Features

Guest Feature: So You’re “Trying To Have A Baby”

Words by Guest Contributor: Xavier Toby


Last week I caught up with two old high school friends, and their wives.

They’re in their mid-thirties, same as me, but unlike me have houses, furniture that’s not made from milk crates, and adequately paying jobs.

I was there for the free food and wine, and because I occasionally like to check in with those I have little in common with, to observe how they navigate through this life. It’s the same reason I go to the zoo and stare at the people there.

The majority of things that come out of these people’s mouths are utterly unmemorable – imagine silence, but an annoying silence. Then they’ll come out with something amazing.

Last week Dan and Camilla interrupted pre-dinner drinks by tapping their glasses, standing up, and holding hands. Then Dan announced, ‘We just want everyone to know that Camilla and I are trying to have a baby.’

Now I know it’s a thing people say, I just never expected anyone I know to ever say it.

The other couple there, they started whooping and cheering and I joined in, because I was too shocked to formulate my own reaction.

You’re having unprotected sex. I sort of already guessed, but how dare you make me think about you two doing it. Disgusting.

Since when is ‘trying to have a baby’ something worth announcing to the world?

Tell your friends for if you need help, especially if you need help figuring out what goes where. Even see a professional if you’re having trouble with it.

Maybe it’s so weird to me because most of the people I know have spent their entire adult lives trying not to have a baby.

And why were we celebrating? It’s not like Dan and Camilla have actually achieved anything yet. Nobody has a party before they’ve run a marathon, or climbed Everest. You have the party afterwards, to save yourself the embarrassment in case you don’t make it.

By announcing that you’re trying to have a baby you’ve just opened yourself up to so much pressure, and so many embarrassing questions that I will never ask, and I never want to hear answered.

Then trying for a baby, that’s a bit different to running a marathon or climbing a mountain. Those are two things that take skill and training. While for most people, making a baby is something they do when drunk and by accident. That’s the way my parents did it, and every birthday my Mum takes great amusement in watching me squirm, as she reminds me that I was a beautiful accident. Then Dad has even more fun, by reminded me that I only exist because neither of them could be bothered walking to the drawer.

Birthdays are another reason nobody should celebrate the trying. If and when it does happen, our birth is the single most celebrated event on earth. Annually. It’s literally called your birth-day.

So after the whooping and cheering had subsided, I gathered myself and told Dan and Camilla, ‘Well done you, for using your bodies to do exactly what they’re designed for. For attempting something that millions of people around the world manage every day, and don’t feel the need to tell anyone.’

Or I would have said that, except the appetizers hadn’t come out yet, there was a full wine rack in the corner, and I’m not a complete idiot.