If you would have asked me at fifteen years old what I would be doing at age twenty-six I probably would have said something like “I will be a lawyer, definitely single (and definitely no babies), and living in California.” Well, at least I got one thing right.
Truth is, I am twenty-six, married, pregnant, and currently unemployed. When my husband was transferred back in October, I resigned from a teaching position that I finally really loved. My students were sharp, engaging and everything finally clicked that semester. See, I struggled with my teaching career from the very beginning. I always thought I was going to be a lawyer and then when I finally worked for a law firm in college, I realized that the life of a lawyer was something I no longer wanted. In the meantime, I was in love with my major of Communication Studies. I truly looked forward to going to class every single day and could see myself in front of a classroom teaching. Still I was not sure what I wanted to “do” exactly so I applied to graduate school in California.
The two years that followed proved to be the most challenging academic and personal years of my life. My whole life was dedicated to studying and teaching. I had never been pushed harder in school. Consequently, I lost some friends and gained some really great ones. In typical Jenna style, I started to have this aching inside of me that wanted something else, something more upon graduation from my Master’s program. I pushed any doubt to the side though and continued to teach for a year after I graduated. I started creating strong connections in the classroom and truthfully learned more about myself and from my students than anything. Despite that, I took a break from teaching to get some more practical experience and see if the (career) grass is greener on the other side (i.e. the real world). Turns out, for me, it wasn’t. I loved working for lululemon. I do not regret taking a break and trying something new because I learned so much about people, myself, and reaching my own goals.
One of my goals, in fact, for quite some time was to have a baby. Months into our relationship I knew that I was going to marry Reggie, but even before that I knew that I wanted to have a family with him. He is perfect for me in every way. After almost 5 years of dating, we married and immediately started trying to have a family. Over a year passed and no baby. We were disappointed every month but we were hopeful that it just was not our time yet. Then in October of last year Reggie and I decided to move to San Francisco. He had been living there Monday-Friday for work and there was no end in sight to the traveling. We wanted to be together and have a baby so a move just made sense. I was at peace with leaving my teaching position and I was very lucky that my department was incredibly understanding.
We were all unpacked by Halloween and I finally started to settle into our new place and relax. I didn’t even think about a baby at that point because, let’s face it, moves are stressful. That was until November 11th when I realized my period was late and I decided to take a pregnancy test just in case. When the second line appeared, I nearly fell over. I actually didn’t believe it. So I took another, and another. Three positives later and I had to call Reggie. There wasn’t going to be any fancy reveal here–not my style. Instead, in tears, I told him he was going to be a father. Together we sat in silence, crying, realizing our dream had finally come true. Life is funny like that. People who knew we were trying to have a baby would always tell me to just relax and it would happen. I realize that is not true for everyone but, for me, it really was.
So here I am, almost 25 weeks pregnant, and the happiest I have ever been. I laugh and shake my head thinking about my 15 year old self. I am literally her worst nightmare. There are moments where I feel ashamed because I have chosen to not only stay at home the whole pregnancy but for as long as possible after the baby is born. I then shake my head and laugh again because that is ridiculous. There is enough judgement in the world, I do not need to be doing the same to myself for something I know is right for me and my family. I am lucky that I can stay home and raise my son. I hope to go back to teaching years from now but I am not putting a timeline on anything. I have learned my lesson there.
As of today, this I know for sure: I love the life I have created with Reggie and I cannot wait for what the future holds. No regrets, just love.