Conceive-ment (and other silly made-up phrases)

So.  I have babies on the brain.  And I’m back to the predicament I was in when my husband and I were engaged: I obsess and wallow and analyze endlessly; he changes the subject and makes jokes and tries to not take everything so seriously.

Not too long ago, I was advising a frustrated friend during her engagement to just let her fiance be.

“Engagements are much more interesting to women than men, and anyway, isn’t it more fun to do this with me than with him?  He just doesn’t care about ______, and that’s okay.  We do.”

And so, we did.  We planned and discussed and debated; he was consulted once the options had been whittled down.  I was proud of her, actually, for the way she handled decision-making without turning everything into a big drama.

(Like I did.)

But a year later, I’m back in the same situation.  I want to debate and discuss and wallow; he doesn’t.  So here I am again, blogging.

And I think we need to coin a new term for preparing to be ready to actually want to have kids: conceive-ment.  Or baby-gagement.  Or something.

Any ideas?

Oh, maybe that’s called PREGNANCY… except during pregnancy I expect to be relatively overwhelmed by the changes going on in my body and less able to attempt objectivity.  (Also, hi, I don’t handle even the low-levels hormone surge during ovulating without getting nauseous and can barely manage a decent disagreement with my husband on good days.)

I want a defined period of time (say, a year) in which to come to terms with the changes (in my head) that starting a family will require.  As I mentioned before, I never thought of myself as a mother (much like I’d never considered my role as a wife before my *cough* SECOND MARRIAGE) so I need mental soak time.

{Side note: do people outside of Big Corporations say things like, “soak time” and “at the end of the day” and “give you air cover”?  You know, outside of military people who can use some of those terms honestly?}

I’ll use the time to read books and think thoughts and talk with my husband without any of the pressure of actually trying to conceive (“Now? No?  How about… now? No? How about… now?  No?”).  Sort of like Sara (who feels like a kindred spirit in her need for a plan — except that she acts on said plans and I mostly just… think).

Oh, maybe that’s called MARRIAGE.

Next question: whether to tell my husband that the little bit of obsessing I’m sharing with him might last for a year.


Slightly relevant: I read Jenny McCarthy’s pregnancy book last night on my Kindle and thought it was fluffy, shallow, and not particularly funny at all.  OMGMom Mandy is way funnier and more interesting.


12 thoughts on “Conceive-ment (and other silly made-up phrases)

  1. “I want a defined period of time (say, a year) in which to come to terms with the changes (in my head) that starting a family will require.”

    Nature builds that in. It’s 3/4 of a year (i.e., 9 months).

    Seriously, though, our baby was a surprise, MUCH earlier than planned in our very new marriage, and I had been on the fence about children in the first place. I thanked my lucky stars many, many times that pregnancy lasts 9 months. It took me the 1st trimester to face the idea of motherhood, the 2nd trimester to feel somewhat mentally/emotionally prepared, and by the 3rd I could become genuinely excited.

  2. Lady, you and me both have babies on the brain. I try to keep my fever to a minimum around friends because none of my close friends are at that point in life, but so so many of my family friends and acquaintances definitely are. I am happy just to be thinking out loud and talking with my husband about babies and plans and the good and the bad and my worries for a long time before we actually start trying to make this happen.
    Plus, if we are surprised, we’ve already gotten started on getting ourselves in the right head space to accept it with more joy than fear or anxiety.

    I do think about it a hell of a lot more than I talk about it with him though. I’m maybe too aware or monitor myself or whatever but I feel like I am fine to read and read on my own and share with him things as they naturally (more or less) arise. Like I need something else to start the conversation; a tv show or movie scene or ridiculous name we hear so I can make a comment regarding our kids and go from there with whatever has been on my mind. Kind of like pointing out how rad the inexpensive Ikea kids furniture is when I was browsing the catalog that came in the mail. It started a whole conversation on not just cribs but also toys, philosophy on toys and keeping a home with a kid and sharing responsibilities. In general these conversations tend to end well, with common ground found and a bit more confidence in ourselves that we can do this. When we plan, or if it happens sooner than that.

    You’re funny and so right though when you call this time of talking simply, you know, marriage.

    • @Lindsey Kaye, Yes, exactly. What throws me off is how relaxed he is about the whole thing! Last night we went to dinner and I told him I was slightly obsessed but very ambivalent, and before I knew it we were talking about whether we were ready now.


      On the bright side, it was a frank discussion. I’m not; he is, but without any pressure. He laughed when I said I wanted the basement guest suite habitable before we spawned. “How is that different than saying you can’t have a baby until you want a new car?”

      Fair point.

      So, we’ll keep talking while I fight my urge to “just do it” and figure it out later. I’m trying to finally learn that I’m not ready until I’m excited – and I’m not excited just yet.

      Off to watch more birth videos until I can do so without averting my eyes.

  3. This is one of those things where we woman are so different than (most) men. I like to talk babies ALL the time. Pretty much always have. The hubby – not so into the baby talk. Sure it came up here and there, and when we talk budget babies were always included in the planning. But he gets pretty uncomfortable when I bring up deeper conversations and I can tell he’s just waiting for the conversation to end 🙂 Sometimes I bring them up anyways – but for the most part I save most baby gabbing for girlfriends and my mom. New moms are great -because they love to talk baby as well. Plus I learn SO MUCH. Reading blogs is also a great way to get my baby fix.

    Interestingly he’s much better at conversations that involve our ‘kids’ at older stages in life.

    His favorite phrase revovling around kids is still ‘One and done’ to which I always reply ‘There’s no number smaller than two!’ 🙂

    • @Jilian, That’s interesting – my hubby and his peeps are the same way. They don’t really know what to DO with little babies, but once the kid can play, they’re in their element.

      When our neighbor baby was younger (he’s 19 months old now), Joey didn’t know what to do with him. Now, though, he and the kid’s dad take over completely. They run and chase and play and act silly together. It’s great!

      Me, I’m more of the take-care-of-the-infant type.

      • @Marisa, With 6 nieces/nephews 3 and under T has had some time to get more comfortable. I remember at our wedding I had to basically throw my 2 month old niece at him. And he was SO UNCOMFORTABLE. Now he ‘wants’ to hold them all… once they start crying he’s still pretty quick to pass them off 🙂 The youngest ones have some reflux/spitup issues and he actaully does surprisingly well handling that! He’s still somewhat awkward and uncomfortable when he picks them up and shifts them around in his arms – but it’s VERY SWEET.

        His coworker had a baby Wednesday evening and Thursday morning I get a text saying ‘I held a newborn’ (easy to do since he works at the hospital). I asked how it felt and he said ‘cool’. This is going to be fun!

  4. Another newlywed with babies on the brain here. Fortunately, mine is still coming in waves so I know that if I can stick it out for a couple weeks it will be gone again soon enough, if only for a month.
    We always said “in 5 years” (aiming for when I’m 30) until I realized “holy sh*t. I’m 26 and a half, minus the 9 (10?) months of pregnancy… We do NOT have 5 years!” Which is just as well since I was thinking I wouldn’t last that long anyways.

    Oh and I definitely agree with Tara, there’s a reason babies take 9 months to “cook”!

  5. Totally have babies on the brain. And so does the hubby, he’s the first to tell anyone that our new car can fit two car seats! Which is a little frightening- I am not ready to talk about it in public yet. Realistically (aka if I use my brain), I want to start trying in a year to get all our ducks in a row, but honestly (aka my emotional side), I would welcome a happy accident. We shall see- I never thought that being a level headed person would be a down fall.

  6. Hi Marisa,

    I’m a long time reader-follower (all the way back to WB days), but first time commenter. (Aside: I really love your writing style and your blog in general!)

    Before I met my husband I never really thought I’d have kids. It’s not that I didn’t want them, I just couldn’t picture myself, as you say, as a mother. However, I couldn’t even picture myself married, but lo and behold I am 😉

    When my husband and I got married, we’d decided to wait a set amount of time before trying to get pregnant. Careers, finances, housing, and whatnot just needed to be “taken care of.” Plus, neither of us felt ready at that moment in time. My husband was not uncomfortable, just not totally at ease, around kids — even though he wants them eventually. He seemed all awkward and like he didn’t know what to do with a baby or young child. (Hell, most of the time babies looked at him and cried for no apparent reason… Likely a sign that the time wasn’t right.) I wanted to advance my career and was too busy with other things to want kids then.

    But, after a year of marriage we found ourselves talking … when will we know when the time is right? Is wanting kids one day but not the next just a phase? And then back again to how will we know the time is right? And what if the set amount of time we talked about wasn’t right for us?

    I’m the analyzer-researcher, obsessing over every details type, so recognizing the signs for “now’s the time” seemed so important for me to figure out. That’s why I was totally surprised when one day (a few months after our one-year conversation) it was just like a switch went off in my brain — my body, my heart, my mind were all telling me “yep, now’s the time.” (Talk about that biological clock ticking!) And, when I broached the subject again with my husband he was feeling the same way. (No longer feeling awkward around babies, actually smiling at them and interacting with them.) So much for that pre-set timeline.

    Unfortunately for us, it turns out that simply starting to try isn’t the next step in our path towards pregnancy (and parenthood) because we have to go for genetic screening. While this is delaying our plans in the short term, we’re okay with this, though I don’t know that I’m brave enough to fill the time til our appointment watching birth videos!

  7. I think soak time before a big change is a great thing…and sometimes once I hit onto an obsessive big change, I think the only way to resolve it is to make a decision. But it’s not. Soak time is.

  8. I call it being “clucky” — it’s apparently a term well-used in Australia, referring to a mother hen. I think and fret and desire and talk myself in and out of having a baby right around ovulation. I’m clucky.

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