April 2010

Yet another blatant theft generous sampling of passages from the instant classic best seller, What To Expect When You’re Expected, by America’s newest funny man David Javerbaum. It’s already a must-read for every developing fetus out there!


In a little over a month, you will have the monopoly on cuteness in your family. (Older siblings? Their charm mortgage forecloses the second your head pokes through.) But for now, your parents are adorable! You should see them together in your room — painting, planning, arranging itsy-bitsy furniture,  having ‘serious’ talks about ‘budgets’ and ‘sharing the responsibility.’ Just like real grown-ups! And the things they come up with! Just now, Mommy said, “You won’t complain about alternating night feedings, will you?” And then Daddy said, “Of course not. I will relish that bonding time.” Oh, if only they could stay that naive!


Week 32

You are a goddamn lazy-ass. Look at you, sleeping 90 to 93 percent of the time. When are you going to do something with your life? Mommy’s ribs ain’t gonna kick themselves.

Week 35

You’re feeling cramped in there, and no wonder. You’re five pounds of carne in a three-pound empanada. And a lot that meat ain’t exactly lean. You’re up to 15% body fat, and you’re getting chubbier by the hour. But your brain is developing at an astonishing rate. Putting all your energy into your mind and not your body, huh? All right, Poindexter. Just don’t come crying to us when the jocks release greased pigs in the Tri-Lam frat! NERRRRRRRRRRRRRD!


The internet is a miraculous parallel universe in which every conceivable fact or opinion is simultaneously true, false, and related to Katie Holmes. This is certainly true in the field of obstetrics. A few short centuries ago, women’s understanding of pregnancy derived largely from what little alarmist, contradictory, spiteful hearsay they painstakingly pieced together over the course of their lives. Now, thanks to the miracle that is the World Wide Web, all that hearsay can be found at the click of a button.

Here are some common  Pregnancy Chat-Room Abbreviations:

IVF                 In vitro fertilization
OMG               Oh My gynecologist
TTC                 Trying to conceive
TTCHSB         Trying to conceive, husband shooting blanks
SHJWIDTHWTSF     Shit, he just walked in; don’t tell him what that stood for
SAHM           Stay at home mom
WAHM         Work at home mom
RAHM          Obama’s chief of staff
LOL               Lots of lactating
LMAO          Lactating my ass off
ORTFLMAO   Rolling on the floor, lactating my ass off
IMHO          I miss having orgasms
2wp             2 weeks pregnant
2mp            2 months pregnant
2yp              I am an African elephant
TWDB          Typing while delivering baby

No way. No way in hell that Michelle goes another month before this baby pops out.

I mean, cmon…take a look at her:

 She’s READY!

Alright, that’s not really Michelle. We’ll be shooting some pics this weekend to remember this special period in her life…and mine. And I’ll be making my typical rude comments about needing a wide angle lens to get it all in.

But we’re finally at the point where the end is in sight. It could really happen at any moment. Michelle has a small overnight bag packed and sitting by the door, ready to go at a moment’s notice. I’m carrying around my cellphone with me everywhere at work because I’ll never know when ‘the call’ is coming. And that would be a first.

I wonder if we’ll actually get to live out that traditional “rush her to the hospital because she’s in labor’ thing. As you know, we’ve traveled down this road before. Twice in fact. But in both cases, our girls had to be…well, encouraged….to join us in this world.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Michelle was 10 months pregnant with our first child, Emma. She was three weeks overdue when her doctor finally said we needed to induce her. THREE WEEKS! Emma was practically walking and talking when she was born.

With Sara it wasn’t quite as drawn out. In fact Michelle still thinks her doctor got the dates mixed up and actually had her induced a week early. But there we were again, with a date and time scheduled for her birth.

Will this time be different? Will I get the panicked call from Michelle, telling me her water broke in the middle of Lowes and I need to come rescue her?  Or maybe it will be in the middle of the night when this little boy decides he’s tired of using Michelle’s kidney for a punching bag, and he’s ready to join the human race.

Three places I never ever EVER expected to be in this lifetime:

A) Sharing a bag of pork rinds with Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace.

B) On the pitchers mound of Citizen’s Bank Park, World Series Game 7, Bottom of the ninth, two out….

C) Touring a maternity ward as a 50 year old guy with my pregnant wife.

And yet there we were last weekend at our local hospital, St. Mary’s, getting the lay of the land. Preggo Land, that is. I can report that not a whole lot has changed in baby-delivering technology or aesthetics in the past 14 years, or so it appears to me.

(A long aside:  I was about to refer to myself in the sentence above as…this expectant Dad. But that’s not right. That’s not my title here. I’m neither the Dad. Nor am I expectant.

So as I’m typing this, I ask Michelle across the room: What the hell am I. Her response.

“You’re my… Labor Coach. My Number One Supporter. My Number One Cheerleader,” she said. Obviously she’s having a hard time coming up with my role.

“You are….making sure the job gets done. You’re seeing this to the end! You’re…..” She gave up. Gotta come up with something. And soon!)

Back to the tour: Michelle and I inspected the place on a recent Saturday afternoon. St Mary’s is about 5 minutes down the road from us and was the obvious choice for the big event. The hospital gives tours only once a week, so we were herded through the rooms with two other Moms-to-be and their entourage. All of us looked a bit weary, especially the rotund females. All of them, including Michelle, looked like they were ready to drop their loads right then and there.

While the facility itself seems a little dated, the attentive staff members we met more than compensated for a less than state-of the-art feel of the place. They happily answered every question tossed their way, including my wife’s one and only question:

“Is alcohol allowed in the delivery room?” 

For the past few weeks, Michelle has been focusing on getting through the rigors of labor by visualizing having a glass of very good champaign after the deed is done. “None of the cheap crap,” she’s told me. “No ‘Andre’ or ‘Cold Duck'”.

If that’s how she keeps her eye on the prize….so be it.

For the record, Michelle got the anwer she was looking for.  The nurses on duty said champaign would be fine….”as long as you share with us.”

It was a pretty brief tour — the materity ward was almost full up that weekend. Everything seemed ultra organized and arranged in logical way, with the birthing rooms just steps away from the NICU, C-Section Operating Rooms, and just a short walk to the Post Delivery rooms and, finally, the  nursery.

It was at that final stop that I’ll remember most about this Saturday afternoon. The nursery was almost empty — all the babies had been taken to be with their Moms. But there was one tiny little child still in the unit, and the nurse on duty rolled her over to the windows for the group to view.

I looked over to see Michelle’s eyes welling up with tears.

Uh oh.

Michelle speaks:

Near the end of the journey. Currently 34 weeks, and so far so good.

Getting more and more uncomfortable and sleeping less and less, but I guess that it normal and to be expected.  I dont know how I am going to feel once this is all over, empty?  A void? Normal?

The life inside me is a strong kicker and likes to dance a lot especially when I drive.  Very distracting. 

Another thought that hits me is this is the last tiime that I can be this fat.  All of my skinny clothes are waiting for me and expecting me to put them on very soon……as does my husband. 

There are a lot of things I wasn,t prepared for or could have thought of way in advance, like being so out of breath and tired just from walking up a flight of stairs, or dropping something on the ground and letting it stay there because its too hard to pick it up.

My family has been so great helping around the house, and always asking if there is anything they can do to help……what a blessing.  This journey was to help another couple make their dreams come true but it also made us stonger as a married couple, closer as a family. On top of that, now we have new friends that we share a truly special bond and we will all love, nurture and watch this little boy grow up totally surrounded by those who cared enough to bring  him into the world.  I dont know how the majority of other surrogate/intended parent relationships go, but this one may be too good to be true.

With only a few weeks to go I am anxious about the birth, the unknown, the hows, the pain and the what happens after.  We as a family have a very busy summer, fall and winter planned. I do look forward to getting back on my feet, amping up my business, and rewarding my family for all of their support through this journey of love.

avoidance  n 1. the act of keeping away from or preventing from happening.

Lord knows: These last few months have been full of so many surprises. Enough to last a lifetime or 4. But last week, here came a new one:

 I couldn’t bring myself to open up my laptop and work on GuestWomb.  After months and months of setting aside the hours for thinking and writing…suddenly there wasn’t room in my day. Not even 15 minutes.

 God knows it’s been a crazy busy time, and that was a legitimate excuse. And when those rationalizations ran short, I found a dozen other things to do.

 And wouldn’t you know this would come about just at the time things are getting REALLY interesting. We’re about four weeks away from the end of this voyage. I should be spending MORE time on the keyboard documenting the home stretch, not less…or none.

This little episode I’m experience only deepens my appreciation of the TRUE writers out there in the world. The guys and gals who toil in their 9-to-5 jobs and yet always find time for that blog entry, or another page in the great American novel to be. I admire their discipline and drive. Their need to express themselves.

I’m not in their class. Not by a longshot. But it’s something to aim for.

And here’s hoping that this post will break the ice.


I’ll get back to the silliness of the Field of 64 in a little bit. But once again, real life has managed to intrude into our fun-and-games.

For one, I managed to give my cat a very bad acid trip. A drug overdose resulting in a trip to the uber-expensive 24 Hour Vet Hospital. Yeah, really. I’ll detail this lovely story another time.

And then a hospital trip of another kind. Not Michelle — the focus of this blog — but my Mom. I was supposed to spend a leisurely 6 days in Oregon on a family visit with my youngest daughter, Sara. But within 45 minutes of my arrival at their home we were headed straight to the Emergency Room.

She had undergone a successful minor throat surgery the previous week in Portland, but the hospital obviously released her too soon. When she got home she didn’t feel like eating or drinking, spending most of her time sleeping on the couch.

An immediate medical intervention was needed, and that’s what I spent most of this week working through. I’m happy to report that she’s on the mend, out of the hospital and gaining her strength back.  

And then there’s the alien life-force that Michelle is carrying. He’s obviously destined for a life as a paint-swapping NASCAR driver. He’s bouncing off her intestines and kidneys at any and all hours now. She’ll have a few choice words about her personal space invader very soon.