Three is a Crowd

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My wife is pregnant, and I’m excited because there’s a good chance the baby is mine. Just so we’re clear, I’m sharing this news with you guys before I tell my parents. That’s how much I value random strangers on the Internet. As I type this, my mom is writing me out of her will. Lola is only about eight weeks along, but we couldn’t wait any longer to tell people. She doesn’t get morning sickness; she vomits around the clock. We either had to tell her friends and coworkers about the pregnancy early on or claim Lola is severely hungover every day for the next several months. Although we came clean about why she spends most of her waking hours bent over a toilet, that won’t stop me from getting sympathy hangovers. I drink because I care. I’m such a good husband.
At this point, the only compassion I ever feel is chemically induced. It’s a hard lifestyle, but it’s also a delicious one.
While I empathize with Lola’s discomfort, I can’t figure out why it happens in the first place. There’s no evolutionary advantage to morning sickness. Not all women get it, and those who do naturally feel discouraged from having more kids. Every time I intentionally put Lola in this predicament, she swears it’s the last time she’ll let me be in the same time zone as her. Luckily, pregnant women have poor memories. Some scientists theorize women get sick in the first trimester because being hypersensitive to tastes and smells helps them avoid spoiled food. In Lola’s case, though, her body replaced “spoiled” with “any” since her digestive system now regards all calories as a deadly poison. That’s why she usually slims down for several weeks before she blows up like a blimp. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing.
Ninety-nine percent of my wife’s diet now consists of hard candy since it’s the only thing that doesn’t make her gag. In health terms, that’s one step above smoking.
With each new kid I announce, people are a little less surprised. By now, my incredible procreative powers are known across the land. I’m simply great at making babies. I’m no good at the act itself, of course. Lola could write a book on how I let her down in that department. But if I want her to be pregnant afterward, she will be. There are no exceptions. If we put our minds to it, we could have enough kids to get our own reality show, but I’m not sure I could convince Lola to go along with that plan. Letting me destroy her body 19 times is a lot to ask, and expecting her to raise my unruly spawn once they crawl out of her lady parts adds insult to injury. With this pregnancy, we’ve almost reached our contractually agreed upon number of children, and I doubt Lola will renegotiate the terms now. If she knew before we got married just how awful pregnancy would make her feel, she probably would’ve sworn off men altogether and become a nun. That’s really saying something because she’s not even Catholic.
We had the first ultrasound today, and it confirmed Lola’s uterus contains a grainy black and white blob. The doctor says that’s a baby, but I don’t trust her. I think the ultrasound machine is a sham that prints out the same blurry image for everybody. It’s like a Rorschach test for expectant mothers. Lola sees a tiny person. I see a butterfly riding a mule. The world would be a better place if I turned out to be right. Whatever is in there has a heart because the doctor played the audio of it for us. It kind of sounded like the submarine engine in “The Hunt for Red October.” The Soviets knew my wife’s baby chamber was the one place we’d never look for a submersible warship. At this point, the kid is basically a lima bean with a fully functioning circulatory system and a few other assorted features. Lola has a 9,000-page book that tells her exactly what body parts the baby adds each day. I don’t care about all those minor details because I’m more of a big idea guy. All I’m concerned with is that at the end of this process we end up with a healthy child, submarine, or butterfly riding a mule. I can’t wait to find out which one it is.
She has her daddy’s monochromatic color palette.
As for the gender of our offspring, I’ll end the speculation right now: It’s a girl. I have no medical proof to back that up, but at this point it’s inevitable. I’m doomed to live in a house full of women as a punishment for my unwavering misogyny. It looks like the universe was paying attention after all. Thanks to the last three years I’ve spent raising daughters, I’ve now seen every Disney princess movie 600 times and can’t walk three feet in any direction without stepping on something pink or covered in glitter. After that fateful night, the dog learned to stay away from my daughters when they have glue. When our new child turns out to be another girl, there will be four females in my house. I’m not the manliest guy to start with, so I won’t be able to fight back against all that estrogen. I’m sure in time my period will sync with theirs. The upside of all this is we now have a stockpile of secondhand clothes and toys to last us through an infinite number of daughters. If by some miracle we do have a boy, he better get used to playing with dolls and wearing skirts because I’m not going shopping for new stuff.
Whatever is in my wife’s internal manufacturing chamber, there’s only one of it. The ultrasound confirmed we aren’t having twins, much to Lola’s disappointment. She desperately wanted this to be her last encounter with morning sickness. Since we’re shooting for four kids, I’m certain we’ll finally get twins when we try for our next daughter. It seems like everyone ends up with 50 percent more kids than they intended. If you try for two, you end up with three, and if you try for one, you end up with one and a half. Every parent hopes it’s the top half instead of the bottom, but even kids who come out as just an anus with legs can lead normal lives. Most of them end up in Congress. Since we’re hoping for four kids, we’ll likely end up with six, but don’t tell Lola. She already makes me sleep in the yard.