I watch as Steve tries to process what I just admitted. He probably thinks it came out of nowhere. I’d never dropped a hint about this before, so I probably blindsided him. And yet, in this moment, I couldn’t find it in me to care. I need him to tell me it’s okay.
I’d been thinking about a baby off and on for a little while before. I never told Steve, but the thoughts were still there. They would creep up on me watching a baby food commercial or seeing a mom jogging with a stroller in the park. But I can’t ignore it anymore. I want a baby.
I just have to convince Steve of it.
My husband is staring at me with wide eyes, his face betraying the shock he’s feeling. I bite my lip as I wait for a response. Patience was never my strong suit.
“A...a…baby,” Steve finally stammers out.
“Yeah. A baby.”
“But we’re men!”
I couldn’t help but laugh at the statement, despite the tension wrapped around my body in a vice grip.
“Yeah, I did notice that. But you’re a doctor. Surely, you know there are other ways to have a baby.”
“Well, adoption is my first choice. There are too many kids out there who need good homes. It would take a while for the paperwork to go through, but I think it’d be worth it. And even if we got a surrogate that would still take at least nine months.”
Steve stops my rant with a raised hand.
“Okay. I get it. I just don’t understand. You’ve never mentioned this before. Why now?”
I sigh. “Because I want a child. It’s something that’s crossed my mind ever since we got married. But today at work, I got assigned to do this story. It was a child abuse story. The mother beat her son mercilessly, torturing him daily. She didn’t feed him, forced him to sleep on the floor and…it was just horrible.”
I pause, memories of the story sweeping into my brain. The research I’d uncovered was so horrible, I couldn’t even begin to process how the child survived as long as he did.
“And you want to adopt this boy,” Steve guesses.
“No. The child died,” I whisper.
Steve pulls me back into his arms and kisses me on the top of my head.
“I’m sorry,” he whispers.
I don’t reply, soaking up the warmth and comfort of Steve’s arms.
“But I don’t understand,” Steve says after a minute. “How did you get from this story to wanting a child of our own?”
“Don’t you see,” I implore sitting up and turning so I could look Steve in the eyes. “This child needed someone and they weren’t there. But there are lots of other kids out there and we can be there for them. That…and…”
I rub at the tears starting to well up in my eyes. “I want a baby. I want us to be parents and to raise a child to adulthood. This story might have lit the fire under me, but I’ve thought about it all night. And this is something I want to do. We have the money and the house and I just think it’s time to expand our family.”
“You don’t like just the two of us?”
I swallow down my fear. I know he won’t make a decision without all of the information, but I’m still scared.
“It’s not that. I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. And I know I could be happy if it was just the two of us. But I still want a child.”
“Does this have anything to do with your family? And how they rejected you?”
“Look. I’m not going to lie and say that didn’t hurt. I hate that I have no family other than you. But this isn’t about them. It’s about us. And how we’re going to spend our future.”
“We work all day. Who would watch this child?”
“I could quit my job. Work freelance. We both know your salary can support us both now that your parents’ wedding gift paid off the last of your student loans.”
Steve sighs. “Are you sure you want this?”
I nod. “More than anything. But it’s not just about me. It has to be about us.”
“I need some time to think about this.”
I nod. I understand the request, but I hate not having an answer.
The next morning, I’m hoping to have an answer, but Steve goes off to work without a word on the subject. He doesn’t say anything that night either.
By the three day mark, I’m about ready to go out of my mind. I need to know if we’re going to do this. I get that Steve needs his time, but I’m not sure how much longer I can wait for an answer.
As we lay in the bed, I’m biting my lip questioning if I should bring it up again. I don’t want to bother him, but I need to know.
“Have you thought about what I asked you?”
I nod, knowing he can feel my head move from its position on top of his chest.
“Honestly. That’s all I’ve thought of for the last three days. The pros and cons. Everything.”
“Well, at first I thought it was a horrible idea. I really asked for the time to think because I couldn’t bear to tell you no after I promised you I wouldn’t.”
I close my eyes against the tears that are forming. He’s going to say no.
“But then I really started to think about it and I realized that maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea. We do have the means. And I like kids. I thought about what our lives would be like with a kid. And I realized something.”
“What,” I ask, still trying to hold back the tears.
“That I would love nothing more to build a family with you.”
I sat up and looked at Steve, hope shining in my eyes brighter than the moonlight coming through the window.
“Does that mean…?”
“It means I would love to have a baby with you.”
I let out a little laugh as I start to cry for a whole new reason.
“We’re going to be parents,” I exclaim.
“Yeah,” Steve says pulling me back down to his chest. “Isn’t that a scary though?”
“Actually, I think it’s perfect.”
And there’s Part 16! Steve and Joey are going to be parents! Their story will continue in TWO weeks as the adoption process starts. There will be no story next week as it is the release date for the Grand Adventures anthology. But I’ll still be around. I will be on Dreamspinner’s Facebook page promoting the book from 7-9 EST, so be sure to check by. And remember to come back on April 7th for Part 17 of The Saga of Steve and Joey.