This is me and my husband Travis. We met in the Fall of 2007 when I was student teaching at the school where he was an art teacher. We didn't get to know each other, though, until the following Spring. And once we did, it was an immediate relationship that felt so comfortable and so familiar. It sounds trite, but we both felt like we had always known each other. We got married on June 28th, 2009.
We have talked about our future children since the beginning of our relationship. We've always been on the same page about kids. Before we got married, Travis asked me how long I would want to wait before starting our family. At the time, I didn't feel anywhere near ready. "Oh, five years!" I said. He was in agreement, but I think he knew we would most likely decide to try sooner. Once we were married, we discussed it again and decided, "Well, maybe more like two or three years..."
Travis currently works as an art teacher at an elementary school, and I teach private piano and violin lessons. We are happy in our jobs, but as you might imagine, we don't make a fortune. In the year that we have been married, we felt financially insecure almost constantly. Things always came up that we could barely handle. There were many contributors to this, including my decision to teach private lessons rather than teach in a school. I have stuck by that decision anyway (and Travis has, too, thankfully) because I really love working with students one-on-one. When I worked as a substitute orchestra teacher for three months before we were married, I felt emotionally beaten down every day. I wish I could handle it, but I just can't. Another factor was (and is) our mortgage payment. Travis bought this house a couple of years before I knew him, and it seemed affordable to him at the time, but now it just eats up all our money, and we have nothing to show for it. The value of the house has decreased, and we owe more than it's worth. We've been trying to sell since March.
Right now, though, we're doing better, and it looks like it's going to stay that way. We've both picked up some extra work this Summer, which we couldn't do last year because of the wedding and honeymoon. Also, I'm getting more and more new students. I think last year I started out with eight or so. By the end of the year I had about 15, and I know I'll start this year with at LEAST 20. In addition, this is Travis's fifth year teaching in South Carolina, so at the end of the year his student loans will be forgiven, and what he has already paid on them will be reimbursed. If we could just sell our house, we'd be in great shape.
I should add that Travis's and my parents have been so generous to us, and we are eternally grateful for their help. I really hope we can pay them back someday.
Now, back to the baby discussion (hmm, do you think our parents would accept grandchildren as payment?). There have been times in the past six months or so that I just thought I would go nuts if we couldn't have a baby soon. This started in February, when I missed a couple of my pills. A month later I became convinced that I had been pregnant and had an early miscarriage, which I am still sure of, though I never had a positive pregnancy test. I was beside myself, because I knew that if the pregnancy had stuck, we would've been fine and happy and everything would have worked out, BUT I also knew that we couldn't possibly do that to ourselves on purpose anytime soon. Financially, we were in no place to have a child.
A couple of months after that, my birth control pills were taken off the shelves for some reason. They were a generic brand, and the brand name would have cost $40 a month, even with insurance. I had read a book about FAM (Fertility Awareness Method), and we decided this would be a good time to try that. (I highly recommend the book, by the way. It's called Taking Charge of Your Fertility, and I think the information in it is indispensable to any woman, trying to conceive, trying to prevent, or just curious.) The first month off the pill, I was again convinced that I was pregnant, just because I ovulated so early that we couldn't have timed things better if we had been trying.
I don't remember much about our conversations, but at some point when I was feeling anxious to have a baby, I asked Travis if we could consider trying this Fall so that I would be due in the Summer. At that point, we both felt like it was sort of an unrealistic goal, but we agreed to keep it in the back of our minds. We've always talked about Summer being the best time for us to have a baby, because neither of us will have to be working. Also, because of the nature of my job, I wouldn't get a paid maternity leave, and I'd be likely to lose students if I had to take two or three months off in the middle of the school year.
In the mean time, I investigated the possible causes of my miscarriage. I knew that often there is no identifiable cause, and that there may not even be a problem, but I wanted to rule it out. I noticed some abnormalities in my cycle that could be problematic, and ventured to fix them. I was and am sure beyond a doubt that these problems were caused by my having been on the pill. I got another book, Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition, that has been incredibly helpful to me. I ordered a vitamin/mineral supplement (Optivite) that was recommended in that book and in TCOYF (Taking Charge of Your Fertility). I've been taking it religiously in addition to getting regular exercise. I've seen amazing improvements, and I've only been on the vitamins for a month. My only concern at this point is that my waking temperatures are often very low, around 96.8, which can indicate low Thyroid function. But I'm not too worried about it at this point.
I went to Pennsylvania for a month this Summer, and for two weeks I was there without Travis. At one point when I was talking to him on the phone, he said, out of nowhere, "I really wanna have a kid." I was kind of taken aback. I said, "You mean...soon?" He joked around and didn't answer, so I asked him if we could try this September, and he said, "Signs point to yes." I was so excited I couldn't stand it. He said he still wanted to think about it a little more, but I barely heard that part.
Just in the past few days, I think we've come to a definite yes. The only thing holding us back had been thoughts of moving to the mountains of North Carolina at some point. We took a trip to Asheville recently and fell in love. I think we've decided not to worry about that yet. I didn't want to be having a baby and finding jobs and a baby-sitter and a place to live all at once. It will be easier if we wait to move, and we also can't imagine telling our families, "Hey, we're gonna have a baby! But we're gonna take him/her three hours away and you'll hardly ever get to see us!" That would go over well. And I'd much rather wait to move than wait to have a baby, and I think Travis is totally with me on that.
So, thus begins our journey! Only one more cycle and we can start TTC (Trying To Conceive). And we'll tell our friends and family about this blog soon enough, but I don't want anyone to get excited yet...I want to surprise them! :-) What a huge secret that is to keep, though! Because of that -- because I can't contain my baby excitement -- I am writing this blog. I hope you enjoy!