“When two people are at one in their inmost hearts, they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze; and when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts, their words are sweet and strong like the fragrance of orchids”. ~I Ching
So we were driving home the other day, doing our usual decompression run down of our day at work. M mentions how a coworker and his wife brought their new baby girl into work to show her off to everyone. They are exceptionally happy, as they have been trying for a few years to have their first child and finally succeeded. He has shared with them about our infertility, and was genuinely happy for them when they found out they were finally pregnant.
So I’m expecting him to tell me how happy they were, and how cute the baby was. Instead, my hockey obsessed, ultimate fighting lover, and tattooed hubby tells me he couldn’t bring himself to go and look at her. Not for fear of breaking down (he’s not ashamed of that), but because it would be too painful as their story was similar to ours. As much as it hurt me to listen to him recount this with his eyes doing their own version ultimate fighting trying to keep tears at bay, it made my heart happy. Why? Well for a number of reasons…
Been there done that, and it’s nice to know that you’re not alone.
There was a day when a coworker of mine came in with their baby girl, but it wasn’t the first time I’d seen her. But that day, as I was bent over, talking to her in her stroller, she gave me the biggest, most genuinely happy to just be a baby smile, and what did I do? Lost it. Then what did I do? Bent down as close to her as I could without looking like I was about to unhinge my jaw and engulf her baby like some sort of baby ingesting alien life form. All the while hoping her mother wouldn’t see as I tried to gain control of the quivering wells in my eyes threatening to spill over, and engaged in incessantly long and repetitive baby talk with her. I have absolutely no doubt I’m sure the mother was like, “What the hell?! Can you stop the marathon baby chat with my child, and while you’re at it, can you get out of her stroller!? Damn it! *rifles through purse in a nervous panic* Where’s my plasma ray gun??? Ugh! I knew I should have cleaned this thing out!”
I told M that some time later about this experience (an emotional re-telling, not the extraterrestrial version), and I knew he understood, but I thought he understood from a second hand perspective because he knew what I’d been going through. I mean I realized he had his own pain over wanting a baby, but I didn’t realize his pain was exactly like mine. I didn’t know there were times when he felt he too would come unhinged. (I’m talking emotionally unhinged. Not referencing the alien jaw unhinging of before. That splendid display was allllll mine.) All joking aside, even when you’re going through infertility with your partner, you can still feel utterly and completely alone. It meant so much to me that we knew exactly how the other was hurting.
The fact that he’s that so sensitive to it, reinforces that he wants children just as badly as I do.
Of course I knew that already, otherwise, we wouldn’t have been attempting to enter into parenthood if I didn’t think he was 150% committed. But to actually “see” proof, just made me feel a different kind of warm fuzzy confirmation of his desire to be a dad. Like when women swoon over guys carrying a baby; I was swooning over his want for one.
I love that he’s not afraid to show his feelings, and he’s learned that he doesn’t care what other people think as long as he’s being true to himself.
M went through a time in his life where he really wrestled with debilitating anxiety throughout his childhood and adult life, and I am so proud that he has come sooooo incredibly far. Sometimes he does things he never would have even remotely attempted before, and I am in awe. On so many levels, he’s an entirely different man than I married, but for the better. He’s the new and improved 2.0 version. At his core though, he’s still the wonderful, caring, loving and , hockey obsessed guy I fell for. (The ultimate fighting and tats are part of the 2.0 version.)
I know he’s going to be one amazing father.
He has this crazy innate connection with kids, that seems to draw them to him. There is a continuous (and I literally mean pretty much every time we’re out kind of continuous), parade of babies and little kids engaging in staring contests that inevitably result in smiling and giggling with him, everywhere we go. It’s insane how often it happens. You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.
But aside from having some kind of mystifying, magical kid swagger, there are so many other great qualities that will serve him well as a dad. He’s smart, funny, goofy, generous, caring, sensitive, thoughtful, selfless, light hearted, loving, and empathetic. He’s been through a lot in his life, which has made him realize that you can’t take things for granted. And that life experience, will undoubtedly be beneficial toward helping our kids bond with us and heal from past experiences. He’s going to actually be able to relate on some levels, which will in turn let our children know that he really understands what they’re experiencing and feeling. That will be invaluable.
The fact that I knew he was going to be such an incredible father, was a HUGE part of what made infertility so painful for me. Obviously, there were the selfish reasons of me wanting to be a Mom, but honestly, more than anything, I wanted to make him a Dad. When you love someone enough you want to share your life with them, you want to give them everything, and I couldn’t do that. That killed me.
But luckily, that’s all behind us now, and I’m so grateful that he didn’t let me give up hope of us becoming parents. We’re going to pursue adoption until we have the family we’ve been waiting for, for so long. One day I’ll finally get to see his mad Daddy skills in action. Until then, I’m just going to keep feeling lucky to have him.