Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pregnancy Envy as a Guy

It's really weird as a guy to know what pregnancy envy feels like. Prior to wanting to start a family or even being married, I knew this was an experience for people who desired to have a child, but were having trouble conceiving. Growing up, I knew of certain couples in the church who wanted children, but couldn't and even now, I'm friends with couples experiencing this. It seems pretty obvious that it must be very difficult when people around them are getting pregnant and especially when their good friends who try for the first time and boom, they're pregant. It's also probably very spiritually stretching if you're in a good a place and spiritually dark if you're not.

However, my personal empathy to this experience prior to us wanting to start a family was that I was only affected when talking to these couples directly, hearing them share about their struggles or trying to be sensitive about dropping any mutual friends' baby news.  I didn't really think about it otherwise.  Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

My wife and I have always been very excited to start a family and both desire a large family. But now that we're actually starting to try, the whole shift in mindset has been quite staggering. There are lots of weird little things that I start to notice or think about. Among them:

  • It's quite liberating to go from avoiding green and white baby stickers (Creighton Model) to just enjoying each other.  It's funny because in our first few months of marriage, almost every month, there was a day we "shouldn't have used" which caused us to look forward to the next period in anxiety wondering if we got pregnant.  I remember thinking that if we had gotten pregnant, I would've been a bit distraught.
  • The whole process has really brought out what my wife and I individually believe about God's goodness to us.  We can tend to struggle with feeling like God asks us to sacrifice things for Him more often than not so we've found ourselves wondering if we'll end up being one of the couples who can't conceive or if we may be parents to a special-needs child or something else.  This has really brought to light the concept of barrenness in the Bible and how it's an age old problem. 
  • On that note, the whole process just seems way slower than I expected.  Each month you try during the fertile time and then you just ........... wait.  There's nothing else you can really do to make things happen faster or ensure a positive result.  You just wait and see if the period comes.  It was a bit surprising, but very interesting to see that in conjuction with the common societal value of needing to be in control.  We have only been trying a few months and so far, it's felt like forever.  I know there are tons of couples who are rolling their eyes right now.
  • And as you're waiting, I've noticed that my wife struggles with how much to look into every single sign.  I'm starting to cramp --> my period must be coming --> I'm not pregnant =(.  I'm feeling a bit nauseous --> I've had a cold for a while --> or I might be pregnant.  For the woman who is desiring to become pregnant, it feels like such a roller coaster ride.
  • On my side, it feels like EVERYONE is pregnant around me.  All of a sudden, I have baby bump radar (or bump-dar).  There are seriously at least six women at work who are pregnant and three guys just announced that their wives are pregnant.  In the same meeting.  It's like it's so easy for other people.  And then that gets me thinking about all of the teen pregancies out there shaking my head in disbelief at how that works out.  Either they are having TONS of sex or they are super fertile. 
Well anyways, forgive my political incorrectness.  This is a new experience.

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