Babies are temporary. Children are forever.

I’ve always been the kind of person who rolls his eyes at all the crap people spew about the “magic” of infants. I think it’s silly that people’s interest in human beings is directly proportional to their cuteness. I think a twelve-year-old is as wonderful as a two-month-old who is as wonderful as a fifty-seven-year-old or a thirty-year-old.

(Seven-year-olds? Well, screw them! But seriously…)

My dad always scandalized people by mentioning that he’s not particularly fond of babies. He’s always told me that he came to love each of his kids more and more as he got to know us better — as we developed personalities. Cuteness only got us so far. I’m sure that he oohed and awed plenty at my tiny mouth yawning and when I went through that whole everything-I-pick-up-can-be-used-as-a-sword-or-a-gun-or-a-sword/gun phase that most boys seem to go through. But I actually quite like the idea that my dad loves me more now than he did when I was a toddler. And I hope that he loves me more still as I age.

I think that’s the kind of relationship I hope to have with my kids. I want my love of them to grow and deepen as they grow and deepen as human beings.

But still, babies are darn cute and I can see that my wife wants one. She wants one bad.

I’m much more interested in the idea of having children than babies. Babies are temporary. Children are forever. Read more…


Looking at my wife looking at babies

Yesterday, we visited some friends who had their first baby four weeks ago. They’re good people. But really they’re more acquaintances or erstwhile-friends than friends ever since they moved about ten miles away. When they lived closer, we did something with them maybe every couple of months or so. They just weren’t all that interested in our company.

That’s fine. Not everyone has to like spending time with us. (I certainly can’t expect many people to enjoy the company of a person as abrasive as I am.) Still, it was nice to catch up with them.

And the baby was adorable. At our church, some people volunteered to bring meals to them a couple times a week. Typically, the assignments for such a service are made within the Church’s women’s organization, so my wife doesn’t sign us up. (I do all the cooking and she doesn’t feel it appropriate to volunteer me to cook for anyone else.) But this time, she signed us up since they’ve been friends of ours and we care about them a great deal. Also, she just had to get her hands on that baby.

And she did. Yesterday, we swung by their apartment with dinner in hand. My wife washed her hands and took hold of the young baby.

She cooed at the baby. (“Aren’t you the cutest little thing? Yes, you are.” “Look at those adorable little feetsies.”) The baby had just been fed. So he was content, silent and calm while she slowly rocked him.

I asked them how they’re doing and caught up with them about all the baby- and non-baby-related goings on in their lives. But mostly, out of the corner of my eye, I was watching my wife.
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If anyone’s out there. . . (and I’m fairly certain no one is)

Hey you. Yeah, you. I don’t see anyone else here, so I must be talking to you. (Do you honestly think that this five-day old blog has a devoted following?) However, you got here, I could use a hand. Your hand.

Oh you’re a double-amputee you say? Well screw you. (On second thought, a stub will do the trick just fine.)

I’m new to blogging. I obviously don’t know what I’m doing. After all, I’m a man who started an infertility blog. Had I properly consulted the great Google in the sky, I would have seen that infertility blogs should be written by women and should be on Well, I’m a sunk-costs fallacy kind of thinker and there’s not much I can do about my chromosomes so here we are.

Of all the things I’d like to blog about, I decided to write about my struggles with infertility. I’d much rather make dumb jokes about politics, curate a tumblr blog filled with pictures of unintentionally-hilarious billboards, write a blog about community parks, write a blog about information literacy or post to a mommy daddy blog. But the last one’s not really a possibility right now and the previous aren’t what I need right now.

I need help dealing with this issue. I need a support network.

As weird and new as blogging is, it’s got nothing on the newness of my realization that my wife and I aren’t really in control of our reproductive fate.

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Kids and Church

Sometimes I wish I were a Catholic.

It sure would be nice to pick which time to attend worship services. It’d be nice to hear a paid professional deliver a thought-provoking sermon every week. I wouldn’t mind shopping around for the best priest free of any guilt about abandoning my assigned congregation. I like getting out of the pew a few times during the service — even if just to kneel down or get a cracker. God knows I wouldn’t mind trimming and hour-and-a-half to two hours off my three hour Church meetings.

But more than any of that, it’d be nice to see different kinds of people meeting together in Church as equals.

Luckily, our Mormon congregation is more diverse than most American Mormon wards by just about every conceivable metric. It is certainly much more racially diverse than most. But the Mormon Church has a silly obsession with idealizing the 1970s sitcom family. We’re talking a mommy, a daddy, 12.5 kids. There are certainly plenty of single parents in our congregation. There are lots of senior citizens whose kids are no longer living at home. There are some single people without kids (though most of them are inexplicably siphoned off into “young single adult wards”). But the power players in the ward? The people who get the assignments in our run-by-assignment Church are moms and dads with children in the home. (Makes sense: who has more time on their hands — a father with a seven- and a two-year old or a single man?)

But I digress ever so slightly. The point is that there are kids and mommies and daddies everywhere we turn at Church.

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A Saturday without children

Today my wife and I had a really nice day. It was the kind of day that makes you question why you’d ever want to throw a kid or two into the equation. We slept in relatively late. Then we went out for breakfast and didn’t get home until about eight o’clock in the evening.

We decided to shop for part of the day and basically pretend to be tourists for the rest of it. There are all kinds of wonderful sites around us. And even after living here for many years, we don’t have pictures with a lot of them. So we grabbed an empty backpack, a digital camera and went on our way. We had a blast. Read more…

Birth control

When my wife and I weren’t ready for kids yet, we made darn sure that one didn’t pop out of her uterus somehow. We made sure neither of the ingredients even got in there.

A couple months before we got married and became sexually active, my wife went on the pill. It was quite the fiasco. She had difficult reactions to it. Always having experienced particularly painful periods, she enthusiastically embraced the lighter periods that it brought. (Though for a couple of months, her periods lasted obscenely long — about two weeks in one case.) But there were difficulties as well. It made her sick at times. It played with her hormones in ways that made her much more emotionally volatile than she ever had been in the past. To make matters worse, at some point a pharmacy swapped out her low-dose prescription for one with a higher dose. She gained thirty pounds in a matter of two months as a side effect and completely lost control of her emotions to the hormones before we ever noticed the pharmacy’s error. If my wife weren’t a nurse-in-training at that point, it’s highly unlikely that we would have ever caught the error for which I still can’t believe we didn’t sue the pharmacy.

In many ways, she is still dealing with problems caused by the pill even two years after she stopped taking it. She’s had a hard time losing that weight — especially as the depression that we’ve been sharing has made healthy habits hard to cultivate. Having her hormones so out-of-balance for so long has made it much more difficult for her to keep them in control. As much pain as our attempts to conceive have caused us, I know that my wife doesn’t miss chemical contraceptives in the least.

We also used physical contraceptives — namely condoms. I wore a condom every time that we had intercourse. My wife and I feel strongly that effective birth control and family planning requires knowledge and planning. Most “accidents” aren’t accidents at all, but mistakes.

We know couples who have had two or three “accidents” while the woman was on the pill. Well, it seems much more likely that she did not take it properly than that the couple found itself in the one percent twice. And the couples almost certainly didn’t have a back-up form of birth control.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we’d been more careless. Would we have a three-year-old today if I hadn’t keep it wrapped up? If my wife missed her pill for a couple days or went off it sooner, would I be waking up in the middle of the night to feed a baby instead of getting up in the middle of the night to imagine feeding a baby? Did our window close in our early twenties? When we were asking when we should have a child, were we unknowingly asking whether we would ever have a child? Read more…

Kidnapping is wrong

We know a lot of people who have kids. We know their addresses. We know where those kids sleep. Some of them have, frankly, an embarrassment of riches when it comes to offspring. We even like several of the kids that we know.

Yet, we still have somehow resisted the urge to take one of them away. I wonder if it’s because we’re just not that desperate yet, because we’re still optimistic about our own chances, because we really don’t like any of those kids as much as I claimed or simply because we know that we’d never get away with it.

Anyway, here’s hoping this is my last post on this sorry excuse for a blog.