We have something to share that’s very important to us, but wholly unrelated to updates about Walt Disney World or Disneyland vacation planning. Nevertheless, we wanted to post about it because it’s major life news for us, and this is largely a personal blog.
Many of you have been with us since the beginning and truly feel like friends. You saw us a struggling college students, joined as we became engaged at Walt Disney World way back in 2007, got married, and honeymooned at Walt Disney World in 2010. You’ve spent many early mornings and late nights in the parks with us, like the photo above from August 2009. You’ve been along for the wild ride as we moved cross-country…several times…with Yossarian the Cat and Walter E. Dogsney, who are both as spunky as ever at ages 14 and 15 and only took a brief break from play-fighting for the photo below–the best of many outtakes!
You’ve been there as we’ve grown together, and we consider you all part of the DTB family. Even if you’re a more recent reader, it’s fair to say that we have all been through a lot together in the last few years. Well, now you’re about to embark upon another journey as we begin the next chapter and grow even further, this time in the literal sense…
We are incredibly excited to share with you all that we are expecting a baby! This has been a big secret to keep over the last several months, and you’re among the first people we’ve told. We are over the moon and our hearts are filled with happiness as we’ve begun this new journey. It’s been quite the emotional whirlwind for far longer, for reasons we’ll get into below.
It’s also been overwhelming, as we devour every parenting book and try to learn everything we need to know. We go from moments of pure elation–like feeling those first kicks–to true terror as we think about how on earth we’re going to babyproof this or that. Of course, we know these feelings are hardly unique or unprecedented. It seems like everyone goes through this, and the prevailing wisdom is that “it’ll be fine–you’ll figure it out.”
But if you’re learned anything from this blog, it’s that we’re planners. We like to test different strategies and iterate until achieving perceived perfection. That works better when it comes to rope dropping Magic Kingdom than it does for raising a human, it would seem. If an Early Entry approach doesn’t work, it can be retested the next day. The stakes are slightly higher here, so “you’ll figure it out as you go” are not exactly reassuring words.
Worried as we are sometimes, we’re also anxiously awaiting the opportunity to figure it out. To meet our baby. Learn about who they are. See their unique idiosyncrasies that makes each person special. Watch them grow up from newborn to infant and beyond, becoming their own person, with their own personality and preferences. Already, we’ve started to see and feel some of that, with our doctor and sonogram technician already using the words “feisty” and “active.” That sounds about right!
While we’re looking forward to learning about our baby, we’re also excited to shape and raise them. “What we will do when we are parents” in certain scenarios is an ongoing conversation that we’ve been having for years–over a decade. We’re already on the same page in terms of parenting philosophy after having spent years talking through these topics. Obviously, some of that will change and molded by circumstances and experiences, though.
But there are some things that are set in stone. It’s not a question of whether they’ll love Country Bear Jamboree, but rather, which bear will be their favorite. Conversely, our child won’t be an NFL wide receiver; not due to any qualms with the sport, but because…you’ve seen the two of us, right?!
There’s so much more that we can’t wait to learn about our baby as we welcome them to the world. We cannot wait for their first visit to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and beyond, and have adventures as a family of three (plus Yossarian and Walter). There’s so much we can’t wait to experience and discover with our baby.
We’re also really and truly excited to have you along with us for the ride. Watch (or laugh at) us as we endure the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Shuffle, but for the first time, having to navigate that crowd and chaos with a stroller. Join as do more character dining experiences, which we’ve been “banking” since learning this news. Watch as we meet Mickey Mouse for the first time anew, seeing him through the eyes of our child.
One very specific thing we’ve been waiting literally years to do with our baby is meet Figment. Before even getting married, we bought the Figment costume above for our future child to wear while meeting FigZilla. That costume has moved around the country with us a lot, and we almost got rid of it last fall when getting our stuff out of storage. What point was there in keeping it–given the unlikelihood of us having a kid and Figment having a meet & greet. Now that very specific, decade-plus old dream will soon come true.
Speaking of oddly-specific dreams, we will finally get to test strollers, Dwight Schrute style. (This is not really “our” dream, as only one of us has been excited about this for years…but we present a united front!) There’s so much we’re looking forward to seeing, doing, sharing. And frankly, we’re looking forward to picking your brains and soliciting feedback. There’s no substitute for lived experience, and many of you have been there and done that–both in raising kids and taking them on trips to the parks and other travels.
Obviously, some things are going to change on the blog with a baby on board. We’ve never had posts field-testing stroller speed, strength, and agility. All of our past character meal reviews were just the two of us as we attempted to awkwardly interact with face characters; that shouldn’t be as much of a problem now.
For those couples and solo travelers who liked this site because it wasn’t a family blog, there will undoubtedly be some posts to ignore. But a lot will also remain unchanged. For the duration of its existence, this blog’s writing sensibilities have skewed towards “dad jokes” and dated pop culture references. Hard to imagine that getting any better/worse than it already is.
Fundamentally, nothing is going to change. This isn’t like your favorite television show jumping the shark by switching showrunners or bringing in a new character to keep things fresh. This is not going to be Poochie, the “baby with an attitude.” Minor content additions aside, this site’s “voice” has not meaningfully changed over the course of the last decade–for better or worse–because it’s our voice. Rather, this is an addition to our family, and the DTB family by extension, and we want to share our happiness with you.
It has not always been this happy and joyous. In fact, if there are four words we did not expect to write on this blog at the start of 2023, they are “we’re having a baby!” This has been a painful process, and one that began several years ago. Many of you longtime readers might recall regular references to “when we have kids” in older posts; those quietly vanished a while ago.
We have been trying to conceive for the better half of the last decade, which is obviously not a normal timeline when things are going swell. Our journey reached its nadir during COVID, around which point we started seeing specialists and consulting professionals. The ordeal became an emotional albatross that weighed us down at a time when things already weren’t going exactly swimmingly in the world.
Our diagnoses were largely inconclusive, with various tests indicating different exacerbating factors, but it was essentially ‘unexplained infertility.’ That led us to pursue a variety options at a number of fertility centers. The whole process was less like medical treatment and more emotionally manipulative salesmanship, tugging on our heartstrings in an attempt to prey on us at our most vulnerable.
Worse yet, nothing worked. It’s impossible to overstate just how isolating and emotionally draining this was. Infertility was always front of mind or lurking nearby, with depressing and intrusive thoughts drowning out happiness at a moment’s notice. We withdrew as a defense mechanism, and struggled to put ourselves out there as much.
Sharing our own struggles with infertility was also a challenge. In general, few people know how to react to this sort of thing; some offer unsolicited advice, awkward silence, or unintentionally hurtful comments. Outside of our immensely supportive family and circle of close friends, this is the first we’ve opened up been about our struggles–and it’s only happening from the ‘safety’ of coming out the other end. It’s hard to fault anyone for not knowing how to approach this uncomfortable topic, as this is something people don’t really talk about.
Even having been on the receiving end of that, it’s still difficult for us to talk to people going through the same thing. It’s impossible to know what others needs to hear, what will help and what will hurt. (To that point, we will never forget the pain that led us here and sincerely hope the tone and tenor of this announcement is not hurtful for those who have or are still struggling with infertility, as our goal is comfort and not callousness.)
It took years, but we slowly started to come to terms with not being parents. We were finally ready to move on from what was, for us, truly the Dino-Rama of life experiences. It thus came as the ultimate surprise–in the best way possible–when the test came back positive and we learned that we would actually get to be parents.
We don’t want to weigh down happy news with heartbreak and grief, but such is life. Perhaps these words will bring some solace to those going through the same, or a bit of better understanding for those who have not faced reproductive challenges and heartbreak.
Part of the reason for sharing our struggles is offering solace, but admittedly, part is offering a bit of a glimpse behind the scenes and context for the future. We’re excited and we want to share this process…but we also have trauma from the past few years.
Part of this is probably normal for any new parents, but we find ourselves worried and fearful quite often. That something is going to go wrong and we’re going to have our miracle baby stolen from us. (We’ve postponed sharing this announcement several times, opting instead to get past the “next” milestone doctor’s appointment.)
This has been deeply personal and, honestly, we don’t know how much we’re going to feel comfortable putting ourselves and our child out there going forward. Even this blog post has been a challenge, taking far longer than you’d probably expect with several scrapped drafts along the way.
We’ve tried to thread the needle on over and under-sharing, while also trying to be mindful about sensities and scars others may have, and not inviting more painful questions in the process. We’d appreciate it if you’d please be patient with us, as we find our footing and prepare to be parents.
Although we’re not quite ready to share everything, there are a couple of things we can say to get out ahead of a couple questions. First, we do know the sex of the child and will be sharing that soon. (It took a surprising amount of effort and editing to not reveal it by accident here!)
Conversely, the baby’s “official” name won’t be shared until birth. We have a couple of frontrunners, but haven’t settled on a final pick…and aren’t looking for public feedback. What we can share is the baby’s nickname: Megatron. It started as an inside joke between us, but it’s such a strong and great name that many people are saying it should become the official name!
We can also share that Megatron is approximately the size of a Green Alien from Toy Story. Seriously. Well, not actually…those Green Aliens are fictional and their size is not canon, but that’s the claim of the “What to Expect” app, which has given us some highly-dubious size comparisons about Megatron on a weekly basis. Because we know “how big is the baby as compared to a fictional character?” was front of mind for all of you. (This wouldn’t be a DTB announcement without one pointless and rambling anecdote with zero payoff!)
Here’s one more thing we are happy to share–more maternity photos from the beach and Disney:
(Huge thanks to our friend Guy Selga, who graciously waited in line with us for characters and took these and many other photos of us all around Disneyland! Photos from the beach were taken by us.)
Ultimately, we can’t wait for what’s to come and for you all to join us on this journey! This is obviously huge and life-changing news for us, and an announcement that we’ve been waiting to share with you all for years. (Literally. We talked about taking maternity photos on the Future World fiber optic pavement and doing a “Tomorrow’s Child” announcement back when the Giant Epcot Dirt Pit™️ was a mere twinkle in Bob Chapek’s eye!)
We took for granted that we’d be parents back then, and have gone through so much since. The road here has been paved with heartbreak and heartache, but we find ourselves immensely grateful and excited to start this new chapter of our lives. Our thoughts go out to those who continue with a similar struggle; we know just how difficult and isolating it can be.
We’ll be back with more updates (and questions!) as pregnancy continues and our baby comes into the world. For now, we offer a sincere thank you for taking the time to read our story and, as always, we greatly appreciate your support and readership–that is not something we ever take for granted!
Any thoughts you have in response to our pregnancy announcement? Think Megatron would make a strong name that absolutely would not get a child picked on in school? (Again, we don’t know how much we’re going to feel comfortable putting ourselves and our child out there, so we’d greatly appreciate you granting us grace and patience as we find our footing and prepare to be parents!) Hearing your feedback is always appreciated, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!