It was a windy, rainy day. It wasn't the kind of rain you could venture out in for an afternoon puddle-jumping excursion with two little girls. And that sent my preschool daughter, Julia, on a tirade. First came the pleading and whining. "Please, please, please, please can't we go outside?" Then came the screeching demand. "I want to go outside!" Then she launched the mother-of-all-fits on the floor—arms flailing, legs kicking, and even a last minute head-butt thrown in for dramatic effect.
Meanwhile my 18-month-old daughter, Elise, who was cheerfully throwing fistfuls of spaghetti at our one-hundred pound golden retriever, decides to join in with the whining and screeching. I look over at my husband, who has arrived on the scene to assist, and shout loudly over all the commotion, "No way are we having another kid!"
A week later, it's raining again. But this time things are peaceful. I've just put the girls to bed after a perfect family evening. We made pizza, played hide-and-seek (Julia's favorite) and watched a movie (Elise stacked blocks and read books while the rest of watched). I wait until they are both asleep. I tuck the blankets in around their warm little bodies. Julia opens her eyes for a moment, whispers, "I love you, Mommy," and then drifts back to sleep. I stay and gaze at them for a few minutes. My heart aches with gratitude. These girls are everything to me.
Still gushing with maternal love, I head downstairs to hang out with my husband. He's in the living room, building a fire. His jeans are torn and he's covered in bark from the logs he's just carried in. And he looks good. Something comes over me. I say, "Hey baby, let's make a baby." Once I'm half-naked, it's not hard to convince him. And despite all my former statements declaring no more kids, we go for it then and there (and then again the next night, and the night after that, and the night after that too).
After our four nights of throwing caution to the wind, in which I was clearly under the influence of mind-altering ovulation hormones, I start to panic. What if I am pregnant? Do I really want to be pregnant? Suddenly, I'm not so sure again.
Its two-and-a-half weeks later, and the girls are banging on the bathroom door. Julia's shouting, "Mommy, I want to come in," and Elise is crying, "Mama, Mama." But I'm peeing on a stick, and so I keep the door locked. I place the pregnancy test on the counter. I wait a few minutes. I don't see anything at first, so I almost declare it a negative result. But then I catch a hint of a faint pink line under the glare of vanity lights. The girls are fighting now. Elise is shrieking, "Julia push me, Julia push me." I unlock the bathroom door, take a deep breath and realize, despite the chaos, that I'm really, really happy.