Once I was married people started asking when we would have children. I knew I didn’t want to have kids right away, I was only 21, but knew I wanted to be a mother at some point. I’m not sure when I came up with the “perfect age” to have children but at some point I decided that age would be between 25-30 (for me). By the time I was 23 or 24 I started to get baby fever every once in awhile. Perhaps it was because I knew more pregnant women or mothers. My cousin had a baby; my co-workers had kids or were pregnant. My body was ready. It was telling me. Still, my brain wasn’t really ready for that concept yet.
A few months before I turned 25, I went off of the birth control pill. I didn’t really love that form of birth control but it worked and I didn’t have any weird side effects. I knew though, that once I stopped taking it, I wouldn’t use it again. So once I stopped taking the pill I waited for my menstrual cycle to regulate. I had read on-line that you should wait 3 months after taking the pill before trying to conceive, so that you can have an accurate due date. I waited and waited. It took me 60 days before I got a period. This was seriously taking forever!! I wasn’t patient enough to wait until I had a few regular cycles. We started trying to conceive after that first period, I believe it was late may/early June 2006.
June 2006 was a crazy month. I had been working at a homeless shelter for over 4 years and was feeling really burnt out. All of a sudden it seemed I had no patience for the people I was working with. For the previous 3 years I had worked the afternoon shift and loved it. But I moved to the day shift in order to spend more time with my husband at home in the evenings. I found the difference between shifts huge! The afternoon shift was really laid back and easy going. The day shift felt much more rigid - black and white - institutional. I honestly felt like a prison guard on that shift! I had worked at the shelter for 4 years and wasn’t used to having to harp on the homeless over little things like sleeping on the floor. Anyway, I regress!
I started to feel burnt out. I talked to my boss about changing positions. I told her I had to get off of the street level work. I offered to scrub toilets at the shelter doing maintenance. She just laughed at me and said I’d be more useful doing counseling. She said she would try to find me a position. A couple weeks went by. I continued to resent my position.
I remember breaking down at the beginning of a shift one day and just crying. Crying in front of the homeless clients, in the bathroom, in front of the other staff. I got sent home that day. Administration gave me a few days of “stress leave”.
I took a pregnancy test either right before this day or right after. It had been about a month since my last period. However, since we didn’t wait to try conceiving before my period was regular, I wasn’t exactly sure when my period was due. I took the test. It was negative. I knew I wasn’t pregnant.
I decided to go on a spiritual retreat at a local retreat centre to talk to God about what was going on with me. I rented a tiny tree house cabin away from the centre. All it had was a small bed, a desk and chair. I spent a day and a night out there, just praying about life. My concerns were mostly about work. I didn’t know what to do. I found the retreat really helpful and loved spending that time with God – giving him my full attention – something I wish I could do more often (and still do). I left the centre feeling much better about life.
I applied for a receptionist position at my church and was offered the job. I was so excited that they offered it to me but the pay didn’t compare to the shelter and the commute would be long. I decided to decline the job because I still had hope that my boss would offer me a counseling position.
I went back to work and hoped to hear from my boss. A couple of my friends asked if I might be pregnant but I was convinced I wasn’t because of the earlier test. My period still hadn’t returned though – not that weird considering the last one but I decided to test again just in case. It was the morning of July 2nd. It came back positive.