Solved this issue, from the terminal ran:
checked a few logs that siad was writing to
saw this error message on the log:
upnp.go:99: WARN: could not automatically forward port 9981: no UPnP-enabled devices found: no UPnP-enabled gateway found
logged into router and enabled UPnP, and it now works, yay!
TBH having these error messages surfaced to the UI would be incredibly helpful for troubleshooting for less technical users of this wallet.