Another year has sped by. Another Halloween, another year of trying to have a baby.
We watch a spooky movie on All Hallows’ Eve, with the porch light on for the children that approach our front door seeking treats. Instead of being out there with a child of our own, we hand out chocolates and lollipops to those that step up.
It’s painful to experience but my wife and I do our best to stay positive. We keep trying. That’s all we can do, really. One day, God-willing, we will be the parents waiting on the curbside as our child enjoys dressing up and grabbing too much candy. It’s painful to experience but my wife and I do our best to stay positive. We keep trying. That’s all we can do, really. One day, God-willing, we will be the parents waiting on the curbside as our child enjoys dressing up and grabbing too much candy.
We try to find joy in the experience and hope and laughter where it comes. There is a Halloween-appropriate movie, a cult classic, and one of my favorites that actually has had a profound effect on me regarding children — “Beetlejuice.”
It’s about a newlywed couple trying to conceive when suddenly they find themselves in the afterlife. The sanctity of their home falls at risk and they lock themselves in the attic, strategizing how to scare the living away. Eventually they dwell in harmony with their new tenants while saving the little girl that they befriend. Spoiler alert: That’s my favorite part of the story—the ending—how a couple looking to procreate can still be a parent to a child, even in the afterlife.
As my wife and I continue our infertility journey, we are trying to come to terms with the fact that our story may not have the happy ending we expect. We’re not throwing in the towel but have become numb to the monthly letdown of it happening naturally. After nearly three years of trying, our expectations have changed. Parenthood might look different than we initially anticipated. As my wife and I continue our infertility journey, we are trying to come to terms with the fact that our story may not have the happy ending we expect. We’re not throwing in the towel but have become numb to the monthly letdown of it happening naturally. After nearly three years of trying, our expectations have changed. Parenthood might look different than we initially anticipated.
While natural childbearing may not be in the cards for all of us, that doesn’t mean that we can’t be parents. After a year of nothing happening, we worked with a fertility clinic and had an unsuccessful IUI procedure. We were discouraged, but aware that this failure doesn’t mean our dream is over. We are now exploring IVF and other potential options like surrogacy or adoption.
Friends of ours have already multiplied their families seemingly with ease but we still find ourselves at square one. It’s hard to see where they are now, but it’s something that we work on accepting.
Many desperate fathers-to-be may search for a life mission and wonder what will be their legacy. Like me, they may wonder about their lineage, what they leave behind. Who will be there to carry on what was lived for?
What strikes me most about “Beetlejuice” is the thought that one day it could all end before we get a chance to complete our life’s ambition. We all want to be remembered for something, by someone, but it isn’t always a child who will carry the family name into the next generation.
The relationship between the little girl character, Lydia Deetz, and the dead couple touches me. It’s an unusual but memorable example of life continuing after death. What we bequeath to the living is inevitably our legacy. In the movie, both parties recognize that. By the end, the couple look after Lydia as guardians. Even though the movie is a comedy, I get emotional! Beetlejuice, though odd in plot, is ultimately relatable, particularly for couples trying to conceive.
Beetlejuice, though odd in plot, is ultimately relatable, particularly for couples trying to conceive. On Halloween, a child or teen at my front door dressed as the title character, Beetlejuice, reminds me of the lasting impression from the movie and a stark reminder on Halloween that in every day of living we can make a lasting impression for the future. We can work now to leave behind something good.
My wife and I have dealt with a miscarriage and continued efforts to have a baby, so I can relate to the movie’s main couple. My wife also gets my sentiment and gets teary-eyed when we talk about it. Maybe parenthood doesn’t happen for everyone, but we can still serve as mentors to future generations. My wife and I will still try to build a family but if it all ends tomorrow, perhaps what we have done in our lives could be enough.
Perhaps an homage to “Beetlejuice” is an odd take on the conception journey, but it is fitting for Halloween. My wife and I look for ways to keep perspective, to not give up hope, to laugh when possible! The movie certainly serves up enough jokes along with some soul-searching.
Sometimes my wife and I think of the quote from Beetlejuice, “This house is so big. It ought to belong to people who have children.” But then we give out candy on Halloween and think – there’s always next year, right? We’re not finished with our storyline yet. For now, we’ll appreciate this moment as a family of two and take solace in the joy and lessons of this movie about a childless couple that perhaps isn’t as scary as it seems.
Devin Meireles is a health care administrator from Toronto, Canada, who moonlights as a freelance writer and author. He has been published in literary journals, health magazines, and cultural newspapers. Instagram: @lusoloonie
Listen to stories, share your own, and get feedback from the community.