The factory is silent. Its assembly line stands motionless. Somewhere off in the darkness, a buzzer sounds. One by one, lights begin to flicker and illuminate on long-unmanned diagnostic panels, giving a sense of enormity and complexity and scale to the machinery. The low hum of power supplies warming up comes next, followed by the higher and louder whine of turbines and electric motors. A whistle sounds, and one by one, employees begin to file in and take their places at the controls. Purposed for a single task, whose time has now come, the factory slowly comes to life...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No news is good news...

Nothing new to report here... things are going as they should so far. I'm finally starting to get through my days without worrying about the baby 24/7. Every day that something doesn't go wrong seems to set my mind a bit more at ease.

That hasn't stopped me from telling Kathy what she can't do, though. So far, I think I've banned her from cleaning using any chemical products, touching our outdoor pond water, going near the cat litter box, and even thinking about using any of our insecticides in the yard. Yeah, I'm totally turning into "that guy".

Somehow, I have a feeling that before this is over, she's going to get sick of my nagging and hurt me worse than any of those things would do to her, but I can't help myself.

More news when we have it...

Monday, June 23, 2008

From Aaliyah to Zula

Craig and I discussed baby names a little bit yesterday. We did some web browsing and talked about what was stupid (yeah, we know "Nevaeh" is "Heaven" spelled backwards; it's still stupid, unless you're dyslexic) and what wasn't (nice average names like Harry and John, et al.) and what celebrities we have to thank for ruining our baby name choices (like Violet: thanks a lot Ben Affleck, you biter. Watching us get engaged, and then proposing to and marrying your chick before we got married, and then popping out a baby too wasn't enough for you?), and just how cruel it would be to name our child "Collin."

We found this page really interesting graphically, and it allows you to see the interesting trends of when names were popular:

The Baby Name Wizard: Name Voyager

We also didn't realize it, but the Social Security Administration keeps track of popular baby names year by year too! Who says the Government doesn't have a fun, human side?

From that list we noticed that a good number of the top 10 male names last year were all names that could be found on "Lost"! Coincidence? We're looking at you, Widmore!

After that, suitably drained, we decided we could at least wait until we discovered the sex of the baby before trying to narrow it down! (We did briefly consider "gender neutral" names: Leslie, Marion, Jesse, etc. but we couldn't think of one good enough to actually use...)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Welcome to Week 5!

According to, my now sesame seed sized baby looks like this:

The neural tube will make the spinal cord, nerves and brain. (More folic acid, pls!) That's all happening in the top layer, the ectoderm. (The ectoderm will also become skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and tooth enamel.)

In the mesoderm, the heart and circulatory system are beginning to form, and in fact, this week, a tiny heart begins to divide into chambers and beat and pump blood.

The innermost layer, or endoderm, is working on making all kinds of other organs.

The most amazing part of all this to me is that I'm not actively DOING anything to make all that happen! There it goes, all by itself. All I have to do is eat and sleep and go about my business. I guess I'm actively *not* doing things like drinking or eating crap foods and that's probably helping to have things come out okay at the end. But really I'm about as active as an oyster making a pearl...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Books for men

So, like most couples who've recently realized they're going to have a baby, we took a trip to the bookstore in search of advice from people who've been through this sort of thing before. Thumbing through pregnancy guidebooks, you start to realize there are two major types written for women, the clinical "Here's What's Going On With Your Body and How to Deal With It" type-books, similar to the one we received for free* from the clinic, and the "OMG DO NOT DO ANYTHING REMOTELY RELATED TO ANYTHING OR YOUR BABY WILL BE BORN WITH TWO HEADS AND A TAIL" cautionary tomes. The latter would probably be good for a laugh were they not so gut-wrenchingly horrible and scary.

There was also a third type of book I noticed: the, "Hey Dad, We Know Your Wife's Pregnant and the Center of Attention, So We Re-Wrote This Women's Pregnancy Book From a Man's Perspective". Frankly, they kind of offended me, what with their insinuation that I was somehow incapable of reading a book written for a woman and parsing that information into what was applicable to me, while gaining more of an understanding what my wife is going through. Like I couldn't take "you may retain more water than usual and your hormone levels will change" and turn it into "your wife may retain more water, yadda yadda..." without buying a second book that did it for me.

Maybe I need to write one myself: "(For Once) This is Not All About You: Stop Whining and Start Helping". Chapter One: Don't worry that your wife's having all the "fun" right now... you get to carry the baby for the second nine months!

In all seriousness, though, if anyone knows a good book for expectant Dads that doesn't patronize or pander, I'd love to check it out. Otherwise, I'll keep getting in touch with my feminine side reading books that, while a bit on the clinical side, don't dumb it down for me.

* oh, I know they'll get their money back for it down the line...

Cleaning house

Time to say goodbye to some old friends for the next nine months:

Goodbye, open bottles of wine in the fridge. I hope you enjoy your new home with whomever I can pawn you off on. Don't look at me like that. I'll find someone to love you!

Goodbye, martinis with olives stuffed with bleu cheese. Goodbye, gin and tonic. Goodbye, whiskey sours. It was certainly fun while it lasted.

Goodbye, lovely tuna steaks that I defrosted before I took that pregnancy test. I hear the landfill is nice this time of year.

Goodbye, litterbox. I hope Craig is as thorough tending you as I have tried to be.

Goodbye, tampons! I'm not going to miss you! The only thing that saves you from the same fate as the tuna steaks is that you cost eight times as much per pound, and you'll be able to last under my bathroom sink until I'm ready to see you again next year.

Goodbye, hair dye. Hello, roots.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The first few days...

I swear, I looked at that test the first time and only saw one line. I think I was so determined that it was going to be negative* that I actually convinced myself it was. So I handed it to Kathy and said, "oh, no big deal... you can look at it." To which she responded, "um, yeah... that looks like two lines to me."

So we went to the OB/GYN on Wednesday for the "real" test (Kathy will probably have more to say about this) which was also positive. Kathy was about 4.5 weeks pregnant. They collected a bunch of blood and other genetic material from Kathy, loaded us up with reading material, and sent us on our way. We return in four weeks for a more comprehensive checkup, once the fetus is actually developed enough to see.

As you may or may not know, the first trimester can be the most touch-and-go phase of the pregnancy, as the potential for miscarriage and other problems is high. Therefore, we determined that we were only going to tell a select few people the good news until the end of the third month of pregnancy (or thereabouts) when it would be more clear whether this thing would actually be going all the way to 11 (that's a Spinal Tap reference, not an implication that I want Kathy to carry a baby for 11 months... I'm not a monster. 9 will do just fine.). My point is, some of you may be back reading to get to this entry by the time you find out about this blog, but we wanted to get it down on "e-paper" now for posterity's sake.

I know this isn't my usual brand of "funny" writing, but I'm still taking this all in, and I'm sure I'll "warm up" as time goes on. I had a moment on the couch last night where it all really "hit" me and the weight of my potential future responsibility became all too real. It's a fine balance, "dealing" with it vs. not getting too excited or invested until we have a better idea of how things will turn out.

That's it for now, I'll post more thoughts as I have them, as I'm sure Kathy will too.

- Craig.

* being a cancer survivor who didn't "save some for a rainy day", it could have gone either way

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hey, look what I peed on!

Yes, it's true:

I can aim with laser-like precision onto a piece of absorbent material! Take that, men!

I am *never* late, so when I got back from Pittsburgh last week, and I realized that I hadn't needed all that feminine protection I had packed, I was pretty suspicious...

I told Craig of my suspicions on Father's Day. The next day we went out to CVS and picked up a two pack of tests, figuring: they don't normally give a false positive, but they may give a false negative. If it comes out negative the first time, I could try again in a few days. If it came out negative again, I would just go to the doctor because obviously something was wrong.

I finally worked up the nerve to go through with it. I didn't know which outcome would freak me out more. Before I even got out of the bathroom that second line was going pink, but I still couldn't look for the next 3 minutes. I put it on a piece of paper on the coffee table, and covered it with another piece of paper while Craig checked his watch...

I soon would realize that I'd be putting the second test away for at least another 9 months...