There is going to be a kid at the Institute soon, and we’re not talking about a baby goat. God help us all.
A little more than a week ago, the Hot Librarian first detected the pregnancy with the best technology available at the local Wal-Mart. The second pink line was faded but undeniable and the typical sense of wonder I imagine most parents have began.
There is something alive inside of my wife, and it’s one half me.
A few days later, a real, honest-to-goodness doctor confirmed what the Wal-Mart pharmacy had promised: we were reproducing. Only six weeks into the life-altering event, our offspring was nothing more than a glob of cells about the size of a poppy seed on steroids. It will be another week and a half before we get to hear an actual heartbeat. Still, and this bears repeating, the Glob is composed half of my DNA and it is feeding on the Hot Librarian.
The mind reels.
Because we’ve already told our family and close friends, I’ve been able to prepare a list of Frequently Asked Questions to post here on the Institute Blog. Without delay, here are the GarnerChild FAQs:
Many people are a little superstitious about announcing a pregnancy before the end of the first trimester. Are you jumping the gun a little bit?
Maybe. From the reading I’ve done—and I have been filling a pretty sizable gap in my knowledge of pregnancy—between 10 and 20 percent of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage and 80 percent of those occur in the first 12 weeks. Overwhelmingly, these miscarriages are the body’s way of rejecting embryos with flawed chromosomal structure. It’s nature’s way of saying “please try again.”
There are two ways to look at this conundrum. One is to keep your joy under wraps until the “red zone” has passed. The Hot Librarian and I rejected that option out of hand because, while we keep other peoples’ secrets like champs, we are horrible at keeping our own. Most of the time, we give each other birthday and Christmas presents days or weeks early. I proposed to Jessica a week before I’d planned to do so.
Second, Jessica is a Christian girl who firmly believes in the power of prayer. I am religiously unaffiliated, but strongly subscribe to the notion of shared universal energy, whether you call it “good vibes” or karma or the Force.
The thought of all our friends and family praying for us or simply taking a few moments to meditate and visualize a healthy, happy baby in Jess’s tummy is a great gift and a comfort. Call us crazy, but all that positive energy is a pretty formidable ally, even if it isn’t exactly a guarantee.
What took so long?
Unmotivated sperm. Funny, as soon as word got down to my testicles that fertility treatments would cost an unnaturally large sum of money, one of the chromosome couriers suddenly got motivated to have, you know, a college education.
When is the End of the World… I mean, the due date?
Are you going to learn the sex of the baby or keep the surprise?
There is apparently a new movement afoot to add some extra magic to the birth by withholding the sex of the baby from the parents. People who do this are insane. We are most definitely learning the orientation of the Glob as soon as possible (at about 14-16 weeks). I’m not painting anything until I know what color to pick.
Do you have names picked out?
Yes, but that’s for a later blog. Although if you search the archives, at least one name is already there.
Enough small talk. Is this going to wreck the Institute?
I certainly hope not. These last two weeks, the blog has been spotty because of a combination of personal business, WordPress problems, data migration by my web host and baby news. I am still fervently committed to keeping a Monday-Friday schedule of content here at the Institute. There may be some interruptions at points (think mid-November, for starters) and I am certainly taking applications for new weekly, bi-weekly or monthly contributors, but there are no plans to cease the current output.
That said, I have also promised Jessica that I will finish my novel, The Prospect, before the baby is born. I’m also involved in another very exciting writing project I won’t say more about here except that it is going to be a big, fat wad of awesome. I also have a second novel with over 30,000 words of text and a third fiction project I hope to finish before November for reasons other than just the obvious one.
This is my way of saying that posts from me may get shorter and more succinct (a good thing, actually) and disruptions in service could be more numerous. After the baby arrives, I hope to have a plan in place for the blog—a plan that may even include a second administrator. If you are one of the Five Faithful Readers (or just a regular lurker), I will say that commenting on posts and the Facebook fan page are great ways to remind me how ubiquitous you all are and keep me motivated to write—not just the blog, but my fiction projects as well.
This isn’t going to turn into some mushy “daddy blog” is it?
At times, yes.
But broadly speaking, I’m going to attempt to avoid many of the common clichés of parenthood when discussing the Consequence of My Sperm. Remember, the “mailbag” option is always open. Just pop over and make a suggestion for a topic (you can click the image to the right to get there now) and I’ll probably blog about it. But if you are really turned off by people who use their websites to endlessly prattle about their kids, I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t plan to stop reading books or watching television, but I know that even with the most clichéd stuff thrown out, I’ll still have plenty to say about raising the next generation of Garner. And there will be pictures. Dear lord, I assure you there will be pictures. I hope to be half as witty as my friend Doug, who has a great blog chronicling his son in photos.
Now that you are going to be a dad, will you quit using so much foul language in your posts?