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And Doggie Makes Three

Fortunately, my husband and I have been on the same timetable as far as when we wanted to have kids. We both agreed that getting started with pregnancy about a year after marriage would be good timing for us. Sure, he probably wouldn't have minded waiting a little longer if I were still in my 20s so we could save more money before we spend it all on a child, but his friends are becoming parents now too, so he's actually looking forward to it all — so he says!

I have to admit, though, that I got a tad obsessed with having a baby ahead of schedule, during our nearly year-and-a-half engagement. It got to the point where I even had fantasies of having a baby during our engagement and then still having several months to try to slim down before our wedding day. But those were just daydreams (daydreams that included baby names that my husband sweetly considered; no, I'm not going to reveal them), and I knew we needed time to be married and to enjoy our life as a couple before we truly thought about kids.

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So, how did I get over my baby obsession, and wait it out this long? One word: Lucy. We decided to get our adorable Havanese puppy, Lucy, a little over a year and a half ago. I was obviously dying for a baby to take care of (and I grew up with dogs), and my husband had always wanted a dog as a kid. Having her in our life has made me so happy — and my husband too. I mean, who doesn't love coming home each day to a little creature who is so excited to see you she can't contain her squeals and wiggling body? I can even leave the house for just two minutes, and I'm still greeted as though I'm a rock star. Talk about unconditional love.

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BUT Lucy has been a ton of work too (although it's been great training for my husband and me as far as how we will co-parent). We spent countless nights up with her (or one of us sleeping on the couch) before she learned to sleep through the night. We've gotten peed on numerous times. We've had to drastically cut back on our nights out during the week together so that one of us can be home to walk her. We've (okay, I've) learned how to juggle dog walkers. We've had multiple fights about how I didn't feel he was doing enough to take care of the dog, and about how he felt I paid more attention to her than to him. The list goes on.

And to be honest, having Lucy forced us to deal with some serious pre-wedding jitters because mainly I felt that my husband wasn't taking enough responsibility for her, and was leaving most of the "rearing" to me. What did that mean for our future family life? If he wasn't stepping up to take care of our dog, would he be able to step up and take care of our kids...of me? (He's proved himself considerably since those days, I'm happy to say).

In short, training and taking care of Lucy was all consuming on a number of levels. For a while there, I was so absorbed with her that the thought of having a human baby on top of this seemed almost unappealing. It was as though Lucy really seemed to satisfy my maternal urges and any leftover energy.

But sure enough, the baby craving came back. Don't get me wrong — I'm still crazy about Lucy. But I realize I definitely still have the desire, energy, and love there waiting for a baby. And that's where I am today. Finally ready to start trying. Finally ready to expand our family. It really is an incredible time.

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