This past week I celebrated my third wedding anniversary. Since I was sick and confined to bed, I had time to think about these last few years, how I got to where I am today, and how unlikely a journey it has been…
Remember when you were little and you dreamed your life would be a fairy tale? I forgot about those dreams until a few years ago. It was Memorial Day weekend in 2009 and after a dry spell with dating, I was on a roll. Great date on Friday night! Great date on Saturday night! Little did I know that Sunday night would change my life forever.
I had moved to NYC 18 months earlier from Los Angeles after dating every ineligible bachelor in the county. I had just turned 35 and needed to get out of L.A. if I were to harbor any hope of ever falling in love. I made new friends in New York quickly but did not make much progress on the dating front. And so, in April of 2010, I decided that for the next 12 months I would attend every Jewish singles event I could, even if it were overpriced and cheesy (otherwise there’d be none to go to). The deal I made with myself was that I had to go alone or with only one friend and stay for at least 20 minutes. Why 20 minutes, you may ask? Twenty minutes was the most I could muster the patience for and the threshold before feeling lonely and desperate.
I truly felt my beshert (destined) was nearby, within reach if I just stretched my arms wide enough. And I just had to be in the right place at the right time so he could find me. Four weeks later, at a sad Jewish singles event where it seemed there wasn’t enough beer in the world to make any of the men there attractive to me, a redhead with mussy hair and a torn shirt approached me. I was on my way out, but he intrigued me so I invited him to join me uptown for a nightcap. After I drank him under the table, we talked until sunrise, shared our first kiss, and fell asleep in each other’s arms.
Within a week, I was on the phone with a BFF and told her that I was meant to meet this man. That even if we ended up on opposite ends of the earth, we were connected, always would be, and he would somehow be a part of my life forever. She advised me to get back into therapy. Quickly.
Six months later we got engaged on a snowy bridge under the moonlight in Whistler, B.C. Due to my age, we threw out the birth control shortly thereafter. If I had a fertility problem, we didn’t want to find out about it when it was too late. Six weeks later we booked our tickets for a honeymoon in May, agreeing that we would elope or get married in a small ceremony beforehand. Two days later, I stared in disbelief at a positive home pregnancy test.
Less than two weeks after that, we were married in our small New York apartment crowded with his father, my mother, three dear friends, the rabbi, and a gaggle of men I didn’t know (the rabbi didn’t tell us until our wedding day that we needed a minyan, so my husband was forced to send out a frantic email to his Jewish friends inviting them and their friends to join…he was prepared to grab Jewish men off the street if necessary).
Our son Aiven was born in 2010 and our unlikely journey continued. Growing up as an only child, I wanted to give him a sibling but after several months of fertility treatments I still wasn’t pregnant by June 2012. I tried not to be discouraged, so with one refill left on a fertility drug prescription I decided to try one more time (warning: do not try this at home). Whether it was the small dose of fertility drugs, my age, or family history, I will never know. But I got pregnant with twins that month.
Looking back to my childhood fantasies, I remember imagining what my husband would be like. Although Alex doesn’t have Ken’s blonde hair or nice car, he is more than I ever wished for. And since I was 12 or so, whenever crazy aunts would ask me how many kids I wanted to have, I always replied that I wanted a boy and then twin girls. So when I found out I was carrying twins, I knew it had to be two girls. No one else really believed me, but I bought two girly baby blankets to let the universe know how I felt about the matter. As we brainstormed baby names, we didn’t even consider any boy names. Not one for surprises, I went for an amniocentesis and experienced 17 excruciating days of waiting for results. It was worth the wait when we found out, thank God, that my two babies appear healthy.
And in case you’re wondering, the test confirmed they’re girls.
It seems that God had a plan for me all along. Even when I didn’t believe. Even when I wouldn’t let myself dream. Even when I was close to losing hope. He had listened to my prayers, even when they were silent. Little girls’ dreams sometimes do come true.