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Push

November 2007

7 years
ago

 

Week 29: Sweeping the Faith

We’ve been discussing the big questions about child-rearing. Will we spank our child? Will we leave him or her in daycare? How will we raise the kid, ideologically speaking? When you’ve got a mixed marriage, that last one is a minefield. What set of beliefs do we instill in our child when we grew up with entirely different belief systems, different histories, different everything? Does one of us convert? Do we make a choice for the child? When? Does the child choose? When? The questions go on and on.

Sarah and I are both Jewish, so that’s good, but we’ve got bigger problems to worry about. She’s a Cubs fan, and I’m a White Sox guy…

7 years
ago

 

Week 29: I Love the Eighties. I Hate IKEA

It’s time to start shopping for the baby’s room, and I see a trip to IKEA in my near future. Like most men, I’m not wild about trips to IKEA. Every time I get dragged there, we get lost on the way to Schaumburg, then spend hours wandering around the store, avoiding the thousands of others wandering around the store, get in a drag-down argument, spend way more than we planned, and walk out with a bunch of boxes full of hernia-heavy pieces of wood that I have to figure out how to put together when we get home.

When Sarah brought up IKEA yesterday, my mom perked up. “IKEA? I’ve always wanted to go to IKEA. The nearest one to us is all the way in Santa Fe.” …

7 years
ago

 

Week 28: Privacy Act

If our baby were born now, there is a chance it could survive, though its lungs may not be developed enough for it to breathe properly. If it stays put, its lungs will begin to produce something called surfactant, which is a lipoprotein that keeps the air sacs in there from collapsing or sticking together when we breathe. Kind of important. Babu is still floating around in the amniotic sac, but now it can tell when it’s upside-down or right-side-up, and it may have something to say about that.

My parents are back for another visit, and I keep waiting for Sarah and me to ring in the occasion with our usual Argument About Nothing. This time: nothing…

7 years
ago

 

Week 28: Pathetic or Sympathetic?

You may have heard that certain men develop “sympathetic pregnancies.” Some of us take on the physical characteristics of our pregnant wives—cravings, nausea, weight gain, insomnia, et cetera. Sounds freaky, but it really happens. These are called Couvade symptoms, derived from the French word “couver,” which means “to hatch.”

Does Couvade really exist? Whether it’s psychosomatic, spiritual, or other, the quick answer is yes. The chemical changes that happen inside a man have been scientifically proven…

7 years
ago

 

Week 27: The Forgotten

Well, I blew it again. When I saw the date on my work calendar, today, I froze. It looked familiar. Slowly, my body was overtaken by that sinking feeling when you know there’s something important about the day, but you can’t remember what, and you hope you figure it out, but you also hope you don’t, because that would mean you’re about to get your ass kicked for forgetting it.

Then it hit me: my wedding anniversary…

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7 years
ago

 

Week 27: Supercramp

Think of the worst charley horse you ever had. The mind-bendingly excruciating pain probably twisted you senseless for about 30 seconds, then it disappeared, leaving nothing but the ghost of the pain. Sarah says that her Pregnant Leg Cramps are like a six-hour charley horse—times a thousand.

This is a woman who once tore up her knee on the slopes at Steamboat, and insisted on skiing down to First Aid on one her good leg. She’s got an insane threshold for pain. I know she wouldn’t be whining if these cramps weren’t absolutely brutal…

7 years
ago

 

Week 26: Harvest Moon

We were in need of a good adventure, something to get us out of the house and break up these 40 weeks. So on Sunday, we drove 223 miles for a hamburger. I had heard about a general store in Moonshine, Illinois, that served what many called the best burger in America, and Sarah, typically gung ho, piled into the car with me.

We made it 42 miles before she demanded Taco Bell and a bathroom, both of which she got. The rest of the drive was uneventful—apart from a bad omen near Rantoul, when a birthday clown driving a white Dakota passed us doing 95. As he sped past, he glanced over, his face painted into a chilling smile, and you just knew…

7 years
ago

 

Week 26: Raw Deal

You always hear about these wonderful men who give up whatever foods their pregnant wife has to give up for nine months. I am not one of those men. I love my wife, but I also love food. If I were to be senstive, it would mean no more sushi, which contains a risk of parasites; blue cheese (listeria); coffee (miscarriage); peanut butter (allergies); tuna (mercury); rare meats (toxemia); or deli meats (more listeria). Most of these verböten foods have been eaten throughout history with no ill effects to pregnant women. (Of course, for most of history, the life expectancy was roughly 35.)

The other night, we were out to dinner at some hipster restaurant where the menu is printed in all lowercase and every waiter looks like the bass player from Weezer…

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