We were really young. I was probably 6 or 7. Peter was 3 or 4. Someone asked us what we want to be when we grow up. I answered like any little kid would; maybe fireman or policeman or “I wanna write stories!”
Peter did not waffle.
“I’m gonna be a vagina doctor.”
That, coming from a toddler, is hilarious. It’s been like 30 years and it still sticks with me.
In fact, it’s all I could think about while I was sitting in the waiting room at Danielle’s doctor’s office. “This is where the vagina doctor works. All the women in this room are going to have their vaginas checked. That attractive young lady across from me? Vagina check. The older woman in the corner? Vagina check. The lady with her daughter in tow? Vagina check.”
I think that was mind’s way of distracting me from the real reason I was there- My wife is pregnant. It’s a concept I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around.
I proposed to Danielle while she was in her pajamas, so it’s only fair that she broke this news to me in a similarly out of nowhere fashion. I got home from the gym one morning and, while I was sitting in the bedroom, still sweaty, removing my sneakers, she came in and said, “Hey, wanna see something crazy?” Then she held up a positive pregnancy test. A few minutes later, she took another one. Again, positive. That was a Tuesday. On Sunday, she took two more. Positive. Positive. The next Monday, we went to see her doctor. Her vagina doctor.
I was expecting a more definitive test result. I was expecting the doctor to say, “Well, these store bought tests are nice, but let’s use medical equipment to get a 100% answer for you.”
The nurse called me Daddy. That was the medical confirmation I received. Apparently, store bought tests are pretty accurate. The doctor brought us into an examination room and did an ultrasound. She showed us a blob and told us it was our child. And now, I’m having a baby.
side note: At one point, I excused myself to use the restroom. Then, I couldn’t find my way back to examination room. The entire office is a giant labyrinth. It seemed fitting that I would be in the Vagina doctor office, know there was a spot where I was supposed to end up, but find myself completely flummoxed when it came to pinpointing that location.
Now, how do you tell people? It was still early. We told our parents and brothers right away. I cried when I told my mom. It’s very sweet. Everyone was, understandably, very excited. And then, what? We were at about 6 and a half weeks. The tests that show everything is good to go come at about 12 weeks. So, you just sit there with this massive piece of information and you keep it from everyone else in your life. And, like magic, every conversation you have somehow gets around to the topic of babies and children. And you just sit there and hold it in. Because you have to wait six weeks until you can tell your friends and extended family the most earth shattering news you’ve ever shared.
So, you tell the guy at the deli. You tell a random waitress. You tell your barber and your dry cleaner. But you don’t tell your best friend when he’s telling you a story about his kids. And you don’t tell your cousin when she straight out starts talking about what you’ll do when you have children.
This was a hard one. Danielle and I were on our way to Bed, Bath and Beyond because 1) we needed a humidifier 2) we had coupons and 3) they sell strollers and stuff and we were curious about that. As we got close to the store, I remembered that my cousin and her boyfriend live right there. So, I called them, they invited us up and we hung out for a few minutes. That’s when she started talking about what we’ll do once we have kids. It was weird. It was like she knew. We didn’t let on that anything was up but, when it was time to leave to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond, they said, “Hey, we’ll come too. We have some stuff to get there.”
We split up once we got to the store. Danielle and I did our shopping, my cousin and her boyfriend did there’s. But, when we got to the baby stuff section, I stood guard. While my wife looked at different play pens and cribs and strollers, I stared at all the other shoppers to make sure my cousin and her boyfriend didn’t come anywhere near us. It was somewhat crazy.
I think that was at about 10 weeks.
The first of my two Bruce shows came about ten days later. It was the day Danielle underwent the BIG TEST-the one that determines whether or not there are any major problems with the Baby. Results take about a week. But, I had decided I was going to tell Bret what was going on. Because he is best friend and because we’re at a Bruce show and because I WANT TO SAY THIS OUT LOUD. I had a plan. When Bruce started playing, when the crowd got up and got excited, I would lean over and say to Bret, “Danielle is pregnant.” It would be awesome.
I didn’t make it that far. We met a couple of other friends for drinks before the show. They asked me how married life is. They asked me about house hunting. I held out. Bret and I walked back to our seats. There was a moment of silence. I couldn’t hold it anymore. I told him. He was happy. We talked about it. He reassured me that some of the thoughts I was having were normal. He reminded me that, for the most part, the pregnancy is happening to Danielle, not me. So the fact that it’s not the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning is completely normal. I was all very nice and helpful and couldn’t have happened if I had waited until the music started. So, good thing I couldn’t wait.
But, then, the waiting resumed. I went to my second Bruce show, this one with Danielle. It was incredibly excited to have my unborn child attend a Bruce show. At one point, Danielle said she felt the baby move. I have decided it was dancing. Literally, dancing in the dark. Speaking of that song, Bruce brought a woman up on stage while he was performing it.
Her t-shirt said “Third generation Springsteen fan” with an arrow pointing down. My only thought was, “Can I get one of those for Danielle?”
It was another week until we got the high sign from the doctor. Everything is fine. No genetic issues. No major structural issues. The baby is developing according to plan. I found this out in a text message while I was at work. Danielle called me. I didn’t see the phone ringing. She left me a voicemail. I didn’t listen to it. She texted me. It took me an hour to pick up my phone and notice it. But, as soon as I saw it I called her. She told me the good news. Then I kind of wandered into my boss’s office in a daze and said, “I’m having a baby.” He congratulated me. I told another friend who walked in. He was happy. I told two other people at work. They hugged me. It was nice.
I tried to call a couple of friends on the way home. NO ONE ANSWERED! I called my mother, who had already spoken to Danielle and was beside herself. The underrated most amazing part of this entire process has been the fact that my mother, the Yenta Queen of New Jersey, kept the secret to herself for 6 weeks. It’s truly a miracle. But now, she was free to spread the news and she was making up for lost time. And good for her. It’s her first grandchild. VERY EXCITING.
I got home. My friends started calling me back. I got to share the news. Some examples:
For my friends from home, with whom I usually get together right before the football season so we can have our fantasy draft but had to cancel this year because of my wedding and the wedding of another friend a few weeks earlier:
“Hey, guys, I’m about to fuck up the draft again. Danielle’s due date is mid-August”
For my college friends, with whom I take part in a fantasy baseball league:
“Hey, I have a great team name this year: Danielle’s pregnant”
The next day, I got to tell everyone else at work. In this case, I just walked up to one of my friends and handed her my phone, with a picture of the sonogram on it.
“What is this?” she asked, “someone’s baby?” and I just smiled and pointed at myself. She jumped up and hugged me and everyone else in the room got excited and came over to say congratulations and it was great.
So, it’s out there. The secret is secret no more. Everyone knows. We can talk about it openly.
We’re going to have a baby.
WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A FRIGGIN’ BABY! OH MY GOD!
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’m having a kid. I’ve been a little preoccupied. I didn’t have time to read Sports Illustrated this week.
Baskets by Zach Galifinakis, Louis CK et al.
I have had time to watch some other stuff, though. And Baskets, on FX, is worth the effort. It’s not drop dead funny. It’s a little dark. And Louie Anderson plays a woman without making a joke out of it. He just puts on a wig and plays a woman. It works. I also read an interesting interview with Galifinakis where he explained some of the choices he’s made. He said there’s no cursing on the show and there’s no shock humor. Galifinakis says he thinks shock humor has become hacky. Random use of the word “vagina” are now the equivalent of an arrow through the head. I agree with this. Its why commercials for Nikki Glaser’s new show annoy me so much.
and yes, I know I used the word Vagina a lot at the beginning of this post. Yes, it’s hacky. But, in this case, I think it works.