Let me tell you about the rabbits…
Like many couples, Mrs. Cutter and I had a plan.
After our wedding, we would enjoy a few years of married bliss and then begin to propagate. Once our first child was born, we’d sell our condo (at a tidy profit of course!) and move into a real person house in preparation for our second child (which would be the opposite gender of the first child).
At first, everything seemed to be going according to plan. In October 2009, after a few months of work, Mrs. Cutter woke me up to show me a positive pregnancy test. So far, so good.
After spending a couple of years as a family of three, in January of 2012, we attempted to proceed with the next part of the plan. We put our condo up for sale, and even though we weren’t fooling ourselves into thinking we’d be making much money, we still hoped that we’d get a little bit out of the deal.
This is where things began to run a bit off course. As the calendar flipped to July, we were still living in the condo, having received a grand total of zero offers. And we received a further complication when Mrs. Cutter showed me yet another positive pregnancy test.
All of a sudden, we had extra incentive to find ourselves a new home big enough for our expanding family. But even the strongest incentive couldn’t seem to get our condo sold, and we concluded that we could not afford to move without selling first.
It should have been a happy time for us. I’d like to say that we were filled with happiness and optimism.
But we looked at our condo and realized it was growing smaller every day. We looked at our finances and realized I need to get a higher paying job. And it would be difficult to fix either of those problems until we sold the condo, and we were losing hope that we would ever be able to do that.
Maybe if I had felt more positively about that child, things would have worked out differently. Or maybe I’m just flattering myself to think that my negative mindset had anything to do with what happened. Sometimes these things are just not meant to be.
Once October rolled around, we had resigned ourselves to taking the condo off the market. A week before we likely would have given up, we finally received an acceptable offer. We had to quickly locate a new house of our own, but after the lengthy moving process was complete, it felt like we were finally getting back on track with our plan.
The only thing missing was the second child. That didn’t seem like such a tough task. We had already created one child, so we were pretty sure of the steps necessary to make another.
At first, we assumed that it was just a matter of time. But then a month passed; and then another; and then another.
It wasn’t an all-consuming obsession, but it began to wear on us a bit. The child-making process became much less enjoyable, and it certainly didn’t help that we kept getting reminders about our failure.
The Cutlet would see one of her friends get a new sibling and she would ask why she didn’t have a younger brother or sister. She celebrated her birthday and we realized that the potential age gap between the children was growing larger each day. Then I celebrated another birthday, and I realized that I’m not exactly a young man anymore.
As the months went by, our mindset slowly evolved. We went from “If it happens, it happens,” to “We’ll see what happens,” to “When is this going to happen?” to “Why isn’t this happening?” to “This might not happen.”
Mrs. Cutter and I have always been good at rationalizing things. We started talking about how much money we would have with only one child. We started to think that maybe we were only destined to have one child, and we should be thankful because there are many people who would give anything to even get that.
After waiting long enough for something, at some point your mind accepts the possibility that it isn’t actually going to happen. So I was genuinely surprised when Mrs. Cutter walked downstairs one morning holding a positive pregnancy test.
Due to what happened before, we were happy but cautious. The caution, along with a classification of “high risk” caused Mrs. Cutter to go in for an early sonogram.
When I looked at the monitor for the first time, that’s when I finally realized how little our plans actually mattered. A person can plan out their future all they want, but in the end, life has a way of changing those plans around.
Yes, we’re expecting the second child that we hoped and planned for. But we hadn’t planned for the possibility that the child might not come alone.
Welcome to the new plan.