Trying To Conceive
It’s the red hair that keeps me going
By: Jennifer Canzoneri
My husband and I are trying to get pregnant. And so far, about five months in, we’re still trying. When we made the decision, those five months ago, I struggled with whether or not to keep the news to ourselves or to be open and honest with the people in our lives (and with, well, the Internet). So many people began asking us after the wedding when we’d begin trying for a baby, and for a while we gave a generic answer, “Oh, eventually. Right now we’re just enjoying the practice.”
But soon enough I got sick of pretending it wasn’t a major thought in our minds. So I started telling people we were, in fact, trying, but I was drinking champagne because so far the trying was just leading to more trying. (Let this be a lesson: don’t ask the hard questions unless you’re prepared for the crazy woman to offer you an honest answer.)
It’s been an up-and-down journey, with lots of hoping and waiting and staying positive and getting frustrated and questioning how much we really want this because it’s hard to go down a path without knowing exactly how long it extends. If I could know that achieving our dream would take exactly two years and three months, I’d hold on for the duration of the journey. But, unfortunately, we can’t know. It could happen this week. It may never happen. We have to come to some sort of acceptance with that.
I think the one thing I keep holding onto is the chance that our baby will have my husband’s beautiful red hair. His hair is not too orange or too painfully bright; it’s a perfect dark, reddish-brown color. It’s almost physical how much I want him to pass it along to our uncreated child—boy or girl. I can sometimes close my eyes and see a little kid, toddling about, with a mop of that dark red hair, and all the stresses and frustrations that come along with unsuccessfully trying to conceive are instantly quieted and calmed.
I asked Mike yesterday what he hoped our future kid would get from me, and he said some sweet things (sense of humor, kindness, etc), but he also mentioned he hoped our kid could bypass his reading genes and make a bee-line straight for my ability to pick up a book and three hours later be completely done. I laughed at that, and he cringed at my desire for a redheaded baby.
It’s a rather fun game—”What Do We Want Our Kid to Get from Us”—and a game I imagine gets more exciting and more real when you see a second pink line on the test stick. We play it often, actually, and it keeps us warm on those tough days when it really does seem like everyone is getting pregnant but us.
Even though our kid may not get his red hair, I will tell him or her one day how the mere thought of it kept me holding on during a particularly hard time for me.
Tell us: What do you hope your uncreated child will get from you or your partner?