(…continued from The Perfect Family)
It was agony waiting for my amniocentesis appointment. Plenty of time to torture myself on the internet. By the time my appointment came, I was armed with all sorts of disturbing information. One thing that kept sticking with me was the hands. Yes, the baby’s hands. Trisomy 18 babies generally hold their hands uniquely: with all of their fingers in a fist except the pinky finger. In an Austin Powers/Mini-Me form, so to speak. I knew those hands would be my answer.
Before the amniocentesis, we had a mandatory meeting with a genetic counselor to really understand the numbers. She was no more encouraging and, in fact, said she has never seen numbers like mine in her 20-year job history. They were that abnormal. Way to stand out.
Next stop, sonogram/amnio. The doctor was using the wand to look for fluid pockets to draw from, but I had one thing in mind. The hands. If I could just get a glimpse. The doctor put the wand on my stomach and the very first thing that could be identified: a perfect hand giving us a high-five. I was crying for joy. Even though the doctors told me it wasn’t definitive, I knew. My baby was letting me know everything was going to be ok.
I was so full of joy that the next sighting – another set of testicles – was a welcomed relief. I don’t make defective girls! I just make boys! And this one likes to fuck with me. He’s going to add some entertainment to this family, I can tell.
So we named him Daniel. Sometimes call him Shmaniel. And if you have read enough posts, you know this kid was not going to come into this world without a little drama. I’m surprised he didn’t flip us off instead of giving us the high-five (but he would teach that to his friends years later).
With such an overwhelming scare, the thought of having a girl was far from my mind. The universe was slowly softening my perception of perfection. Three boys was feeling…perfect. I knew I would make an amazing boy mom. I felt special. Part of a unique club of moms that understood boy behavior and gave you a compassionate smile. They knew that peeing on trees in the front yard is simply encoded on their DNA, not a parenting flaw.
Now we could move on to raising our three kids in our forever house, which was just about ready to get its face lift.
Six months. That’s how long our kitchen-basement-why-not-the-bathroom-floor project would take us. No homes out there would rent for only 6 months, so we were forced to look at apartments. Finally, we settled on a 2-bedroom apartment close to our house that had a huge walk-in closet perfect for a baby bassinet.
It was a little tight for a family of five. But, Max was 5, Thomas was 3 and our scary baby was 3 months old, so they didn’t need much. The simplicity of an apartment filled with rental furniture was actually nice. Barf on the couch, no problem. Drawing on the walls, oops. Spilled juice on the carpet, oh well. If it wasn’t for the nocturnal sex addict living above us who ended his performance with some dumbell weight training and jumping jacks, we may have never moved out.
However, the 3 am moaning and the barf stains everywhere did us in. We had only been there a month when barf on the couch, bed, and carpet really did happened. The stomach flu went through our entire family, making it to me last. In the end, only the corners of the apartment were untouched by the vomit and diarrhea. It was THAT BAD of a bug. Which turns out to be an important part of the story, as you will see.
Two weeks after the projectile vomit experience, only 6 weeks after we moved in, I realized I was missing something. Missing something very regular and very critical to my current mental state. OMG. No. This can’t be happening. WTF. I don’t remember ever consenting. Did Dalai Dan Roofie me? That bastard. I am so screwed.
Pee on stick.
Yep, I’m screwed.
How do I explain this one to my friends and family without sounding like a total hobag? Who has sex on a rental mattress with a 3 month old in the closet? Apparently Dalai Dan does, to a wife in a sleep-deprived coma.
Remember the stomach flu? I’m convinced it is the sole reason I got pregnant (and the act of sexual intercourse, of course, which is essential) Since I wasn’t back on birth control yet, I was using the trusted “rhythm method” (failing thousands of Catholics across the globe, but it seemed reasonable at the time). Remember, I had these ovaries of mine pinned down to a fraction of a second. Sex 7 days after ovulation? Child’s play. I was totally free and clear.
But this brain-drained new mom forgot one critical thing – illness postpones ovulation. Crap! How could I be so stupid. When your body is busy fighting off invaders, it puts ovulation on the back burner. Sayonara, 12 months of ovulation charting. You are useless to me now.
There I was. In an apartment, with three small children, pregnant. This was NOT part of my perfect life….
to be continued AGAIN!?! Shit, this is taking longer than I thought…check out Timing is Everything