Ok, I can't actually figure out how to describe the sound, but I got to hear Our Child's heartbeat again today. Nice and strong. I have secretly feared that things could go wrong and that there's no way we'd know, so it's nice to hear. Separately, The Wife today was talking about a $20 device you can set on a mom's stomach and hear the heartbeat. I think we should get it.
Monday, December 22, 2003
Sunday, December 21, 2003
One of the things I hear a lot from new or soon-to-be parents, be it in person or just on TV, they're all pointing to some tragedy or some instance of really horrible behavior and asking themselves "Why am I bringing a child into such a messed up world?" I was thinking today how it's almost the anniversary of Lacy Peterson's disappearance (she and her then unborn child would later be found dead with details somewhat unclear, and her husband now on trial for their deaths), but in the past few days, Pakistan has made some rather large offers of concession in their ongoing dispute with India and an announcement was made that Libya has been working behind-the-scenes for some time now to get in better standing with the rest of the world. It's very encouraging news. All is not yet lost.
> James at 3:45 PM
Friday, December 19, 2003
At the end of November we were on a church retreat and we were sitting with this couple we really like. Everyone at the table was up getting salad or dessert or something. Anyhow, we got to talking about having kids and we asked them if they were thinking about it and they said they were. And then they asked if we were. Yeah, I had kind of set them up by asking them first. I pulled the ultrasound out of my pocket and slid it upside down towards her. She took it cautiously, turned it over and then did a little jump and started beaming. (She later told me that she was worried that it was a little note explaining something about us maybe having trouble and not wishing to talk about it or something.)
Fast forward to last week. I was talking with the husband but not paying really close attention, a bad habit of mine. He stops midsentence and says "CRAP!" He suddenly had my full attention and I asked what was wrong. He replies "I almost let it slip that we're expecting." And then he stops and exclaims "CRAP!" a few more times. He explains that it's still a secret because it's pretty early on and they aren't even telling family until Christmas as kind of a gift. That will be so cool. I wish I could be there to experience their families reactions. (Yeah, this stuff totally changes you. You become the wus you always tried to so hard to deny. And you embrace it. The Wife says it's caring. I say it's wussy.)
So they were pregnant when we talked to them in November and probably didn't yet even know it.
We saw the wife recently and when she smiled she had a "we're sharing a secret, you and I" sparkle in her eye when she looked at us, but I don't know if it was about our pregnancy, or if she knows we know about hers. Hard to tell, considering that the husband might get into minor hot water for having spilled it to me accidentally.
And another co-worker recently told me that he and his wife are expecting in July.
So that means we know of at least 8 other couples expecting.
In other news, The Wife's gag reflex is not letting up. We were hoping for a respite now that we're into the second trimester, but today even the mouthwash made her throw up. A lot. I feel guilty, it seems like I think it's getting better, so people ask and I tell them she's getting better and then it seems to get worse as soon as I say that. Though I'm sure she would tell you that she's thankful to have it like this because it's almost like she has a little more warning. It would take a lot of retrospection before she got to that point, but I think she would eventually get to that point.
> James at 3:54 PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
The Wife has gotten a few more pieces of maternity wear. Finally some of those tops that say "Hey, I'm pregnant." I like those. They look good on her.
> James at 8:35 PM
Monday, December 08, 2003
This is kinda what I worried might happen... weeks would pass with nothing added to this site after the initial burst of energy.
We've begun sending out Christmas cards... and begun getting calls. Why? We're signing the cards with "My Name, Wife's Name, and ..."
We also told our Sunday School class yesterday. We're one of four or five couples in the class currently pregnant. There might be others who have not yet announced, but so far we have the due date the furthest from today.
> James at 7:16 AM
Sunday, November 30, 2003
Your raging hormones should be calming down a bit and you may notice your nausea tapering off. Most women kiss regular morning sickness goodbye now (though queasiness can return periodically throughout pregnancy). This week, your baby's face looks practically human. Her eyes have moved closer together and her ears are right where they should be. Your baby is nearly 3 inches long now and has entered what is known as the fetal period, when tissues and organs rapidly grow and mature. -- from Babycenter.com
This past weekend was spent with my parents, the first time since they found out that we were expecting. It was by far the best time we've spent with them.
The Wife has also seen this Blog now. She's pointed out a few minor errors that have not been corrected, but what can you do?
And the weekend before that was on a church retreat. We shared with a number of couples in private little announcements just to them. Seriously, this is the way to do it. They feel honored at being told and you get to experience excitement over and over again from them. The rest of the department found out by email this week as well. On Wednesday, our small group learns the news at our end-of-the-study potluck.
> James at 11:51 PM
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Today was our first appointment with the normal OBGYN. We got to see another ultrasound. It's really cool. While still tiny and the picture grainy, we could make out the body, the arms and legs, the spine and the head, and best of all, the face. It was hard to see, but she pointed out the eyes. We got another printout. In The Pregnancy Journal it said that soon the eye lids will form and temporarily fuse together. Very interesting how God puts all these different things in motion and after 9 months, out comes a fully formed tiny human. Very humbling. In five weeks, we go in for another checkup, including a blood test that can screen for all kinds of things. After that, every four weeks or so, with an ultrasound at 20 weeks and maybe one more in the 7th or 8th month. They don't have the 3D ultrasound, but told us of a few places nearby that will do it for a fee. And they also said that they deliver all of their babies at the nearby very prestigious probably world renowned hospital. Cool.
Our friends who are at 20 weeks had the blood test recently and the protein level was high. That can indicate downs syndrome, but it also has a very high rate of false positives. They had to meet with a genetic counselor who really wanted them to have an amneocentisis(sp?) done but they refused because it can sometimes cause miscarriage. The amneocentisis can confirm whether or not a baby has downs. It may also be a more accurate indicator of additional things, but I'm not educated enough to say what. The counselor was really pushing for it, but our friends were like "Why? We're having this baby no matter what. We're not going to do anything that can jeopardize their health."
Exactly how we feel.
A "Chinese Pregnancy Calendar" taped to the reception desk predicts our child will be a girl.
> James at 11:37 PM
Monday, November 17, 2003
Your baby has tiny fingernails now and the ability to kick, swallow, and move. Pretty impressive for someone the size of a lipstick tube. That will change soon; within the next few weeks, your featherweight child should double in size and you may be able to see — via ultrasound — whether you're carrying a boy or a girl. -- from Babycenter.com
We told another couple we're really close to at dinner on Saturday. We had a nice long talk at dinner about the implications and their desire to have kids after they're married in May. Then on Sunday we finally got the woman from church who told us on The Wife's birthday that she was pregnant alone and was talking to her about how she was doing and we asked how far along she was and she said "20 weeks" and The Wife said "I'm 11 weeks." and the woman just froze for a few seconds and then just started beaming and had to hug us both. Then we were at lunch with her and another friend and talking about her shower and about how the couple that had a baby two weeks early in September wasn't prepared and so how this woman should have her shower early, like in March, since it's being thrown by a friend from out of town who's coming in to town. And so The Wife says "Well then I guess I should have mine in April" and the woman who didn't yet know completely missed it, thought The Wife was throwing another shower for the other woman or something. Kinda funny. Then she was a little embarassed when we explained to her what we meant.
We should get to tell people every day.
> James at 7:18 AM
Friday, November 14, 2003
A few days ago I told someone in our small group because he emailed me something that was aimed at dads and then wrote again later saying that he sent it to all guys in the small group because even if they weren't dads he figured that (a) they might be dads someday or (b) they might see their role as helping the other fathers in the class to be better dads. I wrote him back and said 061204 was my new lucky number and that it had absolutely no meaning, certainly not a date or anything. He knew what I meant and offered his support, ready to answer any questions I might have. He has a young 'un himself, that's why I told him.
Then today I told the one remaining co-worker in my group who I hadn't told. The Wife told a few more close friends today as well.
And today Kevin and Allison are going to get a cryptic email from me telling them to go to some website. When they get to that website, it will instead bounce them here. Hi, Kevin, Hi, Allison. I'm going to be a dad!
> James at 3:58 PM
Sunday, November 09, 2003
I think The Wife might have had a spell of nesting yesterday. Either that, or the every-few-month time where she looks at the piles of papers she's allowed to collect at the side of her bed and decides they're precariously close to falling over and crushing a cat. Anyhow, she found the book and I've started reading it. It would have been a really cool way for her to tell me. No wonder she was bummed.
Earlier this week we were to meet with a representative of ADT who was going to give us an offer on a home security system. They didn't show and called 90 minutes later to apologize, some story about calling the wrong number to request they dispatch someone else when he realized he wasn't going to be able to make our appointment. I told them to hold off and we'd think about rescheduling. Sure enough, 5 minutes after his call, two calls in a row from different numbers at Alarm King. I'm sorry, but that's a cheesy name for a company. Makes me think of Homer's "Mr. Plow" company. But I'm not sure... I did request information directly from ADT. Is that who they referred? Some company in another county? If so, lame.
For the second morning in a row, we've been woken up by idiots lighting off fireworks. I don't know why. But if it keeps up, I'm going to call the Sheriff and say that someone's lighting off fireworks or shooting a small caliber gun, but that it's probably fireworks. We know exactly who it is. And we're disappointed because they're the only ones in our neighborhood doing renovations and expanding their house. We were kind of hoping that we were riding the forefront of change buying in this neighborhood, the only one we could afford, but most people seem to be content to stay, often 5+ in a house, instead of realizing there would be serious money to be made if they'd move. But we have The Puppy (getting bigger every day) and we'll ultimately get the security system and a fence out front. We still have a few months.
> James at 10:16 AM
Thursday, November 06, 2003
From The Wife's brother:
Congratulations on the baby!! Now you can feel and know my pain!!! HAHAHAHA!!!!! Just kidding. Yes, it will be a little overwhelming and quite the lifestyle change...but you're gonna love it. You'll spend countless nights sitting by the crib waiting for the little bugger to go to sleep.Then when he/she does...you'll spend many more hours constantly checking on them....then rechecking...then checking again...and the 2am feedings are great..then when they start to eat you have to worry about the choking...and they will choke. And it'll freak ya out. Then there's all the things lying around that can hurt them...In the cupboards, on the tables, on the floor.....oh so much fun. I've done it twice....and wouldn't change a thing.You will do great I'm sure...if ya need some advice, just gimme a holler...
> James at 12:16 PM
Monday, November 03, 2003
I feel really guilty that I've been unable to tell some of my closest friends yet, most specifically one person who is like a brother to me. It's a strange mix of odds, superstition and the desire to not let it consume our communication that we don't tell everyone. It will be the biggest thing in our lives, but we don't want it to be the only thing. And even when you are happy for someone, six, seven, eight months of waiting with them, waiting for them, sometimes seems like forever. It's not that they do anything wrong, but we just watch from the sidelines going "Haven't they been pregnant for over a year now?"
Things that are good one day aren't the next. Apparently Panda Express, a food The Wife got me hooked on, is a place I'll have go alone for awhile; it's no longer appetizing. Worse yet, last night at the store she bought ingredients for a low-calorie breakfast meal and took the time to prepare it last night... cheese, eggs, sausage, bread cubes so that this morning it could be popped in the oven for 30 minutes and then we'd have a nice breakfast, replacing my usual cappucino slimfast and her, well, not sure what she's been eating now that she can't have slimfast. But I got it out of the oven and she declared that it didn't smell good and that she wouldn't be having any. I feel bad about how my part in the process is almost non-existent but that the part for her body is probably 15 months minimum of being non-normal.
> James at 7:41 AM
Sunday, November 02, 2003
The Wife is now reporting more "queasiness." She doesn't want to say nausea, she doesn't think it's at that level yet, just queasiness. The gag reflex is also more pronounced, so she cancelled her dentist appointment.
The Wife told her entire department of six. I thought she was just telling her bosses, but she told the entire group. So I told a few more people than planned. I told my boss' boss and my direct boss. My boss' boss had a really cool reaction, wanted to pray for us and told me about the efforts it took for him and his wife to have kids (basically as soon as they gave up, it happened.) And then I told my other boss. He's engaged to someone in the department who is my project manager one day a week and they're good friends, so I had to tell them both because it wasn't fair to tell him and then ask him not to tell her. He thanked me for not making him carry that burden. Then I told a co-worker who has a 8-month old. I prefaced it with the fact that I wasn't telling people yet. There was no one else in the office at the time, but I pulled out the ultrasound and she did the most amazing thing: the biggest yell/squeal/cheer of joy and surprise possible but without any actual sound coming out. She threw her hands to her mouth immediately and there was no sound. But she was hopping in the chair with excitement. I want to tell more people like that.
> James at 7:27 PM
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
I don't know how long Yahoo! will keep it on their website, but their official description is: "A human embryo is pictured in the eighth week of pregnancy in this undated photo by Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson. Now 81, Nilsson shot to world fame in 1965 when the American magazine Life ran 16 pages of pictures from his book 'A Child is Born' showing the development of a human fetus in the womb. NO ARCHIVE. NO SALES. ONE TIME USE ONLY. MANDATORY CREDIT. REUTERS/Lennart Nilsson/FEATURE SWEDEN-PHOTOGRAPHER"
This is the same stage we're at, although the ultrasound we got today didn't actually look like this one. We were supposed to get better pictures but their printer was broken. They said we could come back at any time they'd do another ultrasound for free and if we brought a VHS tape, they'd record it, too. But, The Baby is at 1.47 cm and their heartbeat is 176. We needed 120 to get sign-off to be referred to a normal baby doctor. The doctor at the clinic said that this baby has a 95% chance, so there's no reason not to start telling people. He also OK'd The Wife's hair color product (she found a more natural kind on the internet) and told her of a few pretty standard cold medicines that it's ok for her to take so she'll be able to finally kick this cold. He's predicting June 12.
The Wife is telling some of her bosses tomorrow. I'm telling one or two of mine today. I guess that makes them tier-one-and-a-half or we need to renumber our telling-tiers. :) The rest of the co-workers will have to wait until mid-November.
> James at 10:41 AM
Thursday, October 23, 2003
The Wife has noticed lately that she seems to have a penchant for cottage cheese. There is an increased need for dairy in her diet, according to the books, so this is probably a good thing.
Super-smell has also arrived, she can drive down restaurant row and tell you what's cooking at each place.
> James at 2:37 PM
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Playing a game recently, the question was asked "What is your favorite time of day?" The Wife's answer? "When I'm asleep." I mocked sadness and suggested that there must be something about her waking life that she enjoyed.
But seriously, sleep is her best friend and there isn't enough of it. It doesn't help any that in addition to The Puppy (who we've now trained to sleep outside in his kennel!!!! hooray!!!!) The Wife had to go and rescue a Tiny Kitten. The mews are so quiet that it doesn't keep us up, but it's another thing to take care of. Temporarily -- I've put my foot down. We rescued a Stray two years ago and we do not need a fourth cat. This Kitten will be an easy sell, though. Tiny with no apparently health problems. Just needs some love. We may have found a new home for it already.
Time, we need more. Sleep, we definitely need more.
The book says one will start to feel more and more tired now. This is definitely the case.
> James at 1:21 PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
The Wife hasn't been experiencing morning sickness, but reports that throwing up is not something that seems like it could be a possibility. Brushing her teeth seems to be a big trigger for the gag reflex. Breakfast wasn't breakfast a few days ago, but otherwise, she's been able to sit quietly for a few minutes and the moment passes.
The Puppy has become Man's Best Friend and Woman's Nightmare. He bites and we're trying to train him not to. He's mostly pretty good with me. All of The Wife's attempts just result in The Puppy getting more keyed up and hyper and wanting to bite more. We're hoping that He grows out of it. The Wife, trying her hardest, goes from "Look at me! I'm learning to be more patient." to "I really hope this baby is less trying." to "Where's The Dog's Leash? I need to strangle him." She really does love The Puppy. Just wishes she could have all of his teeth removed so the biting wouldn't hurt so much.
Editorial side-note: There are way too many ways to count this pregnancy. It's no wonder no one has a clue until you're racing through town scaring people and hitting bicyclists. By the end-of-last-period method, we're at week 7. By the conception date, we're at week 5. Babycenter.com takes our projected due date and works backwards splitting the difference to come up with week 6. We're now on day 32. That's one completed month by normal calendars. But it's already a few days into "lunar month 2." This lunar month stuff is a bunch of hooey. Lunar months are like February, with only 28 days. It breaks the pregnancy down more evenly, but The Wife and I theorize that this is only so women can whine "It's really ten months. You're really pregnant for ten months!" and try to solicit more sympathy.
> James at 12:48 PM
Monday, October 20, 2003
We told The Wife's father last night. He's pretty excited. This will be his fifth time being a grandfather, but this will be his only daughter's first child.
> James at 5:43 PM
Sunday, October 19, 2003
The embryo is the size of a small bean, about a half an inch long, this week. If you could see inside yourself, you'd find the fetus has an oversized head in proportion to its body. The embryo's facial features are forming with dark spots where the eyes are, openings where the nostrils will be, and pits to mark the ears.
Protruding buds that will become the arms and legs are even more noticeable now. The embryo's hands and feet look like paddles. Other developments include the growth of the pituitary gland and muscle fibers. You can't hear it yet, but the heart (which has divided into the right and left chambers) is now beating between 100 and 130 beats per minute.
Halfway through this week, the embryo makes its first movements. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until sometime in the second trimester before you get to enjoy feeling your baby's calisthenics. -- BabyCenter.com
> James at 10:32 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2003
As I write this, I'm watching a grave-side memorial for a 15-year-old girl killed on last Monday's CSI:Miami. I know it's just a TV show, but it sucks. It's tough enough getting pregnant, getting through the first trimester, having the child and then the real work begins, worrying about what kind of world you've brought them into and will you be able to protect them. And when you can't be there, how will they react with the situations they're presented with? I guess it's the same as with anything else, you thank God each day you make it home in traffic safely. There's so many things that can go wrong and it's only be the grace of God that so many things don't.
Are you in there little fetus?Little one, I saw you today for the first time. You're about the size of a grain of rice and your whole body shakes each time your heart beats, which is about 90 times a minute. I could not see you very clearly, but the doctor zoomed in and showed us where you were. You're perfectly positioned, right in the center of your mom where you belong and are coming along nicely. We were even able to hear a few of your heartbeats but you would move with your mom's breathing making it difficult for the doctor to keep the equipment aimed directly at you. We were given a black and white print-out showing you and in 10 days we're going to go back and have been promised better pictures. You're about 3 mm in length right now but in 10 days you should be closer to 10 or 11 mm and your heartbeat should be at about 120 beats per minute. I know from the minute you arrive the scene you're going to take over our lives. Since we know you'll want to get up at all hours of the night and go to bed early, we're trying to get in the habit now of getting enough sleep, going to bed early. Your friend the Puppy is also helping us practice the up-in-the-middle of the night for a bathroom break. By the time you get here maybe he'll have learned how to sleep through the night, but for now, he's helping us train for your arrival. You'll be here in 239 days. I guess I should start saving for your college tuition. But you just keep growing, we look forward to meeting you, little one.
In nine months will you come greet us?
I will buy you some Adidas.
> James at 10:56 PM
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
I've really appreciated reading other parent's blogs. It seems like daily I find a new one. The common thread among them all is just how much a baby changes everything. Everything. Forever. And Always. I've heard this all before. But it's kinda scary, like you've seen the roller-coaster and now the gates have opened, you've stepped into the car, sat down and pulled the restraint into place. Click, click, click, click. It's too late, you're committed. The ride operators have already walked the line pulling on everyone's restraint to make sure it's secure and they're now walking away from the track waving their hand in a circular motion above their head signalling to the guy in the booth that the train is ready to leave the station. You've seen the tracks, you've heard the screams, but until you've taken the ride, there's no way you can fully appreciate what everyone who's gone before you has said.
And that's scary. Because that means as much as I psych myself up for the ride, I'm already falling short. I will survive the ride, but as thrilling/rough/terrifying as the roller-coaster will be, I cannot adequately prepare myself. I cannot be ready, mentally prepared and accepting of the role.
I'm really appreciating other blogs. While it's always been said that women are more verbal while men are more visual, blogs are allowing us guys to share as well. With the exception of Monkey's Wonder Mom, all of my blogs are written by men. I think it's because I was searching for blogs from new fathers or dads-to-be, but it's really great to see other guys futher along this journey than I. You just can't get this from spending time or talking to other dads. Who has the time?
The New Puppy is helping me to see what a challenge this will be. I've never had a dog before and as a new Dog Owner, my life is not the same as it was Before Dog. As it poops on the carpet once again, pees on the concrete pad just feet from the nice unlandscaped dirt yard once again, or is found in the office again hoping to make a meal out of the goodies in the Cat box, I can see that being a Dad is going to be lots and lots of work. Granted, I think the Child will probably not have a penchant for the Cat's version of Almond Roca, but there will be plenty of other things for the Child to put in their mouth that they shouldn't.
A blog I just found today, "The Dad Chronicles" is an amazing piece of writing. Especially the "Great Blackout Adventure." I highly recommend it. Link on the right.
I welcome the upcoming uncertainty because I know it's a beautiful thing. I'm excited. I just wish I could prepare.
> James at 1:25 PM
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
We have some friends who have a very adorable child, not sure of the age, but relatively new. Not talking much yet, but now walking. Whenever we see them, you just tend to say hi to their child first, and them second. To the point where we've joked about it and they've dismissed it with a wave saying it happens all the time.
A really huge fear for me is that as we celebrate The Baby, pray for The Baby, wait for The Baby, learn more about The Baby, that the The Wife would feel that I'm less into her. Which is so not the case. She's doing all the work and The Baby is a unique creation of just the two of us. I'm trying to make sure that I'm always telling her how important she is to me separate from The Baby, and how much I love her without reference to The Baby. But as I read more and more about all the stuff one goes through, I wonder if sometimes that it won't seem like I'm being genuine, or that even if she's still #1, if The Baby is a really, really close second, with the potential of taking the #1 spot.
Nope, that's yours for life, Babe.
> James at 6:27 PM
"Your embryo's heart, no bigger than a poppyseed, has already begun to beat and pump blood. The heart is dividing into chambers, and will find a more regular rhythm soon. The embryo itself is about a quarter inch long and looks more like a tadpole than a human. It undergoes a growth spurt this week.
Major organs, including the kidneys and liver, begin to grow. The neural tube, which connects the brain and spinal cord, will close this week. The embryo's upper and lower limb buds begin to sprout — these will form your baby's arms and legs. The intestines are developing and the appendix is in place.
Below the opening that will later form the mouth, small folds exist where the neck and the lower jaw eventually develop. As early as this week, facial features are already forming. Nostrils are becoming distinct, and the earliest version of the eyes' retinas are forming." -- BabyCenter.com
> James at 6:03 PM
Monday, October 13, 2003
The Wife had to have a second blood test this morning, so they could compare the results against the first, to make sure that all the levels (HCG, estrogen, progesterone) have all risen as they should. And they have. Each new confirmation makes it all the more real. I'm fine until I go to BabyCenter.com and read about stuff I should know or learn or feel, or stuff I might experience. Or singing a song in church proclaiming God's faithfulness. Or typing in this blog about singing a song in church. Then I start tearing up. This is turning me into a royal wus.
First ultrasound is Thursday. We should be able to see the heartbeat.
> James at 3:18 PM
Got 12 out of 15 right on BabyCenter.com's quiz. I'll study the other three questions.
(1) How long should you let your newborn cry at night before picking him up? I said "10-15 minutes." But, not with a newborn. You give them attention right away. I guess it's not like The Puppy.
(3) What's the standard advice on how long after childbirth you should wait until you and your wife can have sex again? I said "Until Her doctor gives the green light." Correct answer was "Six Weeks." However, I think my answer was a little correct, so I should get some credit for considering a professional's opinion.
(8) Which one of these should you use to clean your baby's umbilical cord? I said "Hydrogen peroxide" because The Wife swears by it. Well, the correct answer is "Rubbing Alcohol." Fair enough, I can remember that. It goes on to say that the cord will fall off within 7 to 10 days and until then, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean it. Good to know.
It's very cool that there are so many resources out there. Of course, I probably won't be able to just surf the web any day I feel like it on a normal work day until after we've announced. But I'd like to read as much professional advice as possible before The Co-Workers Who Are Parents start trying to give me advice.
> James at 2:21 PM
Babies who get a daily rubdown sleep better, grow faster and are less fussy, research shows. And their parents are often less stressed and better rested, too.
> James at 2:10 PM
Sunday, October 12, 2003
Today we were talking to our friends and said "Hey, fun fact. Did you know that the baby's heart begins to beat on day 21 or 22?" I didn't even get to say that our baby's heart had been beating for a day or two. They had already figured it out. He looked pretty happy and she was thrilled. She had been just telling us she was tired and not feeling well. All of the sudden she was jumping up and down. Then we got in our car a few minutes later and instantly my cell phone rang. It was the other couple we had planned to tell calling. We were both going to be at the same place later today and they were going to follow us back to our house to see the new puppy but they were calling to say that they weren't going to be able to come with us afterwards; their baby had kept them up a long time last night, they'd see us at the thing, but not come over with us. So we called them back and said we were coming over. As soon as The Wife began to say "Well, we decided to come overe here since we had something to tell you and didn't want a lot of people around but you screwed that up." and they figured it out. They weren't as extremely overjoyed as we thought they'd be, but we attribute that to their own sleepiness from having a new baby of their own. When we saw them later, the wife and The Wife and the other couple's wife went upstairs so that they could talk while the new mom nursed. We all get the impression that the other couple's wife also would like to start a family.
There's another couple who we'll tell a little early; they're expecting April 4th. But not just yet.
> James at 4:51 PM
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Well, last night we told my mother-in-law and my parents. All were excited. With The Wife's Mom, we were talking about the new puppy and she made a comment about how they're like a child and we were thinking "Speaking of which..." Good fun. With my parents, we talked for a good 10 minutes (we talk each week at the same time) and then I asked when they were planning on coming down for a visit. They said October. I, thinking they meant next October, said "How about mid-June?" And they asked "Why mid-June," probably thinking of the heat. I said "Because [The Wife's] due date is early June," though I'm not sure how much they heard because I started choking up. They were really excited, mostly for my grandma who works part-time in an office with a bunch of 20-somethings and volunteers in her church office with a bunch of women younger than her. She doesn't need the money, she's just bored. But she sometimes feels left out because they have pictures of babies and ultrasounds and all that good stuff. She doesn't have any of those. I'm not sure if they did ultrasounds, or if they just didn't give out pictures. But now we'll have some. The Wife has an ultrasound on Monday and apparently they'll already be able to see a heartbeat and we're hoping we can get a printout to put in a card. "Grandma - We've always known you're a great grandmother. But now you're going to be a great-grandmother!" We'll tell the two couples closest to us, one of the couples is the one who just had a baby and they and the other couple have been our confidants through the infertility process. We'll also tell siblings, but then it's mum for about 2 to 2-1/2 more months.
> James at 8:53 AM
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Got word back. All the numbers look great. I'm going to be a dad! We tell her mom and my parents tonight.
> James at 3:33 PM
The Wife went to the clinic this morning for a blood test. Amazing that one's body changes so much in this process. We should hear back later today.
> James at 1:31 PM
Monday, October 06, 2003
There was to be a book. When I received the book, a gift, I would realize that our prayers had been answered, that we were pregnant.
But things didn't quite go according to plan. When we began trying, we had just learned that our friends were three months along. "Dang them," we thought. But no matter, we were only a few months behind, right? Their announcement pushed up our time-table by about a month, but, there was that plan thing.
After several months without any success whatsoever, we were referred to a reproductive center. It was a scary thing. It felt like failure. We began to ask "What if..." You go to the worst-case scenario pretty quickly. You pray every night and every morning and many, many times throughout the day, but between the prayers in the harsh light of day, you go to the worst-case. And you keep going back to the worst case. Why would God do this? He doesn't punish, so we couldn't look for something we were doing wrong in our lives to try to correct. But why would God allow me to grow up thinking even from a very small child about how special and unique a child was, a creation of just you and one other person, something no one else could duplicate. Why would I be wired to dream of this only to see that door shut in my face? I mean, I was pretty sure that over the years I had given more thought to that than most guys. I knew it wasn't normal, but it was just always there. On my checklist, if you will. Get married. Buy a house. Own a new car. Have a baby, or babies, with my wife.
But now, the fear was setting in. What if this wasn't possible? Why? Why? Why?
The doctor at the clinic was very thorough and very confident. Our age and how quickly we had been referred after experiencing nothing counted in our favor, he said. He outlined three things they would try. First fertility drugs in three rounds of increasing dosage. Second three attempts at intrauterine insemination (IUI) -- each attempt consisting of two IUI's 24-hours apart and finally three attempts at in vitro fertilization (IVF).
It's really tough, having to go to an infertility clinic. You ask "Why us?" We've been relatively healthy. Maybe we're a little overweight, but The Wife's never smoked or even had alcohol. It's been years since I've had alcohol or even partaken in a cigar. People all around us having babies. Some by accident. All to loving homes, to be sure, but we're ready to provide a loving home. It should be our turn. Why do we have go to see a doctor? Are we some kind of failure? Will they be able to help us? What will they say is wrong? What if we can never have children on our own?
But the tests kept coming back negative. The fertility drugs had no effect. The first two IUI's were several weeks ago. I had to provide samples in a cup two days in a row. A technician would select the best swimmers from each sample. Then they were delivered directly to the close proximity of the waiting egg via a syringe and a flexible tube in a very invasive procedure. The success rate for IUI was listed at anywhere from 10-25% depending on which website and which pamphlet we read. The doctor reminded us that 'it only took one.' She let me depress the plunger and dispatch the troops. For good measure, we had sex that night, too. The next day, the doctor depressed the plunger. For good measure, we made an old-fashioned attempt that evening as well.
Our best friends' baby was born a few weeks ago. Beautiful, healthy, two weeks early. A pure bundle of life-changing joy. You have moments where it's tough to be happy for them. But you want to be. You don't want to be selfish. I think in the end, our own confidence that our prayers would be answered allowed us to truly celebrate with them.
A dinner the other night, other friends announced they had completed the first trimester. We smiled and I thought to myself "It's our turn." and believed it. Not because I wanted to believe it, but because I did believe that we were next.
This morning my wife showed me a white stick and said "Does this look like a blue line?" It did. This evening, a stick with two pink lines. It said that one of the lines could be faint and it would still read positive. Well, let me tell you, that second pink line couldn't have been any pinker.
I have not really come to term with the whole concept yet and I know that it's still really early on -- a more comprehensive and foolproof blood test tomorrow at the clinic. The baby is about half the size of the dot in the letter i. But I've teared up several times this evening. Mostly because I've felt like a real failure tonight for doubting God. I suspect that anyone who's gone through, will go through, or is still going through what we've gone through -- or much more -- will have many moments of doubt.
So, now there's a new House, a Puppy, and the book is lost somewhere in one of the still packed boxes.
Keep the faith.
> James at 11:49 PM