Ten days ago, I turned thirty. Earlier in my life, I thought I’d have a child of my own by now. Instead, we have 5 vials of semen cooling its heels at the bank, waiting for the arbitrary 6 month quarantine to be up.
Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been trying to reframe my thinking. To be grateful for the friend that’s willing to get up at the crack of dawn and visit a sperm bank, where a man in a white coat keeps saying “specimint.” Trying to enjoy the (hopefully ) numbered days left of being a family of two. Well, two people and two cats, anyway.
During the holiday, I thought, if we’re lucky, M will be visibly pregnant by next Thanksgiving. By the one after, we’ll have a tiny one of our own to join the growing ranks of great-grandchildren. It’s really hard to imagine. Like Beginning From the Start talked about here, I don’t feel very much like an adult sometimes. Hell, it’s hard enough some weeks to make sure my wife and I eat some vegetables and have something clean to wear.
My parents were 20 and 21, respectively, when I was born. This makes me feel like I’m getting a late jump on the baby-making game, even though we’ll probably be among the first of our close friend group to reproduce. While we both have high school acquaintances working on second and third children, in our city, people tend to put off having kids until they are firmly in their third decade. We’ll be the ones to blaze the path, and hope our friends stick with us.
I’ve been holding the space for awhile here now. Relishing my fellow bloggers and the relief they give me, that I am not the only one sometimes feeling unmoored in this transition. I write snippets in my head all day long, but I haven’t made time to put them out into the world. Part of me didn’t want to start keeping this journal until we’d have real movement to report on. I think March will be here sooner than I expect, though.
With my wife leaving on a work trip this week, I’m trying to use the time to live the questions now and find my way onto a new path. (It may go without saying, but I’m hanging on to M! No change there.) I feel like I’m at a crossroads that will shape the next section of my life. Do I try and find a new job now, or hold onto the one I have with a good family leave policy? Are we going to be a city family forever, or move to a place with space and quiet? And what about the driver’s license I’ve yet to acquire?
I am so excited about taking on parenting with M, but I am worried that we are unprepared. I am caught between wanting to speed forward, and feeling that we don’t have all our ducks in a row. What did you do to ready yourself for parenthood?