Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Will The Miracles Ever Cease?

When I was a wee lad I used to watch the Transformers cartoon after school. Because it was one of the more awesome things on television at 3:30 PM.

I always sang along with the theme song in my head without really knowing the words (Transformers...Mordenmeetsdeiye!). I have a very vivid memory of laying on the brown wall-to-wall in my living room one afternoon, the Decepticons acting like fucking pricks, as usual, and feeling like the unluckiest person on earth.

A) I had no transformer friends,
B) I did not yet have the hang of tying my shoes properly and
C) my beloved 2 year old cat was crushed in my driveway. Assassin unknown.

But after watching the madness and mayhem unfold on Transformers, I would stand on the brown sofa and say I AM OPTIMUS PRIME. And I'd feel marginally better.

For those of you who manage to slog through the singular tediousness of this blog month after month, you may recall that we lost our cat in October.

We sometimes take long weekends to country town to escape the city. In early October, E went up to country town with dog and cat in tow, while I stayed at work. In the throes of first trimester narcolepsy, E apparently arrived at country house, walked in the front door, opened the cat carrier, sat on the bed, and thereafter slipped into a four hour long coma.

E having failed to close the front door after stepping in, our cat made her way outside and Into The Wild, as it were.

Our cat had not been seen or heard from since, until we got a phone call this weekend.

She weighs a fraction of her pre-adventure weight, and is also freakishly strong. Although this is heartbreaking on the one hand, it is probably better for her long-term health on the other hand. A mere 3.5 months ago she most closely resembled a small beached seal strewn sideways across our couch who rarely trotted for the swinging of her stomach got in the way of her legs.

She's now lithe and muscled, but back on our couch where she belongs.

I am the luckiest person on Earth. Or, as I said again recently, having just watched the intoxicating adventure that was the Transformers movie, I Am Optimus Prime.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dog Is My (Awesome) Co-Pilot

We love our dog. He's one of the coolest individuals I've ever met. He's massively popular. He probably has more friends than I do. But not because he's a wiggly waggly retriever-type who loves everyone so everyone loves him back. You've got to earn this dog's love. And everyone wants a piece.

Many of our friends come over specifically to see him. Not us.

Many of our friends ask to borrow him for days at a time. There are a few who actually argue over who gets to take him when we go on vacation.

He rocks.

He's mellow and chilled out almost always. Unless you get him out in an open field with a tennis ball/stick/frisbee - then he's got the focus and drive of a West Point cadet.

Or unless someone is knocking on our door, and then he's got the intensity and thinly veiled malice of a sniper with a touch of 'roid rage.

But because he's big, and he's a doberman, anyone not well acquainted with his awesomeness asks us what we're going to do with him when the baby is born.


E always responds with something like: "we're going to put the baby in his bed with him" or "we're going to let him clean her butt off when we change her diaper."

Ha, ha, the person laughs.

But what they don't know is that she sort of means it.

Aside from the irritating breed-ism inherent in this question, I'm always shocked at how it is posed. What are we going to do with him? The better question is what the hell are we going to do with this poopy little creature who is suddenly the center of our household?

The dog I know I can handle. The baby...not so much.

The three of us are a pack. There used to be four of us, until we lost our cat. Me, E, and our fucking awesome dog, aka Aiden, Gene, Todd, or Deborah (see? we don't even gender our dog). And our tribe totally has room for another.

But I wonder...how do we do right by him? Sometimes when I watch Cesar Millan I'm convinced that the best thing for him is to get another dog. But then I realize I may be exhibiting signs of insanity.

I know we'll be preoccupied and exhausted, and I don't want him to feel left out. He's been our only child for 7 years, and I imagine he might experience a little shell shock if we don't do this right.

So I'm reaching out to those of you reading who have words of advice...what was your experience when you brought your baby home? How did you integrate baby into your pack without excluding your BFF?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm Starting To Think Sleeping Is Overrated

I've always had anxiety dreams, for as long as I can remember dreaming. Long, epic, apocalyptic dreams. But since E has been pregnant, my anxiety dreams have quadrupled in frequency. As morbid and horrendous as my "last man on earth" dreams are, the baby anxiety dreams are worse.

I've become sort of accustomed to thrashing out of bed prepared to go hand-to-hand with the zombies beating down my door. But dreaming about neglecting a little baby? That shit is alarming.

The latest:

E and I adopted a baby. He was very cute, about 6 months old and chubby and adorable. But he had a butt chin, which was a problem for us in my dream. We sort of didn't take care of him. We held him and squished him and played around with him, but didn't really take care of him. Not necessarily because of the butt chin, but just because our lives were all messed up and we weren't good parents.

And our baby died. It was so horrible and traumatic that E and I broke up as a result.

After we broke up, this 50 year old, overweight, wealthy, semi-famous woman asked me to marry her and I said yes. And when we were out together I thought: this is fucking weird. But then I remember thinking that it might work out okay because she wouldn't mind if I wasn't, uh...faithful.

Dream over. I'm a horrible person.

In E's latest anxiety dream she repeatedly dropped our new baby out the car window as we were driving. We kept having to turn around and go look for her, and every time E would find her on the side of the road in a puddle or ditch, and she'd pick up our poor baby on the brink of death and nurse her and she'd get better. Only to get back in the car and drop her out the window again.

Dream over. E is a horrible person.

We wake up feeling like we'll be unfit parents. Giant, hideous, hairy monster parents.

I've consulted with two friends so far on the meaning of last night's heinous dream. They assure me that I won't neglect our little baby, butt-chin or no.

But I sort of feel like my sub-conscious is reviewing a 2,000 page report on me and my demons.
And so far...so bad.

Monday, January 14, 2008

One Night Down. A Jillion More To Go.

Last night was my first night without Theraflu in...many nights. Most of those nights I've been sick and in need of a cough suppressant. But, I'll admit, some of those nights I have not been in need of a cough suppressant, and only in need of a sleep aid.

I hit rock bottom this weekend. If you've ever found yourself clutching an over-the-counter medication to your chest while your loved one carefully and slowly wrenches it from your grip, saying "I'm not going to enable you anymore," then you know what a low moment feels like.

Theraflu! How I long for your steamy yellow self! Your hot lemon flavor! How I miss being comatose exactly 30 minutes after ingesting you!

I've been cut-off. So now I'm back to experiencing Level Orange restlessness starting at 11:30 PM.

Last night my friends S and R came over to entertain me while I detoxed. As gay boys are wont to do, they held me down and forced me to watch 2 girls, one c.u.p. and its hideous sequel, 4 girls f.in.ger.paint.

Dude. If I can save one innocent soul from experiencing 2G1C or 4GF, then I did not watch (and puke a little in my mouth) in vain. It's not the kind of gross that makes you say "ew, nasty!" it's the kind of gross that you want right the fuck out of your sight RIGHT AWAY. Just don't watch it, friends.

This PSA was brought to you by GS, a concerned citizen.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Best Friends Forever

Thank you for the sweet comments to my last post - she's a cutie, right?! Cysts on brain be damned, the baby looks adorable.

Name poll is over there. We got a little swept away with the primary buzz, so we decided to start a poll of our own. Vote if you're so inclined. We had the world's greatest boy names lined up, but the girl names are a little shadier, so we're happy for input.

E has - I shit you not - created an excel spreadsheet tallying the votes from this website along with votes from our friends/family. That's what the MBA is for, folks.

I've had a head cold since my recovery from New Years Eve, so I've been walking around in a foggy, mucousy stupor for the last week and a half. As much as I loathe a cold, I have a sort of fond affection for this one, because this one introduced me to a new cherished companion.


I used to flat out refuse to drink that hot, piss-colored, medicinal liquid, no matter the strength of my cold. I never understood how some nasty lemon powder mixed with water was any improvement over the old hot toddy standby.

At the start of head-cold '08, I self medicated with hot toddies. I'd make one large one in the morning and carry it around in a thermos, drinking it all day. After toppling over once from the force of a sneeze, I decided to cut back on the hot toddy regimen.

But then, on night 4 of my cold, the annual Nocturnal Non Stop Coughing Party began. (This happens to me every year: I get a cold, which eventually peters out and leaves me with a month long nocturnal cough that WILL NOT DIE. One night last year I caught E hovering over me with a pillow clutched in her hands and a wild look in her eye, necessitating my transfer to the second bedroom.)

So this year, at the first sign of the annual night-long coughing spasm, I brewed myself a hot steaming cup of Theraflu.

And lo, sleep - sweet, dreamy, didn't-move-once-until-the-alarm-went-off sleep - ensued.

I've had my cup of hot piss every night since. And I like it. Now it's a delicious lemony adventure that I look forward to all day long.

There's even a leftover cozy-warm tingle in my brain during the daytime. So what if it leaves me slightly bereft of reason? So what if I forget the word for "contagious" and instead tell anyone within arm's length not to worry, I'm no longer "infective."

This morning, my colleague with a newborn baby was talking about how the baby won't sleep in his "pack and play," but he really likes the "carrier" and the "moby." At first I blamed my Theraflu-induced dementia for not being able to understand what the shit he was talking about. But then I realized, no, I really don't know what those words mean.

So I asked. He looked at me with a mixture of pity and alarm and asked me when E was due.

I'm in a tender state, Theraflu aside, so his alarmist attitude first irritated me, but then I started to worry. Does a baby need more than a moses basket and a couple dozen diapers? Seriously, what are those things, and will I need them?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Anatomy Scan

Her foot measures 3 centimeters from heel to toe and her upper lip periodically stretches out into the shape of a pterodactyl beak and she spent much of the time with her forearms crossed across her face, casting hexes against the treachery visited upon her twice in one week.

She has a long neck and a beautiful aortic arch and a swimming fish for a heart. She also has a small cyst in her brain; a choriod plexus cyst.

This cyst is a soft indicator of trisomy 18, but is more likely nothing at all.

Everything else looks perfect.

We're not going to get amnio. We think everything will Be Okay. How's that for a New Year's Res?

Part of me feels that after the chaos of miscarriage and IVF, nothing can fuck with my panic button anymore unless there's a damned good reason behind it.

More importantly, I feel like we owe it to ourselves and to Lentil to let go of the pregnancy stress. This shit isn't just stress, it's the angst and worry and ambivalence and heartbreak that has been accumulating since 2005. That accumulation changes our perspective on everything, changes E's experience of pregnancy, and makes the news of the cyst all the more sinister. And that's just not right. It's too much for little pregnant E to bear.

And it's altogether too much weight on one little person with a 3 cm footprint.

Monday, January 7, 2008


Amazing what a weekend does for one's perspective. A little time spent outside the office walls and the blood starts rushing back to my cold, deadened heart.

I'm feeling less:

1) irate at learning the sex over the phone at my desk instead of together with E, Fig tagging the u/s screen in the background,

2) ambivalent about parenting a girl,

3) scared shitless in general (this, of course, is subject to change at any given moment).

I tell you, the level of hand-holding I've required throughout this pregnancy stuns even me. Every step of the goddamned way I've got to have reassurance from all sides. It's unbelievable.

The good news is that I'm getting the reassurance from all sides, like the lucky fuck that I am.

My family and friends are supportive. My family in law is supportive. The inexhaustible E is supportive. And of course all of you who read this and support me with your kind words of wisdom.

All these people, endlessly listening to my adolescent distress. But each word I say or write leaves me feeling less restless and panicked. So thank you.

I'm toying with the idea of posting a poll on here with our potential names. It doesn't seem like very many people do this sort of thing. I imagine that's because it is a pretty bad idea...but hey - since when have I shied away from acting on a bad idea?

Speaking of Bad Ideas, The L Word premiered last night. Woah, nelly, was it bad. The L Word is my favorite show that I Love To Hate. It acheived its greatest buzzkill heights last night, though, what with the Hollywood executive/creative author relationship storyline. YAWN.

You know I won't miss it next Sunday, though. Damn you, Ilene.

Friday, January 4, 2008


To the Tumbling Little Hoodlum in E's Uterus,

We learned your sex today. Which, of course, is unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but because it gives us more insight into your mysterious self it is bewitching nonetheless.

Learning your sex was different than how I imagined it would be. I had many idealized visions of how the learning would happen. Mainly I envisioned being on the receiving end a lot of hand-holding and reassurance and calming words, but that is beside the point. I had a plan for the learning, because that is how I roll. That is how people taking baby-steps roll.

But the learning didn't go according to plan, and instead happened while I sat at my desk, which is where I find myself during many of life's big events.

(I promise not to be at my desk during your arrival. Swear.)

How strange and sad it was to feel my heart in my throat because the learning was different than anticipated.

Because what's the big deal about your sex anyway? It might not even be the right one -- who knows how you'll feel once you're out here experiencing the world in your body. (You can tell us later if it feels all wrong. Don't even stress about that. )

We assign all this significance to your sex. We have the big anatomy scan. Get a jump start on the gender thing. Meanwhile, you were probably in there thinking to yourself "Ever heard of the Fourth Amendment, people?" while we're rummaging about in your business, checking out your sex organs.


What's really important is meeting you in the flesh. You, out here, acting your own actions and thinking your own thoughts. Doing your little thing. That's what counts. What I'm trying to say is to hell with the plans. I'm certain this was merely the beginning of things that won't go according to plan, anyway. Welcome to being alive.

Plans don't matter. Nothing really matters, in fact, but being a good parent to you, your own little self.

Nothing matters but all of my actions from now until I die. Oops. There goes my blood pressure again. I should sign off before I start fucking you up a bit early.

See you on the other side, L.

With all the love in my racing heart,


P.S. I've enclosed a photograph of your brother/manny ringing in the New Year. He is thrilled to learn that he has a sister on her way to this wild world.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Gender Trouble

I continue to recover from New Year's Eve.

Christmas week stories to come later. New Year's stories not forthcoming.


E's ultrasound is next Tuesday. This one is the biggie, the "anatomy scan," which means this one will reveal lentil's sex.

I think I posted before about my deep faith in the Chinese Fertility Calendar. It doesn't lie. And it tells us lentil will be female, unless you calculate the "maternal age" as the egg donor's age, in which case it indicates that lentil will be male.

I think I'd rather have a boy, for reasons enumerated a few weeks ago. E has changed her mind and now also wants a boy. We were having a rare moment the other day, standing in the baby room and talking about lentil. People gave us a lot of baby shit for Christmas and we were looking at it with our usual disbelief.

We got some really fucking adorable stuff, btw. A tiny onesie with a guitar on it. A long and skinny hare clad in highwater jeans and a turtleneck sweater.

I used to have this t-shirt with "I'm Kind of a Big Deal" written across the front. Everyone loved it when I wore this shirt. The shirt has since been lost, but one of the shirt's biggest fans got us a pink onesie that says the same thing.

As we stood there looking at this stuff, I told E this pink onesie would be cutest on a boy. And -- like I knew she would -- she freaked out.

E: "A boy cannot wear this onesie."

GS: "What are you talking about? Because it's pink?"

E: "Yes, because it's pink. And the writing is in cursive."

GS: "Are you serious? Listen to yourself."

E: "Don't start with me."

GS: "He will wear it, and I will buy him a matching purse to carry if he wants to accessorize."

I enjoy tormenting E by telling her that if we have a son I will buy him a purse if he wants one. For some reason this really sets her off. This is odd behavior on her part, since I know for a fact that she doesn't have the same gendered ideas about a girl child.

For example, she has expressed a wish that if we have a girl, she hopes that she will take after daddy and be a little tomboy. I assume she'd prefer that to a daughter who takes after her young agoraphobic self.

Another thing I like to say to E is that I hope our child is intersexed. I think that the CFC's confusion about our child's sex could actually be the Chinese Fertility Fairy communicating to us that we're having an intersexed child. This REALLY gets E's goat.

You know what, though? I'd be a fantastic parent to an intersexed person.

If our child is intersexed, my small area of expertise will be utilized and I may begin to look forward to parenting a bit more. How useful would I be to an intersexed kid in this junked up world? Pretty useful. I predict that I would unleash some kickass parenting skills upon my intersexed child.

I was doing some thinking about my thoughts on our intersexed child. I wonder if this means I'm afraid I'll be a useless as a parent, and my hope for an intersexed child is me looking for ways in which I can be useful? Like, besides being a pair of hands to change an ol' crappy diaper.

So, whatever we have will be right. Male, female, intersexed. But if we have a boy, I will buy him a purse.

Because E is the one with the hang-ups.