Sunday, February 08, 2009

Finally passing a pregnancy test

We’d been trying to get pregnant for almost exactly one year. Well, technically, my wife Kara had been trying to get pregnant, but I was pitching in as best I knew how.

As the months passed, I’d empty the trash can in our bathroom and occasionally dump out a used pregnancy test or two, the disappointing results of which Kara had stopped reporting to me long ago. This is how it goes for people who actually want to have a baby. Teenagers can get pregnant just by sharing a sundae with the same spoon.

But just over three months ago, while I was deepening my crater on the couch playing video games, Kara came downstairs and held a pregnancy test in front of me. Sensing that the more important moment was transpiring offscreen, I paused the game.

“Does that line look blue to you?” she asked.

I stared at the plastic stick for a moment, and then looked up at Kara and replied using the same words I’d said to her so many times before: “I have absolutely no idea.”

“I can’t tell, either,” she said.

If you see one blue line, the test is negative. If a second line (the “money line”) shows up, you’re pregnant. But the instructions failed to explain what it means when you see one blue line, and then a few minutes later, a hint of a whiff of a line appears, one that is barely detectable, faintly grayish, perhaps sorta bluish and otherwise nearly invisible.

We decided that the worst thing to do would be to get too excited, only to face another letdown.

“The last one looked like this, too. I’ll take another one in the morning,” Kara said, heading back upstairs and leaving me to a moral dilemma: after the biggest news of your life may or may not have been delivered, how long should you wait before you unpause your game?

The next morning, the money line showed up slightly darker. By the following day, it was ocean blue, which was fitting, because we were headed to the beach.

After a year of trying to get pregnant, it has been our experience that the most effective way to get a bun in the oven, or, perhaps more fittingly for us, a pizza in the microwave, is to book an all-expenses paid trip to Cancun, the kind that comes with all the booze you can drink. Two hours after Kara booked our trip, she came downstairs with the fateful pregnancy test that, in its own illegible way, let us know that for the next year or so, I’d be drinking for two.

In the few short months that Kara has been pregnant, we’ve learned so much. For instance, while a pregnant woman feels sick all the time, medicationwise, she gets sent back in time to maybe five years after we stopped treating people with leeches and whiskey. Pepto, aspirin, Ibuprofen and many other common drugs may be over-the-counter, but they’re off the table.

A couple of days after we’d had the results of the home tests confirmed, I found myself in the pharmacy saying, “I need some headache medicine for my wife. She can’t take Advil because she’s pregnant.”

It sounded so funny to say out loud that Kara was pregnant, like how the words “fiancé,” and then the words “my wife” used to sound so strange.

The whole thing was so new and exciting to me, I expected the pharmacist to wheel around and shout, “She’s pregnant? She’s pregnant! Hey everyone, this guy is a giver of life. It’s a miracle!”

Instead, he said, “The Tylenol’s over on Aisle 3, past the Q-tips.”

The pharmacist’s reaction to the news didn’t give me nearly the lump in my throat that our parents’ did.

In any event, something tells me that I’d better beat all my video games while I still have the time.

You can high-five Mike Todd at


  1. Excellent news dude!!!!

    But just as a point of information, and I hope this doesn't heap added pressure on you, you'll actually be drinking for three...

  2. That is the BEST news, Mike! Congratulations and baby makes three......ummm....4, including Memphis.

  3. Awesome news, awesome post

  4. wow!!! You have been busy!

    We, here at Deerledge, are so very happy for you!! You & Kara are about to embark on a journey that is going to test every ounce of everything you could ever know. Don't be fightened... bozillions have done it before you and will do it after you.... but you have to get it right THE FIRST TIME. no pressure dude. I' thinking you are going to have fun writing about this pregnancy and after.

    Truly, this is a blesing and I am so very happy for you!

  5. You forgot to mention that Kara also can't *eat* most of the things a "normal" human can. Not that being pregnant makes her not normal...

    Congrats again :)

  6. Congrats! That is wonderful news. You are in for one wild ride. Ok, so is Kara. I hope she has a safe and healthy nine months...or 40 weeks...or rest of gestastion....

  7. oops. Should be gestation. See what happens when you become a parent?!?!

  8. One of your best, bro. I really did laugh out loud, beyond the "LOL" variety. I just posted it on FB.

    "Big" Sis

  9. Oh wow, congratulations!

  10. Jen -- You rock!

    JL -- Dude, I don't know if I'm up for the responsibility. Anyone who went to college with me knows I have a hard enough time drinking for one.

    Loon -- Nice! Memphis will be psyched you included her.

    Eyrezer -- Many thanks. Always great to hear from you.

    Sheri -- HA! Yeah, no pressure at all. I'll be counting on Deerledge for more sage advice as we stumble our way through this.

    Rocky -- Thanks!

    The Serge -- Thanks again, dude. And there are many things besides pregnancy that make her not normal.

    Carmel -- Thanks so much! I can already feel my brain starting to slip away. I thought it was the PlayStation, though.

    Anonymous Sister -- You effing rock. I hope Mom's not mad at us for making fun of her about Facebook.

    Russ L. Muss -- Dude, thanks man. My master plan to pick up the mother of my children in computer science class has finally come to fruition.

  11. Giver of Mastheads2/10/2009 2:37 PM

    I wonder if your son will automatically be born with hereditary arthritis of the thumbs from all the video game playing. I hope RockStar or Blizzard comes out with a PS3 title on how to rear your child. That may be the only way you'll learn.

  12. Wow - that's the best news I've read all day. Congratulations!!!
    -Whoever the hell I am... :)

  13. Congratulations!!!

    Babies are fun.....but not nearly as much fun as drinking for two!! Enjoy while it lasts :D

  14. Giver of Mastheads -- I don't remember giving you time off to write comments. More mastheads!

    Whoever the hell you are -- Thanks!

    Mamma Schmoo -- Thanks! And thank you for the sage advice. I'll do my best.

  15. Congratulations, your boys can swim!

    Not only are you bringing a new life into this world, you never have to worry about coming up with a subject for a column again. It's the motherload... so to speak.

    You can always tell how good parents will be by the way they treat their pets--you two will make wonderful, loving parents.

  16. Yo Michèle! Awesome to hear from you, and thanks.

    Chris -- Ha, they sure can swim. They're like little pre-bong Michael Phelpses. Many thanks, dude.

  17. Been following your blog for a long time now, never got around to posting a comment - until now! Congratulations to you and Kara! You must be psyched. Does Memphis know she's getting a little sister/brother?

    And many thanks for the weekly (twice-weekly?) dose of goofiness and laughter!

  18. Athira -- Nice to know there are some lurkers out there. We are very much psyched, though we'll see how psyched Memphis is once she has to share the attention. Thank you!