A Cautionary Tale

March 22, 2007

Consider this scenario, oh ye bloggers, and learn:

So, one day, you and the husband are sitting around, tapping away at respective laptops when you notice that said husband is transfixed by something on his screen. Transfixed. Staring at the screen. Staring, blinking, and then leaning in to get a better look.

You watch, for a minute. You wonder what he’s looking at. Can’t be YouTube, because he hasn’t got the sound on, and what’s the fun of that video of the cat playing piano without the sound? And he’s not really the Internet porn type. Strange e-mail maybe? Unusually bizarre spam?

He’s not speaking, just peering at the screen of his laptop. You shift, slightly, inching yourself along the sofa so that you can catch a glimpse of what it is that he’s looking at. He looks at you, you look at him, and he looks back at the screen.

You lean over slightly, and see a familiar green checkered background. He’s looking at your blog. He’s looking at this:

He looks at you, and says, unnecessarily, I’m just looking at your blog…

You say, mmm hmm?

And he says, and I’m wondering what this means?

What what means?

What this means. (turns laptop so that screen is in full view.)

You fix him with a blank stare. You know what that means.


Ovulating? Why yes, I am ovulating. We discussed this.


That’s an OPK that you’re looking at, there.


Not a pregnancy test.


You think that, if – or when – I get pregnant, I will tell the Internet before I tell you? Dude.

Because, please. I might be tempted to just go ahead and trumpet the news to the Internet, but I really would tell my husband first. And family, and a few close friends. Then the Internet.

Because we don’t want to give anybody a heart attack.

(Sorry, honey. Hopefully all of the sex makes up for the near-coronary.)


Thanks all for the wonderful encouragement on this new and terrifying endeavour. But, please – is it really terrifying? Someone – only one, mind you, but still – left a comment to the effect of do not do it! you can’t handle it! it’s hell!. Which, grain of salt and all, but still. Way to freak me out.

Expanding the brood isn’t that bad, is it? Cuz, you know, the first one has been a breeze… I’d hate to think that this motherhood gig would get, you know, all hard and shit…

Easy like Sunday mornin’, bizatches.


(PS, please, go! Visit the Basement!)

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    Heather March 22, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    Okay, love the photo of WB here! I have a gangsta shot of Peanut that I cherish too.

    All I can think is that poor soul who scared you to death is still in the “OMG what have I done stage!?!” You know that stage fades even when the tough stuff sticks because the smiles, the coos the baby gangsta love, and the soy cheese on the forehead make it all worth it.

    I am just coming out of the OMG stage with #2 and know that if I can make it through these first 9-12 months it’s gonna be manageable…and totally fun! We just eat more take out now then I had hoped…but that’s okay! Peanut(baby#1) is already attached to Sweet Pea(#2) so there’s no sending her back anyway. ;-) We are all totally attached.

    m March 22, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    I only have one, so I can’t speak with any authority, but people have multiple children all the time and survive and thrive. There will be times when you’ll want to pull out all of your hair and run screaming down Bloor St, but the good will far, far, far outweigh the bad.

    You’re going to do awesome.

    Jenn March 22, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    oh, poor guy :P here’s to the successful prediction of ovulation and a whole other baby full of wonder!

    Jenifer G. March 22, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    I can only imagine the look of terror on his face! I bet you won’t forgot it for a while. Don’t be spooked it is all good I promise. See B&P’s post on lying…just kidding! We are house with two delightful girls and up until the moment of daughter number two’s birth I wondered how can you love another as much, how can you do this? Really, it just happens, it just is.

    Good vibes to you.

    metro mama March 22, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Hee, I can picture that scenario.

    Good luck! Have fun with this project. Work hard and often.

    Devra March 23, 2007 at 12:18 am

    Here is my opinion, take what you like ditch what you don’t. I was very freaked out about expanding our family because I am an only child myself. The thought of having two children just seemed overwhelming to me. Particularly since I remembered how my friends and their siblings just about killed each other as kids. BUT. I did take the plunge. Our kids are 4.5 years apart and it was done that way on purpose. (fortunately nature was agreeable and saw our plan to fruition) I also knew I did not possess the organizational skills necessary to have children a year apart from each other.
    Even so, despite our planning and methodology, I still had a moment in my 9th month of my second pregnancy where I bolted from our bed and thought “What the fuck are we doing? Our lives were so easy. Our son is potty trained. We can all sleep thru the night…” And I called my best friend who already had two kids. I told her of my panic. My strong desire for pregnancy approved Xanax. (for the record I have never taken Xanax, but at that moment, I was sure I needed it! And dammit, if you need the big guns, get them! but I digress…)

    Aviva said this to me and I will say it to you…”Your second child will arrive. You may go thru a period of days, weeks and possibly months where you may feel everything is off kilter and overwhelming. Know that it is normal and eventually you will find your groove again and feel your confidence about yourself as a parent return. Also by then you will probably be able to get a prescription for Xanax if you really need it.”

    And so, this is my wisdom (and Aviva’s in absentia) for you my dear HBM.

    Kyla March 23, 2007 at 12:27 am

    Have you seen the photos of my darlings together? Their smiles?? Easy like Sunday morning, indeed. But, uhhh, you might want to skip all the actual text on my blog, because my second child may or may not have rocked my world into something unrecognizable. But look at the SMILES! And the adorable cuddling!! Its all worth it. (and I really do mean that last line, 100%)

    And your story made me laugh really loudly and tell my husband the tale. :)

    AmandaDufau March 23, 2007 at 12:44 am

    Two is wonderful! I speak from experience. ;-)

    Lara March 23, 2007 at 12:50 am

    yeah, i gotta admit, i thought it was a pregnancy test at first too. i only graduated stanford with an english degree – who said i could read? :-P

    mo-wo March 23, 2007 at 1:00 am

    A to wonder baby on the matter and you too. And, this is why I blog with the spouse. Poor lamb.

    Awesome Mom March 23, 2007 at 2:14 am

    Ok take a beep breath!! I was a bit terrified when I was pregnant with Harry especially since there was a lot going on with Evan health wise at the time but once Harry was born it was like he had been a member of our family the entire time. I could barely even remember what it was like before he came to join us. I am sure that the same thing will happen to you.

    Jennifer March 23, 2007 at 4:21 am

    Enjoy all the practicing during this ovulation cycle!

    Poor hubby, but how funny!

    GREAT picture!

    jchevais March 23, 2007 at 7:02 am

    I already have two. it was hard. It was very hard. Only 18 months between them nearly. blew. my. mind.

    But now that I look back on that black moment I realise how awesome it was.

    what I find disconcerting at this moment in my life (They are 6 and almost 8)? Now I’m considering baby 3.

    Not actively, but offmindedly, in the back of my head in a dark place: what would it be like? could I handle it? do I need therapy or something for even thinking these thoughts? am I barking mad?

    But babies are awesome in their own right.

    You. go. girl.

    Blog Antagonist March 23, 2007 at 7:17 am

    Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy. At least that’s what I tell myself. Every day. For eight years.


    There are a lot of advantages to having two kids. It’s true that the toddler stage is hard, but then they beging to actually play together, and it’s downright miraculous.

    Have fun. Oh, and your poor husband!

    slouching mom March 23, 2007 at 7:17 am

    Do I get points for thinking that your “I’m ovulating” post was unusually, umm, revealing for you? I mean, going from Narcissus to ovulation and all? I’m laughing about your husband’s reaction. It was so…gentle. My husband would have thundered, “There are some things we do not need to tell the world about!”

    Laughing even now.

    Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" March 23, 2007 at 7:25 am

    Well, he seemed calmer than expected.
    he did lean in to get a better read.
    He’s so cute.

    Beck March 23, 2007 at 7:45 am

    I have three kids. We’re thinking about four. They’re all 2 1/2 years apart, which is a bit too much time in my opinion but what I physically needed between pregnancies. The first couple of months with Baby 2# were hard, but NOTHING as hard as the first couple of months with Baby 1# – you know what you’re doing the second time, and are MUCH more confident as a mother. It takes a little while to figure out how to balance two small children, but you can do it. It’s not that hard.

    Christina March 23, 2007 at 8:34 am

    I can tell you the fear of dealing with two stays with you through pregnancy. I just keep telling myself that many, many women have had multiple children over the years, and as far as I know, most of those women survived.

    And my husband still won’t forgive me for telling my mom before I told him that I was pregnant with Cordy. I did tell him first, and I thought he understood, but he was half-asleep and didn’t remember.

    albamaria30 March 23, 2007 at 8:48 am

    I second what beck said. I’m in the early stages of life with two, and although I love my girls endlessly, the Monkey sometimes rides my nerves. She seems to especially pick times when I’m nursing to get up to the dickens. (although I’ve no idea what that phrase means…)

    go for it. you’ll do great.

    I’m waiting to get some of those reactions from my husband too. Maybe he doesn’t read my blog. Smart man.

    mamatulip March 23, 2007 at 8:56 am

    My kids are two years apart and I’m not gonna lie to you, sister. It’s hard, in ways I anticipated and in ways I didn’t. But there’s a balance. For example:

    Yesterday afternoon/evening with the kids was difficult. Julia hadn’t napped and was rather…ornery, and Oliver was feeding off of that. They were both being…well, freaks. By the time we got them to bed Dave and I were pooped, but the kids kept it up and woke up several times through the night with nightmares and soother emergencies. I woke up this morning feeling rather…thwarted.

    As I was making my coffee, I looked behind me and saw Julia, sitting on the kitchen floor, with Oliver in her lap. She was leaning in, kissing his cheek, and he had one hand gripped around an orange sippy cup and the other was wrapped around his sister’s head. They sat like that for several minutes, just hugging.

    Makes up for all of the crap. Makes me glad I’m a mom of two.

    Oh, The Joys March 23, 2007 at 9:09 am

    My kids are 15 months apart (because I’m AN IDIOT) and it has been hard, sure. I wouldn’t trade either one of them… well, not unless it was for something really, really good, you know? Heh.

    ali March 23, 2007 at 9:21 am

    yes…i thought pregnancy test too. but i have three kids and my brain is a little bit fried.

    you are going to be fine. sure, it’s not easy…but the hardest thing, really, is becoming a mom in the first place. once you are already a mom…you kind of know what to expect, right?

    Karen March 23, 2007 at 9:43 am

    Having more means more everything. The house is louder when they are awake and more deliciously quiet when they are asleep. It’s more busy, more stressful when they are fussing and needy, more joyful sweet and perfect when they are rolling in the grass together laughing. It’s more crowded in the car, the stroller, the shopping cart and under the Christmas tree, at the dinner table and the bathtub. What could be better?

    kgirl March 23, 2007 at 9:59 am

    hey, who ever thought we could do it the FIRST time ’round? Can’t be scarier than that, I say.

    Thanks for my morning laugh. felt good.

    Elizabeth March 23, 2007 at 10:05 am

    Boo hiss to whomever tried to scare you like that. Go to my blog and look at the photo I posted yesterday of Nathan reading “Green Eggs and Ham” to Kaitlyn. See? Feel better?

    Virginia March 23, 2007 at 10:25 am

    We have 6. The first one dramatically changed our lives. The second doubled the work and the fun/love. The rest – no sweat – just more love, more fun, more laughter, more tears, more dishes and lots more laundry. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Three of mine are out of the house now. Two more will graduate HS and leave for college next year. I actually find myself sad that we will only have 1 child around the house. Good luck.

    Slackermommy March 23, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Ooh, don’t go read my latest post. Seriously though, there is no greater joy than a house full of kids. Being a parent isn’t easy but the rewards are so worth it. Go for it, girl!

    Bloor West Mama March 23, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Best of luck with that :)

    Enjoy the process of getting pregnant.

    Grim Reality Girl March 23, 2007 at 10:36 am

    My kids are 360 days apart — YAY for the close in age! Good luck to you!

    Gwen March 23, 2007 at 10:55 am

    I agree with the people who said the first one is hardest regardless of temperament. Logistically, two can be crazy, but you’ll never experience that death of self–and subsequent rebirth–that you did with WB, the one that sends you spinning off your axis and then floating slowly back to earth, unutterably altered.

    You will be just fine. No, better than fine. You will be fantastic.

    something blue March 23, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Easy as pie. Well I don’t actually make pie. I buy it from the bakery.

    Just don’t run off and have triplets or something crazy like that!

    Dana March 23, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Awww…every female blogger I know is going to have their second child before I even decide to try! I don’t want my kids too far apart, but Dawson is 2 1/2 and I fear I’ll never get pregnant again. Ugh.

    I hope it all works out for you Catherine! I think you’ll be able to handle it well. I can tell you’ve got the mothering skills down! You show us everday with your beautiful writing. :)

    Julie Pippert March 23, 2007 at 11:25 am

    It’s the adjustment, I think. Getting new ways of doing new things and new routines. If you transition easily then, really? It should be okay. Me? I transition hard.

    But you’ve already made the transition to parent. So you’re way ahead this time.

    Look, I won’t lie: it’s no picnic in many ways.

    But then there is the flip side (and there is ALWAYS) a flip side: the ways it is BETTER.

    The times you set them up with the Lego tub and say, “Play.” and they do, together, long enough for you to fold laundry and watch a Dharma and Greg rerun.

    The times the big one gets hurt and the little one comes over, pats her, says, “Otay?” and gives her a kiss. And vice versa.

    The times the mischief is caught before it gets out of hand due to thank goodness for tattletelling (who said nobody likes a tattle tell…I LOVE them).

    The times the kid licks a lollipop pulled up off the floor and you say “Eh, germs make them stronger.” versus flipping out like you did first time around.

    The times the sleep gets disrupted and you say, “Oh it’s a spurt, this too shall pass,” and BELIEVE IT this time.

    You have an entirely new person to parent, but you know, you’ve already been around the parenting block.

    GL! (to the TTC bit…that wasn’t meant as a snarky evil laugh bwahahaha bit of sarcasm—it’s a legitimate wish for good luck) (LOL!)

    Redneck Mommy March 23, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Two is easy. Why do you think I’m adopting another? Puh-leez. It only becomes work after the sixth or seventh.

    So I hear.

    Not like I’m planning to adopt that many.

    At least not without running it past my husband first…


    Anonymous March 23, 2007 at 11:52 am

    hahaha like i said my husband would’ve dropped dead at sight of that box.your poor hubby.is he ok now HBM?and you will love having another one.its really a lot of fun.i have 4 of them and sure some days i am exhausted but i still love all of them.and it’s so much fun.take the plunge and enjoy.you won’t regret it.LAVENDULA

    Pgoodness March 23, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Karen said it right – everything is more crowded – especially all the love in your heart. I didn’t think I would be able to love #2 as much as #1…I was guilt stricken at first about having enough love and enough me to give. but it’s good. Really good. Of course, they are brothers and they are BOYS, so there’s a lot of “be careful!!” and “watch out for your little brother”, but they are awesome. Besides, the second one is easier in the way that you have a clue about what is going on. It’s not easier having two, it’s more work, but I found it a lot easier to let certain things go.
    Good luck!
    Oh, and my man and I work on our laptops at the same time too. I thought we were the only ones! LOL

    Mad Hatter March 23, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Duh. I’m a tad daft. Now I get it.

    Congratulations on deciding to give it the college try.

    Veronica Mitchell March 23, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Two is just a new groove to find, which you will, even if it takes a few months. If it were that awful, no one would go on to three or four or five or whatever, and plenty of people do.

    kittenpie March 23, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    I hear plenty of people saying they love two, although how well I deal remains to be seen as well. best of luck!

    sillychick March 23, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    When it was just me and my son people would ask all the time if I was ready for another. My response? “No, no and HELL no!”

    But then we had the Princess and it changed. She’s way different than my son but I’m glad she’s that way…she’s proven that I can withstand alot of shit :-) Having two kids, to me, is twice as fun.

    It could be that they’re 6 years apart and I get to see them in different stages, too. Personally, I don’t know how people do it when they’ve had kids back-to-back…more power to them! I like one to be all nice and growed up before I pop out another lol!

    Bon March 23, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    my dh, just the other night, got a little…erm…nervous about where exactly the blogging boundaries lie, too. as in, if you were going to discuss our sex life, say…would you tell me first? i laughed, seeing as i know his parents read my blog…there will be no sex life discussions whatsoever, my love, said i.

    but, pregnancy announcements? maybe yeh. ;) it’s a very efficient form of communication, after all.

    i hear two is the new black. you gotta go for it. you’ll do great. and then you can be “everybody’s bad mother” or somesuch cool thing.

    LSM March 23, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    My “baby number two” is now 10 years old, and “baby number three” is almost 8, so I feel like I’m speaking from way across some vast chasm, but I’ll just say, you can do this, and it will all be very, very worth it. Both for you and for Wonder Baby. I can remember sitting with my oldest the night before I was scheduled to deliver my new baby and wondering what on earth I had been thinking nine months earlier. She was SO SMALL. How could I DO THIS TO HER? Three days later with my newborn at home, I was thinking, Hey, you’re a big kid, go get your own blanky! It was good for all of us.

    I will say the transition from one to two was harder for me than from two to three. It’s an adjustment. Don’t believe anyone who says otherwise. But you’ll develop your own new “normal” just like you did the first time around.

    Lisa b March 23, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    HILARIOUS. You got him good.

    I am most of the way to crazy with baby #2 and she’s not even here yet. Let’s be clear I was most of the way there anyway.
    I think you just get pregnant and then there is no getting out of it so you just focus on the positives.
    Odds are the next one would be more mellow than wonderbaby. Just don’t call me on that if she’s not.

    nomotherearth March 23, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    I agree with Beck…it can’t possibly be as hard as the first time around…right?? That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

    Go forth and multiply.

    Mimi March 23, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Oh, jeez, that is TOO funny. Husbands. The whole process / paraphernalia / lingo largely escapes them, leading to panic attacks such as you witnessed. Pynchon is mostly like, ‘tell me when and where’.


    Enjoy the when and where …

    nonlineargirl March 23, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    There’s a good reason to read the fine print. Hope the husband has recovered. Have fun working on #2!

    Girl con Queso March 23, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    You go girl. You get knocked up.

    Bon March 23, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    ps – back to say i noticed you’d ducked the music meme thus far, but as my own tastes are likely less current than anyone else alive, i invite you out to play.

    mommy m March 23, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    Just found out I’m pregnant with number 2, and I went through all the “should we or shouldn’t we” arguments. Scary as hell but also sooooo exciting. You won’t regret it, and we all know you’re a great mom! Wonderbaby will love a brother or sister :)
    I grew up with 2 brothers and I can’t imagine not having them in my life.

    jen March 23, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    Oh, Bad. Hilarious.

    And brave. So. Very. Brave.

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