This story begins give or take at the end of October 2021.
My French friend Flor, who I had originally met in Rio, came to visit me here in Florianopolis.
After he stayed with me, the plan was to go back to Rio and spend some time there as well. A good chunk of people whom I had not seen since I moved to Florianopolis, were all now back in Rio.
I jumped at the opportunity to see everyone, and after Flor left my house, I too got on a flight to Rio.
I landed November 5th and the plan was to spend a week there. Had the weekend to catch up with some people and work out of a co-working space.
The following Monday afternoon, after I had finished working for the day, I gave my girlfriend Maria a call while walking back home. Wanted to chat and catch up with her, chat and simply check-in.
She immediately began by saying she had been feeling vertigo and a headache all day. She was feeling off and in some pain.
For context, she has had migraines in the past and headaches are something that happen relatively frequently. I assumed it was related to this.
All the same, throughout the remainder of that week I called her every day after work. While the headaches and vertigo were there, it was under more control and diminishing. She went to the doctor and got some meds and was feeling better.
While a bit worried, there was no reason for alarm yet. We kept an eye on it and by the time I was back in Florianopolis everything was ok.
Fast forward now to the end of November. All is normal and it’s a regular day.
I finish up a call with a client, turn my phone off of airplane mode, and I have a text from Maria saying she wants me to call her.
I give her a call and she was emotional. She went on to explain that she took a blood test, and well…it came back that she was pregnant.
I couldn’t believe it. I was in disbelief. Pregnant? No way.
I told Maria there are often false positives. Let’s buy another test and take it and see what happens. Until then, stay calm.
Well, she went home and took it, and it came back that indeed, she was pregnant.
I asked her to talk things through face to face. To come over to my house and take it from there. I didn’t want to have this type of conversation together over the phone, in times like these face to face contact is essential.
All the same – we now had two separate tests confirming that Maria was pregnant.
Now for the fun context – we are not married. We met the previous year in January. Dating by July. It’s now end of November and she is pregnant. Less than a year since we met each other.
Well, that happened quickly!
What was my immediate gut reaction?
If you are familiar with Seinfeld, it was a total George Castanza, “I DID IT! MY BOYS CAN SWIM!” moment.
For more context – Maria had been told by her doctor that if she wants to have children one day, she would have a hard time getting pregnant. She has an irregular cycle and would frequently not get her period for months at a time. Some type of Ovarian issue.
I as well have something called a Varicocele on my left testicle. I was told by doctors this could complicate my ability to get someone pregnant as well.
On top of this, Maria was also on birth control.
Low chances that this could happen, but I slipped one past the goalie all the same.
And while the initial thrill of the knowing my boys can swim, the reality, the weight of it all, began to settle in on me.
Holy shit – I might be a father.
So yes surprising and unlikely but all the same – there is a baby in that tummy and we have a decision to make together.
The next thing to handle was what I wanted to say to Maria. I had to choose these next words carefully.
My gut told me to tell her, “I don’t want to say anything in either direction, because I don’t want to influence your thinking. It’s your body and life, it’s your decision. I want you to be able to fully express yourself, without having my thinking influence yours – afterwards we can talk it through together.”
And that’s what I said.
She expressed doubts in both directions. Felt torn. Had reasons for and against.
Her gut though? Her intuition? She was leaning towards wanting to keep it already by about 80-20.
I could see that she was afraid of the abortion side. For context, it’s illegal here in Brazil. You can find ways to do it, but doing it is a crime, and you have to find them through less traditional methods let’s say. It’s a bit sketchy.
There are definitely ways to safely do it but she knew people that had followed through and their regrets of doing it, and she knew that she didn’t want to go down that path.
She largely just needed time to sit, cry, and let the right thoughts float to the surface. That’s what we did.
My thoughts and feelings here?
As I started to write this a handful of thoughts and ideas jumped out at me. Not necessarily reasons or justifications for why I wanted to have the baby, but moreso filters and lenses that I looked at the decision through. Frameworks that I used for decision making. Checking in with my values and what I want most out of life. The following are a handful of the predominant thoughts that came to mind as I sat down to riff on this subject
Being 100% honest – I was always leaning towards yes. I just frankly couldn’t imagine myself going down the abortion path. Having a child scares the shit out of me (still does even after he is now born as I write this), but it was a path I could envision, a path that brought up positive feelings. Something that deep down, I knew I want.
The major thoughts in my head were as follows –
When Opportunity Knocks, I answer.
A major life philosophy and value of mine is that when opportunity knocks, I answer.
I have always lived a “do it now because you might not get another opportunity” type of mindset.
Opportunity knocks? I’m not taking it for granted. I don’t know if this is going to happen again. I’m going to jump at it.
I’ve ironically already written a blog about this a handful of years back. Opportunities often present themselves when we’re unprepared. Reading it now still resonates and echoes with me.
It deals with the reasons why you should jump at an opportunity, whether you are ready or not. If you know it’s something that you want, you have to go for it.
Largely as well the predominant reason why someone wouldn’t jump at the opportunity?
People often tell themselves “it’s not the right timing. Not the right moment. Not yet. Not ready. Not now. Eventually. When this or when that.”
Whatever the reason, now just isn’t the right time to do it.
Being in sales is fun because I hear this one all the time. People who want to buy but just aren’t ready and need some time. Or they want to buy but want to do it when they get this magical space that they have never been able to get. Or when they get out of this or that life circumstance.
LOL. It’s all bullshit in my opinion.
“I really want to do this but now just isn’t the right time. I have X, Y, Z and those are getting in the way, and once I can clear our X and Y I’ll have some extra time to work on this.”
“I want to lose weight but I have a bunch of weddings and holidays coming up and this is the worst time of year for me so I’ll get started come September when that is all finished.”
“I want to travel and see the world but right now I have all of these things that I need to do here…I’ll travel later on in life once I have more money”
You get the point.
People will always have a reason as to why “now”, “just isn’t the right time.”
People always want to wait for the right timing and circumstances.
And I get it. In their minds they have genuinely convinced themselves that this is the case. They BELIEVE that it really isn’t the right timing and they just CANT do it right now.
Guess what though? It’s bullshit.
If it were actually important to you, if this were truly a priority, you wouldn’t wait. You would do it now.
If you’re willing to wait, it just means that it’s not that important to you. It’s not a priority.
If the doctor told you tomorrow that you have cancer and you need to make a change, would you make that change starting tomorrow, or would you wait?
Exactly. Timing is a myth that we create in our minds. You would/could do it, if it were important enough to you.
The meandering point here is that so many people postpone their happiness for some distant day in the future “when” the right circumstances arise – and for most people that day never comes.
It also takes opportunities for granted. It’s the “ah it can happen again in the future”, like it’s some guarantee.
It’s not a guarantee. You might not ever get this opportunity again. Don’t take it for granted.
That’s how I live my life. I don’t postpone my happiness and dreams for some future distant date that might not ever arrive.
That’s why I traveled straight out of college. Started a business. Did meditation retreats and plant medicine ceremonies. Live in Brazil. Why I walk on Highline slacklines.
So when the baby came I asked myself, “Is this something that you eventually want in life? Do you want to be a father? Do you want to have a child?”
The resounding answer was yes. I knew that I wanted to be a father.
And with this philosophy in mind, if the opportunity was there, I had to jump at it.
I couldn’t use the bullshit timing and readiness objection. I knew that this was something that I eventually wanted in my life. I wanted to be a father. I wanted to have a child. I wanted to be a husband and be in a loving relationship.
It’s as if the universe said to me, “this is what you wanted? Here you go!” BAM!
Here it is right in front of you for the taking! You gonna grab it? Everything you want in life, just earlier than you expected it to arrive? You gonna take it?!
Yes, this is an opportunity I can’t afford to say no to.
A quote that comes to mind here is Oprah Winfrey. She said something along the lines of “When love doesnt show up in the gift wrapping we expected, we turn it away.” Meaning that love often shows up on our doorstep and smacks us in the face, but because it didn’t look how we expected, we deny it or turn away from it.
Similarly this isn’t how I expected to become a father, but if the gift lands on my doorstep, you know I have to accept it!
So when thinking about whether or not to have this child, I knew I wanted to be a father and I wanted to have a child, I knew that “now isn’t the right time” or “We can try again in the future” is bullshit – so I answered the door when opportunity knocked.
The next insight that came to mind was –
“If your life was a book, would people want to read it?”
A life philosophy of mine/A lens I look at life through is “If your life was a book, would people want to read it?”
When I look back on my life, there’s always been this little voice in my head that asks myself this question in moments of big decisions.
It’s not that I necessarily want to write a book. No. Maybe one day, but I’m not doing things for a physical book to be published.
It’s about a life well lived. Having a memorable story. An exciting life full of rich experiences.
I think of Forest Gump. A man who truly lived a wide breadth and depth of experience. A man who succeeded in various aspects of life. A story that was full of intrinsic pursuit, that became a good story as a reflection of a life well lived.
When I look back on my life, and I look back on the menu of experiences that life has to offer, I’ve lived a dope ass life. A life of travel and adventure. A life well lived.
At least so far 😉
I’ve done a lot in these short 33 years. Argentina to Korea to India to Malaysia to Brazil. Entrepreneurship and Meditation and Plant Medicines and Neuroscience. Now I get to be a father and see all of the stories that creates as well!
So when I knocked up Maria I thought to myself, “well hey, at least this will be another great chapter in Troy Story!”
Not only that – I not only have my own story, but I’m creating the conditions for my son to create a story of his own. For him to find his own calling and Hero’s Journey. His own rich life full of experiences.
I want him to experience the wonders and adventures of the world. I want to teach him about a life well lived. A life of passion, enthusiasm, creativity, adventure, and more! I get to live out my mission of being the deliveryman of experiences.
When I think of the “menu of experiences that life has to offer” – having a child is one of the most special things that someone can do. It’s a whole different level to this life shit.
And although people say that all the time and it sounds clichè, there’s really no way to understand it until you have lived it for yourself.
Which brings me to the next philosophy that entered my mind…
Try it for myself
As I write this I think to myself that another mindset I’ve lived out is the mindset of “I want to try it for myself” or “I want to see for myself”.
You can tell me all you want about how delicious your dish is, but until I have eaten it myself, I can’t really say what the experience of tasting it was like. Until that bite hits my mouth, it’s all speculation and here-say.
Similarly you can tell me all about your experience, but until I have done it for myself, I can’t really say if I like it or not.
When I look back on my life, this is how I have lived. I’ve never really went by what other people said and what their subjective experience was like. I only trusted my own lived experience.
I didn’t want to hear about what Argentina was like, I wanted to go there and experience it for myself. I didn’t want to hear and read about Ayahuasca experiences, I wanted to try it for myself and report back to the world.
Becoming a father is the same. I want that experience for myself. I want to know what it’s like to raise my son, from my own lived experience.
And I can confidently say it’s the most delicious plate on the menu I have tried to date😉
These first three months have already been the richest moments of my life. Absolutely beautiful. Challenging and exhausting but rich and rewarding.
Which brings me to the next line of thinking that entered into my noggin…
Doing difficult shit is the secret to happiness
A thought that naturally rises to the surface for any potential parent is “this is going to be difficult.”
Everyone tells you how challenging it is to have a baby. Get used to not sleeping and being moody all the time. It’s a drag and it’s exhausting.
All of these reasons why things are going to be “difficult”.
I have a philosophy in life though, and that philosophy is that “doing difficult shit is the secret to happiness.”
Allow me to explain.
I believe that there is no greater feeling of satisfaction, of fulfillment, of accomplishment, of happiness, than to try something new, suck at it, fail repeatedly, and then eventually overcome your failures and succeed.
That feeling of success when you finally get it right after all of your hard work and struggle – THAT is what people are searching for in life.
Seeing yourself grow, improve, overcome adversity – is what makes you feel good about yourself. It gives you a sense of accomplishment. It’s what builds confidence. You have proof that you are expanding and evolving as an individual. Evidence of growth and learning.
On the filpside though most people avoid doing difficult shit. And most people aren’t very happy either…
Here’s why – inactivity and avoiding difficulty just means you’re not growing. And if you’re not growing, I’d argue it’s really hard to be genuinely happy.
Think about it like this – whenever we don’t have a positive self image, it’s usually in relation to an area of our life where we’re slacking – where we’re not seeing growth and evolution. An area we would like to improve or change.
That desired change – causes dissatisfaction. It nags at us and prevents us from being TRULY happy until we’ve taken care of that change.
But guess what – go attack that area of your life, struggle for a while, finally see some small improvements – and you’ll feel a hell of a lot better. Seeing progress in an area you previously struggled in – will make you feel awesome.
Throw in a dash of neuroscience – when we see growth or improvement in any area of our life – we see an increase in dopamine. That dopamine makes us feel good. Makes us want to repeat the habit again. Now your brain is thinking, hey if I reach a new height I’ll get another hit!
Then we get addicted to improving. We get addicted to seeing our own growth and evolution.
Over time, it just becomes a way of living. Instead of difficulty being something to run away from, it becomes a sign post to run towards.
As Joe Rogan said, “Doing difficult things makes regular life less difficult.” Also as Jerzy Gregorek said, “Easy decisions, hard life. Hard decisions, easy life.”
If you can learn to enjoy doing difficult things, when life’s challenges arise you merely lean into the challenge. You enjoy problem solving. The previously difficult is now enjoyable and meaningful. Every problem becomes an opportunity.
Difficult shit helps us to grow. Doing difficult things helps us to become more resilient. Growth and resiliency then gives us happiness. The pursuit of constant growth becomes fulfillment.
I want to live a life where I am constantly doing difficult things, growing, learning, and evolving. I want the path to greatest growth, even if it’s filled with difficulty and struggle.
ESPECIALLY because it’s filled with difficulty and struggle.
In this context one of the filters I use to make decisions is, “what will help me to grow the most?”
Undoubtedly the exponential growth curve lies in having a child and becoming a father. This is the path that will lead to the greatest growth curve.
Yes, it will be difficult. But that difficulty is enjoyable. It’s raising a child. My son. It will be challenging but it will be meaningful and the joy that lies on the other side of that difficulty will be the greatest joy that life has to offer.
I’ll put it this way – I got my ass kicked for 3 years on a highline slackline before I really started walking. Once I finally started calmly walking, I cried. That feeling of finally overcoming the challenge and succeeding at something that less than 1% of the world can do – was the greatest feeling of personal accomplishment I ever experienced.
So if highlining was able to give me that type of high – I’m so so so curious to see what lies on the other side of the difficulties of raising a child.
If his smiles and laughs are already any indicator – It’s going to be a beautiful journey together. 🙂
Next up in my reasons for why I wanted to have a child…
I wouldn’t have gotten into the relationship if I couldn’t envision having a family together.
Even before we got together, I always said to myself that I wouldn’t get into a relationship with someone who I can’t envision starting a family with. If I didn’t see long term potential, I wouldn’t be in a relationship to begin with.
I saw those qualities of being an incredible mother in her. I saw how loving and nurturing she is. I could see the long term potential together.
So even before this happened, I had asked myself, if this did happen, would this be someone you are ok with? And that answer was yes.
I had the confidence to say yes to having this child, because I had the confidence in my partner. I love her. If I did not love her in the way that I do, If I did not believe in her capacity to become a great mother, then I wouldn’t be so ready to say yes to this opportunity.
I’ll say that again, because I need to emphasize it. I love her. So fucking much. I feel it in my heart and soul!
I think I’ve said this before but love is funny because it’s simply a feeling. I could rationalize all the reasons why I love her, but thats just my mind making sense of the world (or trying to). But I feel the love. It’s tangible. In a way that I struggle to fully express in my writing still.
I believe in that love. I put my faith in that love.
At the risk of sounding cliché, sometimes you just have to follow your heart. Love is a powerful force that makes us do crazy things.
(As I edit this 6 months after Don is born, our love has only grown stronger and deeper 🙂 )
and last but not least in this meandering exploration of Troyosophy –
I am the creator of my own reality –
For good or for bad, I accept that I am the creator of my reality. My thoughts, decisions, and actions will determine the quality of my life.
I accept and own my responsibility for the creation of this baby.
I created this reality for myself, and I hold myself accountable for those decisions and actions.
I am also the creator of my future from here. Through my thoughts, decisions and actions once again.
Whether my life is heaven or hell from this point on lies within my hands.
I have the opportunity to build a beautiful life with everything I’ve ever wanted. I’m going to seize that opportunity. Try that experience for myself. Lean into what is difficult
…And create a dope fucking future with a badass wife and a kickass son!!!
I am the creator, or destructor, of that reality. I have faith in myself to bring that positive reality to fruition. To rise to the occasion and do an incredible job of being the best father and partner I can be.
Most importantly, that vision excites and inspires me. It’s the greatest journey I could ever ask to embark upon. A journey I will thoroughly enjoy🙂
Back to Pregnancy
Circling alllllll the way back here now to pregnancy once again (haha!!!) –
We decided that the next steps were twofold. 1) Find an obstetrician to check on the baby and 2) Tell her parents.
Doctor – I did a quick search, found a handful, reached out to them all, judged their responses, scheduled some meetings and bam, we found our woman. Top notch one of the best here in Floripa and we felt like we had our all star team in place. At least that one was easy.
Next step was to talk to her parents.
When we told her mom she instantly started crying. Her only words were, “I’m gonna be a grandma!”
Her father was the bigger step though. He’s not quite all there mentally either, so we weren’t sure how he would react.
All the same, she marched up the stairs, pulled her father aside, and told him the news. He said something along the lines of “he works, he’s got a job? Doesn’t smoke? You’re good then. He can take care of you.”
Shortly after he came downstairs to chat with me. All he really said was “monkey see monkey do”, be careful of what you do in front of the child and what example you show, because they will copy you.
This was the big hurdle for Maria. She felt much more comfortable now. In her mind the decision was largely made and all signs were pointing towards keeping it.
Next up was my family. As I just mentioned, at this point it was still a “decision” to be made, but there wasn’t really much of a decision. We were already planning on keeping the baby. All the same I framed it to my family as if it was still a decision to be made so that I could get their honest thoughts.
It was mixed reviews from everyone. My parents were supportive. My mom was excited to be a grandma, but she also has concerns about me living in Brazil and how much she will be able to see the child, be a part of his life. She wished I was home in the US and could be closer so that she could have more interaction. My Dad felt the same way, but also added in his rational flavor of the overall weight of the decision, the responsibility and risk of it all. Voiced concerns that were all valid.
On the brotherly side I had one brother who was overwhelmingly supportive, celebrative, and was really excited for me. The other not so much. He had a lot of concerns, all valid. Many of his friends who have children have not had the greatest of outcomes, and he was worried for me to pass through something similar.
All valid reservations, good concerns. That’s what you really want from your family all the same. To get honest feedback. Tell you how it is, even if you don’t want to hear it. Help you to think everything through from all angles.
That’s what everyone did. My family genuinely showed up in that moment, and I’m grateful for it. There was a lot of love and support.
Ultimately when I voiced our decision to go through with it and have the baby, they were immediately supportive all the same. They may or may not have agreed with the decision, but once that decision was made there was no looking back. From there it quickly turned into – “what can I do to support/how can I help?”
And just like that…we’re having a baby!🙂
At this point it was around Thanksgiving time in the states. Maria was around 8 weeks pregnant. That’s when I told my family the news.
From that point on, if I had to break down the rest of pregnancy and try to cut the story down a bit from here, it unraveled as follows…
Early on Maria moved in with me to live at my house. This just made everything a hell of a lot easier.
First trimester she initially had a lot of nausea and vomiting, a lot of headaches as well. Lots of sleeping. Changes in eating habits included lots of grape popsicles, coca cola, Subway, and kit-kats. All of the sudden she would get viciously nauseous when she smelled coffee, eggs, and shrimp (some of her favorite foods).
2nd trimester was more chill. Not as much nausea and again – lot’s of sleeping. When she wasn’t sleeping or exhausted, we walked a lot as well. Walks to the beach and trails together with the dog. Did a good job of staying active and giving each other a lot of love. Lots of the same eating habits too. The two of us crushed some really solid meals, eating was maybe the best part of pregnancy lol!
3rd trimester is when the discomfort popped back in again, intensely. Now she was feeling the baby, feeling him kicking and moving around. Feeling the weight she was carrying around. Harder to walk around and be as active. Shortness in breath. TONS of sleeping in this window of time as well.
Throughout pregnancy we got along really well together. No arguments or fights, great conversations and we maintained an active sex life together well into the depths of pregnancy. I joke that the baby needed “vitamin A (amor – love), and O(orgasm). He got plenty of it! AYOOOO!!!!😉
If anything though it was like we pushed the accelerator button on our relationship and got to know each other a lot better a lot faster.
We worked through small quirks and irks we had for each other. Or I should say that she had of mine…
For example she called me out on some of my bad habits – things like zoning out while listening, going on monologues when I talk, always thinking I’m right – The funny thing is that these are things I’ve always known I do. Things other people have complained about too. But I never really wanted to change. I never had a strong enough desire to motivate me to. But knowing that this is something that was upsetting her? Something that was causing her to feel bad or was creating a disconnect? No. I don’t want to do anything that would make her feel that way. I want to do things that make her feel happy. Heard. Loved. For her? For the love of my life and the mother of my child? I’ll change that shit in the snap of a finger. Easy.
And I did. I can honestly say that I grew a lot and improved during pregnancy. Grew up a lot. Became the man I knew I needed to become. Put a lot of these childish and mindless bad habits behind me.
I always say that I won’t make the same mistake twice. If you call me out on something that annoys you and tell me to stop doing it, it won’t happen again. Pregnancy was like an opportunity to work on my faults one by one and knock them off the list before my child comes into this world.
Overall though I’d say that throughout pregnancy there were two major changes to my lifestyle and life overall.
I’ve always been someone who has a lot of alone time. When I think back on all of my journeys, all of the planes, trains, busses etc that I took for 8 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours – all alone. Adventures in new countries – all alone. The vast majority of meals I’ve eaten in the last decade – alone.
Every morning I’d wake up in silence. Meditate. Have a 3 hour morning routine by myself on the beach. At night I’d have space by myself to do what I want. I work remotely and for most of the last few years I had few teammates.
All in all – I spent the vast majority of my days alone.
And don’t get me wrong – I LOVE it. I enjoy my own company. I’m my own best friend.
When pregnancy hit and Maria moved in – poof. In the snap of a finger most of my alone time and space vanished.
Suddenly I was expected to talk to someone in the morning. Talk to someone at night after working.
That was a huge shift for me. Still is.
I’m someone who wakes up really slowly. I love silence and long slow morning routines. Equally after a long day of work I like to disconnect. I spend all day talking to people on the phone and listening. I don’t really have a lot of energy left over afterwards to listen and converse meaningfully, nor do I want to.
Now with someone else living with me, I had to be present at hours and times of the day I normally didn’t need to. Hours that were also simply my space to do what I want.
Now, I didn’t necessarily HAVE to be present at those hours. I didn’t HAVE TO give up my a lot of my solitude.
I wanted to.
Which brings us to the next major change from pregnancy and now even into birth and beyond…
In that vein of spending a lot of time alone, naturally that leads to becoming a bit selfish.
Being 100% honest – I’m a selfish fuck. I only really care about my own needs, what I want to do, how I feel. I don’t like having to take others into consideration, I like to just consult with me.
I’ve always been a big believer of putting on my own gas mask first so to say. Also a big believer in serving only from my overflow – meaning I need to fill my own cup first and then help you with my excess spillover energy, without depleting any of my own cup.
With a pregnant partner and a baby on the way though – that’s just not going to fly anymore. I needed to change. I wanted to change.
I wanted to shift to being more self-less. Putting the needs of someone else before my own. Doing something because I know it will help someone else feel better, even if I don’t necessarily want to do it.
I wanted to be present for Maria in the mornings so that I could start us both off for the day with the right energy. I wanted to converse with her at night to close the day well too. Most importantly – I just know that she enjoys it. It makes her happy. Her love language is shared time together. She just likes spending time together and talking together and that makes her happy.
As they say – happy wife, happy life! So in that vein of wanting to see her happy, I was willing to put my own need for solitude to the side. Her and the baby are the priority, and that’s what needed to be prioritized accordingly.
I’d say that has really been the biggest shift for me since pregnancy – putting her needs and desires in front of my own. Having the mindset of “How can I help make your life easier?”, rather than leaving the person to figure it out for themselves.
Now don’t get me wrong either, it’s not like I am burying my own needs here, as that wouldn’t be healthy either. I take very good care of myself. I know how to make sure that I get all of my needs fulfilled. I eat well. Sleep well. Train hard. In tip top shape. I’m good.
Knowing that I’m good enables me to get everyone else to that level as well. Knowing that I can and will take amazing care of myself, gives me the confidence to take care of everyone else too.
If there’s any one piece of advice that I could share to anyone who is an expectant father with a pregnant wife/partner – do everything in your power to make her life as easy and seamless as possible. It will make your life a lot better as well, and it will build a very strong relationship.
On the flipside I’ve heard a lot of stories from people whose marriages didn’t work out, and more frequently than not it was due to arguments during pregnancy or within the first year of childbirth. I feel like if you can work through that period of ~2 years or so and get through it together, it’s a huge milestone to hit together. If you’re going to experience big problems, it happens in this window. That’s why it’s so important to work on yourself and do everything in your power to help your partner get through pregnancy as easily as possible.
This is much of the mindset that I adopted throughout pregnancy and now even into fatherhood. I believe it’s what has helped me most to evolve and become the next version of myself that I needed to become – a father.
Well, like many of my braindumps, I feel like I have reached a place of finality with this one. Feel like I got most of my thoughts out around the decision to have the baby, what pregnancy was like, and my thoughts along the way.
Naturally there are details here that I’ve left out as well. A lot of the small day to day stuff. The talking to the belly and playing music, the doctors visits, the reading books and taking courses, all that sort of shit. We had a Doula in case anyone is curious about that part. Nothing really jumps out at me there though.
I guess the last thing I’d like to share, because I don’t think that I have conveyed this properly so far – is that pregnancy sucks – for the woman. Your body undergoes rapid changes on a daily basis. It’s near constant discomfort and exhaustion. A depletion of all of your neurochemistry. It’s not fun.
It might come across like pregnancy was “chill” for us because I wasn’t the one carrying around a 3 kilo baby for 9 months. I was just trying to help my partner get through a challenging time to the best of our abilities.
Even now as I write this 6 months into Don’s life, Maria still doesn’t really like to talk about or think about pregnancy. Still too recent for her. It’s a topic we don’t revisit very much….if that’s any indicator.
But like I mentioned before – doing difficult shit, and coming out on the other side afterwards, is the secret to happiness. If you treat pregnancy as an experience that sucks, it will suck and be painful. If you use it as an opportunity for growth and lean into the challenge, you will leave on the other side with a much healthier and stronger relationship. Mindset matters.
With that, I think I’m done for now. I hope you enjoyed this post that was way too long and not actually about pregnancy 😛
Up next, The Story of Don’s Birth 😉