September 17, 2008 By: erik Category: Family, News, Offspring, Photos 919 views

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Marga has been very, very sick lately. We didn’t go out at night at all during our August vacations. We haven’t been to our normal weekly salsa dancing outings since early July. She’s had zero appetite and has been forcing herself to eat a bare minimum to survive. As a result, she’s lost several kilograms in the last few months. She has no desire to do anything other than sleep or sit on the sofa staring blankly at the television, but, like with eating, she forces herself into some physical activity, like going for walks with me in the evenings. If I didn’t know what was wrong with her, I’d think she was terminally ill. That’s how bad the past two months have been.

Positive for parasite

It’s kind of amazing that all of you know what the above picture implies. No words necessary. It is literally one single bit of information. A binary 1 instead of a 0.

That photo is from late July. Naturally, we spent the end of July and most of August mumbling “Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!” to ourselves. It has taken great restraint on my part not to mention anything on this blog or via Twitter or while following the pregnancy of my blog-friend, Andrea. She’s a couple months ahead of us, and it’s nice to have some taillights to follow down this dark road into the unknown.

The expected arrival time is very late March, 2009, trying desperately to avoid April Fools Day. I had no idea that the “nine months” figure bandied about is really so vague. The due date is calculated from the time of last menstruation rather than conception. I guess it kind of makes sense that things fall into place with the lunar rhythm of things, but I’d never really thought about it.

Just when we had gotten over the shock of the whole thing, we went for the first ultrasound yesterday morning. So far, my life hasn’t really changed that much. My wife has been ill and a little more bossy than usual, but we haven’t purchased anything in preparation or anything. But seeing a doctor put a wand inside Marga and a little human appear on the screen was absolutely mind blowing!!! Ultrasound pictures are really, really terrible, but this was the first time I’ve seen the live video, and it was amazing! It’s just like when you see eight dots representing the orthographic projection of the vertices of a cube, they look like only eight dots, but when they are animated to rotate the cube, your brain immediately understands that you’re looking at a three dimensional object. Ultrasounds are the same. Not being on my back on the table, I got a much better view of the monitor than Marga did. As the obstetrician changed the depth of focus, it became very, very clear that my wife has a little tiny human inside her. This made the whole thing VERY much more real for me.

The little critter has a very clearly defined spinal cord, only one head, two arms, two legs, and just the right number of fingers to facilitate the understanding of our society’s arbitrary base-ten numbering system. It’s got a very strong heartbeat, which we heard and could visually see. It’s the appropriate size for this stage of development, which is 5 cm from head to toe. That’s two inches for you metrically challenged. I saw a little something between its legs, but the obstetrician said nothing of sex, so I’m guessing that sexual organs aren’t yet developed and I was seeing the vestigial tail. In short, the little parasite making Marga (and me, by proxy) miserable is definitely humanoid and seems completely healthy.

The ultrasound machine generated two little Polaroid-sized printouts that I have scanned. Very blurry. I’ve turned them on their side so that the human features are more easily recognizable.


The profile shot. Keep in mind that we’re only seeing a cross-section. A cross-section of your profile that included all of your nose wouldn’t show any arms or legs either. Definitely creepy cartoon-like eye thing near the nose. It’s already got more of a chin than I do.


Arms and legs visible. One thing I noticed was that it’s awfully cramped in there.

And so there you have it. The countdown to fatherhood has begun… Tick. Tock.

  • Woo-hoo!
    So I guess you won’t be needing that book after all?
    Congratulations again. Hope Marga is better.
    BTW, you kind of let the cat out of the bag with the post title, no?

  • paola


  • Yes, Simon, the cat didn’t stay in the bag very well. I considered a title of “Multiplication”, but that sounded dumb.

  • congratulations… it’s kinda strange saying congratulations to someone i’ve never met! boy is your life going to change now…. do you have any idea how much stuff you have to get to have a baby??!!

    and yes, you’ve shown remarkable restraint not to mention anything before now..

    congrats again!

  • Lance

    Sweet. Can’t wait to tell AT.

  • Elli

    Great news, many congratulations!

  • WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Congratulations!

  • That’s awesome dude. Now you can share in my joys/woes first hand. If I remember correctly, you can tell sex at the next ultrasound. You guys going to be surprised at birth or find out early? I found it helped the naming process a lot by knowing early.

    Oh, and the third trimester is really when Your life starts to change (it did in my case anyway). I got more sleep After the baby was born than I did in the 8th and 9th months. When mama can’t sleep, you can’t. I never had to make the late night “pickles run”, but I did have to make many Tums runs. I came back with the Certs sized pack of them one time and she threw them at me while screaming, “This is an Appetizer! Now go back out and get me the super-sized version.” 🙂

    Give our congrats to Marga and that we hope she has an easier pregnancy moving forward.

  • Darn! I just thought of a more misleading title: “When Parasites Attack!” That way you might have read the first paragraph and not immediately known what was “wrong”.

  • I’ve never felt the urge to type “SQUEE!” on a blog post before until just now.

    So happy for you!

    Also, please tell Marga: She will DEFINITELY feel better than she has been feeling. I remember how it felt like the sickness and exhaustion would never end, but it really does.

  • Wait a minute…”no desire to do anything other than sleep or sit on the sofa staring blankly at the television”.
    Oh my god – am I pregnant too?

  • Congratulations from Valencia.

  • Wait a minute…”no desire to do anything other than sleep or sit on the sofa staring blankly at the television”.
    Oh my god – am I pregnant too?

    That depends, Simon. Is your abdomen larger than it used to be?

  • That’s wonderful news!! Congrats!!

  • paola

    Oh my God! i thought Simon had a beer belly!

  • This is HUGE. We are so happy for you. Also for us, because I have a feeling we’re going to be enjoying a ringside seat for this wild ride. Please pass on our hearty congratulations to Marga as well. You know — from those weird blob “friends” you’ve never met.

    Oh, and congratulations to Simon as well.

  • Lance

    In talking to AT about Marga’s blessed infestation, she reminded me that I had, back during AT’s pregnancy, expressed a hope that we might have a Spanish baby.

    Later, in the afternoon, I mentioned this to a doctor friend, who tried to explain why our having a Spanish baby was always a very long shot. I don’t recall all of the technical mumbo-jumbo, but the short version is that my doctor friend thinks it very likely that you will soon have a Spanish baby! Congrats!

  • Congratulations.
    Now, if you haven’t ever been an English teacher, you will be soon.

  • KP

    Congrats! It looks just like you.

  • I’m so late on this but enhorabuena!!!

  • Oh my gosh!!! That’s so amazing…5cm…wow. Congrats!!!