Wow. We are absolutely astounded and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support that you all have expressed in response to our news that we’re having a baby. Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect in response and were quite apprehensive about sharing our story.
About one thousand of you have responded to the post and many others have sent private messages. A lot of these are deeply personal, with journeys that differ in detail but generally ‘rhyme’ with our experience. We’re humbled by the joy and happiness you’ve shared for and with us, and incredibly thankful for all of you wonderful readers. We are also honored and grateful that so many of you have opened up about your own pain. We know that isn’t easy.
We’ve already spent hours–staying up late into the evening last night (by our current standards)–reading every single message that you all have posted or sent. All of them filled up our hearts; some of them filled our eyes. Your words got us choked up repeatedly, and we are so incredibly appreciative of your support. Whether a “congratulations” message or a personal story, it all means a lot to us. Again, we didn’t know what would happen when putting ourselves out there…but you all have easily exceeded our expectations.
As indicated in the announcement post, writing that was tremendously difficult as we tried to thread the needle on over and under-sharing, while also trying to be mindful about others’ sensitivities and scars, and not inviting more pain in the process. While some entire paragraphs flowed to us with ease and were done in a matter of minutes–words we always knew we wanted to write–we struggled with some single sentences for hours.
We had been working on that post since the day after our first doctor’s appointment and, as recently as last week, threw out an entire draft (minus a Dino-Rama joke; those never miss!) that would’ve ended up being longer than the published piece. It probably goes without saying, but the portion about infertility struggles was the tough part to tackle. That originally included more detail about the actual process and a lengthy rant about fertility clinics’ using emotionally manipulative tactics and spurious statistics. (Google “fertility clinics exploitation” for a small samping of eye-opening articles on the topic.)
For those who haven’t struggled with infertility, it would have come across as bitter. For those who have struggled, the missing words can easily be filled in with your lived experiences. If you know, you know. In any case, writing it out–even if throwing it away–was cathartic and perhaps brought some semblance of closure. It was also the right call given that we’re sharing happy and not angry news!
Suffice to say, we stressed greatly over what to share and what to leave out. Beyond our own pain, we didn’t want to imply that having children is the only means of achieving fulfillment, and those who walk other paths in life–whether by choice or involuntarily–are somehow lesser than or without purpose. That’s pervasive (even if often implicit) sentiment, but we certainly do not believe it. Nevertheless, it took us years of grappling with exactly those ideas before we had finally started coming to terms with being a childless couple late last year.
We also didn’t want to cause anyone else to revisit unpleasant memories or be callous towards those who are still struggling. As more than a few readers noted in the comments, this type of announcement is itself painful to read for many, and those complicated and conflicted emotions can be hard to understand if you’ve never been through it.
The sentiment to “never give up hope” starts to ring hollow after so many years of trying. How much heartbreak are two people supposed to endure while still retaining optimism? Words of encouragement are easy for those who haven’t struggled, or who have ‘successfully’ come through the other side.
The point is that we wrestled with what to say and what to leave out, finding excuses to kick the can down the road on sharing the news. Sharing the good news! We braced ourselves for possible judgment or negative reactions. One day later, reading all of the actual, unequivocally supportive and gracious comments…and those concerns seem laughably silly now.
We were instead greeted with an outpouring of comfort, support, and kindness. Your own heartwrenching and heartwarming stories about going through infertility treatments that bear strikingly similarities to our struggles. You opened up and shared your own vulnerabilities, excitement, and joyousness for two people who you’ve “only” met online. Your words mean the world to us–probably far more than most of you will ever know. Thank you so, so much.
It is also worth emphasizing the intensity of the air quotes around “only” above. We started out the pregnancy announcement by calling you all part of the DTB family and concluded by saying how greatly we appreciate your support and readership. We mean that. Megatron is going to be so loved.
How we wish we could’ve heard some of your wisdom and experiences at our lowest points. It’s one thing to read about others’ journeys in online support groups and whatnot–it’s another entirely coming from people who know you.
Many of you seem to have surmised what we were going through, so maybe we should’ve said something before. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and sharing this years ago would’ve been a different, half-written story with potentially different outcomes and responses.
Okay, enough of that. Let’s look forward a little. Not to Megatron’s arrival and that glorious first meeting with Figment, but in the more immediate future. As some of you already figured out, there’s already been a lot that Sarah has not been able to do in recent months. You can probably think back and fill in some blanks, such as why Tom is the only one in the TRON Lightcycle Run on-ride photos (looking like a very cool dude).
Now that the cat is out of the bag, we can switch up our approach. Obviously, there will still be significant limitations, with a decent amount of Tom-only stuff for the foreseeable future. But that’s nothing new, so if you haven’t already noticed in the last few months, you won’t see any change there. (Suffice to say, our divide and conquer approach to Early Entry is not going to happen anytime soon!)
On the plus side, no more clandestine visits to Disneyland. We now can spend more time in the parks and, as many of you suggested, work on “What to Expect (at Disney) When You’re Expecting” posts and strategy. And of course, more photos of us as we continue on this journey, which has already gone by so quickly. Oh and speaking of which, thanks for all the complimentary words about the maternity photos; those were also much appreciated!
We’ve also made notes of some of the books, strollers and other products for babies and children you’ve recommended, and have a lot of research and learning to do. (The Dwight Schrute stroller testing remark was not a joke–it’s a goal!) Beyond that, we have to catch up and keep up with all of the ongoing changes at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, which would be a herculean task in normal times given the volume of recent news. It has been especially challenging as we’ve juggled it with all of this and everything else.
(Above is our last character photo before learning the news–also technically one of our first maternity photos–with OG DCA Mickey & Minnie Mouse. Fitting, as we now embark upon our own new Disney California adventure!)
Ultimately, we just wanted to stop and share a very sincere and heartfelt thank you. We truly are fortunate to have the best and most thoughtful readers. That may seem like a trite platitude, but we really mean it. Spend any amount of time browsing the comments section here versus most other websites and you’ll see the contrast. There’s a reason why the first rule of the internet is never read the comments. Thankfully, that has never applied with you all.
We’ll be back with more updates as pregnancy continues and Megatron (or Baby Bricker, Disney Tourist Baby, etc.) comes into the world. In the meantime, we’ll return to your regularly scheduled programming about reservation modifications, minions, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, etc. Again, thank you all so, so much for your support and opening your arms and hearts to us. It really means a lot to us–more than you can probably imagine!
Any additional thoughts you have in response to our pregnancy announcement? Disney planning and pregnancy posts you’d be interested in reading? (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!