Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Decision to Try to Get Pregnant

History, Part I

When you first get married, well meaning friends and family inevitably ask, “Any kids in the future?”

Children are not for everybody. They’re not even for some who already have them.

But, my wife, P.Pie*, and I agreed early in our ‘serious’ relationship that kids were something we wanted. At some point. P’Pie wanted children because she’s a caring, nurturing individual. If there is anyone on this planet better suited to be a mom than her, I’ve never met them.

P.Pie is that person whom you would entrust your own children with immediately. She is the ‘go to’ babysitter for all of our friends with children as well as all her co-workers. Often P.Pie will volunteer babysitting duties, just out of the blue. Generally the call goes something like this –
____________________________________________

INT. SMITH HOUSE – KITCHEN – LATE AFTERNOON

Mary is bent over looking into a large, full refrigerator, with SARAH, her eight month-old infant, on her hip. She is trying to plan a meal she doesn’t really want to make.

On the kitchen table next to a set of keys, a half empty baby bottle, and a slightly disgorged purse, a cell phone begins to BLEAT its digital ring as lights dance over its keypad.

Mary stands and walks to the phone. Looking at the caller ID, she answers.

MARY
(into phone)
Hi, P.Pie, how are you?
(beat)
No, we don’t have any plans
tonight. We’ve got Sarah, so...
(beat)
What’s that? You’d like to
baby sit Sarah so we can go
out? That would be great!
When can you be here?
____________________________________________

P.Pie could get strangers to let her watch their child. It’s just some aura she gives off.

Me? I want children so there is someone to carry on the family name. I am the last male in my line and I want to see it carried on, for better or worse. The tax write-off will be nice, as well.

And I need a new crowd for my fart jokes; P.Pie just doesn’t appreciate them.

A few years back, prior to our move to the Mile High city, we thought about trying, but we decided against it due to a lot of flux in our lives – job changes… moving… renting instead of owning… league night… so many things. Due to these forces, and millions of others, the time just never felt right. Unfortunately that line never works on mothers.

Particularly mothers who had zero grandchildren and no other married offspring. “You’re not getting any younger,” was a common refrain (and true, until I can get the bugs worked out of the youth serum). Or how about the oldie-but-goodie, “If you wait until you can afford them, you’ll never have them.”

As a man, you just ignore them. And for you, it ends there.

As a woman, you placate them with “Soon,” or “You know, we were just talking about that.” Eventually they get the idea and leave you alone. But it doesn’t end there. It’s always at the back of your mind.

And then an odd thing happens. Dominoes begin to fall.

You notice the neighbor across the street, the one you don’t know at all, seems to hiding a cantaloupe under her shirt. And you think, “Well, good for them. Maybe I should go congratulate them/introduce myself.”

A co-worker announces she’s pregnant. “She said they wanted another.”

Your best friend from high school calls, the one you haven’t heard from in three years, to say she’s having a boy. “Good for her. We should keep in touch.”

Then it spreads to your extended family. Cousins are usually where it starts. Ones that are younger than you. Your mother’s sister’s youngest son (in his mid-twenties), goes on a tear and has two in 20 months. “He always was an overachiever.”

And then the inevitable – a sibling gets pregnant. You don’t know what to think.

Suddenly, it’s an issue again.

It was P.Pie’s older sister, The VP*, that announced she was pregnant. In fact, the first person she called was P.Pie. Not her husband, Picasso*. Her sister, P.Pie. To be fair, they are really close – emotionally, not physically. At The VP and Picasso lived in SoCal.

So now the pregnancy bombs that had been near misses suddenly score a direct hit (you sank my zygote!). We ‘hmm’d’ and ‘haw’d’ through most of The VP’s pregnancy, going back and forth about what we should do. Try? Don’t Try? Try? Don’t Try?

At the time, I was heading towards my last semester at the University of Colorado (I was two years ahead of the 20 year plan! and they said it couldn’t be done) which was good. P.Pie’s job loved (loves) her, so they would support anything she wanted to do. So, what the heck?

Let’s Try.

But not too seriously.

We didn’t want to be that couple that got all caught up in Trying and took the fun out of sex. I didn’t want to know how to us a Basal thermometer, P.Pie didn’t want to count days. I didn’t want to read books about increasing sperm counts, P.Pie didn’t want to lay in lotus positions for hours. We just wanted to Try, officially.

P.Pie stopped taking the Pill in the Fall of 2004.

*not their real names

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, you want kids so that you can do all that kid stuff you love without looking stupid!!

9/19/2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger Rob Barron said...

Truer words were never spoken.

In fact, no matter what the sex of the children, they're getting a slot car track!

I've wanted one of those for years! I mean, they'll appreciate it for years to come.

9/19/2006 4:43 PM  

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