A monday afternoon some time ago, she texts me with, "Call me. It's important."
Strange. I'm in the car, so I ponder what's so important as we drive back to the office. I can't figure it out.
We get to the office and I step into the echoey stairwell for some semblance of privacy. I sit down on the stair and dial her number.
"I have to tell you this, but please wait to react."
An odd request. I'm probably one of the most calm-under-pressure people I know, thanks to years of professional gambling. In the split second before her next sentence I try to recall a time I overreacted to anything with her. I can't.
"The doctor called today," she begins. She had just been to the doctor for a routine blood test, "and she asked me whether or not I knew I was pregnant."
"Tynan, I'm pregnant."
It's simultaneously the worst and most unexpected news I'd ever gotten. It seems impossible that she could be pregnant. We always use condoms and there hadn't been any sort of incident which would be cause for concern. No point in thinking about that now - the reality is that it somehow happened.
The news is based on a blood test, not one of the error prone take home tests. This is serious. Instantly my life is seen through a new filter - through the perspective of me being a father in nine months. This is insane. I love kids more than anything, but I'm definitely not ready to have one of my own.
I have nothing to say. No amount of talking about my feelings or "how could this have happened?" is going to change the impending disaster. The result is an awkward conversation with more dead space than conversation.
We hang up and I walk back into the office. Todd asks me if everything is ok. Yes, I reply.
Every waking minute of the next day is occupied with thoughts of the pregnancy. I know that, like everything, everything will be fine in the end. I will somehow look back at this as it being a positive experience.
The next day she and I have breakfast, and alternate between normal conversation and tense conversations about the pregnancy. It's uncomfortable, but probably necessary.
She gets a call and leaves the room.
When she comes back she has a huge smile plastered across her face. It seems inappropriate.
"What?" I ask, impatiently.
She doesn't answer.
"I'm not pregnant!"
I dont believe her at first. For the past 48 hours I've known that I was going to have a kid, and unraveling that sort of realization isn't easy.
She goes on to tell me that they switched one of her files by accident with a pregnant woman, and they they were profusely sorry. Reality sunk in and we were overjoyed, laughing and talking about how fortunate we were. It's tough to appreciate the wonder of not being headed down fatherhood road until you've driven on it.
I'll tell you one thing, though - I'm done with sex for a LONG time. Having any chance of that happening for real isn't worth it. Sorry ladies!
I used to lie a lot when I was a kid. I wasn't intent on deceiving people, but for some reason I would just tell made up stories. They weren't even fantastic stories, they were just things that hadn't happened. I really have no idea why I did it.
One day I was hanging out with my friend Ryan and his family. We had just gone to a movie and were driving back to his house. Right as we were driving down his street I told a story to everyone in the car. I don't remember the story, but I remember it had something to do with cabinets. Hey, it was a long time ago.
Ryan's mother innocently asked a question that began with, "Wait... if you did that, then how could you have..."
My quest to become a breast milk donor has stalled. I am not able to find anyone that is willing to help me get my blood drawn. I'm sitting here writing and feeling the defeat, and the tears threatening. I can't remember the last time I cried, or felt this helpless and depressed. Here I am, doing a phenomenal thing. Donating my breast milk to babies that need it. Preemies in the NICU. Babies of Mommas that can't provide their own breast milk. I thought the phrase "I'm registering to become a breast milk donor" would win over hearts and get me the help I need to continue. Not so. I've been met with silence and "what are you doing? Oh."
So far, I've called five different establishments. That is including the CVS minute clinic (they don't do blood work) and the "Family Practice" that turned out to be an optician. Why would an optician name their practice "Mr. Whoever Family Practice"? Sounds like a doctor's office right? Incidentally, she gave the only warm response I received. I heard in her voice that she thought I was doing a great thing. If testing my eyes was a prerequisite for breast milk donation, she would have helped me no problem. On calls, my opening explanation goes something like this:
I'm sure I wasn't that clear. Each time I pick up the phone I'm very nervous as what I'm asking for is way out of the ordinary. The more I get rejected, the more nervous I become. And with that comes stuttering and a loss of words. I thought the hard part was going to be pumping the milk. Boy, was I wrong. Here's a rough transcript of the conversations I've had. I'm still surprised with the responses.