My husband and I are trying to make a baby. I don’t know anything more grueling than trying for a baby. There are the well-meaning/oblivious comments (“What do you mean it’s hard? Don’t you like having sex?”), doing things that would have baffled my pre-conception self (staring at used toilet paper as if it’s a Rorschach test, “Now what kind of mucous is this?”) and the hopefulness that turns to despair if the red tide rolls in.
I’ve been on this ride for almost a year now. About five months ago, I started doubting that my partner and I would ever be able to get things started. I was a mess. It wasn’t pretty. I think a big stressor for me is that a lot of the baby-making responsibility rests on my uterus. I’m the only one who can take my temp in the morning. I’m the one tracking my symptoms. And I’m the Bad News Bear when my period shows up.
I was tired of feeling like I was letting my partner down. It didn’t matter that I knew he was disappointed in the situation and not with me. I still felt responsible. I didn’t need him to say anything, I needed him to act. So I gave him a responsibility: I asked him to do something for the nursery-to-be. Whatever he wanted. What I was really looking for was reassurance that he thought we’d get there eventually.
My wonderful partner scoured the city and brought home a stuffed otter. It was perfect. I LOVE otters and the fact that they hold hands so they don’t float apart… well that left me teary-eyed. Most of all, it gave me hope that my partner truly believed that this was going to work out for us. Since then, we try to do something for the nursery every month.
It doesn’t have to be anything big or costly. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Pick up a favourite children’s book
- Get pictures/art framed
- Complete one of the countless DIY projects you’ve pinned on Pinterest
- Clear out the storage locker/garage (and make room for future baby gear)
- Donate or sell unused furniture clogging up that room (workout equipment, old furniture you’ve held onto “just in case”);
- Make an extra contribution to the baby fund (maybe from your Craigslist or Kijiji profits);
- Move things around (we used to keep our cat’s litter box in the library/nursery-to-be);
- General upgrades (repainting, installing a new light fixture, putting up shelves, adding a door); and,
- Consider the many options available for big ticket items and discuss what would fit your family’s needs (for us, with only 750 sq. feet to work with, it’s a real game of Tetris).
I really feel that by preparing the space, we’re preparing ourselves. Another bonus is that since we’ve started sprucing up the library/nursery-to-be, we’ve been getting a lot more use out of it.
This extended nesting might not work for everyone, but it’s a ritual that calms me, and it helps my partner and I feel like we’re both part of the process. So if you’re feeling a little lost and overwhelmed, maybe look for your own little otter to hold your hand.