Lego pieces. Those bastards hurt.