Push

7 years
ago

 

Week 16: Feta and Drano

There are all kinds of “tests” you can do predict the gender: dangling a pin over the pregnant woman’s wrist, a wedding ring over her belly, a herring over her pancreas, et cetera. Every one of them is equally ridiculous. The Chinese claim to have a method of predicting the sex of the baby that claims to be 99 percent accurate. All you need is the age of the mother at the time of conception and the month the child was conceived, and the Chinese Lunar Calendar will do the rest. Of course, you don’t know if it’s going to be a rat or a monkey or what, but at least you’ll know the gender…

7 years
ago

 

Week 16: Boy Wonder

Historically, men have tended to want their baby to be a boy. So have most women. A boy keeps the family name alive; he is capable of manual labor; he earns the income necessary to take care of his parents in their old age. This kind of thinking is obviously outdated, and has led to abandoned children, sex-selective infanticide, and other joys.

And yet, most men still want their baby to be a boy. Maybe the idea of being tender and nurturing a little girl scares us; maybe we’d feel dirty bathing and changing them. Or maybe we know in our heart of hearts that all men are dogs, and someday a dog is going to give our little girl a bone. Not a father’s favorite image…

7 years
ago

 

Week 15: Baby Needs a New Pair of Something or Other

It wasn’t your typical Vegas bachelor party. Just a group of nice guys enjoying some time off. No strippers, no cocaine, no skirt-chasing or nightclubs. You know how they say whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? There was nothing to leave there beyond an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet.

As we were walking down the Strip, I started talking to Chris, the father of a two-year-old. He didn’t have that fanatical New Father Aura, nor the familiar dead look in his eyes; he seemed to be a healthy, happy guy with interests beyond his child. He was the first new father I’d met who was capable of talking about subjects other than strollers and sleep patterns and the color/consistency of bowel movements…

7 years
ago

 

Week 15: Play Ball

Sarah’s nausea has dissipated, and various essential areas of her anatomy are no longer stamped “fragile.” It’s possible, if the stars are aligned, that she could be ready to give sex a go. I’ve tried to improve my chances by telling her that sex will help keep her pelvic muscles toned in preparation for childbirth. Of course, now she is suffering from the worst headaches of her life. Go figure.

What I’ve gleaned from the contingent of Expectant Fathers Goons lucky enough to have sex with their pregnant wives is this: it’s a weird experience…

7 years
ago

 

Week 14: The Reveal

Some couples will hatch elaborate plans for springing their pregnancy on the world. Last November, I got talked into having Thanksgiving dinner with Ursina’s family in Maryland. Considering it was my wife’s brother’s wife’s father’s sister’s home 700 miles away, and I knew almost none of the 30 people at the table, I found myself wondering why I’d been invited. (It turns out, they’re just nice people.) Then, just before dinner began, Ben and Ursina made a heartfelt toast, and concluded by requesting that their two sets of parents—who were sitting at the head and foot of the table—look under their seats. When they did, each of them received a shock: an ultrasound photo with the words, “Hi Grandma and/or Grandpa” on it…

Advertisement

7 years
ago

 

Week 14: Wifezilla Vs. Expectant Father: The Domination

My parents are coming to visit this weekend, and we’re finally going to tell them Sarah’s pregnant. Their visits are stressful enough under normal circumstances; at the moment, a three-night stay in our guest room seems like a monumentally stupid idea. I was a wreck all day today. Wasn’t really paying attention on the el platform and almost fell onto the tracks. Good going, Jeff.

Then, 15 minutes before my folks arrived, Sarah and I had our dumbest argument ever…

7 years
ago

 

Week 13: Fowl Play

Keeping the secret has grown tiresome. Sarah took a taxi to dinner at Spring last night, and somehow, over the course of a 15-minute ride, she became friends with the driver, exchanging information about their families and their travels. When they pulled up to the restaurant, Sarah looked at him.

“Wanna know a secret?”

The guy had probably heard those words from passengers before—he’s cheaper than a therapist, healthier than a bartender, less judgmental than a clergyman—but he was still thrilled when Sarah told him, and he got a big tip for his enthusiasm…

7 years
ago

 

Week 13: Fetuses Gone Wild!

Some interesting developments inside my wife this week. According to pregnancyguideonline.com, her poor elastic uterus is shifting up and forward, so it won’t be harassing her bladder as much. This means her daily trips to the toilet should dwindle considerably. (For now.) And nearly all of Babu’s organs have formed. The webbing between its fingers and toes has diappeared; its hair and nails are growing. And more good news! Around this time, our fetus has begun peeing freely in its amniotic fluid. We’re so proud…

7 years
ago

 

Week 10: Hopeless Dancers

Even the most graceful of women begin bumping into things when they’re pregnant. Sarah’s weight gain hasn’t even begun yet, but her joints are loosening up and her center of gravity is all over the place. Which made dancing at the wedding interesting. Even under the best of circumstances, Sarah and I are monumentally bad dancers, and we’ve managed to get even worse. We staked out our own spot on the floor and lumbered around in slow, small circles to minimize the damage…

7 years
ago

 

Week 10: Secrets and Lies

They say you spend a third of your life in bed. I’m convinced that pregnant women spend a third of theirs in the bathroom. No matter what time I wake up, be it midnight, 6 a.m., or 4 in the afternoon, Sarah’s never in bed. If I sit up I usually hear NPR coming from the bathroom radio. Why is this?

The answer is simple. The vomiting, the digestive issues, the impromptu baths, and the insatiable need to urinate make the bathroom the only logical room for her to spend time in. She has set up a little colony in there, the centerpiece of which is a basket full of Little House on the Prairie books and New Yorkers and cooking magazines next to the toilet. She’s read everything twice. I’m convinced if the bathroom had a refrigerator and a hammock she could live in there.

7 years
ago

 

Week 9: Sweet and Viscous

A word about breasts.

A lot of men out there are obsessed with them, which makes pregnancy the utopian ideal for a red-blooded male, because suddenly everything revolves around them. But it’s also the worst kind of catch-22, because your wife’s boobs are so sensitive you’re not allowed to touch them. Or point at them. Or look at them. I can’t stress this enough: Do not toy with your pregnant wife’s breasts…