Monday, August 21, 2006

Episode 19 - A New Hope?

The last time we saw Barbara, she had just picked up the phone and found her doctor's office on the other end of the line. You may recall she had been visiting her gynecologist and the call was regarding her test results. Let's listen in:

"Barbara?" the gynecologist asked.

"Yes, this is Barbara. What is it Dr. Spec?" Barbara replied.

"I've got some results from one of your tests today." the doctor said.

Barbara was puzzled. She had just been in that morning and she didn't think they did pap smears that fast. "Which test are we talking about?" she asked.

"Well, it's one of the urine tests. The fact is, Barbara, that you are pregnant."

Barbara stared at the receiver and felt her head spinning. "Wha' did that happen?"

"Well, Barbara, usually it takes a man and a woman..."

Barbara blushed, even though Dr. Spec could not see her, "I mean I know how it happens, but Brad had a vasectomy!"

"Sometimes, a vasectomy doesn't work, Barbara. But are you sure it was Brad?" the doctor asked gently.

Barbara sputtered, "Of course it was Brad! I'm not in the habit of sleeping with men other than my husband. In fact, I've never BEEN with anybody else!"

"Well, I suggest you and Brad make a decision as to what you wish to do...are you going with the pregnancy?"

Barbara said automatically, "Of course, I couldn't not have the baby...I don't believe in abortion."

"Well, that's settled then!" said Dr. Spec, "You'll need to come back here in a month for a prenatal visit and we can discuss your options. I'll switch you over to the receptionist to set up your appointment. See you then!"

Barbara numbly went through the motions of consulting her calendar and setting up the appointment. Then she sat in a chair and stared out the window. Pregnant! She and Brad had agreed when they married that they did not want to have children right away and then Brad had gone and gotten that vasectomy without even asking her. Barbara had been very upset at the time, but she had gotten over it; after all, she had been in her twenties and having children just did not seem to be that urgent a matter. Now she was in her late thirties and she didn't know if she was up to having a baby. What would she do with it when she had a workshop scheduled? How did a demonstrator cope with a pregnancy and then a new baby? Were there things you couldn't do anymore because it would be bad for the baby? Barbara knew nothing about babies; she was an only child and had never been around them.

In the midst of this funk, Brad came home. He walked into the kitchen and set his briefcase on the table. "Hi honey!" he said cheerily as he bent down and kissed Barbara's cheek and sat down.

Brad started talking about the car he had sold that day, rubbing his hands together as he described the customer's naivete and the big commission from the sale. After a few minutes he noticed that Barbara was not responding as she ought; she ought to be congratulating him, after all! "What's the matter with you?" he said.

"Brad, remember when you got that vasectomy?"

"Er, yeah. That was a long time ago and actually," Brad chuckled, "It's not something I like to think about."

"Well, it didn't work."


"I'm pregnant."

Brad stared at Barbara, his mouth silently opening and closing, much like a goldfish in a bowl, like one of those fish in that Definitely Decorative set...what was the name of that again? Barbara wondered, her brain still numb from the shock. She had never noticed before how much Brad resembled a fish...would the baby look like that? Suddenly, she couldn't bear the thought of a baby that looked just like Brad.

Suddenly, Barbara saw in her mind's eye a card with one of those fish from...Tropical Fish, that's what it was! She saw the fish stamped in Tempting Turquoise with some diapers cut from Ultrasmooth White cardstock and adhered over the tail end using Stampin' Dimensionals. "Our New Guppy" was stamped above the fish with the Alphabet Attitude set and there were waves made in Brilliant Blue with that little curve from the Tropical Fish set. Barbara's mind wandered, continuing to design this rather bizarre baby announcement as she waited for Brad's response. When it came, it brought her back to earth with a thud.

", I suppose I AM the father, am I?" Brad asked nastily.

"Of COURSE you are! Who else could it be? I have never, ever cheated on you! Oh, Brad, sometimes you are such a jerk!" Barbara stormed out of the room and could be heard noisily crying in the bedroom.

Brad stared at the door to the bedroom. He had never told Barbara that he had chickened out of the vasectomy and not gotten it done. It's not that he'd changed his mind about children, but the thought of a knife anywhere down in that area was extremely unnerving. Instead, he had been very careful to track Barbara's cycles, using natural family planning. But he supposed he must have gotten the dates mixed up and messed up big time. What was he going to do now?

Will Brad become reconciled to the idea of being a father? Will Barbara make a good mother, teaching her child how to carefully clean rubber stamps using Stampin' Mist and to never, never stamp on a Yoyo Yellow pad with a stamp that still had Basic Black on it? Will she stamp all her baby announcements? Which set will she use? Will she find out the sex of the baby ahead of time so she can have the appropriate color of cardstock to use or is she one of those mom's who doesn't want to know, so she will order both Bliss Blue and Pretty in Pink? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of....the Tearing Edge!

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