Rage Against the Machine

Whoa, nelly.  What did you do with my mild-mannered wife?

Look here child, I rely on this woman to keep me sane.  I rely on her to tell me not to honk at strangers and to chide me when I’m huffing at the person in front of us in line.  While you’ll soon see that she likes to cheer me on when I speed, for the most part Vegas, she is a perfectly reasonable person.

A perfectly. reasonable. person.

Vegas, you have done something to your mother to cause her to randomly erupt in fountains of unsurpassed hostility.  She turns her baleful glare on everyone who so much as moves too slowly, steps too closely or, in fact, moves without permission.  While she is still a sainted picture of serenity and goodwill to me, she has turned into a fiery basilisk to everyone else.

Vegas, your mother is usually a font of good-humored patience.  But I don’t suggest you test her right now.  In fact, stop your fluttering this second.

Don’t make me come down there.

He Can’t Even Cheer Yet


Santa was thinking of you this year.  He brought you two Chris Cooley Redskins onesies that should fit by the time football season comes around again.  Babydoll, this is what your mother said.  “Great!  Skins game, bottle for Vegas, beer bottle for me.  Yeah!”  This was followed by a fist bump.

I cannot promise you that you’ll get to sit in the garden with me on Sundays.  I think you have plans.

Merry Christmas, Vegas.

I’m telling you…

I think we’re in a first/second trimester limbo.  No one is full of energy or starving or happy as a lark (okay, no one actually said that bit about the lark).  In fact, there’s a lot of droopy eyelids, restless nights and lackluster dinner enthusiasm.  And that’s just me.  No, I’m kidding.  It’s both of us.  We’re plumb tuckered out.

Some of it is emotional.  Telling our 600 closest friends that Vegas is on his way resulted in a completely unexpected outpouring of good wishes.  I had no idea people liked us that much.  Or, at all.  Of course, everyone likes a baby and we are more than happy to oblige.  Here!  Here’s our baby!  Because…

That baby will not let her sleep.  I know, it’s going to be his full time job as we get later in the pregnancy and once she delivers him. But for the love of pete, Vegas, let the woman get some shut eye.  She says her stomach is gurgling.  That it feels like the baby is scratching and pinching.  Her insides are stretching.  It’s waking her up at night and she lays there, wondering what he’s doing in there.

On the plus side, we’re not relying so much on the nausea to know things are happening in there.  On the minus side, you leave your mother alone.  CHILD, DON’T MAKE ME COME DOWN THERE.

…As in Las

Do they do that on purpose?  Play “What Child is This?” while the ultrasound tech finds your baby and he pops up on the screen in all his big-headed 12 weeks glory?  We celebrate a range of religious events in this household, so the red velvet bows, candle cut outs and restful winter cheer alone might have been enough to make me tear up but carols, which do it to me anyway, sent me right over the edge.

That baby is in there and he’s doing everything he’s supposed to.  He posed for the tech and sat still for all of the pertinent measurements.  He also wriggled and arched his back, swinging his legs and throwing up a hand for show.  He is a perfectly average baby doing perfectly average things.  Yay for average!

I am happy that it’s too early to see if he’s a boy or a girl (a note here on why we’re defaulting to he) because I don’t want the dream to be spoiled.  I’ll admit it, I really want a girl.  So I’m content to wait the entire nine months hoping that I can influence the sex by sheer force of will.  Sure, we both feel like it’s a boy, but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming.  Just in case, we’ve picked out a boy’s name that will make up for the fact that he isn’t our girl.

To make up for being such judgmental parents already, we’ve nicknamed him Vegas.  For a few months, we were pretty sure that would be the child’s actual name until we came to our senses and realized the wrath our families might shower down on us.  That, and, have you ever imagined a Supreme Court judge named Vegas?  While Vegas suits a rock star fine (and that’s way more up our alley), it just doesn’t scream hire me!  And we want the poor thing to have a job.  We might even call him Vegas once he’s born though, if we get a girl, I think we’ll skip that as a nickname.  Stripper, right?

So, looking like every other 12 week ultrasound you’ve ever seen, meet Vegas!

Thank You

We’ve been pressing forward on faith lately.  Faith that nausea meant a baby and that all those other little symptoms were adding up to a thriving possibility.  It has been a month since we last saw a doctor about being pregnant and, since then, faith.

On Wednesday we had an appointment with a doctor who looked just like me.  She was my wife’s type, a smiling, healthy, blonde and it made it just a tiny bit easier to let her break out the lube and a glove.  Dr. M was happy for us and completely comfortable with our relationship.  It’s a constant concern for me, this issue of acceptance, and I was almost as grateful that she was welcoming as I was to hear the heartbeat.

To. Hear. The. Heart. Beat.

She took us by surprise, whipping out the small machine and greasing up D’s belly lickety-split.  Afterwards, she confessed that she often doesn’t try with couples at ten weeks if they appear stressed out or high-strung, the chance of not finding it is too stressful for the panicked.  I was relieved that we appeared nonchalant because I didn’t feel relaxed, I felt like I wanted to take her by the shoulders and say SHOW ME MY BABY.

The little whoosh whoosh was extraordinarily gratifying.  Actually, that doesn’t even begin to do it justice.  It was phenomenally humbling.  If we’ve taken this at all lightly so far, shame on us.  That lovely little heartbeat was normal and we go back for an ultrasound in two weeks.

That’s all I’ve got to say – thank you.


I couldn’t sleep last night.  I even attempted some hard labor in the backyard, shoveling compost and watching her mow the lawn (seriously, watching your maybe pregnant wife push a self-propelled mower is enough to give your heart a workout once over).  Instead of being exhausted when I hit the sheets, I was wide awake and chattering like a jay.  Wow.  I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say that since my Great Aunt Peg when I was grabbing her pack of cigarettes and handing them over while reluctantly letting her put lipstick all over my cheek.  Like a jay.  Yes, ladies and gents, I am 80.

D fell asleep as soon as I paused to take a breath and left me laying there in the unseasonable heat wondering if I would live til morning.  No, the stress of waiting wasn’t getting to me at all.  Why do you ask?  Though we tried to be mellow this time around and patiently wait til she missed her period, the last few days tumbled into an avalanche of web searches and what if conversations.  Even though I felt like every time I opened my mouth I was setting up impossible expectations, I couldn’t help it.  Let me put it this way, by Friday, D was terrified to pee lest she see blood on the tissue.

Lest.  See what I did there?  Now I’m 90.  I’m aging as we go.

I even had a crisis moment on Friday when I asked a pregnant colleague if she liked her OB.  This, of course, led to the awkward conversation that implied I might be more confident about D’s pregnancy than I really was.  I mean, there was no preganancy.  I’m suddenly that woman who needs to steal a baby in order to save her reputation.  I’m both crotchety and athief .  Aren’t you glad you’re not married to me?  The possible jinx led to me half-panicking all through compost shoveling and came to acrescendo when she said, “I think I felt a cramp.”  I will not admit to telling her to go pee every 30 minutes thereafter.

Okay, I’m not quite that paranoid.  But I tell you all that to tell you this, I did not get a wink of sleep last night.  I consented to getting up and watching tv at 6 while I waited for her to get up and hit the bathroom for the pregnancy test.  We didn’t even have one with lines – how could we be so unprepared!  See, we were being mellow! – all we had was a leftover digital one.  And let me tell you, those things are sneering and nasty.  They don’t mess around.  They just flash a word or two at you and just like that, with zero room forinterpretation , you get an answer.  Last time the digital test crushed our hopes in a mere 4 minutes.  I’m not ashamed to admit that we switched immediately to the lined test, hoping to see something, anything, more.

I heard her stagger to the bathroom at 630 and mentally curse me for not opening the plastic package for her.  Look at me, did I seem stable enough to do that?  No, I did not.  Judging from this post, I’ve also got cataracts, arthritis and a cane.  Get off my lawn!  She staggered toward me minutes later, carefully holding the digitallycruel stick parallel to the floor.  I assumed it would be a very quiet four minutes together.

It was not.  That spiteful stick told her before she even finished peeing.  It said pregnant before she could even wipe.  It was that speedy.  Apparently, it takes awhile to think about how to crush your dreams but it’s able to confirm them in seconds.  Seconds.

We’ll call for a blood test on Monday and hope it’s smooth sailing from here.  A blood test.  I can’t believe we made it to a blood test.  Congratulations darlin, you’re pregnant!