Yesterday Scott and I drove downtown for an appointment with my OB/GYN, who always runs an hour late but who has earned my undying devotion with his leisurely ultrasounds. My former doctor did ultrasounds that lasted about 10 seconds–just long enough for me to identify a kicking, scooting blob on the screen and go “Oh! I think I see it! Is that the bab—” and then POOF. ALL DONE HERE. PLEASE STOP AT THE FRONT DESK ON YOUR WAY OUT. So I had to let him go. The new doctor takes his time and explains things, and partway through my appointments he tells me to get dressed and meet him in his office so I can ask questions like a normal person who isn’t looking around the examination room wondering where she put her clothes.
Anyway, yesterday I had an amniocentesis, which is where the doctor runs a long, thin needle into your uterus while your horrified partner turns as damp and green as a houseplant. The needle is very long and the doctor jabs it through your abdominal muscles pretty quickly and with a lot of force, as if he’s resetting the tiniest dislocated bone in there. But it’s delicate–like a fine guitar string–and it didn’t hurt at all. The sonographer gave me her hand anyway, and assured me that the baby was hanging out on the other side of its little cave and wasn’t in danger of being poked. Then she gave me a lollipop and the doctor wrote the sex of the baby on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope for us to open later.
As soon as we got into the car I was like YAY LET’S OPEN THE ENVELOPE IN THIS PARKING GARAGE but Scott wanted something to look forward to at the end of the week, so I reluctantly agreed to hold off until Friday afternoon. YES, THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME. I’m a hot second away from boiling a pot of water and steaming the envelope open like they do in Agatha Christie novels.
On the drive home from the doctor’s office, Scott was all, “I guess I should tell you that the baby’s going to have mostly my genes. They’re really strong. Even the recessive ones are just waiting for their time to pounce,” which isn’t the way it works but he seemed really excited about his genome and I don’t really have an opinion about mine so I let it go. Then we talked about whether we want a boy or a girl, and what we will do when I go into labor, and how we will raise this kid, and how we will fix all the trouble spots in our lives in the meantime. We were really nailing it in the planning department–just really hammering out the details–and maybe we got a little greedy because as soon as we got home the Universe was like AWWW THAT’S SO CUTE THAT YOU GUYS ARE TRYING TO CONTROL EVERYTHING. I’M SENDING YOU A SKUNK THAT’S GOING TO SPRAY THE SHIT OUT OF YOUR DOG IN 3. . . . . 2. . . . . 1. . . . .
And then there was chaos. I ran to the computer and started yelling to Scott “TOMATO JUICE. NO, WAIT: HYDROGEN PEROXIDE AND BAKING POWDER. I MEAN BAKING SODA. AND DISH SOAP? AND THIS OTHER SITE SAYS VINEGAR,” while Scott ran around body-blocking Seymour, who had crazy eyes that said “I’M SO GOING TO ROLL ALL OVER THAT COUCH.” Thunder started following Scott around and trying to sniff him because within minutes he, too, smelled like something you’d pull out of a trash compactor at the zoo.
We finally wrangled Seymour into the tub and mixed up some de-skunking solution, and then I closed the bathroom door and let Seymour, Scott, and Scott’s superior genome figure out the rest. They emerged ten minutes later, damp and limpy, and we all collapsed on the couch. And–because we are not very good at learning lessons around here–we stared at the envelope on the bookshelf, trying to control its contents with our powerful minds.