Kaycee Nicole!” “Bessie,” Fred said. “GO SEE THE FUCKING DOCTOR.” He’d suggested it several times before, but this time he was adamant. “I don’t want to!” I said. “She’ll tell me I have leukemia, and you’ll insist that they unplug me!” “Maybe it’s your thyroid levels,” he said. “Maybe your iron levels are low. Go see the doctor, or I’ll hire a someone big and scary to haul your ass to the doctor at gunpoint.” “FINE,” I said. “I’ll call and make an appointment tomorrow!” Later that night, my sister called. We hadn’t spoken in a few weeks, so we talked for quite a while. I ended up telling her about the heartburn and about the sleepiness. She was quiet for a long time, which scared me a little. She’s not a medical professional, but she’s worked in a doctor’s office for several years; maybe something was striking a chord in her mind? “I told Fred I think it’s leukemia!” I joked uncomfortably. She didn’t laugh. “Actually, it sounds like something else to me,” she said. “You’re going to think I’m crazy…” “Oh, god. What??” I demanded. And then she told me.

“This is what I get,” I said to Fred, who was pretty much non-responsive for an hour after I told him and showed him the test. “This is what I get for writing an entry telling people we weren’t having a baby. I was probably already pregnant!” “Does this mean I don’t need to get a vasectomy?” Fred joked after he came out of his fugue state. “This means I’m going to perform the vasectomy with a rusty knife!” I said. “I’ve been on the pill for eight fucking years!” “Remember what you said?” Fred reminded me. “Remember when you said that if you got pregnant when you were on the pill or after I had the vasectomy, it would be a sign that we were really meant to have a baby?” “I WAS JOKING.” And then I was struck with a thought. “Oh my god, I’ve been taking the pill and I’m on Toprol! Could that hurt the baby?” We looked on Google. Google had nothing to offer. I called my doctor, who told me that there were no long-term studies of pregnant women on Toprol. She referred me to a local obstetrician, who decided to do some blood tests and an ultrasound. She wanted to do an amnio, but those are safer once I pass 15 weeks, so we’re going to wait on that. I’m about ten weeks along, by the way. So on Wednesday, Fred and I went to the other side of Huntsville, sat in a waiting room until my bladder was thisclose to bursting and I was thisclose to crying due to the pressure on my bladder. The ultrasound technician called us back to the room about half an hour after the appointed time. How I didn’t pee my pants, I do not know. I settled on the table, Fred next to me, and the ultrasound was performed.
Oh, I’m sorry. Maybe that copy of the ultrasound doesn’t make it obvious. Let me clear it up for you, shall I?
God isn’t laughing. God is laying on the ground, clutching his stomach with tears rolling down his face, guffawing.
* * *
“You don’t think I’m going to babysit for you, do you? Because I have NO INTEREST in being a big brother.”