I 'm certain no one in the history of prepackaged pregnancy tests has ever been as shocked as I was to see the plus sign appear on the stick. After hoisting myself up off the floor, I called to my husband to come look. His eyes glazed over and he appeared to enter some type of altered state of consciousness. The words "How did this happen?" tumbled out of his gaping mouth, then he slowly shuffled back to bed in a sort of stupor. After one more positive test, it began to sink in. Eight years after my husband's vasectomy, we were going to have a baby! They say vasectomies have a one in a thousand failure rate. Somewhere, 999 couples could breath a sigh of relief.
When the youngest of our three boys started kindergarten, I mourned the end of my mother-of-a-preschooler days. But before long, I became comfortable with my newfound freedom and decided to make the most of it. I started working on a bachelor's degree in psychology. I took the time to write and record some songs I'd had floating around in my head for years. I was well on my way to fully embracing this new season of my life when I noticed my pants were getting tight and I was two weeks late. Suddenly, in the middle of my carefully planned route, I was facing a detour.
Dealing with detours is something we moms do on a daily basis. Sudden fevers, last-minute homework projects, urgent pleas for taxi service—we do well to heed the old adage, "Blessed are the flexible." And while most of us can handle the small shifts, we can get completely thrown by the big ones—a job change, a move, a plus sign on a stick.1