Kara and I were recently driving home from trip to see her family when she started to cry. I racked my brain for possible motivations but nothing immediately came to mind. She had been feeling sick the past few days, but it seemed like the illness was passing. I gently, and a bit nervously asked, “What’s wrong dear?”
“Adam, I might be pregnant.”
Of all the potential responses this was about the furthest from my mind. This was also possibly the worst time to think about having another child. We were about two hours into a six hour drive, and our back seat was full of the three children we already have, all under five and including a three month old daughter. And my children don’t exactly show their best sides on car trips. We’d already spent two hours under a barrage of requests, complains, screams, and any projectile they could find, and now we had to think about reinforcing the opposition. I was stunned, and the first thought through my head was, “Well s*#t.”
Don’t get me wrong, Kara and I love our kids, and we hope that we’ll have more, in fact maybe even a few more, but two children within a year has never been a part of our plans. With all three under five the past few months have been particularly hard, and so adding one more felt overwhelming. So Kara and I started talking about what it would mean to add one more. We talked about the changes it would bring to our finances, our career goals, and how we’d have to give more than ever to keep our ship afloat.
We had a lot of time to talk, and as the conversation progressed the shock started to subside and I even started to feel excited. It would be a lot of work, but we could make it work. When I thought of how much I love our three kids it made me realize how much fun a fourth would be. And I loved the idea of facing this challenge with Kara. Every time we’ve been stretched in the past we’ve fallen in more love with each other and I knew this would be no different.
It turns out we aren’t pregnant, which felt like both a relief and a disappointment. The car trip definitely reminded me that marriage is an adventure, and this adventure can bring a lot of detours and even speed bumps, but it also reminded me that this is one of the greatest gifts that love brings. It’s unpredictable, it’s challenging, but it’s a joy when you face it with the one you love.