Growing up, we worry about getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant, but once you’re married and ready for it, for many people in the middle class, it becomes not so easy. A thirty-year-old woman has been on birth control for over ten years. The body is accustomed to thinking it is always pregnant. It takes a while for it to remember what it is like not to be pregnant. So it is not uncommon for newlyweds to realize that they could have had unprotected sex for years and nothing would have happened.
This is what happened to us. We moved back to the US, my wife started taking prenatal vitamins, stopped with the pill and we began to have sex. At first, just making sure we do it around her ovulation. When that didn’t work, we started lotions, we started thermometers we held her legs up and we increased the frequency. After six months we went to a doctor who told us to keep trying. By this point, we were seeing friends with one baby have a second. There were babies all around us now and we were the only ones not having one. On TV babies were everywhere and in pop culture and everyone seemed to be asking us: when are the babies coming. As if we could just pop one out and were on purpose holding it in.
We were thinking something was wrong with us. My wife made me not wear my skinny jeans and any time I sat on the couch with the laptop, she put a pillow between the laptop and my jewels. But tests showed all was fine (phew!). We just had to keep trying, try to relax, and forget everything everyone was saying. But the brain would still go there and worry, we were not getting younger? How long would it take? Would it happen ever?
Then we went on a vacation. On the way, we stopped by some family and there was a red dragonfly. My wife’s cousin said it was a sign because she saw one every time she had a kid. We hoped she was right. We went on vacation, tried to have sex at the right time, and then a day after we came back and I was working, my wife asked me to grab her food out of the oven. Inside was an old hardened piece of bread. I looked at my wife and said: why would you put this there? It’s not good? Then she said: “What else cooks in the oven?”
It happened, she was pregnant. We were scared to tell anyone, one never knows but we were both excited and wanted to tell others.
It’s a strange thing how when you date, you are together. When you get married, you have much deeper ties to each other now. Family is involved, there were wedding costs, there would be messy expensive divorce to separate. And then when she gets pregnant, you realize that now you are bound for life. Your child is bound to her and you are bound to them, forever (if you are a decent human being). This thought of forever can scare a man. It was a good thing that I needed to go work, it took my mind off of things and as I drove home I thought about it, how much deeper of a bond a child creates. I was scared because I am commitment phoebe. I hate losing the option to walk away from pretty much everything. I’m always making sure I can return something or have an exit strategy. But there is none here.
But then, on the second day, as we watched videos about how that bundle of cells is now the size of a sesame seed, as the excitement of a child being born, of the due date and who would be around at that time, who else would have a child, the excitement built up and I forgot my worries and I noticed how my wife was becoming more of a woman, prettier in many ways as the child inside of her was transforming her into a new person. Transforming me into a new person. The child wasn’t growing, all of us were growing, and I couldn’t wait for the new challenges to come.
We went for another appointent. Wife was hurting and she was placed on bed rest. Because there’s corona virus, I can’t go in with her. I guess the pregnancy is super precarious up until the second trimester, but the baby is not for sure until you see a yolksak. Well, we saw a yolk sak so we decided to tell people. We wanted to tell just a few but just a few grows very quickly. Because you tell some and not others and you have a weird code now that some people don’t want to spill the beans. People ask you the question and now you have to lie because what if it doesn’t happen, what will you say then? You don’t want people to know so you want to be careful.
It’s crazy how you start to worry about everything. There are particulates in the air that you worry about and chemicals. She is tired and her boobs get larger and her hormones hit her and she feels nautious and it was all just stories before but now it is real and you see her transform in front of your eyes. You also feel the permanence of the relationship. Sure we were commited before but if we walked away that would be it, but now there is me, inside of her and she is forever the mother of my child. You’d better love eachother or you will hate your life. And you realize it and if you think about it, you can sure go insane.
In general, wife realizes when she is ajerk right now pretty quick. The joke of Cici and Schmidt from New Girl is always on our mind thinking how Cici treated Schmidt. But over all each day seems like every day but each week is a new week as we have new questions coming at us: will you learn the sex, what will the name be, who will you tell.
How could we know, that three weeks ago, it was about to die.. Weeks of bleeding, weeks of brown flow was a hint, but the doctors acted like all was fine. No need for appointment. Well, now we know, we go in and we see a doctor no matter what. So much time of trying, so many people have children and yet you realize, every child, every human is a battle, every life is a battle. It takes so much hard work to bring someone in, what if I just wasn’t on board 100%, what if she worked or stressed too much. So many what ifs. The heart break is immense, for us both. It was when we told everyone, and that was when it stopped growing.. Just things are so precarious.
It’s a part of us now, this setback. It happens so often, you hear it so little. And all you think is now I have to tell people, now we have to try again, what could have caused this? What could we have done? Was it the particulates, was it the smoke, what was it?
You hope it’s not true, but it is. We were on track and now we are not. May 7th will never happen. We will try again, this was going well, and now? I just can’t believe it, I don’t want to believe it.. I’m angry, and I don’t know who to blame or what we could have done. The body acts to protect itself and when the body doesn’t develop right, it doesn’t go. What happened? Why didn’t it go? It was going..
I never wrote again, afraid to jinx it, but we got pregnant again. I didn’t read books until we passed six weeks and then some more. It was then that we started to take things seriously. My wife started off ok. No big cravings but huge sensitivity to smell. I was not allowed to cook with windows closed.
After our second super ultrasound it was discovered that she had placenta previa. She shed some tears in the car and then sucked it up like a brit, for the baby and we went on hoping that pelvic rest would make the previa go away. Pelvic rest means no heavy exercise or sex. No sex sucks for both and no exercise is bad for my wife’s mood. So this meant that a lot of time there were disagreements over minor things because of hormones and lack of exercise.
She had sore legs and hips. A lot of restless leg syndrome. Hot and cold and crazy dreams which I also seemed to have picked up. Life became all about fixing and getting the room ready and getting ready for a baby shower and a dadchlor. The registry was created (I had nothing to do with it) and the room was re arranged (gone was my office).
I would massage her legs at night with oil and we would watch weekly what to expect videos, which compared the baby to different vegetables. We took pictures on the beach, with my tripod and our pup. The baby shower was at a friends house and was actually not too bad as a guy. She loved being the center of it all, it is great to see community come together. I on the other hand had a selfish boys trip to Mexico where we drank and rode ATV’s, saying goodbye to my bacherlor days, for real this time. Guys scared me about changing diapers and we talked a lot about crypto.
As time towards delivery arrived, my wife could barely go anywhere, we were still over a month out and I couldn’t imagine what would be like if she made it to term. Sleeping was hard and she needed pollows all around her. The previa didn’t go away so they scheduled the delivery at 37 weeks to avoid pre-labor. This made it easy to plan, but it meant big surgery (makes more money) and therefore slower recovery.
The actual birth was 30 minutes. There was blood, the baby came out blue, but they got her to breathe quickly. Wife had to be stithed up but lost a lot of blood. She was shaking, the music played and her anestheseologist, a young woman was on her phone the whole time.
When we were brought to our room, we had a massive wall sized TV and a nice little couch. For the next thee days we barely slept, as people would come in and out all the time. They were all different so the lactation, the baby doctor, the wife doctor the nurses all gave different advice with the same air of authority. Because they never came back and others took their place, they were always “right” because they never checked to see if they were right.
Weird snafoos happened like a genetic test had to be redone because we didn’t get a receipt.. so god knows who got that result. The birth certificate lady made several mistakes so we had to fix that for her. But overall my wife was able to walk by second day and while the baby didn’t eat well, we learned to give it bottle and feed it with breast enough to make it survive (although barely, it lost a pound or so).