Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My First "Baby"

For starters:  no, I’m not pregnant.  Phew!, you’re thinking (especially Mom and Dad, if you’re reading ;-). 

But, I am having a “baby.”

Wait, how is that possible?  To answer that question, I need to go back to how I found out I was having a “baby”…

Last May, one of my closest girlfriends, B, called me in the middle of the day at work (so I knew it was important) and told me that she and her husband were expecting their first child.  Immediately, the fuzziest feeling enveloped my entire body.  It was a feeling I had never experienced before actually.  B was the first in our close-knit group of four girls from law school to get pregnant and that was both scary and exciting.  It was the biggest thing to happen to any of us.  When B got married, sure it was a big deal but it wasn’t a baby.  I mean, a baby is huge.  A baby is daunting.  A baby means we are all… growing up.

Admittedly (and yes this is hard as hell to admit), a few hours after that fuzzy feeling wore off, I experienced an entirely different feeling – this was also a feeling I had never experienced before, and it wasn’t pleasant.  It was anxiety, concern, and, most of all, it felt like I was running a losing race and no matter how hard I practiced there was no way I could win it (without a stroke of luck).  It was – and yes I’ll be cliché about it – the sudden and obvious realization that my clock was ticking and that I better damn well get ON it if I want to have a baby by the time I’m 38.  I had six years to have a baby, yikes.  And… more than anything… what I have always wanted – more than anything – was a baby, just one, I’m not even greedy about it.  Why?  Call it the maternal instinct.  Call it a female thing.  Call it hormones.  Call it “I don’t know why, it’s just something I’ve always wanted!”

More than the pressure of my biological clock, however, what I truly felt at the pit of my stomach(pardon the pun) was oh my gosh, I have six years to get my s—t together:  1) to find “the one” (or to make sure I’m with “the one”), 2) to stabilize my career (which is a constant juggle between writing vs. the law), 3) to get married (cannot be accomplished without #1), 4) to buy a house (but where?  I don’t even know where I’m going to end up living for the rest of my life), and, then finally, 5) to have a baby (yes, preferably, in that order).  Could all of this be done in six years?  I started to sweat buckets at the answer… possibly no. 

Then, it hit me even harder that it could take months or even years to get pregnant, especially in my mid-to-late 30s.  This meant I should really start trying for a bambino in four years so that I could make sure I was sperminated within six years.  Oh, the math, the numbers, the time, help?!

I didn’t stop at numbers though.  After that, I went on-line and read every single article I could find on frozen sperm.  Yes, I did. 



Just in case I ended up alone at the age of 36, I needed to have my ducks, er, I mean, my sperm, in a row.  I even found the #1 institute in the country for getting shot up with female hormones and having sperm spray-painted into your ovaries, and I saved, yes saved, their contact info into my Microsoft database and calendared a conference call with them for four years from now. 

Last but not least (oh this is embarrassing but why stop at frozen sperm, right?), I deducted $25,000 from my savings account and put it into a separate interest-bearing account which I called “the sperm bank.”  Per most of the articles I read on-line, it costs $25,000 to have enough sperm to pretty much ensure that you get pregnant.  A mere $25,000.  Dear God, that’s the down payment on a house.  That was the down payment on my house, the house that I might have bought had I not decided it was better spent on frozen sperm so that I could someday have a baby in case life and love don’t work out in the right order.  $25,000 and frozen sperm = Plan B.

As you can probably deduce, I had a total and complete FREAK-OUT.  As it so happens with all of my freak-outs, I ended up calling my best friend, Netty, to talk me off the ledge (too bad I didn’t call her before I created the sperm bank, oh well, at least my future sperm is earning interest).  And, Netty said to me, in her calm and matter-of-fact way:

“You’re already having your baby!  In February!”

Huh?  Oh… I got it… right… my first book… my… baby… sure… right (insert sarcastic tone and roll of the eye).  But, after we hung up and I got to thinking about it, she was right.  Babies don’t necessarily have to be tiny squishy things whose diapers need to be changed every few hours.  Babies can be symbolic.  We can have symbolic babies to tithe the time away as we hope and pray for our real babies someday.  And, these symbolic babies can bring just as much love and joy as real babies do.  Well, not really, that’s a stretch, but, they can, at the very least, fill the void for stretches of time and make us grow better so that when the real babies arrive via stork, freeze wrap, or, alas, a genuine 100% man, we are… ready.

So, with that, I’m due in twenty days… my first baby, SAVE AS DRAFT, arrives on Feb. 1, 2011, and, while it’s not a real baby, it’s something that makes me really, really happy because I’ve worked my ass off on it (yet another sexual pun, oops) and, well, I’m ready for this baby, not a real one just yet, but this one.  Baby steps, right?  It’s all about those baby steps…


  1. Love it...as a single girl about to turn 26...I sometimes start to sweat buckets thinking about how far behind in the husband/have a baby plan. I love your outlook and that yes your book is a baby in your life! No body has to have the same plan...we just all want to be happy!

  2. Thank you for your sweet comments! I just found your blog and am now following! It's so nice to know that not only family members and best friends are out there reading. :-) xoxox Cavanaugh