Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! I'm Making a New Phillip! You're Welcome, World.

I'm knocked up. I found out a few days ago. I'm due August 29th.

I know what you're thinking. "Whoa. August 29th. That's kinda far away.....aren't you gonna wait until you're out of the 'danger zone' before you tell people?"

Well, first of all, because I have the lupus, there isn't going to be an "out of the danger zone". This baby could go at any time. I have accepted that, and so should you. But please put on your Positive Pete hats and stop focusing on my baby's death. I want only positive energy focused me and Fred/Elle during this special time in our lives. (Yes, Fred Felix or Elle Luna. I was going to go with Hank, but my father in law pointed out that there is a famous baseball player named "Hammer Hank" and I don't want people to think I named little Hank Hammer after a baseball player for some reason.)

Besides, I don't really get why pregnant women think that telling people they've had a miscarriage would be so terrible. Are they afraid that that they'll be put in the stocks, called bad mothers, or blamed? Do they feel that people knowing about the miscarriage would in some way be worse than actually having the miscarriage? That's ridiculous. The whole point in having friends and family is so they can help you through sad times like miscarriages.

Everyone knows that miscarriages are God's abortions - all it means is your baby couldn't hang. No one is going to blame you, unless you were doing something really idiotic that caused the miscarriage, like drunkenly jumping on a trampoline with a coat hanger hanging out of your vagina. Promise #1: I won't do that. And let's face it, if my baby can't withstand the warm, loving, nutritious environment provided by my cushy womb, then there's no way it will ever be able to withstand my personality.

So, since I found out that I'm pregnant, all I think about is being pregnant. It's kind of a big deal to me. And so I've decided that now is the time for me to get my ducks in a row and make plans for my future, as a mother and as a person. Here are a list of promises I intend to keep.

Promises to my baby:

1) I promise that I will never, ever post a picture of your sonogram on the internet, or show a picture of your sonogram to a person who does not specifically ask to see it. Let's be honest. Those things are not cute. No one wants to see a picture of my insides, and you will look like a monster. I won't let people think you are a monster, Fred. I'll make sure no ones sees you until you're born and human looking.

2) I promise that you will have all of the opportunities. Dear little Elle, as your Tiger Mother, I promise you that your life will be full of language lessons, cello/violin/piano lessons, archery and krava maga lessons and reading and art. I haven't decided which specific lessons you will be focusing on, because I want to take into account your personal preferences and abilities. I'm not going to be irrational about it and try to force you to be a concert violinist if you're totally tone deaf. But I'm going to push you to try all kinds of things and have all kinds of experiences until you find your special talent. And then I'm going to be a nightmare of pushiness, making sure that you are the absolute best at what you do. No amount of Phillip's money will be spared in our quest for your greatness.

3) I promise not to dress you in outfits that have precious sayings on them like "If mom says no, ask daddy" or "spoiled rotten". You are not a poster board for my, or anyone else's, lame sense of humor. You are also not a poster board for my taste in music or my political views, so you won't be wearing any of those shirts either.

4) I promise to teach you work. Probably the most important thing my parents taught me is to work long and hard. I will teach you the same by forcing you to do manual labor and also volunteer work. You will already be inheriting an "overwork" gene from your father. From me, you will be inheriting throwback lazy French girl genes - genes that will always be telling you that you should just picket these unfair labor practices, go home, drink some good wine and write some meandering existential play or something. My parents, who are both extremely hard workers, rooted out this tendency in me. Left to my own devices, I would do basically nothing but write and eat and read and sleep. Because of my upbringing, I do other things as well. I will make sure you are brought up to not be a lazy asshole either.

I don't know which gene will express itself in you. Either way, I will make sure that you know how to work. In an age when Americans are becoming progressively more lazy and entitled, you will be King Fred, the Hardest Worker of Them All. You will become valedictorian, graduate top of your class in college, and then get all of the promotions.

5) I promise to acknowledge it if you aren't very smart. I promise that if you turn out to be stupid I will still love you and support you. I won't try to force you to be something you're not, making you go to college and insisting that you could do better if you just applied yourself more. If you're not smart, you're not smart. We can live with that, as long as you're a good person.

But let's get serious. You're going to be smart.

6) I promise to be the very best mother I can be.

7) I promise not to tell embarrassing stories about you. If I wouldn't want it said about me in public, I won't say it about you in public. Manners.

8) I promise that I will not tell young shop clerks to "never have kids" while you're standing right there. I will try not to be one of those mothers who constantly bitches and moans about motherhood.

Promises to Phillip:

1) I promise that I will not sacrifice being your wife for being a "mommy". I will never forget that without you, I wouldn't be a mother. I will not stop having conversations with you. I will not become one of those women who totally gives up on her appearance because she's a mother and now thinks herself above such things. I promise to be there for you as a person, not just as the mother of your child. You will not be put at the bottom of my list of priorities, ever.

2) I promise that if you ever EVER call me "Mom" or "Mommy" we will never have sex again.

Promises to Myself:

1) I promise myself that I will give myself lipo next December as a Christmas present.

2) I promise that I will not beat myself up for eating. I have to eat. I have to eat. I have to eat. It's really hard to reprogram myself, since for the better part of my life I have been secretly convinced that eating is not necessary, but rather something I do because I'm weak and can't control myself.

3) I promise to not let any pictures of my swollen belly make their way onto Facebook. I don't need any permanent reminders of that look.

4) I promise to maintain an identity separate from that of "mommy". If you ask me what kinds of movies I like and I reply "Well, we've been watching a lot of Dora the Explorer" you have permission to shoot me in the face, since I'm no longer a "person", evidently, rather I am just a shadowy extension of my child. Unhealthy.

Promises to You:

1) I promise to never change my Facebook profile picture to that of my baby. It's freaking confusing.

2) I promise to do my very best to raise a child who will be an asset to the world, and better than everyone else. I want you to like my child because she's so wonderful and helpful and kind. I want her to be a force for good in the world. I want your lives to be better for having known her.
I promise to try to make that happen.

3) If I have a child who is a psychopath, I promise to not stay in denial about that fact. I promise to do whatever is necessary to prevent her from skinning your cats alive or whatever. Phillip will stay in denial, and he will say I'm being needlessly harsh and suspicious, because Phillip only sees the good in people, and I'm sure our child will be no exception to this. If our kid is a true psychopath, I won't listen to Phillip. I'll handle the situation as best I can. I promise.

4) If my child ever destroys your property, either on purpose or on accident, I will pay for all damages. You don't need to sue me or get all angry - I'll pay for it. I'm sorry. I promise.

5) I promise that if my child has a speech impediment, I'll get that shit fixed.

In sum, my goal is to make my baby better than everyone else. I don't know that it's a realistic goal, but I have to try. I'm totally frightened that I'll be a bad mother. But I'm also totally hopeful that I'll be able conquer my less attractive personality traits and summon my more attractive ones in the service of my new goal - making a good and interesting person.


  1. Dana; You will be a wonderful Parent! Phillip will be a wondeful parent and you will have fun doing it. We are very happy for you and Phillip. Tori & Bill

  2. Re: the note about miscarriages. I think the reason why people don't like talking about miscarriages is because it's pretty heartbreaking. It may not be the mother's fault and the baby may have not been fully formed yet, but she and her partner have probably invested quite a bit of time, energy, and thought into this little person... and then this little person no longer exists, and they have to relive the disappointment and sadness each time they have to deliver the news. I've known people who have miscarried and it was a very difficult experience for them, despite having support from family and friends. (Sorry to dampen this otherwise nice post. I obviously hope you never to have to go through this firsthand.)

  3. I think you have to know yourself. If it would be super hard for you to tell people you've miscarried because the telling would be like reliving it, then it makes sense for you to keep your pregnancy a secret until you feel more secure. No judgment. For myself personally, the most important thing is to keep a positive attitude, which is difficult for me under the best of circumstances. By not telling about my pregnancy, I'm saying to myself, daily, "My baby could die. Babies die all the time, and I'm a high risk pregnancy." Very negative. By telling people, I'm forcing myself to be positive, saying "I'm pregnant, and this baby is going to LIVE". I feel that I'm collecting positive thoughts, energy and prayers from the people I know, and it helps me to stay in a good mental state.