Read the beginning of "Expecting" from A Double Life: Discovering Motherhood by Lisa Catherine Harper:
"The story of motherhood doesn’t really begin, at least not always, with the fact of conception. Ask anyone who has found her life transformed by a baby and she will tell you about the time before—the moment, days, weeks, months, or even years—when she waited. Sometimes, of course, as in my mother’s case, a pregnancy takes you by surprise so that one day you find yourself suddenly, unexpectedly pregnant. But for very many others, there is first the decision—the Yes! Sure! Why not? Let’s have a baby!—and then the inevitable wait. Some couples make this decision easily; children are what they’ve always wanted. Others make the choice only after long reflection and deliberation. Our friends, for instance, came to it after nearly ten years of marriage. But once that decision is made, there’s a gap. Some will tell you they got pregnant immediately. Others will tell you long stories about agonizing years of infertility treatments. Every story is different, but the waiting is not. All parents experience that interregnum, a time between two rulers, a time when the solo life seems less sovereign but the dictatorship of the child is not yet an established fact. For many women, it can be a chaotic, unsettling time: we’re not pregnant, which is the one thing we long to be. It makes a lot of us irrational—crazed with the desire for the thing that seems obtainable but which remains always out of reach—until that shock of a day when it isn’t. This time of waiting is a pause, a hiccup, a disjunction in your life when you’re trying to get ready, and you think you are ready, but there’s nothing yet to be ready for.
Twenty-four hours later, life was simpler. Wake, pee, drink coffee, brush teeth, don’t take pill, shower, apply makeup, don’t take pill, dress, dry hair. Don’t remember to take pill. All day long I thought no pill. No pill, I chanted to myself. It was a simple thing, really, a small omission, one less remembering to clutter my mind. And yet, that singular forgetting freed a space as vast as the pill was small, as undefined as the pill was precise."
To read a longer excerpt or to purchase A Double Life, visit https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/Double-Life,674781.aspx.