I’ve been working on getting back into shape for the past six months or so, figuring that I can’t be flabby, fat and lazy with (hopefully!) twin toddlers running about. Plus my doctor keeps telling me that I’m getting to the age where I need to work on strengthening my core. (Damn him for making me feel like a geriatric case.) So I joined a gym and started working with a personal trainer, but I have to admit the only form of exercise I can really get into is running. That’s probably because it requires minimal coordination and athletic ability (of which I have absolutely none). At any rate, running is the only time I’m not thinking to myself “I fricking hate this!” every three seconds. One of my biggest strengths (and at times, weaknesses) is that once I have a goal I pursue it relentlessly and never let go. So by last month, I was running six miles a day at a 8:30 minute/mile pace – and had lost 35 pounds. But before you start thinking I’m showing off, I’ve been on crutches for the past three weeks. This is where my stubbornness turns into a weakness: I apparently developed a sub-navicular stress fracture in my left foot, which I kept running on for two months (you’re suppose to power through the pain, aren’t you?) before finally going to see a doctor. The concept of powering through pain, it turns out, is best left to bodies much younger than mine. The only consolation for my wounded pride is that I have a true athlete’s injury: it’s the same injury that forced NBA player Yao Ming to retire. I’m such a stud (or donkey, depending on how you look at it).
Anyhow, that’s why I have that much more time to obsess about our pregnancy. Case in point: I’ve been trying to get a concrete sense for whether or not we’re going to have twins – because waiting several more weeks for an ultrasound to tell us is just crazy making. So I applied my analytical (but admittedly) crazed mind to every scrap of data available and created a spreadsheet. (#freak) And I concluded that since our surrogate’s hCG levels last week were at 520, they mathematically and without question would have to be above 8,320 this week if she’s carrying twins. (The doctor ordered repeat lab work this week to make sure the pregnancy is progressing as expected.) I’m told that hCG ranges for singleton and twin pregnancies are so all over the map that you can’t predict twins with them, but come on – there has to be some logic to it right? The doctor and our case manager may be secretly scoffing at my beautifully constructed spreadsheet (complete with input variables and gradient charts), but I’m still going to tenaciously cling to it like Rain Man. Definitely. Definitely.
I think I’m corrupting my husband’s sanity and prudence levels as well because, even though we’re only three weeks along, I spent last weekend dragging him into every baby store within a ten mile radius. Going into every store, we solemnly vowed to not jinx things by buying anything this early in the pregnancy. At least that was the plan. Until my husband found the Winnie the Pooh crib set he’s been dreaming of for years. It wasn’t just any Winnie the Pooh set: apparently it used original Winnie drawings and not the newer ones produced by Disney. (For the record, I can’t tell the difference but apparently my husband can.) Long story short, between “My Friend Pooh” crib bedding and the most comfortable rocking chair ever invented, we had bought over $1,200 in stuff for the nursery. Within ONE week of finding out we’re pregnant. Yes, we’re totally in serious need of intervention.
While on this euphoric trip and awash with infant cuteness, a grandmotherly lady (wearing shockingly incongruous bright orange lipstick) gave us a warm smile and asked which of our wives was pregnant. There was a flicker of confusion after our response, followed by nonplussed urging that we start looking into preschools now before the waiting list for all the good ones fill up. (She’s a retired teacher, who had a slew of recommendations.) Really? To borrow a Hammerstein line, “my kid ain’t even been born, yet!”
It started to dawn on me that preschool research and nursery furnishings and all the other facets of this crazy journey toward fatherhood should be, like my fanatical workout schedule, treated like a marathon and not a sprint. Otherwise I run the risk of putting myself out of commission, like my fractured foot or my sprained credit card. So I’m making a conscious decision to (try to) stop being quite as compulsive about figuring out whether we’re having twins, and be much more zen about the journey (and my workout regimen). Besides, something tells me that I’m going to need to learn how to take a pill and chill more during the next eighteen years of child-raising.
By the way, our surrogate’s beta hCG level this week is 11,109. #hopeitstwins We’ll hopefully find out for sure at the end of next week, when our first pregnancy ultrasound is suppose to happen. But I’m cool until then. At least that’s my plan.