After we got back from the hospital and settled into maternity leave, we started watching a lot of TLC, which, if you didn't know any better, seems tailor made for maternity leave. I don't know if it's something to do with hormones or whatnot, but the midday lineup on TLC is like catnip to new mothers.
Back in January at least, in the middle of the day they aired those Baby Stories or Baby's First Day shows, followed by a few What Not To Wears. Each day I let Jen watch what she wanted — and the channel never changed from TLC — until I could stand it no more, which is how she became fond of Dan Le Batard's father Gonzalo Le Batard.
The other thing she watched in those first couple of weeks was Felicity, which I understood like not at all, not necessarily because it's a moronic show — like if Scooby Doo were set at NYU — but because she's seen all those episodes before. I finally asked her why she wanted to rewatch 88 episodes of Felicity, basically all in one shot, and she said that it was mindless for her, which was all she wanted while she recovered. Speaking of mindless, have you ever seen the last four or five episodes of that show? It's insane — apparently it is that way because the network wanted four or five more episodes. The only other thing I have to say is that J.J. Abrams is a pretentious dolt for scrapping a perfectly good W.G. Snuffy Walden theme for a song he — ugh! — wrote himself that goes "New version of you/I need a new version of me" . . . huh? What the fuck is that supposed to mean? And why is that somehow better than the dude whose guitar delay makes me cry in every single episode of Friday Night Lights. Which is to say, Just who the fuck do you think you are? And why is Andrew Jarecki involved? And what kind of name is "Meghan Rotundi" anyway? It's absurd sounding! In some ways I hope we don't have another child because I can't stand to see Jen so "mindless"
It's those Baby's First Stories shows that are really something though. It's tough not to get sucked in after you experience it. "Why aren't they doing skin-to-skin contact?" "She's really not getting an epidural?" "Where's the father!?" It was funny to go straight from the recovery ward to watching these shows. Basically the same thing. Basically.
So anyway, here's how Animal's head somehow made it out of Jen's vagina.
I don't mean to sound crass or glib, but when we went to visit the doctor four days after Animal's due date and I asked her if there was anything we could do to make Jen more comfortable, she sort of shrugged and said that she didn't know what one could do, since basically a human head is somehow pushing its way through a vagina. Don't get me wrong — I liked our doctor a lot. I liked the practice a lot. At least as much as a father can appreciate such things. But sometimes the way she phrased things . . .
We went to the doctor's office that day thinking that we might be smart to take along our suitcase — Jen had some big contractions the night before, different than other contractions she'd been having during the pregnancy. One more thing I didn't really understand was that contractions happen off and on for a long time during a pregnancy — it's not until the end that they become meaningful. But when the doctor hooked up Jen to the fetal heart monitor/contraction feeler the funniest thing happened: The contractions stopped.
The bottom line was that Animal could come soon or not so soon, but the whole thing would be over by the new year — and not just for the tax break. That's not to say that it wasn't fortuitous to get Animal before 2012 — I didn't know until relatively late that a child only has to be born some time in a calendar year to get a tax break for the entire year. Pretty sweet. But by week 41 or so, Jen wasn't thinking about tax break. Or at least she only was a little.
So we did what anyone would do: Walk a half-mile or so to a pizza place on the other side of Broadway. I think the pizza place was good for me, too. Not because it was galling to see a restaurant charge double for food that cost less than half of that on Staten Island, and not because I learned a new thing to do with a Negroni (substitute bourbon for gin) but because the hipster service we got meant that the hostess made Jen stand while she promptly forgot that she was supposed to clear a table for us. We almost left but there was nowhere else to go and you know what they say about aircraft carriers and PT boats? Well the same thing applies to ladies who are 41 weeks pregnant. My puppy dog (read: pussy) look said "moooo . . . boo hoo . . . you're making a pregnant lady stand?" and the lady totally did not give a shit. The takeaway for me: The pregnant schtick was losing its power; we needed this thing out, pronto. Jen and I still haven't really been to a proper restaurant since that lunch.
So we went home and settled in. And no sooner had we done that, the contractions began again.Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: Scott | Filed under: The Cult Of Domesticity | Tags: 31 And Pregnant, ESPN2's Afternoon Sports Talk Block, Hipster Service, Huge Fan Of Carmindy, Huge Fan Of Clinton Kelly, Huge Fan Of Stacy London, Keri Russell Is My Long Lost Jewish Sister, Meconium, Scooby Doo Never Died It Just Got Its Hair Cut Real Short In The Second Season, TLC's Midday Lineup, W.G. Snuffy Walden's Delay Pedal Is The Soundtrack To At Least One If Not Two And Perhaps Three Decades, What Can I Say? I'm Still Pissed At J. J. Abrams For Letting Alias Meander So Much