140 Beats per Minute

December 29, 2009

We had a checkup today and everything’s going great.  The doctor thanked Andrea for being the “textbook perfect patient,” as opposed to the pregnant woman the doctor had just seen: a 300+ lb mother who couldn’t have her emergency c-section just yet because her fried chicken and biscuits hadn’t fully digested.  Andrea is the valedictorian of pregnancy patients.

The best part of the appointment?  Hearing Merlin’s heartbeat!  As soon as our doctor put the doppler thingy on Andrea’s belly we heard a thundering, and fast, “swish, swish, swish, swish.”  What a relief.  This is only the second time we’ve heard from the baby.  Andrea’s body isn’t sending us many signals that she’s pregnant, so it was nice to know that our little apple is alive and well.

In addition to a strong heartbeat, the baby’s now about the size of an orange, he’s developing his hearing this week, and he’s moving like crazy, though Andrea can’t feel that yet.   I don’t know what we’ve done to deserve such a great pregnancy.

Drunk with Power

December 23, 2009

It’s a trip thinking about how much control I will soon have over another human’s life.  For example, Andrea and I will choose the name another person will go by for the rest of his or her life.  How crazy is that?

This ability to control another human being can be intoxicating.  I can see why a person, upon realizing this nearly limitless power, might get carried away and give her children absurd “names” like Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow and Piper. But I’ve decided that naming my child is a privilege that tradition has bestowed upon me; I promise not to take it lightly.

Here are a few rules I’m going by:

  • No made-up names.  I just cannot justify torturing my child with the product of my very limited creativity.  This includes names that have been made up by other people but have recently become popular.
  • Nothing that’s too hard to pronounce.  Unfortunately, since we’re not raising our kids on Iceland (dang), that means some kick-A Icelandic names like Úlfar (wolves), Þór (Thor), Björn (bear), Sigurrós (victory rose), and Brynhildur (armored warrior woman), are off the list.  As awesome as those names are, I couldn’t put my American child through the countless mispronunciations and questions.
  • Nothing that’s too popular right now.  I just don’t want my kid to be one of 20 “Emmas” (or whatever) in her class.
  • No classic names with whacked-out spellings à la Utah culture.  “Christopher” will not become “Krystuhfur,” and “Elizabeth” will not become “Illizuhbeth”

That’s it.  Shouldn’t be too hard to get a name from those criteria, right?

What might have been

December 22, 2009

Imagine this:

Firm X offers you a summer job with the intention of giving you a permanent job when you graduate from law school.  You like Firm X, but you like Firm Y just a tiny bit more.  So you use your offer with Firm X as leverage with Firm Y.

“Hey, Firm Y, Firm X just offered me a job.  I need to let them know if I accept their offer within the week.  What can you do for me?”

Firm Y responds with an offer of summer work with the intention of giving you a permanent job when you graduate from law school.  You accept, regretful that you have to tell Firm X that you chose Firm Y.

At the end of the summer, Firm Y says, “Hey, you’re a great guy, but we can’t afford to offer you a job when you graduate.  Good luck, and have a nice life.”

To make matters worse, your friend, an attorney at Firm X, informs you that ALL SEVEN summer associates at Firm X got permanent offers.

Desperate, you quickly contact Firm X, hoping that they’ll remember you.  Firm X remembers you, but says that they’re “finished hiring.”

This is what happened to me.  I try not to let it bother me.  And to be honest, I don’t often think about “what might have been” had I gone with Firm X.  It’s over.  I have to move on.  I can’t change the past.  But every once in a while, I get into a sulking/raging mood and feel like yelling.  At somebody.  At anything.  Tonight, thinking about fatherhood and looking desperately for a job, I’m in one of those sulking moods.  So I’m taking it out on you, internet.  Arghh.

Babies Everywhere

December 22, 2009

I notice children more frequently.  I look at their faces and their mannerisms and wonder how my child is going to act.  What kind of personality is he or she going to have, and to what degree will I influence that personality?  And if I do have a big influence on this kid’s personality, what if I turn him or her into a jerk?  A big anti-social dummy?  That’s a lot of responsibility.  So that’s the question.  How do I prevent my kid from being a dork?  Some things I will be sure to teach little Merlin(da) in no particular order:

  • To not write a check in the grocery store check-out line when people are behind you.  It’s terribly annoying.
  • To not be a know-it-all like his or her dad.  People hate that.
  • To read lots of good books.
  • To listen to lots of good music.
  • To wear comfortable shoes.
  • To drive in the snow
  • To not be impatient and irritated with the old lady writing a check in the grocery store check-out line.

That ought to do it for now.  Just succeeding at half of these things would make Merlin(da) a terrific person!

(If) They Mated

December 4, 2009

Andrea has posted this here, and my sister has posted it here.

In my opinion, the internet cannot get enough of this photoshop creation.

I give you Merlin Nolan Alba . . . as an adult.

Read the rest of this entry »

Chest Thump

December 1, 2009

I am man.

A strange thing happened to me when I found out Andrea was pregnant; I was overcome with a sense of sublime confidence that I’ve never experienced before.  At the risk of sounding crass, impregnating my wife was the greatest affirmation of my masculinity in my life.  I wanted to flex, strut, and lift heavy things.  I had lived up to my fullest biological potential, and I was proud to be a man!

That confidence is still with me.  I have a boat-load of insecurities, but I also have a cool assurance that I can take on challenging things, like finding a job, and being a good father.  I can only hope that this confidence increase exponentially with every child.  Andrea, lets make tons of babies, if only so I can feel better about myself.

No Communication, No Love

November 18, 2009

The day before I found out Andrea was pregnant, I had a very strange dream.  In my dream, I woke up late one morning to find out that Andrea had just delivered a perfectly healthy baby boy – a creepy-looking miniature version of myself.  She didn’t want to wake me up for the birth because she wanted me to sleep in.  How considerate.  What’s more, she had already named the baby:  Merlin Nolan Alba. The name sounded perfect in my dream!

So that’s what we call our muffin: Merlin.  Giving it a name is just so much better than calling it “it.”

Anyway, we haven’t heard from Merlin in a while and it’s driving me nuts.  Andrea’s not showing, she’s not sick, her boobs don’t hurt, she hasn’t gained weight, and we have no outside indication that Merlin is actually growing inside of her.  The last time Merlin presented himself was at the ultrasound where we were surprised by the heartbeat.  Since then, nothin’.

I wish we could get an ultrasound every week, or that I could peer inside Andrea’s uterus and make sure everything’s ok.  It’s a little maddening.