Push

August 2007

7 years
ago

 

Week 17: Goddess of Thunder

It thunderstormed like crazy on Friday night. Sarah is deathly afraid of lightning and couldn’t sleep, so we went down to the basement and turned on the TV. I fell asleep on the floor, with her snuggled up against me, squeezing my arm a little tighter at every clap of thunder. The next morning, we found that the basement had flooded around us while we were sleeping. Every step we took, water squished between our toes. It was such a bloody mess that we had to buy a wet/dry vac, a dehumidifier and two electric fans—and it still took three days before the carpet dried. It still smells like an armpit down there…

7 years
ago

 

Week 17: Sweet Child O’ Mine

Sarah ordered a bunch of maternity clothes from gap.com, and when the first shipment came in, I thought the shorts, with their elastic waistband, looked like Sansabelts™. The shirts looked like tablecloths at a church picnic. The timing of the shipment was perfect. Sarah is starting to complain that she feels out of shape. She’s sad that her clothes are starting to get tight. “You’re not out of shape, Sarah,” Dr. Harth said. “You have a baby inside you…

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 This kind of thinking is obviously outdated, and has led to abandoned children, sex-selective infanticide, and other joys.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…

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…