I took a deep breath as I plopped onto the couch. It had been a marathon day for our family, kicking off with a frantic search for the baskets of goodies the Easter Bunny had hidden for the Twins in the living room the night before, followed by church, a breakfast/Easter egg hunt at my in-laws’, a lunch/extended hangout at my parents’ house (which also included my in-laws), and an epic, multi-generational game of Spoons resulting in literal bloodshed for several family members.
We’d just gotten back home from the festivities at about four in the afternoon. My daughter, who had fallen into a post-candy coma in the car, was still passed out on the couch, while my son was assessing his toy/sweets inventory on the living room floor, unpacking his three Easter baskets (yes, the Easter Bunny visited both grandparents’ houses, too) and lining up his loot.
I am not a napper, but after the day we’d had out in the Arizona heat, I was just about to nod off when the silence was broken.
It was my wife. I’ll admit that my initial reaction was annoyance because she’d used her Desperately Important Tone of Voice, which is usually reserved for Dire Emergencies, like when it is critical that I retrieve a box of her scarves I did not even know existed from the top shelf of our closet, or when a bug that was “crawling across the floor, trying to eat her” turns out to be a ball of lint. You know, the heavy shit.
Sighing lazily, I rose from the couch. “I’ll be right back, Buddy,” I told my son.
“Okay, Daddy,” he said, eyes still on his gear. “I’m just going to sit here and line up all of the things that the Easter Bunny brought me because I got a lot of things and I’m putting them in a line so I can see the ones that I have and then I’m going to play wiff them.”
“Sounds good, Buddy.”
I headed into our bedroom, ready to be underwhelmed by my wife’s latest “crisis.” But when I saw her standing in the bathroom with ET-sized eyes, I knew right away that something was different. This might actually be A Big Deal.
Admittedly, she’d had an even longer day than the rest of us. While everyone was enjoying a smorgasbord of quiches, pulled pork, and mimosas, she had felt too sick most of the day to enjoy any of it. Her stomach had been killing her.
“What’s going on, babe?” I asked, easing my foot onto the proverbial eggshells.
Without saying a word, she handed me a small white stick. At first I thought she might be handing me a tampon applicator or something of that persuasion, but I quickly realized what it was. I had purchased it earlier that day, when I’d been commissioned to go to the grocery store for a few items we were bringing to my parents’ house. On my way in, she’d sent me a text.
“Also, get a pregnancy test.”
I laughed right in my phone’s face, eliciting stares from my fellow produce section patrons. Any time my wife has an out-of-the-ordinary headache or stomachache, she insists she is either pregnant or dying of cancer. It is then that I call upon my mother-in-law (who is an Ob-Gyn and regularly diagnoses both conditions) to do me a solid and tell her to calm the hell down.
Plus, in our case, pregnancy has always been a particularly ridiculous suggestion. I’ve never shared this before—mainly because I’ve never had a reason to and at this point it’s water under the bridge—but my wife and I are lucky to be parents at all.
Once we were married and decided we were ready to make some munchkins, we tried to get pregnant for a year and a half. While I’ll admit it was my Golden Age of Getting Laid, at a certain point discouragement and frustration began to chisel away at the festivities. Eventually, we found ourselves sitting in the office of one of the most preeminent fertility experts in Arizona, waiting to hear the results of a series of tests we’d undergone.
“Well,” he smiled, eyeing our charts. “You’re perfect for each other.”
He was messing with us. I remember being conflicted—on the one hand thinking it must be so much fun for him to have people hanging on his every word and to be able to get all cryptic ninja sensei on them, but on the other hand wanting to scream “What the f*ck does that mean?”
As my wife joined me in the stunned, slightly murderous silence, he continued: “You’re both very infertile.”
The murderous silence continued.
He proceeded to tell us with certainty that there was no way we could conceive a child naturally—my boys needed swimming lessons and the pool they were trying to swim in was…actually, I can’t think of a great analogy for my wife’s lady parts here without sounding like an a-hole or being gross. But you get the idea. We were essentially told that—based on our equipment—there was a less than 1% chance we’d become pregnant the old-fashioned way. The doctor’s “perfect for each other” comment came from the fact that he’d often see couples faulting “the infertile one” for not being able to conceive. He was gently telling us that we didn’t have that problem because we were both barren wastelands. Yay!
Anyway, to make a very long story short, with Dr. Doom’s help, we did in vitro fertilization (IVF) and nine months later, we wound up with the Dynamic Duo.
My wife and I have since talked about maybe, possibly, thinking about perhaps having more kids, but that has always been with the understanding that we’d need to go through the whole IVF deal again. And quite frankly, after first confronting the possibility that we’d never EVER be parents and later winding up with not just one child, but two adorable, brilliant, hilarious and healthy kids we love love very much (and even lucking out with a boy AND a girl), we’ve continually arrived at the same conclusion: we’re incredibly happy, and our family feels complete.
And so, on this Easter Sunday—with all of this in mind—you can probably imagine I was pretty confident that The Wife Who Cried Pregnancy was just overreacting. However, it was my duty as The Husband Who Listens to acquire a stick on which to urinate in order to illustrate to her that she was not, in fact, with child.
But later, standing there in the bathroom, I looked down at the pee-spattered oracle in my hand, and there it was.
“Ruh-roh,” I said, looking up at my bewildered spouse.
“Uh, yeah,” she nodded gravely.
I shook the stick. “Are we sure this is—”
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure, John. Those lines are pretty clear.”
“How is this happening?!”
“I don’t know.”
“I mean, I know how it happened, but…How is this happening?”
“I don’t know.”
“Infertile? Yes! I was under that impression!”
“Okay, let’s hold on a minute. I got you the two-pack, right? Why don’t you take another one, just to be sure?”
“All right…” she replied, her mind reeling. “I should wait a few minutes…I’m calling my mom.”
“Probably a good idea.” Yay for Dr. Mom.
She dialed. “Mom? I need you to come over. Like, right now.”
I heard my mother-in-law on the other line. “What? We just saw you all day. Why?”
“All right, crazy. I’ll be right there.”
“What’s going on?” she asked me when she arrived.
“No one can be told what the Matrix is,” I replied. “You need to see it for yourself.”
I led her to the bathroom, where my wife was waiting. The pee-stick reveal was priceless. I’ve never seen my mother-in-law’s mouth open that wide before. “Baby!” she bubbled. “That’s wonderful!”
We soon received confirmation via the second stick that This Was Happening.
It took a while for the reality of it all to sink in. See, the first time around, our pregnancy was not a surprise AT ALL, so this was a VERY different experience for us. It was followed by a processing period, including several realizations, as exclaimed every few minutes by my wife:
“But we got rid of ALL of our baby stuff!”
“But we just got DONE with diapers!”
“Oh crap! We need another bedroom!”
and, of course…
“But I don’t WANT to get fat!”
As it turns out, many women find that even though they could not get pregnant naturally beforehand, a successful IVF pregnancy can greatly increase the likelihood of conceiving naturally—by about 33%, according to the Google machine.
This would have been good to know.
However, as I was wrapping my head around all of this, I thought about the Twins—particularly how much fun they are and how much I love them. And seriously, how could I be anything but ridiculously excited about having another one of those little fireballs?
As we were getting ready for bed that evening, my wife was still trying to understand how the hell this had happened. “I can’t believe you knocked me up,” she chuckled.
“I guess my boys can swim after all, eh?”
“Guess so.” She thought for a moment. “So this means there’s going to be, like, a four year gap between the Twins and this new kid. Do you think that’s okay?”
And that’s when I just lost my mind laughing. “It doesn’t matter, babe. It’s happening anyway.”
. . .
In fact, it’s been happening for several months now. I originally wanted to get a few weeks in (and have ultrasound/heartbeat confirmation) before writing about all of this. But then those weeks turned into months as I was also adjusting to my new job, preparing foods with a low Wife-Vomit Index, letting her rest after a long day at her own job while I wrestled the Twins into their pajamas, trying to wedge in some dissertation writing time after the Twins’ bedtime (no, I’m not a doctor yet), and essentially repeating this same process every day. For a while I was too drained to even begin to think about writing for pleasure, but now that I’ve hit a stride and we’ve survived the unforgiving first trimester, I’m thrilled to report that we’re 15 weeks in and both my wife and my growing loinfruit are doing well. We’re also discussing The Baby in Mommy’s Tummy every day with the Twins, and they’re even starting to pick out some toys of their own that they’re “going to give to the baby when it comes out” because they’re “big kids now.”
And yes, we do have medical confirmation that there is, in fact, only one baby in there. Many people who wrongfully believe they are hilarious have suggested “What if it’s TRIPLETS this time?” and “Are you sure that the trained medical professionals aren’t missing a whole other baby hiding behind this one while they move the ultrasound machine to check on the baby from every possible angle?”
Yes, we’re sure. And no, you’re not funny.
Because since we’re going to take this plunge again, we’re very excited to experience ONE baby this time. In fact, now that we’ve already been through—well, what we’ve been through—we’re seasoned parents who actually know what we’re doing, and can actually take turns waking up at 3am instead of both of us being sleep-deprived. These are big plusses, people.
As for the possible renaming of this blog given the new stick figure on the horizon…well, see, Twinfamy is already a household name and has escalated our family to superstardom, so it would be pretty cumbersome to revamp the brand—and especially to redo all of those billboards in Times Square and to screw over the legions of fans who have already gotten Twinfamy tattoos. (That, and “Thrinfamy” just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.) So I’m going to stick with Twinfamy for the time being because I feel you are all smart enough to remember how many people are in my family.
Thanks to those of you still reading this fine publication despite the lack of updates. I’m hoping that in light of these recent events, I’ll be able to more adequately chronicle the exploits of the Pseudonymous family, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned through all of this, you never know what life’s going to send your way.
So with that in mind, we’ll just see, won’t we?
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If not, go pee on a stick. Make sure you get the two-pack.