Urbandad’s Weblog



“Oh my god!” I hear emanating from the bathroom.  I am in the kitchen cooking dinner having been laid off a month prior from my miserable advertising job.  “Ari come here and look at this” she yells.  I turn down the ragu and walk over.  She is holding the pregnancy test she had purchased – holding it out for me to read.  PREGNANT it reads. 


Now you have to understand, while we had stopped using birth control maybe a year before, we weren’t exactly trying to get pregnant.  In fact, we would avoid having sex when she was ovulating, saying there was too much going on career wise for birth of us to have a child.  But we had also said that we would be OK if indeed it happened. 


So we stared at this word in a bit of dis-belief.  And as cliché as it sounds she asked “How did this happen?


I started to laugh.  I laughed because I really wanted to be a father.  I laughed because I was happy and deeply in love.  I laughed because she was a control freak and we were now definitely, no longer in control. And I laugh because I know that deep inside, she really wanted to be pregnant too. 


“Are you sure they are accurate?” I asked and I unfolded the small directions booklet written in fifteen different languages.  It basically said that false negatives are possible but false positives are virtually unheard of.  Still, it was hard to believe.  “Do it again.” I said but she was all out of pee. 


So I went back to cooking.   What are you to do?  The ragu was going to burn and my entire world had just turned upside down.  My mind was racing…   Thank God I had  a new job lined up.   I’m going to be a father.  I’m going to be that guy with the baby sling.  Tara is pregnant!  I am going to have a child.  My child.  I am like my dad.  Someone is going to call me dad.  I laughed again.  “You’re pregnant!”  I yelled back. 


“What am I going to do?”  asked Tara.  “Do?” I replied.  “Nothing.  You are pregnant.” 


It sank in a bit more.  I kept cooking. 


What does it mean to be a father?  I always looked forward to having a child, really a boy in my mind’s eye because the boy is me and I am my father.  I want to be the better version of my dad.  I use me as child as the reference point of me as dad.  As a child I loved natural history, and kept these out-of-date Time-Life books on retiles and whales to give to my son.  I had spent my whole life preparing.  I had pictures and stories.  Books and tapes.  I did not have a vision of me with a newborn so much as me with my thinking, walking, precocious toddler.   Me with the little prodigy. 


Tara said it’s a girl. 


So suddenly I have gone from having a live-in girlfriend, my “domestic partner”, to having a family.  Weird thoughts begin to show up.  We realize she will have to take some time off from her work, even thought she is self-employed.  I feel the weight, well weight is not so much the word as it is not heavy and hard so much as significant and substantive, of being a bread-winner.  Here we are, a progressive, urban, liberal pair who are unconventional, and I am thinking about how I don’t have a will, or enough life insurance. 


We sit down and eat dinner.  We try to figure out when it happened…  which time…  She can’t be more then 3 weeks prior.  So why, you may ask, did she bring home a pregnancy test to begin with. 


Well it all started just a few days prior when she started to get bad cramps but she was not getting her period.  Cramping was not uncommon for her but the lack of a period was weird.  Tara’s mom had recently had a very bad bought of cancer so she worried there was something really wrong.  When she brought home the pregnancy sticks, I assumed they would come out negative, and she would shortly get her period.  But nope.  It read PREGNANT. 

By this time we had eaten, and she could pee again so off she went to do it again, just to be sure.  While she waiting I walked in the bathroom and stared at the blinking clock on the digital test stick.  PREGNANT it said.  And there is was. 





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