Los Angeles, CA
We had been trying to have a baby for months. Which is sort of funny when I think about all of the years I tried not to get pregnant. But now I was married, sort of ready (is anyone really ready to become a parent?) and the thing I wanted most in the world was to be a mom. It wasn't happening.
Not for lack of trying. For months, I took my temperature, kept track of my cycle, scheduled sex. (I know sexy, right? Meow.) Yet every month my period came. And as the months dragged on, I could also practically schedule my bursting into tears. What was wrong with me? Had I waited too long? Biologically, your body wants to start having babies in your teens. I was 32. Should I go to the doctor and start fertility treatments? Should we think about adoption?
My husband would tell me that we were a family, no matter what, whether it was two of us or ten. And that was sweet. But I had wanted to be a mother since I was five. Yes, I had a career I loved as a writer, but no script or novel would ever compete with a cuddly baby falling asleep in your arms. Or dressing your kid up for Halloween. Or watching them open gifts Christmas morning.
By March, I had had enough. I told my husband, "Let's stop trying." There were too many times I got my hopes up, only to have them dashed as I stared at a solitary pink line on the EPT. Too many times I would sob uncontrollably in the bathroom. And anyway March was ending, which meant the next cycle would have meant a Christmas baby. Having your birthday and Christmas near each other looked like it sucked. I had friends who would get the 'birthmas' presents, (rarely as nice as 2 separate gifts) a happy birthmas greeting, and sometimes no party since school friends were on vacation. Nope, I wouldn't do that to my kid. So I told my husband we wouldn't try that month. Let's just take a break.
My reality for calling everything off was much darker. I couldn't keep feeling desperate, waiting for a person I was dying to meet who wouldn't show up. I couldn't make sex clinical anymore. I couldn't feel blame myself anymore.
And, just like that, we became our old selves again. We had fun again. My husband had to be in Nashville for a week for work, and I went with him. The trip was wonderful: amazing food, fantastic people, great music. What a relief it was to just be in the moment, and not worry about my future.
A few weeks after we got home, my period was late. And I felt so empowered that I didn't race to the pharmacy to take a test. I would not be fooled again. I knew I wasn't pregnant, and I wouldn't be distracted anymore. I started a new screenplay. I looked at hotels in Hawaii, and thought about vacation.
Soon after, I told my husband about a wine tasting I would be going to the following night. And he said he thought it was time I took another test. "No." I insisted. "I couldn't get pregnant when we were trying. Do you really think it happened when we put in no effort whatsoever?"
And he countered, "You'll be drinking tomorrow. Do it anyway."
So off I went to CVS. Which was next to the grocery store, so I also picked up a pound of broccoli florets. I had been inhaling those for the past week or two. Which was weird, because I hate vegetables.
Unrelated, but you know the episode of 'I Love Lucy' where she tells Ricky that she's pregnant, and he sings to her and she cries? I always thought on the night I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to watch that episode with my husband.
Anyway, so home, then test, then wait around three minutes, and. And two exquisitely perfect pink lines.
Holding the white plastic stick, I walked into my husband's home office and announced, "I think we need to watch I Love Lucy tonight." And on January 8th of the next year, I finally got to meet a guy I had dreamt about my whole life.
Kim Gruenenfelder's latest novel, "Love the Wine You’re With" will be released by St. Martin’s in 2017. She has published four other novels, A Total Waste of Makeup, Misery Loves Cabernet, There's Cake In My Future, and Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink. She also created the word "Eciah".