In between the fancy little pregnancy stick yelling, “Pregnant” and the first doctor’s appointment were two of the weirder weeks of my life. An odd grey area filled with contradictions. I wanted to tell everyone but I was afraid of jumping the gun. I think there was a part of both Alexis and I that thought we would get to the doctor and she would say, “Whoops, nope. Not pregnant!” Additionally, the first trimester is viewed as a dicey time because of the increased chance of miscarriage. So, we kept it entirely under wraps. At times it felt exciting to have this big secret but at the same time we felt isolated and longed for someone else with whom to talk about it¹.
Pregnancy (so far and as far as I can tell) has a significant partitioning effect on your life. It pushes you abruptly out of one camp² and into another³. Suddenly, you feel closer to your friends who are parents⁴ and a little more distant from your un-babied friends⁵. You glance back at them on the shore of independence from your barge of accountability⁶. And at the same time, you feel that you’ve made this big, exciting step that your un-babied friends have not. You’ve…advanced?
And simultaneously, nothing has changed. You are the same person that you were before⁷. Your lady isn’t any different looking — she’s just nauseated all the time now — and you’re wondering where the daycare money is going to come from⁸.
The first doctor’s visit was a tense and exciting one. Alexis’s OBGYN is a motor-mouthed, caring, accomplished woman who at times seems to have a lot on her plate. She can come off as flighty but is incredibly caring and answers every question we have in a thoughtful manner. And within five minutes of us being there she shoved a big wand up my old lady’s⁹ hoo-ha. Needless to say, I pasted her one¹⁰.
Actually, even before the hoo-ha wanding, a very pregnant patient of the good doctor waddled into the waiting room and said she thought she might be having contractions. One of the sassy, Latina nurses¹¹ took a look at the lady’s undercarriage and said something to the effect of, “Uh, I can see the head.” So, unsurprisingly, the office erupted into a bit of a furor and we were quickly shuffled down the priority list until the lady was safely transported to the hospital across the street.
Once things died down, the wanding occurred and we were faced with a black and white picture of what looked like a fried egg with a bean in the middle of it. This is more or less what I had expected.¹² But then the good doctor hit a button on the ultrasound machine and we were presented with the clear, strong sound of a human heartbeat. Alexis and I gasped and made eye contact. And I will tell you what, friends: you can spend much of your life as a stoic Norseman, but every once in a while you have to bask in the light of something incredible and (literally) life-affirming and entirely beyond your grasp.
¹ Our mailman said “TMI” when I tried to confide in him and Rush Limbaugh is no longer taking my calls.
² Young and fancy-free.
³ Old and RESPONSIBLE.
⁴ And they in turn have a whole hell of a lot to tell you (all helpful).
⁵ Oh god please don’t leave me. I’M STILL COOL!
⁶ Barge of Accountability is the name of my new band. Or should it be Accountability Barge?
⁷ Slightly flabbier and less accomplished than you expected to be at this age.
⁹ Not actually old. Sorry, baby.
¹⁰ Just kidding. I didn’t punch a gynecologist. Not funny.
¹¹ I know, I know, this is a GROSS racial generalization but each of the nurses in the office is in fact Latina, sassy, and absolutely awesome.
¹² Though it did remind me that I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet.