One of the worst fears a wedding photographer can have is having a baby in the middle of wedding season. As my luck would have it, our second little bundle of joy will be arriving sometime in the 2nd week of September – smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest months of the year. There were so many things going through my mind when my wife stepped out of our bathroom, wielding this plastic thingy with two pink stripes emblazoned across the viewing panel.
“One means pregnant, and two means definitely not pregnant…right?” I asked.
“You wish!” my wife replied, before opening up another test packet and scurrying back into the bathroom.
They say that a parent’s effort/attention somewhat “degrades” with the birth of each subsequent child. By the time you get to the 4th kid, you’re essentially bathing the poor kid in the kitchen sink right next to the dirty dishes. I remember when we first found out about our first child, I devoted an entire blog and a picture-series all related to my journey into fatherhood. And now? This second kid will be lucky if I mention his/her existence somewhere in my twitter feed :).
It’s been hard trying to be a good dad already. I spend most of my waking moments either behind a camera or computer. I hardly see my firstborn, and my second one is already receiving far (far) less attention already. Come September, I’ll be shooting about a dozen weddings across 4 states WITHOUT my regular second shooter (that would be my wife, for those keeping track), so I’ll be holding down the ship with two of our other assistants (who are just as talented, but just won’t replace the wifey!). There’s even a small chance I may have to do the Zombie-shuffle for some of those 3am feedings, only to head out a few hours later for bridal prep. So many things to consider, and so many things to put into place before September rolled around.
I knew that I’ve always wanted at least two kids; it seemed like a nice even number. In the case of having two kids, we’d never have to worry about having the neglected middle child, and our firstborn would always have someone to
bully play with. For all intents and purposes, two was enough – enough to bless mankind with our genes, but not so much to earn us a television special :). Because our business has grown exponentially these past two years, it just made sense for us keep our child count at two…permanently.
I made a casual suggestion that Karis should have her tubes tied when she gave birth to our second child, which was naturally met with some
livid, furious, foaming-at-the-mouth mild resistance. “If you want to make this permanent, you should D.I.Y!” she said, before storming out of our living room with a giant bag of Cheetos in her hands. D.I.Y., three of the most feared letters to non-stationery-related wedding professionals. Who knew my wife had such a witty sense of humor?
After doing all the requisite research regarding the procedure, it didn’t seem as bad as I had originally thought. The 6% decrease in my libido seemed like a mild risk compared to having a 3rd kid for next year’s wedding season. I promptly scheduled an appointment so we could take care of this “issue” before the start of this year’s wedding season. According to wikipedia, it was an out-patient procedure that only required a week of recovery time. Just in time for my marathon schedule filled with all sorts of cherry blossom engagement sessions :).
When I arrived, the office was everything I expected it to be: surrounded by plastic models of human genitalia and charts describing my anatomy in more detail than I would’ve appreciated. After a lengthy question-and-answer session, the doctor reassured me that this was a very routine procedure and that I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Zilch. Zero. Nada. I was almost positive he told all of his patients that, which kinda made me feel empty and un-special inside. After signing all the release forms, I was relegated to the operation room across the hallway.
What a depressing room. I thought to myself as I disrobed in a dark corner furthest away from the operating bed. This was a place where billions of seedlings came to die, never to see the light of day for all of eternity. As I performed the last rites for all the Ben Jr’s that would never come to be, a nurse walked in and greeted me before rummaging noisily through the metal cabinet. She eventually pulled out a small plastic container and a box of latex gloves. “Shall we?” she asked, snapping her latex gloves abruptly around her hands.
“We used to let our patients do this themselves, but we’ve found this method to be more efficient…time-wise.” she said, as she turned me around to face the bed. “We’re going to collect some samples…you know, just in case you change your mind in the future.” she explained as she motioned me to bend over. Before I realized what was going on, I heard a wet squirt and a sudden intrusion into my posterior. I felt my knees buckle as I collapsed towards the ground, hitting my head on the metal bedframe on my way down.
I’m not sure how much time had passed when I finally opened my eyes, but I found myself surrounded by a bright, white light, which wrapped it’s warmth around my entire body. Was this heaven? Was I alone? And why do I feel a draft blowing in/around/through my nether-regions?
“Ben..can you hear me?”
A shadowy figure descended upon me, and he came closer until I was able to make out a bespectacled face. It was a familiar face, smiling reassuringly, and standing next to him – the same nurse who never bought me dinner before rounding the bases with yours truly. “You’re all done, Ben.” he said as he patted me on the shoulder. The room slowly came into focus and I found myself lying on the exam bed wearing nothing but my exam gown. “Be careful when you put your clothes back on.” the nurse said. “You’ll want to be careful with the stitches.”
I was afraid to look down to confirm what I already knew was true. There was no other way to explain the throbbing, painful sensation that was taking place underneath the examination gown.
“And don’t worry about the samples.” she continued. “We were able to get plenty out of you.”
“Plenty?” I asked as I propped myself on my elbows.
“Yah, puh-lenty….4.1 ounces to be exact, you stud.” she replied, with a giant smirk on her face.
Even I was pretty proud of this one :).