Ten years ago, I took a pregnancy test that resulted in two blue lines. Those two blue lines indicated two things: 1) I was pregnant with my daughter, and 2) my entire life was about to change in ways I couldn’t even begin to comprehend. My first “happy accident” pregnancy was completely unplanned, and thus I was completely unprepared. What followed in the next two years was a rollercoaster of epic proportions during which time I moved, totalled my car, got married, got divorced and learned how to be a mommy, and to a certain extent, a grown-up.
Fast forward to now. My beautiful, amazing daughter is almost ten, and she amazes me daily with her intelligence, insight, humor and compassion. I’ve gotten married to the coolest guy I’ll ever meet and he’s doing a fantastic job loving her and being the stable stepfather that she needs. The summer is coming up, and with it, we will be moving across the country to the town where we both met and where, coincidentally, I first saw the aforementioned two blue lines.
In so many ways I feel like my life is coming around full circle, and that’s both breathtakingly cool and somewhat terrifying. Especially because now, ten years after my first time, my husband and I are about to start trying for a second baby.
I have quite a few worries, as I’m sure you can imagine. I worry that because I’m older, I’ll have a hard time conceiving. I worry about the potential risks associated with being pregnant at 35 (or older!) vs. 25. I know that pregnancies are not considered “high risk” on the basis of the mother’s age until 40 or older, but I feel like that’s looming right around the corner. I worry that my body will not stand up as well to the rigors of pregnancy and childbirth, and I worry that I’ll be less well equipped to deal with an infant, baby, toddler, young child etc. without the seemingly boundless energy of my 20s.
But there are some very good things about my situation as well, and focusing on them often helps me counteract some of my incessant worrying. Unlike last time, I’m much more settled in my career and in life in general. I’m married to a full partner in this enterprise. I am much better off financially than ten years ago. I am not quite as scared of the unknown. I’m much more mature and self-assured at 35, and I know that knowing and loving who I am can only make knowing and loving a baby that much better.
This time, any pregnancy will be at least somewhat planned, so some of the emotional upheaval associated with the unexpectedness will be missing, which will be nice. This time, if I get to tell my parents that I’m pregnant, their first reaction should be joy, not worry for me. This time, I’ll have my amazingly supportive daughter alongside, and I’ll look forward to enjoying the experience of watching her learn to love her new sibling.