“When are you guys going to have kids?” “Have you thought about when you’re going to start trying?” “How long have you been married for, again?”
Maybe you’ve been on the giving or receiving end of these questions, and maybe, whether to your family or close friends, you’ve uttered the words “we’re trying.” Sometimes people don’t even have to “try” and sometimes they have to try A LOT! Mother nature is just so kind and has a way of perfectly easing you into what life and well, sex will be like once your little bundle of joy arrives.
If you have never been met with these questions or heard anyone talk about “trying,” what it means is that at some point along your story, you and your partner make the choice to start a family. Thalita and I had made the decision to do just that. I still remember sitting across from my wife at The Waldorf Hilton London 3 days into our 10-day European getaway as I felt my phone vibrate. Like any good millennial would do I pulled out my phone right away to check the notification. “Let’s go make a baby” the text read. Obviously, we wasted no time.
Throughout the trip, we tried and tried and tried again (not complaining) in an effort to increase our odds and, long story short, somewhere along the 10 days, it was time to take a pregnancy test. I remember being so nervous, excited, anxious and terrified all at the same time. Our lives were about to change forever. She emerged from the bathroom, test in hand, a smile on her face and showed me the display. This was it, I was going to be a dad. We were going to be parents, I thought to myself. The test read negative. I remember saying something like, “well these things take time.” It was probably more sweet and romantic than that because by this point we were in the city of love, steps away from The Notre Dame Cathedral.
“Take Time”. Man, We Had No Idea. We Were So Naive.
From that point on, month after month through reading and educating ourselves (Thalita educating ourselves) we learned about what foods can either aid in conceiving and which ones play a role in slowing the process. We learned about exercise, treating your body like a temple, a baby making fertility temple. Month after month, cycle after cycle. And with each one that passed, we felt hopeful and then were met with disappointment.
I’ll fast forward this part and let you know that it ultimately took us a year of trying to get pregnant. I’m fast forwarding because along the way we realized through doing more research and talking to other couples, that one year is actually not a long time at all when it comes to conceiving. In fact, this was quite normal. We had friends that had been trying for much longer, 2-5 years on average. I mention this to say that this is not a “woe is me” sap story about waiting. This is about all that comes along with the waiting and trying.
I obviously love my wife and I would say at that time we had a very healthy sex life, but I remember things becoming scheduled, regimented, a requirement to check off of our list of duties for the day. We fought about it more times that I can remember (not my proudest moments).
This was our life until Thalita reached some sort of epiphanous moment and decided to just stop overthinking it – this happened around March of 2015. We decided to go back to just enjoying our time together, and made a point of keeping track of when ovulation was actually happening, but otherwise, things went back to being a lot more relaxed. The stress and fatigue that come from trying (and failing) can be detrimental to the mental health of a relationship. Stress has no business being in the bedroom.
The Day Thalita Became A Mother
Sunday, May 10, 2015, or more formally known as Mother’s Day, I was packing up my gear after playing a gig and proceeded to text Thalita asking if it would be okay for me to go out with the band for wings and a cold soda. Though she wasn’t a mother, we hadn’t seen each other all day and this outing would prolong our reunion so I saw it important to ask permission, which I often do. I had already seen my mom that day so it only seemed reasonable that I’d go out for a quick bite and then head home. I can’t remember exactly how she responded but it was something to the tune of “are you sure you don’t want to come home? I haven’t seen you all day”. This was odd because my requests are often met with “of course babe, have fun, seen you soon”. I know, she’s the best! She followed up her initial response with, “If you want to go that’s okay, but I miss you, you super sexy hunka man” or something like that but I’m pretty sure that was a direct quote. I remember asking another female close by what these messages could mean and she advised me to skip on the wings and go home. Yeah, I didn’t need to ask for a second opinion, I knew the answer, but CHICKEN WINGS.
Anyways, I headed home. Fearing she may be a little upset that we hadn’t seen each other all day I stopped off at Dairy Queen and picked up two mini blizzards and proceeded home. When I got home she greeted me with a kiss, hug and a “how was your day”. Normal stuff. She lit up when she saw the blizzards and let me know that a package had come for me, as I passed by the big black box on the side console. Keep in mind this was a Sunday. What packages get delivered on Sunday? (A thought that admittedly came to me a few days later).
I picked up the box, shook it and proceeded to join her on the couch to eat our blizzards. “Aren’t you going to open the box?” she questioned. I didn’t see what the big deal was, we were eating ice cream, what could be more important. I was so oblivious to everything (like a typical dude) that I hadn’t even noticed her phone aimed directly at me shooting video (that we’d later review). I slowly opened the box and there it was the pregnancy test. It took me a couple seconds to register what it was. It was in that moment that I realized that I was going to be a dad. We were going to be parents. My wife was going to be a mother. We need a crib, I thought as all the usual thoughts came rushing to my mind.
She cried, we hugged, I laughed, I think. Everyone had a good time.
Now things were really about to change, but that’s for another blog post…
The Unift Dad & The Learner Observer
The Unfit Dad
Thanks for reading, Cheryl!
Beautiful story Marquis. It took 18 months for me to conceive Skylar (that’s when you and I worked together). If you recall, I was pretty stressed out and often emotional for a while as I internally began to panic that it would never happen. But then it does. And it’s magical. And something you can never really prepare for. We also just tried for 12 months to conceive Nora. When it’s meant to be, it will be. It’s hard when you go about planning to many things in your life, setting goals and dates to achieve things by. But becoming a parent is something you just can read predict. And unfortunately it can cause havoc in some people’s lives as it can quickly become the forefront of ones mind and it’s so difficult to calm down about it.
Well written post.
The Unfit Dad
Thanks Kristy! You’re so right about the stress. It’s all you think about and oh yes, I remember those days back in Ajax. I didn’t know it then but what you and a lot of couples go through is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Wait. You’re so right though, when it’s meant to be it will be. Thanks for reading!