**Guest Post by Chris G.**
Everyone around us was getting pregnant.
They were the ones who weren’t trying and who didn’t even want to have a child. They were the ones doing everything “wrong” and still got pregnant.
The news of those close to us being pregnant were greeted with the fake “Congratulations, I’m so happy for you!” This was immediately followed up by tears, confusion, and then resentment kicked in. I felt powerless when I held my wife as she cried. Powerless as she cursed everything and everyone. It was the ones who didn’t even want to have a child that bothered her most.
I still don’t know if my frustration came from everyone else’s news or my own feelings of helplessness. After all, we were doing everything “right.” I even resorted to the daily kale smoothie, which brought back the gagging memories of my youth, as my parents once forced me to eat boiled to death frozen mixed vegetables.
“But mom, aren’t peas supposed to be green, not gray?”
During our second year of trying there was a noticeable shift in my wife Brianna. It’s as if she was questioning her ability to be a woman. At that same time she started talking about alternatives, like adoption or fostering. I wasn’t ready to have that conversation yet. No matter how much I expressed to her that not having a child doesn’t change how I see her, she didn’t believe me. For the first time, I was starting to not feel like a man, a husband, a provider.
I would’ve given anything if she could somehow be me for a moment. To see herself through my eyes. If she could only see how beautiful she is, how much I love her, and how knowing that she wants to
have a baby together this much made me love her even more in some way.
Then I remembered, I can make her see this! I’m a photographer!
So one day, I took her down to the beach to do some experimental portraits for the business I was starting, since I was getting close to leaving the Air Force. I made her stand in the water, pretending she was pregnant. She went along with it.
When we got home, I edited the images and photoshopped my favorite one to make her look pregnant. I printed it and hung it up in our bedroom. I was convinced that if she saw herself pregnant in photographs, then it would help our wish come true.
I instructed her to look at it everyday, every morning when she woke up and before she went to bed. With some practice it became easier to do. It became easier to feel what it would be like if she was pregnant.
Then, we visited our newest maternity doctor for the first time. She was the third for us, but this time there was something different. At the end of our initial consultation she looked right at us and said, “We will get you pregnant.” After some test she suggested one minor tweak that our other doctors overlooked. The
result was, well one I’ll never forget.
We were trying to relax at the beach while waiting for the results. They said they would call by 2pm. It was 2:30. We were now going through every possible scenario in our heads. Do they make the negative calls first? Do they do them last? Are they afraid to tell us?
The phone rang. My wife answered and put it on speaker. The doctor said, “I have some good news for you!” My wife cried and said, “Really?” Finally after 2 and a half years! Even though I’ll never know if the photograph helped or not, I do know it didn’t hurt. I also know how easy it is to do. Nowadays, there’s even apps for your phone that can edit images for you. Anyone can do it.
To this day, that photo of my wife has been the most important photograph I’ve ever taken.
Christopher Galluccio is retired from the Air Force. He and his wife Brianna went on to have 2 successful pregnancies after their infertility struggles; Stella and Max. Now, Chris is a fine art photographer and
Founder of ThoughtsWordsActions.com , where he shares his experiences transitioning from the military to entrepreneurship.
Connect with Chris at:
© Strength 4 Spouses LLC, 2018.