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Topic: Beginning and End( 04/16/09)
I Am Chicken, Hear Me Roar
By Chely Roach
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Let me tell you about a little term that the average thirty-something-year-old man cannot wrap his brain around: hyperovulation. Basically, this means that a woman releases more than one egg a cycle. Still not getting it? More eggs=more babies. Three years ago, this reproductive phenomenon gave us Isabella and Olivia; my Bella and Lily. Sigh. They make me two hundred pounds of gelatinous putty in their pudgy little hands.
However—for some men—there is a freakish, testosterone driven compulsion to have a male child. I guess we get wrapped up in fantasies about little league, fishing trips, and carrying on our name.
During the girls’ second birthday party, I whispered into my wife’s ear, “Just one more…” (Insert Divine laughter here.)
With three little words, I infected her with the most contagious of all marital illnesses. Baby fever.
And baby fever is a beautiful thing. Cha-ching.
Now, my part was easy. Hers, on the other hand, included a dry erase calendar on the fridge coded with a frillion different colored markers. There were strange symbols, phrases and abbreviations that meant nothing to me. Five red dots…basal temp…CM…seven green X’s…luteal phase. I asked her once what CM stood for. She told me. You don’t want to know. Seriously. Many times I stared at her baby making chart while sneaking a swig of juice from the carton, just shaking my head. “I’m so lucky to be a man…all the weird and painful stuff falls on women.” (Insert more Divine laughter.)
Before I knew it, my work was done. One morning, my wife peed on at least ten plastic sticks before calling her obstetrician.
Five weeks later, we went for her first ultrasound. As my wife and Dr. Bentley Maserati chatted, I struggled to keep Bella and Lily out of cabinets and drawers. Scary, scary stuff in those drawers. Again, don’t ask.
While Dr. Maserati was squeezing a gallon of goo onto her belly, he assured us, “As I said before, having more than one twin pregnancy is statistically very rare…”
Word to the wise…don’t trust statistical data from a man that delivers babies for a living. It’s the obstetrical equivalent to “cooking the books”; the numbers always get fudged in his favor.
This was a harder pregnancy than the first…
When my wife was about three months along, she had horrible morning sickness, which is never isolated to mornings, by the way. While we were en route to church, she had me pull over. When she got back into the car, she pointed at me while screaming, “YOU mister, are going to make an appointment with the urologist tomorrow!”
“Because I just wet my pants while throwing up on the side of the highway. That’s why! No more!”
I stalled. I clucked. I am chicken, hear me roar. No way.
“Just one more,” gave us two. Girls. Again. Cecelia and Josephine. I dodged the scalpel conversation till after the girls finally came—all healthy and loud. I’m putty in their tiny hands…very tired putty. I have never slept less in my life. Somewhere in a CIA memo was a torture itinerary with my schedule on it.
One morning I watched in awe as my wife tandem nursed Cecelia and Josephine, while Sesame Street blared in the background and the toddlers stage dived off the couch.
She adjusted the football style hold she miraculously maintained. “Hey, did you ever make that appointment?”
“You know, snip-snip.”
Cringe. Cluck. Shudder.
“Er…uhh…no, honey. But what if we change our minds and want to try for a boy?”
At that moment, I heard a sizzle and a pop. It was her brain…
“Are you insane? We have four children, under the age of four, and you want a male heir to the throne? As far as I’m concerned,” she grabbed one of Josephine’s legs and lifted her off the pillow, “this child came out with ‘the end’ stamped on her bottom! Make the appointment, or I’ll do it myself!”
I was afraid she meant she would perform the surgery herself.
The next week I found her staring at the fridge muttering something like, “long luteal phase…”
Come morning I noticed a pregnancy test in the bathroom trashcan.
I wet my pants as I threw up in the Elmo potty chair.
By afternoon I had an appointment.
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