Jameelah and I are pregnant! Ok, technically Jameelah is pregnant. But, you know … I kind of helped a little. The few people we’ve told ask, “How do you feel?” Well, excited, happy, and kind of scared, as if someone told me an eccentric uncle just kicked the bucket and left me a unicorn. I mean, I love unicorns, but I’ve never had one before, so how would I take care of this unicorn when it arrives? The only thing I am sure of is that we will at some point buy a bouncy chair, because babies love to bounce for some reason. I could be entertained for hours, watching the little tyke bounce in its bouncing chair. Also, something called “Tummy Time.”
By the way, I’m still kind of jet-lagged, so this post may not be the most coherent. We were in Vietnam when we found out. Being suspicious, we decided to buy pregnancy tests. The trouble was, I didn’t know the word in Vietnamese for this item. In Da Lat, we went into a convenience store, mainly to get some conditioner for Jameelah. “Pst,” she said, “while we’re here, ask for a pregnancy test.” I looked at the clerk, a girl maybe 18 years old. “So …” I said, “Um … so, do you have … a, uh, a stick, that, um, you pee on, and it tells you if … you…”
She looked at my blushing face, then looked at Jameelah, and a wide smile formed. “A que thu thai?” she said. (Literally a “stick to test for pregnancy.) “Yes, yes. That,” I said. She responded, “Nope!” We trudged to a pharmacy, where I had to relive my embarrassment. (Maybe this is why “embarazada” is the term in Spanish for pregnant).
The first time she tested, Jameelah got very excited. “Look!” She said, “There’s a faint red line. You can barely see it because it’s so early, but I’m sure I’m pregnant.”
“Let me see,” I said, looking closer. The line was barely there. There was no way to be positive. Maybe all the tests had that line. We only bought one, so there was no control test. I didn’t believe it. We had to go out and buy several more. Over the next four days, she would test, and the line became slightly darker.
“Nope, we still can’t be sure,” I said, ”still too faint. We can’t give ourselves or our families false hope.” Jameelah was getting frustrated at my stubbornness, but hey, better to be completely sure before we told people. In Saigon, she tested again. This time the line was dark and clear as day. “I’m pregnant!” she said, “Just admit it! There are no false positives!” I looked at it suspiciously. I raised it to the light. I checked the instructions on the box. I looked back at the little stick I was holding. I raised it back up to the light. I looked at Jameelah, who was smiling with big, hopeful eyes. “We’re pregnant!” I said.
We have temporarily called our baby “Button,” because we had joked about naming our kids after various mushrooms. Jameelah is ecstatic, obsessed now with every little symptom, googling things constantly. “Did you know,” she said, “that at about this time, our baby is the size of a sesame seed?” Orange seed, she would announce a few days later, then apple seed the next day. I thought an orange seed would be bigger than an apple seed, so the baby should be about the size of an apple seed first, THEN the size of an orange seed.
But I kept this to myself. Of all her symptoms that are starting to develop, the one I fear most will be the mood swings. “There will be absolutely nothing you can do except to be nice when they happen,” she warned.
I am not so sure if it has really hit me yet. In about 8 months, I’ll be a father. That’s so strange to think about. It’ll be due around the time “The Game of Thrones” comes back; I don’t know how I feel about that. Right now, as I type this, Button’s cells are multiplying like crazy, forming into a tiny person. I hope I’ll be a good father. I hope the baby will be healthy and I’ll look forward to when Button has Tummy Time.
Whatever the heck that is.
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