Two Pregnancy Tests, One Cup…

The second in my ongoing series about Erin and I slowly marching towards parenthood. This one, I promise, will be way less serious than the first one. I wrote this as soon as we got home from dinner on the night it happened, wanting to record this gem of a conversation while it was still fresh in my mind.


When Erin was nine weeks pregnant, we stopped for dinner at Atomic Burger. Yeah, I know, but you need to understand — this place makes milkshakes. Delicious, epic milkshakes frozen with liquid nitrogen. It’s food and science. And most germane to this story, in the run-up to Mardi Gras, they were offering a King Cake Milkshake in what turned out to be a collectible, color-changing cup.

“Are we going to have to get rid of some of our cups after Mardi Gras?” Erin asked. I should explain here for those of you who weren’t fortunate enough to be born in Louisiana — even though we got a set of glassware as a wedding gift, most of our everyday beverages are consumed from what my mother used to call our “fine China”: free cups tossed from Mardi Gras floats, collector’s cups from restaurants and gas stations, and a cup handed out by then-Lieutenant Governor candidate Billy Nungesser at a jambalaya cook-off. You know. Fancy stuff. And after Mardi Gras is over, we usually get a new influx of drinking glasses.

“I don’t know,” I said. “There’s nothing wrong with any of our cups.”

“I guess I could get rid of the one I peed in,” she said.

“Sure,” I said, followed about five seconds later by, “Wait, what?”

“The cup I peed in when I took the first pregnancy test,” she said.

“Wait, you peed in one of our cups?”

“Yes.”

“One of the ones I drink out of?”

“Yeah, I told you about that.”

“No you didn’t!”

“I did!”

“Was it the same night you told me you were pregnant?”

“Yes!”

“Well do you think I was paying attention to that part?

As this began to sink in, I started to mentally inventory our drinkware. Which one was it? Was it one I used often? Was it one I used today?

“The directions said you could just pee right on the test itself, but I was afraid I’d mess it up,” she said.

“How do you mess up peeing on something?” I asked.

“You’re wondering which cup it is, aren’t you?”

“YES!”

“Do you want me to tell you?”

“I don’t know! I can’t tell if it’s worse knowing or not knowing at this point!’

“Well it’s clean. It’s been cleaned. I put it right in the dishwasher and I left it in there for another cycle, so it’s been washed at least three times.”

“Three?” I may be an English teacher, but I’m capable of at least this much math. “That’s only two.”

“Well… I washed it again.”

“When?”

“After I saw it in the sink.”

I felt my individual skin cells begin arguing over which direction they should crawl in. “In the sink?” I said “How do you think it got there?”

She sighed. “We got it for free.”

All of our cups are free!” I said, trying to not alert the rest of the Atomic Burger patrons to my sudden distress. “We got them all from Mardi Gras parades and Billy Nungesser!”

As I said the name of our elected official, Erin suddenly turned red.

“Wait, was that it? Is it Billy?”

She said nothing.

“Is it Billy Nungesser?”

Her face turned purple.”

“Is it Billy Nungesser?”

Her silence was finally broken as she doubled over in peals of laughter. As she sat there, giggling, potentially choking on her hamburger, I thought of the cup and tried to remember the last time I’d used it: water? Juice? Tea? What else had been in that beverage receptacle?

“Is it the Billy Nungesser cup?” I asked one last time.

She finally managed to collect herself and stop laughing, then wiped tears away from her cheeks with a napkin.

“He knew before you did,” she said.

Don’t forget to follow my Facebook page at Facebook.com/BlakeMPetit.

Tornado

Not long after Erin told me she was pregnant, I started writing little pieces about our adventures in impending parenthood. Obviously, I haven’t posted any of them online before, but now that we’ve announced to the world, I’m ready to start sharing. Most of them are silly stories or funny observations. The first one I wrote, however, is somewhat more serious, for reasons that I think will be clear. Most of the time I write something, I tweak and edit it right up until it’s posted, but I wrote this two months ago, and I haven’t changed a word.


When you lose something or somebody important to you, even once the initial stages of grief have passed, there’s a period of flux in your emotions. If you catch yourself laughing or having fun or generally being happy, you feel strange. It’s illogical, of course, there’s no reason to feel bad about it, but part of you does anyway. That strangeness is amplified by how great the loss is and how wonderful the good moment is.

Erin found out she was pregnant ten days after my mother died. Five days after her burial. Two days after I went back to work. I was already a confused mix of emotions, and as incredible as this was, it just threw things into even more of a tizzy. You’re already sad because of what you’ve lost, but now you’re happy for what you’re going to gain. And then you feel guilty for being happy, because you’re supposed to be sad, and you still ARE sad, but now you’re happy and guilty too. And then you feel ridiculous because you know there’s no reason to feel guilty and because you know Mom would have been thrilled about this. Then you feel sad all over again when it hits you that this child is never going to know their grandmother — my mother is going to be stories and pictures to him or her. It’s like you’ve lost Mom all over again and it breaks you, then you remember that you’re going to be a father and you don’t have the luxury of being broken right now, and then you remember that you’re going to be a father and you’re happy all over again, even if you’re nervous that you won’t live up to the wonderful father you have.

This is, of course, in addition to the traditional nervousness and anxiety that a person feels when they discover they’re going to become a parent, compounded with the above-average nervousness and anxiety I feel on a standard basis, which is something I inherited from my mother, which just makes me miss her all over again.

I’ve been in a tornado of emotion, is what I’m getting at.

-Jan. 27

A new chapter…

The first few months of 2017 have been extraordinarily chaotic. My mother passed away on January 13. It was the worst day of my life. But now I’ve got some good news to share. I’m usually the writer in our house, but today I’m just going to quote my wife on this one…

I think it’s time for Blake and I to expand our selection of children’s books… Our new chapter starts in September.

new chapter