2016 was not my favorite year, but it won’t go down as one of the worst (I’m still pretty angry at 2006, and I’m a terrible grudge-holder).
This year, my wife got pregnant—by design, no surprises here folks! In January, we realized it was now or never to start trying to get her pregnant. We had researched sperm banks fertility clinics and the home insemination process for a while, but “now was happening NOW” and we had to go back to our online dating days (we met online) to find the perfect father for our theoretical bundle of joy. Then were the trials and tribulations of two women getting one preggers (look it up if you can’t figure it out).
On Father’s Day, Ellie got a positive pregnancy test–six months after we started trying. She, who has always wanted to be a mom, cried from happiness. I, who had hesitations about having children of my own, was delighted by her joy. In August, we saw our Hobbit for the first time and it was amazing. I’ve seen ultrasound pictures before, but this was definitely different since this little alien was MINE. Everything came into a strange sort of real-ness I was not expecting.
You know what has surprised me the most? People regularly ask me about the pregnancy, and how the nursery is coming along, and if we’ve picked out names. I’m not the pregnant partner in this relationship, yet most people treat me as the parent of this little being. And I AM the parent, I just didn’t expect so many people to easily act the same. This seemingly small acknowledgment has made me more excited about the baby than I think I might have been otherwise. I don’t get quite the attention Ellie does, but I feel as though I get more attention than I’ve seen expectant fathers receive. There will be plenty of time for the dreaded “but who’s the REAL mom” questions. For now, I find joy in those who know that blood doesn’t make a family.
If Hobbit were to be born today, the only thing we’d need to go to the store for is diapers. Sure, the family and friends who gave us all their old baby gear thank us for giving them back their closets and garages and whatnot. But they didn’t have to save those things; not with Craigslist and baby resale groups and all that. Friends and co-workers have sent us their favorite baby gear or left little outfits and items on our desks at work. I’m not saying that I’m surprised that the people who care about us want to celebrate and help with the baby. I’m not totally sure what I feel. Blessed is good, but feels too spiritual. Fortunate isn’t good enough. Humbled might be the right word.
Having a child is not all unicorns and puppy dogs. It’s also not 20 years of wiping snot and hemorrhaging money. Balance has gotten me through life so far, and balance will continue to get me through life, no matter what comes.
This post is part of our #OneGoodThing series for December. Given the numerous troubling things we have experienced together during the year of 2016, and all of the disagreement, we wanted to prove that 2016 wasn’t all bad. We will hear from #SApros about a memory, experience, or moment that was GOOD that happened to them in 2016. For more info, please see Doug’s intro post. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series too!
> BONUS <
Podcast With Dave Kerpen on Authenticity/ Branding on Social Media