The first inkling that something might be afoot came as Jen was studying for the Washington bar. The Sharpies she was using to create flash cards smelled awfully strong and every time she got up from her bar study chair (the black leather recliner that has now faithfully seen her through 2 bar exams), she saw stars. During the exam, in between test sections, she was absolutely ravenous, although at the time, she figured her brain cells must just be working up a serious sweat. Although, the idea that she might be pregnant had briefly crossed her mind, it was really just too much to deal with in the final harried days of studying before the exam.
After making it through the two day exam, Jen planned to celebrate the end of the exam with a glass or two (or half bottle) of champagne. Feeling that something was a little off kilter, she decided to be responsible and get a pregnancy test before popping the cork Without telling Jake, she stopped by the doctor’s office the afternoon after the last day of the bar exam for a quick test. Not 15 minutes later, the lab tech came in to the waiting room with a big smile on her face and announced: congratulations! Jen took her up on her offer to see the test and even snapped a picture to show Jake later. That evening as we sat at Alhambra, a neighborhood restaurant, Jen waited until their drinks has been served (yes, she did order bubbly, but only for a toast and a few sips) and then told Jake the big news. Jake was amazed and excited. He thought immediately, “Daddy Milstein.” He began to wonder about himself as a father. He had thoughts of playing catch with his child - then realized how cliche the thought was. The baby and the cliche made him grin.
It took us quite a while to really get used to the idea that we are really going to have a baby. There are so many things that can go wrong and so many tests to take before you really feel safe acknowledging that it’s reality.
The first doctor’s appointment was an ultrasound that showed the smallest little dot with a flicker that Jen’s doctor identified as the yolk sack and heartbeat. Seeing that little flicker was quite overwhelming and the first confirmation that--wow, Jen was actually pregnant. At the next appointment several weeks Jake joined Jen. With a megaphone of sorts pressed up to Jen’s belly, we could for the first time hear a racing heartbeat and swishing noises as the baby moved around in its then spacious home. Jake could not believe the echoing sound of a hearbeat filling the room. An amazing sound, that that made Jake smile, while reminding him just a little bit of he and his wife’s trepidation.
Surprisingly, early pregnancy was relatively easy or at least easier than expected. With the exception of feeling a little queasy a couple of time before she’d eaten breakfast, Jen never had morning sickness. This was both a blessing and a curse. Having few if any symptoms of pregnancy, Jen constantly questioned whether she might have become unpregnant.
The next major appointment was for the nuchal fold measurement (a test for chromsomal abnormalities), taken during an ultrasound. During that measurement, we got a look at what was shaping up to look like an actual baby, although, it took the eyes of a trained professional to help us distinguish the various parts.
The next time we got to sneak a peak was around 20 weeks. It was then that we got word that she is a she. Since then, Jen has certainly felt her presence in the form of lots of little elbows and kicks, some that Jake is able to see as well as feel.
We look forward to welcoming her (don’t have a name yet) into the world this fall, but in the meantime are trying to savor our last couple of months as a twosome. To take advantage of the time we have left, we’re taking a week long sailing trip in Canada’s Gulf Islands.