Life happens: What to expect when you think maybe you want to be expecting
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Last week, my husband and I made a horrible mistake. We decided to casually try for a baby.
Now, you may be thinking, "How do you casually try for a baby?"
It's very simple. Casual baby-making means you stop actively trying to prevent pregnancy, but aren't necessarily aiming to get pregnant. But if you do get pregnant, you'd, like, totally be cool with it.
Also, you have to both wear fedoras during your "maritals" to up the casualness factor.
Sure, it may not be the most effective method to conception but it's perfect for a couple like us who want to start a family but are also utterly terrified of the prospect at the same time. So, we play Russian Roulette with nature and let Fate decide.
Plus, we really like to wear fedoras.
Now, kind of, sort of, maybe-ish trying to have a baby wasn't the horrible mistake we made (although I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who would disagree, including anyone who has ever met our dog, who is in desperate need of canine therapy). No, the mistake lay in telling people about it.
As it turns out, when you start contemplating entering this new and monumental phase of your life, everyone has an opinion about it. Forget that whole "it takes a village to raise a child" idea. The village is much more interested in helping you conceive.
For example, here are some of the responses we got from family and friends:
"Ooh! How exciting! When was the date of your last period? I'm going to chart when you're most likely ovulating." - my cousin
"Oh ... wow ... why?" - our childless friends
"Oh, you'll LOVE being parents! It's the hardest thing you'll ever do, you'll never sleep again and will constantly be covered in poop and puke. But it's WORTH it. Trust me." - about half of all parents we know
"Do as many things as you possibly can before you have a baby. Because once it's here, you'll never be able to do anything ever again." - the other half of all parents we know
"Make sure you don't have 'relations' EVERY day. Do it every OTHER day. Otherwise you deplete his sperm." - my cousin again
"Better hurry. You're not getting any younger." - my aunt
"MAKE ME A GRANDMA! I mean, you know, on your own time. No rush. Also, check out this cute onesie I bought eight years ago when you guys first met." - my mom
"OK, according to my calculations, your best bet is the third of the month through the seventh. So, get busy." - again, you guessed it, my cousin
Now, I'll admit, at first this outpouring of responses shocked me. I considered this a very personal decision between myself and my husband. We were the ones who this decision affected, not everybody else. So, why was everyone so eager to get all up in our sexy-time business (or, in the case of my cousin, charting out our "business" with a scientific accuracy complete with alerts on her cellphone)?
But then I slowly came to realize that when and if we ever do get pregnant, while it will completely upend our lives, the ripples will also reach out and touch everyone else. Parents will turn into grandparents. Siblings become aunts and uncles. Nieces and nephews become cousins. Aunts and uncles become great-aunts and great uncles. Cousins become godparents. And close friends become honorary family members.
So, as it turns out, it's nice to know that there is an entire village waiting with bated breath to see what happens. It has the effect of making one feel very loved, if a bit uncomfortable with the sheer number of people in your life who are comfortable casually discussing your uterus.
Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at VictoriaAdvocate.com.