Friday, November 16, 2007


I know I’m not supposed to look at the Internet but I like the pictures. So iVillage has a nice little site that can show you the developmental stages of the baby in a calendar specific to your due date. This is cool! I log in and without the expensive ultrasound that wouldn’t result in depictions quite as clear and life-like as this, I get the instant satisfaction of seeing the baby's growth. I must admit I usually get a little carried away and jump through the weeks hoping the baby would just get here. But you can only go so far before the baby looks

I set a time bomb this week. Earlier I said something about not being able to hide the fact that we’re preggers at an upcoming wedding. At the time I didn’t think much of it but it hit me out of the blue later, when she started to cry and said that I said she was fat. Wow, that came from nowhere.

Last night I laid down to sleep next to my already sleeping wife. Her belly was exposed and I gently placed my hand on it. I felt the rolling of abdominal muscles under the surface. Is my boy kicking already? (I default to a boy – after studying the conception process I am looking at a 75% chance of having a girl but I’ll apologize when she’s born.) My quiet reflection opened me to the fact that this is probably what my wife feels on a fairly constant basis.

Maybe this is the reason women are better at commiserating. In the shower I shower quietly as she gags and spits-up in the sink. I think, “there’s nothing I can do to solve this.” So I say nothing. After my shower she’s still gagging so I rub her back. This was a mistake. Luckily, she was too tired to muster anger and hit me with mild, tired disgust, “it took you long enough.” NOTE TO SELF: Ignore solutions this is a timed event that has no quick fix.

I am starting to feel the stress of thinking for three. Between choosing the safest car for the money we have, building an addition (oops – I’m in "Building & Safety" I should say 'remodeling/repair' so they don't hit me with the extra fees that an addition garners), and having a baby – My wife suggested that we look for a new house – like that would be less stressful than remodeling. I can’t even get her to look at cars and she wants to start house-hunting again. Chalk that idea up to thinking out loud.

“NOW SERVING – not your number at station number 8.” It sucks to be next in line as the multi sectioned PA announces every number except yours. I’m glad I told my wife to stay at home. I asked her what she had planned for the day she said she hope to clean up and do laundry. I’m sure matching socks is better than this waiting.

I woke up very grumpy this morning. Oh, you’re hot, would you like to be impregnated? (the urge creeps back to temper my grumpiness)

“I’m hot,” “I’m cold” the majority of my time at home now is spent going around opening and closing windows to regulate a body temperature that’s not my own. I like the cold so when this started last week it was always, “I’m hot.” Thank god, I love the A/C but now it’s in constant flux.

How could I have not mentioned the whole car thing? Well, since we found out the good news we have been searching for a new car, well, SUV. Something safe we like to think. We looked at the Honda Pilot, which we both liked but the cost made me think there was something out there better for not a lot more money. This is the slipperiest of slopes because before you know it your in a Volvo dealership, talking to some guy about a 40k car. The wife talks hypothetically to her girlfriends about cars and planning, in a general sense, for a family. They all say the 7-seater is a nice option since we keep cars for 10 years.

Anyway, the wife doesn’t get out of the house much now, she spends the majority of the day trying not to throw up (poor baby). But I run all over LA looking at cars, driving cars, talking to dealers, talking to friends about cars, talking to acquaintances who are dealers, and reporting all my excited findings back to home base. I guess this is what the common era man does now that our day is not filled with hunting and gathering. But hunting wild game on the Serengeti with your bare hands would be easier then finding a deal on a car that you and your wife can agree on for its horsepower and safety features.

One day she says I like the 2004 XC 90 T6 7-seater but lets look at the smaller engine. OK I’ll settle for 206 HP if she likes it. She doesn’t (I assume I have a chance to get the HP I want between 250-300). But when I say the Aviator has the most HP coming in over 300 she says the higher HP means worse gas mileage (she’s pregnant so I don’t argue). I wish she’d look at the 2005 Pathfinder with me.

Let’s talk about sympathy pains. I get it, hell, I like sharing everything with my wife. It’s a great idea. Allow the husband to commiserate with the pregnant spouse. But I’m not sure if it’s too soon for sympathy pains but I don’t have them. What I do have is the only thing my wife doesn’t have, diarrhea. Could this be sympathy diarrhea? If it is I give up, you win, you’re the stronger sex – just let my butt heal.

Is it still week seven? This week is crawling by. Here are a couple of thoughts. Liquids and my wife. Everything is trying to leave her body like women and children off the Titanic, tears, sweat, pee, puke, and gas (OK gas isn’t a liquid but its trying to get into the party).

I was starting to develop a theory about the sympathy pains. It’s really not fair to be able to blame everything on hormones and the growing fetus (or is it still an embryo?) maybe the sympathy pain allows men to take a break from being the responsible one (God, I’ve never been the responsible one – this is going to be a long 33 weeks.)

So a last thought for week seven. I had the first pang of jealousy today. My wife said very innocently, “We are hungry.” It ran over me like a wave. I will never have our baby inside of my belly. An irrational bout of jealousy, I know but it’s all about feelings.

Friday, November 9, 2007


What a difference a week makes, now the baby is the size of a… well, I forget but it’s very small and it’s already changing my life in big ways. Going into the pregnancy I couldn’t care less about what we ate and The Wife handled all the dietary needs of our family. Now, with the baby on the way I find myself cooking more, reading labels, asking Chinese take out if they use MSG (even though I just spent 20 minutes trying to see if there’s pork in the Egg foo young – there is by the way).

I am coming to terms with the fact that, if everything turns out right, I have successfully impregnated my first fellow homo sapien. My job here is done. Bring on the next female for me to impregnate. 'You, woman walking down the street, you’re not ugly – would you like to be impregnated?' Gladly, this is just some primal urge from the archaic lower brain and it's easily squelched. And knowing that I love my wife allows this ‘impregnate anything with a uterus’ feeling to pass. Whew, that was close.

The Wife is looking different, a little like a ‘vessel.’ You may not want to share this with her, but if you do, select your time and place carefully. Oh, and preface all comments with gentle caressing and loving touches and say it in public. If she gets mad in public she might forget by the time you get to the car and she can just be mad at you later for ‘no reason,’ instead of the fact you called her a container. The specific word is very important - definitely don't say 'container.’ Since my wife’s BA is in Art History and Archeology I went with ‘Amphora.’

So I call our doctor’s office to reschedule an appointment. I say ‘our’ in the sense that we are a family unit luckily the speculum doesn't go anywhere in my body.

Back in the doctor’s office he’s talking but I’m not listening. All I can do is stare at the little, round cardboard slide ruler in his hand. The Wife asks the doctor, “We’re suppose to travel in June, can we?” He pushes the small wheel on his slide rule and gives a professional – No. I’m sure this Ob-Gyn’s intense medical education did more than teach him to read the slide ruler but it seems to be calm The Wife so I let it go.

I ask the important question, “How about sex?” He smiles. No need to pull out the slide ruler on this one. He says sex is a wonderful thing. I glance a knowing look at the woman that shut me out since we got the news. God bless her she was worried about the baby that is now the size of… damn, I guess you’ll have to look at the Internet.

“Stop reading the Internet,” the doctor says. Thank god! The Wife had me searching for every list of foods that were verboten for the pregger-set. Taken cumulatively the Internet suggests that pregnant women shouldn’t eat… anything. Wow, that’s pretty restrictive. That can’t be good for the baby. I’m not a doctor but—

“No, you are not.” The Wife doesn't like contractions in grammar and soon she'll find out if she likes them in childbirth.

At the doctor's office I’m happy, so I smiling the proud, stupid smile only a husband can pull off as he looks at his wife's growing belly. The doctor pulls me aside and places his hands on my shoulders and says, “this advice is for you, and it’s especially important in the third trimester – STOP SMILING!” That’s a tall order but considering what my wife is willing to do for this baby I consider myself lucky. OK, I’ll keep the cheesy grinning to a minimum and try to curb the nervous laughter.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I have spent an exorbitant amount of money on pregnancy tests over the last year, but I have acquiesced to the fact that this is a small price compared to the grief from arguing with a woman who is either about to go into her menstrual cycle (PMS) or a woman who is about to have an alien invade her body for the next ten months (don’t let popular knowledge fool you with the whole nine-month thing it’s ten – once your partner gets a hold of this information you’ll never forget it). Either way PMS or baby it’s a lose-lose situation (in monetary terms) so spend the money. Buy the pregnancy tests at Costco, and shut up about it.

So one day after missing her period, a period that has not yet normalized since quitting the pill only 11 short months ago, the test shows two blue lines. This translates into pregnant or in my mind relief. The relief that I wouldn’t have to spend $24 on more purchases of 2 pregnancy tests (plus one for free!) – even in Costco this is the largest quantity of pregnancy tests – whatever the reason hug your partner.

She says, “We can’t tell anyone for 12 weeks. Call my mother.” – Those were her exact words but I knew this was no time to argue. We had been using the pregnant lie to get upgraded on flights, bumped up in the cue in restaurants, and movie theaters (I still don’t know what being pregnant has to do with needing to see sneak into a second movie). Now finally it’s true and we’re supposed to stop. Now when the guy at the car dealership says, “why are you looking for a 7-passenger car?” You say we’re planning ahead. You mean 35 weeks and he thinks 5 years (unless he has kids he might think 240 weeks).

So her mom’s cautions us, “You should take another home pregnancy test at the end of the week.” I look in the box and there’s one left, so I think, “sure, at least it’s the free one.”

Friday rolls around and I say take the test again like Mom wants. She’s reluctant, c’mon for your mom. Just then the phone rings it's mom, “Well?” I hear the wrapper getting ripped and the trickle of forced morning pee. Yep, still pregnant. Mom say, “How did you feel.” I say, “great,” but I think she was probably talking about how my wife, her daughter felt. So it's time to find a doctor. Oh, I moved us out here 6 months ago (24 weeks) and working as a contractor made insurance an expensive pill to swallow but we did and just in time. We've been insured for six weeks now. Whew, dodged a bullet there, no worries plenty to come.