Twelve Weeks

We had an ultrasound on Monday. The baby is looking healthy. He (or she) is active — rolling around and kicking off the side of the uterus.

If you’ll indulge me, here’s the highlight reel. (1.6 MB Quicktime, about 5 minutes to dowload on dialup)

The second trimester begins on Christmas day.


There are no lights on anywhere between Ikea and the I-90 tunnel on Mercer Island. Out the other end of the tunnel and looking across the lake, the only lights that can be seen are the headlights of a few cars and lights in the tops of skyscrapers peaking over Capitol Hill. I drive onto the bridge; the skyscrapers dip out of sight and the only headlights I see now are on the road around me. Over the bridge and up toward the (well-lit) second I-90 tunnel, I can make out little flickers of candlelight in nearby windows.

The power is on on the other side of the tunnel. It’s like it’s a whole different city here.

Morning Noon and Night

Tricia goes out for early errands. She comes back with bagels as I get out of the shower. I’m having a slow leisurely start today. I turn on the radio and learn that many of my neighbors are hardly having an average morning: More than half the city is without power. Trees are down and buses are delayed. The daily papers weren’t even printed this morning.

Last night, after the rain and before the wind, we had dinner at our neighbors and talked about names. We’ve found some good girl names, but haven’t agreed on any boy names. I’ve stopped campaigning for “Duncan” and am favoring “Alex” now. But Tricia says that one of her friends already named her son “Alex”. “‘Alex’ is taken.” Someone looks out the window at Denny Way, “Did you see the street earlier? The water at that low spot was up to the car windows.”


I sort through a pile of business receipts and put them into files. It’s difficult. So many of them pull an emotional string in me.

A receipt from a bookstore in Kent: I remember waiting in the Court House for two days to find out if I’d been chosen for jury duty. This was just after we Found Out.

An invoice from the book fair that I did in October: There’s a mix of excitement and disappointment associated with that weekend and now there’s a nostalgia for Before.

I pick up an official-looking document with decorative borders. I assume at first that it’s my business license, but then I read the title and I panic. It’s a birth certificate. It’s my birth certificate, but for a moment I think that it’s my child’s and that I’ve forgotten that it has already been born.

Next Day

…and by morning the new snow and ice had receded enough that the few dirty patches of snow look like they could be the remnants of Monday’s storm. If I hadn’t looked out the window last night, I might not have known.

Denny Way

This snowfall is fresh, a light even coating over the few smudges that are left from the night before last. Each flake casts a shadow on a car or on the street or sidewalk before it lands.

The street is quiet. No one walks past during the time that I stand by the window. There’s only one trail of footprints on the sidewalk. No tire tracks.

But now I sit and write this and I hear voices pass, excited and chattering.


Tricia and I met with a midwife in Kirkland yesterday. Tricia had an appointment set up with an OB clinic a couple of weeks ago, but they canceled at the last minute and rescheduled us for December, almost up to the start of the window when we’ll be able to have the quad- blood tests done. We both felt good about the birthing center, and we’re going to go ahead and stay with them.

It was snowing a bit on the way over and it really picked up by the time we’d finished.

Tricia had driven in from work, I came over from Seattle. So we left in separate cars, driving right into rush hour traffic on the first snow day of the season. Tricia made a left turn out of the parking lot through a gap in the traffic that closed before I could follow. So I turned right to go around the block. Cars were getting through traffic lights at a rate of one or two per green. I spent an hour inching my way around the block and onto the freeway, my worn wiper blades skidding on every fourth swipe.

My experience on this drive was so different from that well-documented snow day that Mike alludes to here. I imagine that the neighborhood was out tossing snowballs and skidding around on the sidewalks and that a dozen fresh-faced bloggers were out taking pictures. When I got home two hours later, Tricia was tossing a salad. We ate dinner and then watched graphic videos of babies being born.



Correction, Nov. 15, 2006: Due to an editing error, the original version of this piece suggested that interbreeding humans and apes might produce half-human, half-monkey babies. The offspring of such a union would be half-ape, not half-monkey.