On top of the rumpled sheet were two long white things, which I mistook for thermometers. She had been sick lately, and I figured she had been taking her temperature. Twice, for some reason. When I blinked, the thermometers turned into something more interesting: home pregnancy tests.
Eventually, Sarah promised to try and keep the secret. "It's only seven more weeks," she said. "I can do anything for seven weeks." Seven weeks? I did a quick calculation. "How pregnant are you?" Her pregnancy, she explained, actually began two weeks before my sperm came anywhere near her egg.
But now I'm sure that Sarah will call the whole thing off (the camping, not the pregnancy), and part of me hopes she will. My caveman instinct, to lock her in the house for nine months so nothing can harm the pregnancy, is hard to overcome.
When she returned, I was stunned. This was not my wife. She looked like a completely different person -- a ragged, angry specter with little tributaries of spit in the corners of her mouth. And I was told quietly, but in no uncertain terms, not to use the words "hot dog" again.
With this... thing... growing in Sarah, keeping the Big Secret means nonstop paranoia. We feel like sophomores who have been smoking pot all afternoon, certain that everyone can tell we're baked, and that everyone is whispering behind our backs.
Normally, my wife can recite every line of 'When Harry Met Sally' and reel off every outfit she wore on our first seven dates. Now she can't remember anything. "What kind of things are you forgetting?" I asked. She stared blankly. She couldn't remember.
Pregnant woman naturally gravitate toward others who are going through the same thing. Most have friends who fit the bill, but Sarah is a few years ahead of her friends, so she turned to the Internet.
My first step was to join the male equivalent, an Expectant Dads message board. I quickly found out that was different from Sarah's. The men cut across all lines of age, education, ethnicity, and interest level in All Things Baby. And it is a freakshow.
According to my website friends, dreams become more vivid during pregnancy. Common variations involve skyscrapers, water, driving a truck, and giving birth to a full-grown adult. Men still dream of sex, of course.
We've got to come to terms with the fact that her breasts, while still beautiful, are no longer playthings; they have life-giving functions far beyond our childish fondling. Soon, I'll be sharing those breasts with someone who needs them considerably more than I do.