Friday, February 08, 2008

We're ordering a full season of TBD episodes

The Lovely Becky and I had a big test in our planned parenthood today: a 4D ultrasound of TBD. This was the test that could reveal a lot of Very Scary Things, and because of our history with procreation, we were proactively scared ourselves.

Our local hospital/trading post lacks 4D ultrasound capabilities (most of the moose and beaver do not have the required health insurance for it), so we had to travel out of state for the procedure. Our doctor was a white-haired, mustached German man who looked a bit like Blue from Old School. He talked with us about the procedure, and let us know that if TBD checked out okay today, TBD would likely check out of Hotel Womb okay this coming June.

Dr. Blue fired up the machine and showed us the pictures of TBD. Until now, most of the ultrasound images of TBD have looked like a cross between a Rorschach test and some variation of Cthulhu. In fact, just based on the previous images, if my child turned out to be an elder god with an octopus head who planned to destroy all humanity, I wouldn't have been surprised. Today, however, my child looked like a child. I could make out all kinds of features and see that TBD did not have an octopus head. That was a relief.

Rather than just do the pedestrian task of telling two overly nervous expectant parents that their child was fine, Dr. Blue decided to quiz us on developmental biology. "What is this black spot here?" he asked.


"The stomach?" TLB answered.

"Good. And we can see that the stomach is just fine," Dr. Blue replied before I could ask if it was stomach cancer.

The Q&A continued during the whole ultrasound. To be fair, Dr. Blue didn't know that my brief career as a pre-med student had lasted until my first chemistry midterm freshman year of college, when I got a grade low enough that I would be unable to go to a medical school in North America. He did not know that, while I provide a detailed summary of the major movie roles of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I could not tell him the basic purpose of each valve of the heart other than "to pump blood." He would let me hang myself with wrong answers until a) TLB gave the correct answer or b) we both demonstrated that we were products of the American educational system and just wanted to know if our child would have a promising career in sideshow entertainment.

All of his answers added up to healthy baby. No cancer, no deformities, no talons or leathery bat wings. TBD passed the test with flying colors.

Of course, this was a 4D ultrasound, which is supposed to provide 3D pictures of the baby. "This process can produce some spectacular images," Dr. Blue said, "if the baby cooperates." Which TBD refused to do. Every time Dr. Blue tried to capture a 3D image, our child would move or otherwise thwart him. The doctor managed to snap four blurry photos which looked could have been our baby's face or the image of Elvis. We faced teenage rebellion before TBD's first birthday.

"I know we're going to get ours on the back end," I said to TLB. "Everything will be fine, and then we'll hit teenage years and deal with drinking and sneaking out of the house."

"Or worse," TLB said, "our child will be a Republican."

Maybe the octopus head wouldn't be so bad after all.


Jennifer said...

Leathery bat wings are so 1992 anyhow!!

Congratulations on the wonderful news.

I think the Republican gene is recessive and tends to skip a generation. Since you started out as one, I think TBD is going to be ok. :)

bjkeefe said...

Great news. Excellent delivery.

(No pun intended.)

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Well, as the parents of Chthulhu, at least you wouldn't end up as octopus food.

I would bet the teenage acting - out years would be murder though.

On the plus side, this reminded me of some old Dave Barry writing. Back before he sucked.

Kathleen said...

excellent news!!! and it was just the relief that kept me hysterically laughing through the post.

Anonymous said...

Yay for you guys! I'm so happy to hear all the good news. And no leathery bat wings? Sort of a bummer, but I guess it's best that way.

It's *really cool* that you're keeping this bloggy journal too. Don't you think?

You'll have it as proof that you were excited once when you're up all night worrying and angry cuz TBD has snuck out of the house YET AGAIN! And what are you ever going to do with him/her?

fish said...

Those 4D are truly amazing. Did you find out if it was going to be le TBD or la TBD? No need to disclose.

Anonymous said...

Wow, awesome news and awesome post. I'm really happy for you guys.

Brando, neuroses about in utero cancer? That's some hardcore anxiety. You're totally ready to be a parent!!!

BabelBabe said...

congratulations, i am glad all is going smoothly.

and i live in terror every single day that one of my children will be a republican. know you are not alone.

Kathleen said...

I meant to say "was NOT just the relief", i.e. Very funny post, sir.

Churlita said...

Yea for TBD!

If my kids can be teenagers without ending up as Republicans, your chances are pretty good. I figured that would be the only way my kids could really rebel.

Snag said...

Good news and congratulations to both of you.

I would advise you not to overlook the financial possibilities inherent in leathery bat wings. Or Republicanism, as a less pleasant second choice. College doesn't pay for itself, you know.

Anonymous said...

nobody f*cks with a octopus-headed kid(or it's parents) if they know what's good for them.

congrats on TBD :)

fish said...

You gotta problem with octopus babies??

Grendel said...

Great news, guys. Full speed ahead. Good old Dr. Blue!

Brando said...

Thanks for the nice comments, everyone. I now get to shift into worrying about being an actual parent.

We're keeping the gender a mystery for now. TLB swears she saw "a diddle" in the ultrasound, but I think it was probably just a vestigial tentacle.

Fish, I would be okay with that octopus mutation, because TBD could shovel a lot of snow with those appendages.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

The diddle ISN'T a vestigial tentacle?

News to me.

Jennifer said...

BP- I think it reverts back to being a vestigial diddle once you hit 40. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm only familiar with diddle as a verb.